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UN agency urges Congo to protect refugees following shooting incident

[JURIST] The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] on Tuesday called on [press release] the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to protect all refugees and asylum seekers in the wake of a deadly shooting incident last week.

In Kamanyola, Congolese soldiers violently responded to a protest allegedly ignited by detained Burundians fearing deportation. Live rounds were reportedly fired at the protesters, which included refugees and asylum seekers, resulting in 39 deaths and 94 injured individuals.

According to the UNHCR's ground team, 2,400 Burundians seeking protection near Kamanyola currently live in fear of their safety and are in need of a new location with the UNHCR's assistance. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi [official profile] has stressed [UN News Centre report] the importance of the government protecting its estimated 43,700 Burundian refugees. According to Grandi, efforts must be made to investigate the deadly incident and avoid any future occurrences. Congolese officials have officially stated that an inquiry into the matter has been initiated.

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