DRC- At least five Congolese refugees were killed and 20 injured at a camp in Rwanda when a protest over a cut in food rations turned violent, said Rwandan police on Friday. Seen policemen were also injured.
Around 3,000 refugees were camping outside United Nations offices at the camp since Tuesday. Police tried to disperse them using teargas on Thursday, said police spokesman Theos Badege.
“We used force… yesterday afternoon after warning that security forces would be used,” he said.
“They started pelting stones, pieces of metal and in that 20 refugees were injured and seven police officers. Five of the refugees died.” Fifteen refugees were arrested. The police said there were about 500 protesters, while UNHCR put the figure at about 700.
The refugees from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo had left their camp in Kiziba and walked 15km to Karongi, in western Rwanda, to protest against a 25% cut implements last month in rations provided by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR),which houses 17,000 Congolese.
The organisation say it regrets that continued appeals for maintaining calm and restrain were not considered.
“UNHCR calls on authorities to refrain from further use of force and to investigate the circumstances of this tragic incident.”
In January, the UNHCR said it was cutting rations due to funding shortages.
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