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17 September 2017, 08:55 | Lena Norman
Congolese Security Forces Kill at Least 18 Burundian Refugees
Protesters gathered in Paris on Saturday to protest over violence in Burundi, a day after at least 30 Burundian refugees were killed in clashes with Congolese security forces over plans to send some of them home.
Six members of the Congolese security forces were killed in the clashes, Congolese army spokesman Dieudonne Kasereka said.
Congo's military could not immediately be reached for comment.
"I do not know the exact circumstances of why it degenerated, but it degenerated".
Those killed during the protest likely included asylum seekers, the United Nations agency said.
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Lt. John Mwanamboka said the refugees were killed in Kamanyola area in South Kivu province's Walungu territory after they allegedly rioted and the Congolese army made an attempt to control the situation.
Congo-based U.N. communications official Florence Marchal confirmed the deaths and said the Congolese government, the U.N. refugee agency and the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo "have deployed teams on site to shed light on everything that happened".
Out of 40,000 Burundian asylum-seekers, 28,000 who fled hostilities in their country were identified by the DRC's National Commission for Refugees in Kamanyola.
Eyewitness Alfred Rukungo said the soldiers continued shooting into the crowd even after some refugees were wounded.
More than 400,000 people have left Burundi since April 2015, when violent protests erupted after President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office.
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