12 October 2018

Burundi Battles Arrivals of Congolese Refugees

Bujumbura — BURUNDI is battling an influx of refugees fleeing conflict in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

More than 700 refugees have entered the Cishemere transit camp situated in the border region in the first week of October.

The Burundi Red Cross said the capacity of the transit camp could be exceeded soon.

"Today, more than ever, the pressing logistical and administrative needs of the Congolese asylum seekers are being felt," said a spokesperson.

More than 17 000 Congolese asylum seekers have been received and assisted since 2013 and then transferred to Kavumu camp as recognised refugees on Burundian soil.

The Red Cross participates in the reception, pre-registration and psychosocial assistance for asylum seekers, while also ensuring the day-to-day management of the camp, including the supply of drinking water and distribution of non-food items.

DRC is facing a myriad of crisis, which have worsened after President Joseph Kabila remained in power despite the lapse of his term in 2016.

Elections have been rescheduled for December. Kabila will not stand for re-election.

There are fears conflicts could derail the process.


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