DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua)
-- More than 2,000 Congolese
have fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to
Tanzania’s western region of Kigoma seeking asylum for
past one week, a senior government official said on
Maganga, the Kigoma regional commissioner, told Xinhua
on telephone that 800 of the asylum seekers were
received on Friday and Saturday at the region’s port
town of Kibirizi.
“Most of the
fleeing Congolese claim that they are running away from
political upheavals in the eastern part of the country,”
said Maganga, adding that 1,600 of them were received at
Manyovu, Kigage and Nyarugusu areas in the region.
situation is appalling as hundreds of the Congolese are
flocking into the region using boats that ply along Lake
Tanganyika,” said the official.
He said the
Kigoma region defense and security committee was
assessing the new arrivals to establish whether they
qualified to be given the asylum status.
after the assessment by the regional defense and
security committee the asylum seekers will undergo a
second scrutiny by the National Eligibility Committee
that will determine whether they qualified to gain the
the National Eligibility Committee comprised of members
from the Immigration Department and the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
moment, the UN refugees’ agency and other aid agencies
are providing relief supplies to the arriving Congolese,
including women and children,” said Maganga.
those who will meet “the refugee status” will be sent to
the Nyarugusu refugee camp.
condemns killing of peacekeeper in DRC
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua)
-- UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres on Saturday condemned the killing of a
peacekeeper from Pakistan deployed with the UN mission
in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
helmet was killed on Saturday in an ambush by members of
an armed group near Lulimba, 96 km southwest of Baraka
in South Kivu Province. At least another peacekeeper was
wounded in the attack.
secretary-general extended his heartfelt condolences to
the family of the deceased and to the people and
government of Pakistan. He wished a speedy recovery to
the injured and called on those responsible for this
attack to be brought to justice, said Stephane Dujarric,
Guterres’ spokesman, in a statement released in Addis
reiterated his call on armed groups in the DRC to lay
down their arms and seek to resolve their grievances
peacefully. He reaffirmed the readiness of the UN
mission in the DRC and the United Nations system to
continue working with the authorities of the DRC to help
address the security challenges facing the country.
urges his Congolese counterpart to stick to
GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) --
Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian
Khama on Friday urged President of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) Joseph Kabila to adhere to
the constitution of the central African nation.
farewell message to the residents of Francistown,
situated some 430 km northeast of the country’s capital,
Gaborone, Khama said his Congolese counterpart must
respect the rule of law and freedom of assembly.
president of DRC must comply with the rule of law and
abide with the constitution,” said Khama when addressing
scores of Batswana (citizens of Botswana) who thronged
the Francistown stadium to bid him farewell.
The polls in
DRC were scheduled to be held by the end of 2017, under
a political deal with the opposition aimed at avoiding
bloodshed after Kabila refused to step down when his
second mandate ended in December 2016.
African countries to benchmark on Botswana and implement
democratic principles in their respective nations.
lamented that failure to adhere to the constitution has
resulted in some leaders abusing powers, thereby
impoverishing their nations.
year, the United Nations (UN) Council members called on
Congolese authorities to take all the necessary measures
without delay to ensure that this new elections calendar
is scrupulously adhered to.
President Kabila calls
on politicians to choose
between elections and development
KINSHASA Democratic Republic of
the Congo (Xinhua) -- The
President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Joseph Kabila, on Friday called on the politicians to
make a choice between holding elections he regards as
costly or spending the money on the development of the
president said in Kinshasa during a press briefing that
the cost of elections, at around 1.2 billion U.S.
dollars, is more expensive than that required for the
development of the country.
election budget is 1.2 billion dollars, and I say it
quite often, the elections in this country are starting
to cost us a lot more than even the development of the
country. And at some point we will have to make a
choice, will it be necessary to be cited around the
world as the most democratic country, or is the
development that counts?” he said.
are nearing the end of enlistment operations in Kasai.
We are more or less 46 million voters enlisted. The
elections in this country is a vast operation,” said
At the press
conference, the president called on Congolese people to
make courageous decisions so that they do not have to
spend so much money just to hold elections.
take the most courageous options and decisions not to
fall or fall back into the situation with a budget of
1.2 billion for elections, while we have a total budget
of 6 or 7 billions,” added the Congolese president.
African country has not managed to organize the
elections scheduled since the end of 2016, following
technical and financial problems.
political majority of the opposition accuses Kabila of
blocking the electoral process in the country.
demanding the holding of elections have resulted in the
death of several people across the country since the
beginning of the year.
asylum seekers from DR Congo flee to Burundi
BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) --
Over 3,000 asylum seekers from the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) have arrived
in Burundi to avoid fighting in eastern DR Congo, local
authorities told Xinhua by phone on Thursday.
governors of Makamba and Rumonge provinces in
southwestern Burundi, those asylum seekers arrived via
Lake Tanganyika by boats.
yesterday (Wednesday), we are receiving an influx of
refugees from eastern DR Congo. By now, we have received
over 2,000 refugees. And more and more are coming,” said
Juvenal Bigirimana, governor of Rumonge province.
said those asylum seekers are mainly Congolese nationals
and Burundian nationals, who fled fighting between
Mai-Mai rebels and the Congolese army in DR Congo’s
South Kivu province.
also said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the
National Office in charge of the Protection of Refugees
and Stateless Persons (ONPRA) and the Rumonge
administration are seeking ways to relocate those asylum
seekers in refugee camps.
Rumonge administration) are trying our best to get food
items for them as no charitable organization has so far
assisted them,” Bigirimana said.
Governor Gad Niyukuri said that over 1,000 asylum
seekers from DR Congo have arrived in the Nyanza-Lac
district since Wednesday.
refugees say they left so many others behind, and those
are also fleeing the fighting. We have put them in one
place,” said Niyukuri.
also said the provincial government fears that the
refugees might have brought cholera here as one of them
has already shown cholera symptoms.
set four refugee camps to host DR Congo nationals.
the UN News Service, the inter-ethnic violence and
clashes between the regular army, militia and armed
groups have left some 1.3 million people displaced in
eastern DR Congo’s provinces of Tanganyika and South