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Burundi urges DR Congo to probe killing of Burundi refugees

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundi on Monday urged the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) to provide circumstances on the reported killings of at least 30 Burundian refugees last week on the Congolese territory.

After being informed that the Burundian refugees were killed following alleged clashes between the refugees and the Congolese army, the Burundian government through the foreign ministry urged the DR Congo government to investigate the killings and identify perpetrators, said Burundian Government Spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba.

Nzobonariba said the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the DR Congo as well as the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission should also give clarifications about the killings.

According to the UNHCR, the DR Congo is currently hosting around 40,000 Burundian refugees.



At least 39 killed in shooting attack in DR Congo: UN agency

GENEVA (Xinhua) -- At least 39 people were killed and another 94 injured in a latest shooting attack in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Sept. 15, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR said Tuesday in a statement.

The UN agency said that the attack took place after Congolese soldiers fired live rounds at Burundian protestors in the eastern part of the country, many of whom UNHCR believes were refugees and asylum-seekers.

The protest, reported to be initially peaceful, allegedly started after a small group of Burundians were detained by Congolese authorities, creating fears they were going to be deported to Burundi.

According to UNHCR, the dead included Burundian men, women and one child. The incident also resulted in the death of one Congolese soldier, with six others wounded.

“This is a devastating tragedy. It should never have happened,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

In a statement on Tuesday, he welcomed the announcement from Congolese officials to launch an inquiry into the incident and called for it to be detailed, saying that such an incident should never happen again.

UNHCR figures show that DRC hosts more than 43,700 refugees who have arrived from Burundi since 2015.


Rwandan suspects linked with armed groups appear in court

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Nine Rwandan suspects linked with armed group operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) appeared at an intermediate court in the capital city of Kigali on Wednesday.

The group is said to belong to FDU-Inkingi, an unregistered opposition political party in Rwanda. The suspects include Boniface Twagirimana, said to be the vice president of FDU-Inkingi.

Prosecution alleged that four of the suspects were arrested when heading to join an armed group in DR Congo while five had already joined a group known as P5 with the intent of attacking Rwanda form DR Congo.

The suspects, who are due to appear in court again on Thursday, denied the charges and protested their detention as illegal. 

Rwandan police earlier this month said they detained seven individuals believed to be linked to armed groups operating in a neighboring country.


Zambia seek assistance to deal with influx of DRC asylum seekers

LUSAKA Zambia  (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Thursday called for international support to contain the high number of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) nationals seeking for asylum.

Zambia has seen an influx of DRC nationals in recent weeks fleeing from unrest in some parts of that country.

Lungu said he was concerned over the high number of the asylum seekers entering the country and needed assistance to take care of them.

The Zambian leader expressed concern during a high-level side meeting on the refugee satiation at the ongoing United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, according to a statement released by his office.

Zambia, he said, will need international support to enable the country manage the influx of the asylum seekers due to the civil strife in their country.

Zambia was receiving over 500 asylum seekers on a daily basis, he added.


DR Congolese refugees in Angola receive food aid

LUANDA Angola (Xinhua) -- Refugees from Democratic Republic of the Congo in Lôvua municipality, Angola’s Lunda Norte province received on Wednesday 10 tonnes of foodstuff.

The donation made by the Association of Angolan Ex-Emigrants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, includes soda, clothing, footwear, detergents, rice, oil, pasta, salt and other goods for personal hygiene.

Local director of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Wilsom Palanca, praised the humanitarian gesture, stressing that the donated goods will contribute to solve some of the difficulties of refugees and their families.

According to UNHCR data revealed in May, more than 20,000 DR Congo refugees have arrived in Angola, fleeing insecurity and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai region since early April.


UN chief condemns killing of peacekeeper in Democratic Republic of Congo

UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday condemned the killing of a Tanzanian peacekeeper serving in the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The secretary-general urged the authorities of the DRC to swiftly investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to justice, said Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric in a statement.

Guterres called on all armed groups in the DRC to stop violence and to avoid a further deterioration of the security situation in the country.

The Tanzanian soldier was killed on Sunday in a clash with suspected members of an armed group, the Allied Democratic Forces, in Mamundioma in North Kivu province. Another peacekeeper was injured.


DR Congo joins region police body to fight transnational crimes

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- The Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has been admitted to the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation (EAPCCO), a regional body aimed at fighting transnational crimes.

Uganda police spokesperson Asan Kasingye said in a statement issued here late on Friday that DR Congo was admitted as the 14th member state at the body’s just concluded five-day meeting held in the capital Kampala.

The Chiefs of Police Council, an organ of EAPPCO was meeting under the theme, “Enhancing cooperation and innovation in combating transnational organized and emerging crimes.”

Gen. Kale Kayihura, Uganda’s police chief who will now chair the council for the next two years, told a local TV station that the admission of DR Congo will help in combating and dismantling terrorism networks, criminal gangs, drug trafficking, and poaching activities in eastern part of the country.

EAPCCO comprises of police chiefs from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Seychelles and Comoros.

The organization is a medium through police chiefs to enhance their cooperation with their colleagues.


Burundi probes attack against UN human rights office

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundi is investigating an alleged attack on Wednesday at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the capital city of Bujumbura, the justice ministry said Thursday.

“Early on Wednesday around 2 a.m., six unidentified persons intruded the compound hosting OHCHR Burundian office. One of them reportedly had a gun,” said Agnes Bangiricenge, spokesperson of Burundian Attorney General in a statement.

According to her, those unidentified attackers “immobilized” guards at that office before entering the office.

The attorney general requested people who may have information about the attack to provide it to investigators.

She said even though the unidentified managed to enter the compound, they did not either steal anything or hurt anyone.

The Burundian government said last October that it has decided to suspend cooperation and collaboration with OHCHR in Burundi for OHCHR’s role during the preparation of a biased and controversial report written by three UN experts on violations of human rights in Burundi.


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