DRC opens inquiry into killing of dozens of Burundian refugees

Congo is home to thousands of Burundian refugees

At least 35 Burundian refugees have been killed and more than 100 others wounded by security forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since Friday, according to an army official Saturday.

The UN's Monusco peacekeeping mission in the country had said on Saturday that at least 36 refugees were killed in the violence in Kamanyola on Friday, in which a Congolese soldier also died.

An altercation between the refugee group and the Congolese officials erupted, Mr. Kijana said, and some of the Burundians began hurling stones at the officials and members of the security forces.

More than 400,000 refugees from Burundi have fled to neighboring Congo since 2015, to escape an outbreak of political violence that was sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's successful but disputed bid to win a third term in office.

"We do not yet understand how the people who are being called refugees were also shooting at Congolese soldiers", Mende said. A [Congolese soldier] was killed in the clash, and it led to the escalation of violence.

The Burundian protesters, she said, "were not happy because four of them have been expelled from Congo".

Of the people killed in Friday's clashes, 15 were women, the commander of the Pakistani battalion of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, Waquara Yunusi, told The Associated Press.

Burundi's foreign minister, Alain-Aime Nyamitwe, on Twitter described the incident as a "shooting" and said "explanations are needed".

Kamanyola is home to 2,000 of the almost 44,000 people who have fled Burundi to neighboring Congo, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.

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