The Rwandan-backed Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-Goma, currently in control of much of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, has expelled 36 Burundi nationals from the Ubwari Peninsula on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika.
On Thursday, the predominantly second-generation Burundi nationals arrived in the Rumonge area of western Burundi, having crossed the lake, Burundi Radio Publique Africaine reported. The precise reasons for their expulsion remain unclear.
In late December 2001 and early January, 232 Burundians were expelled from the same area, UNHCR spokesman Paul Stromberg told IRIN on Tuesday. Of those, 50 were still in Rumonge, claiming they had nowhere else to go. The others dispersed, probably to where they had originally come from, he said.
Of the 232, 60 families had fled into exile in the Congo in 1965 due to ethnic conflict in Burundi and were, therefore, classified as "refugees"; while the remaining 30 were more recent economic arrivals, Stromberg said.
"The new arrivals may be asked to go to a displaced camp, or they may be helped where they are. UNHCR is having discussions with the Kinshasa government about this, but the problem is that Kabila’s government is not in control of the area," he said.
For the moment, the displaced are being supplied with shelter materials, food for 15 days, blankets, jerry cans and kitchen sets.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
Today is Giving Tuesday. It’s a day when people around the world will be doing something to support the good causes they care about. As a reader of The New Humanitarian, we know that you care about quality independent journalism.
Climate change, migration, forced displacement, disasters, conflict, COVID-19, and more – the issues we report on have global significance, and there’s never been a more important time for our mission: putting quality, independent journalism at the service of the millions of people affected by humanitarian crises around the world.
The way aid is delivered is evolving, and we’re right there with it. We’re going to continue reporting on the future of aid, as it happens. You read it in our reporting. You listen to it on our podcasts. You watch it in our videos. Help us do more by making a regular contribution to our work and becoming a member of The New Humanitarian.