Expressing shock and sadness over the violent death of numerous Burundian nationals – among them likely refugees and asylum seekers – in Kamanyola town, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations refugee agency called for an investigation into the incident.
According to initial reports more than 30 have been killed and over 100 injured, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a news release.
“The precise circumstances are not yet clear [but] reports indicate that in the course of a confrontation with Burundian demonstrators, Congolese security forces opened fire on the crowd,” the UN agency added.
The town hosts some 2,005 refugees and asylum seekers from Burundi, most of whom arrived in 2015.
There are a total of 43,769 Burundian refugees living in DRC.
The news release also noted that UNHCR and its partners have sent teams to Kamanyola, including medical staff, to treat the injured.