UN agency moves Congolese refugees in Burundi away from border with DRC

27 August 2004
Congolese refugee women

A group of Congolese refugees in Burundi have moved away from the insecure border area near the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to a United Nations refugee agency camp deeper inside the Great Lakes country, a spokeswoman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) said today.

A convoy carrying 48 refugees - 47 from Rugombo and Karurama in Cibitoke Province and one from Gatumba - went to Gasorwe camp in the north-east, home to 8,000 Congolese from earlier waves of refugees, spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis told journalists at a briefing at the UN complex in Geneva.

Some 160 Banyamulenge (ethnic Tutsi) refugees at the now-defunct Gatumba centre were killed and more than 100 injured in a bloody raid on the night of 13 August. Refugees there fled to a nearby school where good security was installed. Many of them have been reluctant to leave while their relatives are in local hospitals.

UNHCR said it was organizing a public education campaign on relocation within Burundi for those who are reluctant to leave the border area because they hope to soon move back to a safe DRC.


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