Army kills over 30 Burundian refugees in DRC

At least 34 refugees who had fled political violence in Burundi were killed by government forces in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, a civil society group said Saturday.

He also stressed that defence and security forces could resort to force "only as a last resort" and in accordance with worldwide norms, and urged "the authorities to promptly open criminal investigations".

No-one with refugee status "is supposed to have an assault rifle", he said.

Congolese police and soldiers opened fire as the migrants protested plans to send some of them home from the town of Kamanyola in the east of the country, activists say.

Burundi's foreign minister, Alain-Aime Nyamitwe, on Twitter described the incident as a "shooting" and said "explanations are needed".

Roughly 44,000 refugees from Burundi are sheltering in Congo.

"The UN Refugee Agency is shocked and saddened over the violent death of numerous Burundian nationals - among them likely refugees and asylum-seekers", said UNCHR in a statement.

There are over 400,000 Burundian refugees in DRC who fled after violence erupted in their country in April 2015 when incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza refused to leave power after serving two terms and stood in elections for a third term.

Burundi's foreign minister, Alain Aime Nyamitwe, on Twitter asked Congo and United Nations officials for an explanation of the shootings.

It was not immediately clear why the four refugees had been detained.