MONUSCO chief condemns deadly clashes involving Burundian asylum-seekers in South-Kivu
KINSHASA, Sep. 16, 2017 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Maman Sidikou, today condemned violence perpetrated in Kamanyola (South Kivu province) that have resulted in the killing of dozens of people and expressed his sincere condolences to the families of the victims.
Clashes between asylum-seekers and refugees from Burundi and Congolese defense and security forces reportedly killed at least 36 refugees and one Congolese officer and injured 117 others.
« I am deeply shocked with the large number of civilian victims that were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to seek protection and I condemn all kinds of violence between communities” said the Head of MONUSCO.
According to credible reports received by MONUSCO, Burundian asylum-seekers and refugees were demonstrating against local authorities after four of them have been expelled from DRC. One FARDC (Congolese army) officer was killed in the clash, which led to the escalation of violence. Congolese defense and security forces allegedly responded through indiscriminate firing on the protestors
Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of MONUSCO, recalls the obligation of the defense and security forces to use force only as the last resort, in compliance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality, pursuant to the international standards.
He calls on the authorities to swiftly open legal actions to establish the truth and do justice to the victims.
MONUSCO has deployed teams on the ground to further enquire the circumstances of the clashes. It has been assisting as well the wounded through triage, treatment and transport.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, around 44,000 refugees from Burundi are currently hosted in the DRC.