Congo-Kinshasa: Dozens of Burundians Killed in Clashes With DRC Forces

Refugees have fled Burundi after its pPresident Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term in office

Another 117 people were wounded and one Congolese officer was killed, he said in a statement.

Maman Sidikou said he was "deeply shocked" at the violence.

A Burundian refugee told AFP news agency: "I saw people falling down, men, ..."

He also stressed that defence and security forces could resort to force "only as a last resort" and in accordance with global norms, and urged "the authorities to promptly open criminal investigations".

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Congo's government says it is opening an investigation to establish the facts and true identity of the "supposed refugees", spokesman Lambert Mende said.

Interior ministry official Josue Boji said troops had tried to disperse the refugees by "firing in the air but were overwhelmed" when the group responded by throwing stones in Friday's confrontation.

"The incident provoked a reaction from the soldiers, who started shooting everywhere", he said.

Pakistani-run United Nations camp at Kamanyola, he said.

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The death of a soldier during the protests is said to have triggered the bloodbath.

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.

"So far, we have counted 31 dead and at least 105 injured, 15 of them seriously", the refugee said.

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.

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