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Congo Refugees In Burundi Total More Than 34,000

DR Of Congo Refugees In Burundi Total More Than 34,000, UN Says

With instability and high tension reigning in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the number of people who have crossed into neighbouring Burundi has risen to more than 34,000, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

Earlier this week, 848 refugees from Kamanyola, who had fled into the mountains to escape fighting between rebel soldiers and the national army, entered Burundi after having returned home and found their property looted by both rebels and army, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson said in Geneva.

Some soldiers had taken over homes, but willingly left when the owners reclaimed them, spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis said.

The new arrivals were housed temporarily at Rugombo transit centre near the border, but would be transferred to Kururama, which has reported no cases of cholera. Last week preventive measures against the disease were taken at three sites - Rugombo, Cibitoke and Gatumba - after Médecins sans Frontières (MsF) treated a few cases.

Meanwhile, UNHCR plans to hold talks with Burundian officials on preparing a new site in Rutana province to house up to 70,000 refugees.

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