Canada Burundi: Congolese Banyamulenge refugees victims of a manhunt?

07:50  17 october  2020
07:50  17 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Human Rights Watch researchers conducted extensive interviews among victims , residents of 4 Human Rights Watch, “ Burundi : Civilians Pay the Price of a Faltering Peace Process,” February Banyamulenge in particular fled because they feared reprisals might be directed against their ethnic

Des réfugiés congolais banyamulenge au Burundi (archives). © AFP Congolese Banyamulenge refugees in Burundi (archives).

The community of Congolese Banyamulenge refugees, who number in the thousands, have complained of having been the victim of a real manhunt for the past ten days. The Ministry of the Interior and Public Security has launched a real campaign against those living in cities when they should be in one of the five refugee camps in the country. The leaders of this community of Rwandan-speaking Congolese refugees who fled South Kivu province explain that they are accused of being in the service of Rwanda, at odds with its neighbor to the south, which they have always denied. It all started on October 8th.

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The Banyamulenge , an ethnic Tutsi tribe from neighboring Democratic Republic. Burundi 's authorities believe he fled to Congo for almost three years, though Rwasa says he stayed in Burundi . Rwasa said on Friday he enjoyed immunity under the terms of a peace deal he signed with the

Thousands of Burundi refugees have fled their country to the DRC in order to escape violence. Yet across the border, clashes with Congolese security forces At least 36 Burundian refugees were killed and 117 others injured after security forces from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) fired

That day, the spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, Pierre Nkurikiye, presented to the press some sixty Congolese Banyamulenge refugees, arrested in the capital Gitega, when they should be, explains he said, in one of the refugee camps. Which makes them "suspect" he said, before appealing to "the patriotism" of Burundians.

“These foreigners that we see more and more in cities and elsewhere are easy to spot. Many speak Kinyarwanda like these. If you hear anyone speaking Kinyarwanda or another language that is not Kirundi, notify the administration and security services to ask them what they are doing there. "

Since this speech, more than 150 Rwandophone Congolese refugees have been arrested one after the other in several localities of the country, held in detention for one or two days before being returned to the camps for some. But around thirty were still detained in Bujumbura yesterday at midday, according to corroborating sources. A member of this community who says he fears for his safety, denounced anonymously "a real manhunt".

Yesterday, the Home Office seems to have backpedaled in the face of the outcry over these comments. He tweeted that his "spokesperson has never called for hunting people who speak Kinyarwanda."

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The federal government has opened a parent and grandparent lottery on October 13, 2020 at noon. The program will last till November 3 this year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made immigration, and more specifically family reunification, a major plank in the last two elections. However, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian shores meant the program’s original 2020 debut had to be halted in March. “Given the present circumstances, however, we are prioritizing our efforts to contribute to the whole-of-government response to the pandemic,” read a statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) back in the spring.

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