Over 2000 Burundian refugees cross to Rwanda from DR Congo

More than 2500 Burundian refugees yesterday crossed from Kamanyola refugee camp in DR Congo to Rwanda, an official confirmed.

The refugees who had lived in DR Congo since 2015, mostly women and children, arrived in Rwanda through Rusizi District.

According to Jean Claude Rwahama, the director of refugee affairs unit at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee affairs (MIDMAR), the refugees entered the country late afternoon through Rwanda-DR Congo border at Bugarama, claiming to have fled insecurity.

Rwahama said the ministry was yet to ascertain their exact figure with the estimated number based on what the refugees reported.

 “We have not got reliable figures yet but refugee leaders told us that at least 2579 of them came,” said Rwahama.

The refugees were temporarily sheltered at Bugarama being catered for by the ministry and its partners pending their transfer to Nyarushishi transit camp in Rusizi on Thursday, according to Rwahama.

He said they didn’t expect more refugees after the same group reported that all of them had left the DR Congo camp.

Rwanda already hosted more than 50,000 Burundian refugees at Mahama Refugees Camp in Kirehe District.

The Burundian refugees while at Kamanyola camp in south Kivu province accused Congolese government of attempting to forcefully repatriate them to Burundi before it is secure for them, according to media reports.

Last year, about 40 Burundian refugees including a 10 year old girl from Kamanyola camp were reportedly shot dead and about 100 injured in clashes with Congolese security forces over planned forced repatriation.