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800 Congolese Flee Burundi Hours Before Elections

Hundreds of Congolese nationals flooded the Burundi-DRC border as they requested to be cleared to return to their country. Burundians are going to polls today [Wednesday].

They arrived on Congolese soil via the Gatumba border for the town of Uvira in South Kivu.

According to the migration service in Uvira, the arrival of these Congolese was facilitated by the embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Burundi.

The DRC immigration department said that among these returnees, some are from the province of Tanganyika, others from North Kivu and still others from the city of Bukavu, territories of Uvira, Fizi and Walungu in South Kivu.

The officers of the general direction of migration in Uvira are carrying out medical checking on every Congolese returning from Burundi.

DRC had closed its border with Burundi as it implemented measures aimed at stopping cross boarder spreading of the deadly #COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports indicate that these Congolese feared insecurity in certain areas inside Burundi where most Congolese reside including Kamenge, Bwiza and Buyenzi.

Reports from Burundi indicate that last Monday, the Congolese nationals protested in front of the DRC embassy in Burundi demanding their repatriation to the country.

Some Congolese are said to have trekked on foot from Bujumbura city to the border with Kavimvira. Men, women, youth and children have all decided to return to DRC.

Congolese security sources say that Kinshasa and Bukavu have given orders to let the Congolese pass.

The Congolese Directorate General of Migration (DGM) has set up a sorting system of twenty people per group, where each returnee has to show a voters card or migration document to trace his/her Congolese nationality.

Hygiene officers closely monitored hand washing before taking the temperature on these returnees.

More than 800 Congolese queuing at Gatumba border to cross back into DRC as they flee political violence in Burundi.

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