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.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is shocked and saddened over the violent death of numerous Burundian nationals - among them likely refugees and asylum-seekers, in Kamanyola, a town in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The coordinator of the U.N. Communications Group in Congo, Florence Marchal, confirmed a provisional death toll of 18, with 50 others wounded.
Burundi Foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe asked Congo and the United Nations on Twitter for an explanation of the shootings.
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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"The Congolese army and police were overwhelmed by the refugee protest and fired shots into the air before the situation worsened", the army spokesman said.
At least 124 refugees were also wounded.
The clashes broke out when refugees were opposed to repatriation to Burundi, Kasereka said.
More than 100 people were injured in the incident, according to Bertin Bisimwa, chief of Kamanyola.
Tens of thousands of Burundians have fled to the eastern DR Congo to escape a wave of violence that unfurled in 2015 after Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a fiercely contested third term in office.