More than 4460 Congolese refugees have arrived since Wednesday night in Rumonge commune, in the south of Burundi. They flee confrontations between Mayi Mayi yakutumba rebel movement and the Congolese army-FARDC in South Kivu. This Friday 26 January 2018, humanitarian organisations rushed to assist them.
“The situation is alarming, the numbers of refugees are high and they are still coming.” said Gogo Hukportie, UNHCR representative in Burundi.
She says UNHCR has planned an urgent visit to those refugees and organised a meeting with other humanitarian organisations and the government to decide what should be done to assist those refugees.
Hukportie says they have agreed that apart from being transferred to refugee camps, those refugees need an urgent help when they arrive. “UNHCR and the government have decided to send them to refugee camps that are already available. However, they also need assistance in port. The Red Cross will mainly give assistance to them when they arrive in port”, she says.
Antoine Ntemako, Director General of Civil Protection, appeals to all humanitarian organisations and international community to help. “They have to be transferred to refugee camps but they first need assistance when they arrive. This port is not well arranged to host them. I call on the international community to help”.
400 of these refugees have already been sent to Kavumu refugee camp in Cankuzo eastern province. Others were still waiting for vehicles to carry them while some others were still coming in boats till Friday afternoon.