EU, US blast DRC army for excessive force

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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The United States and European Union on Wednesday urged Congolese security forces to refrain from using “excessive force” after soldiers fired on Burundian refugees last week, killing over 30.

“The US government is dismayed by the violence and death of more than 30 Burundian nationals and a Congolese soldier in Kamanyola, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

“We urge the security forces of the DRC to refrain from using excessive force”.

According to Monusco, the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the country, at least 36 refugees in Kamanyola, in the eastern province of South Kivu, were killed during violent clashes on Friday. A Congolese soldier also died.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende claimed on Saturday that many of those killed were members of an “armed group”.

According to interior ministry official Josue Boji, the clashes began after a group of refugees overran a jail run by the country’s domestic intelligence agency to demand the release of four Burundians who had been arrested for expulsion on Wednesday night.

Boji said troops tried to disperse the refugees by “firing in the air but were overwhelmed” when the group responded by throwing stones. At least 124 refugees were wounded.

The DRC government opened an inquiry into the deaths on Sunday.

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