Taarifa Rwanda

DR Congo Urged To Safe Guard Refugees After Fatal Shooting

epa01534671 Congolese displaced by fighting walk into the provincial capital of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 29 October 2008. Tens of thousands of refugees are fleeing renewed fighting in the country between dissident rebel general Laurent Nkunda's forces and the Congolese army as angry residents vent their anger at the UN peacekeeping mission's inability to stop the bloodshed. EPA/SARAH ELLIOTT

The United Nations refugee agency has called upon the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government to protect refugees and asylum seekers after Congolese soldiers shot and killed at least 39 Burundian protesters.

The dead included men, women and one child. One Congolese soldier was also killed, with six others wounded, according to UN.

The government has promised to probe the shootings that took place last Friday. UN reports that the shootings after a peaceful protest over the detention of some Burundian refugees who feared deportation.

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

He welcomed the announcement from Congolese officials to launch an inquiry into the incident and called for it to be detailed.

“We need to establish facts and determine responsibility and make sure that such an incident never happens again.”

UNHCR said it had deployed a team to the area to collaborate with medical staff of a partner organization in local hospitals to provide life-saving medical assistance to the injured.

57 people that sustained critical injuries were evacuated to Goma and the nearest city of Bukavu, while 37 others are being treated in Kamanyola.





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