Executive Summary for September 18th

We review the latest refugee-related issues, including the killing of Burundian refugees at a protest in Congo, an Italian legal complaint challenging the country’s deal with Libya to stop migrant boats and displacement topping 1 million in Central African Republic.

Published on Sep. 18, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Thirty-Six Burundian Refugees Killed at Congo Protest

Congolese security forces opened fire on a protest by Burundian refugees, leaving at least 36 dead, witnesses told journalists and the United Nations.

Among the dead were 15 women, a U.N. peacekeeping commander said. Another 117 people were wounded, with 39 in a serious condition, according to the U.N. envoy to Congo, Maman Sidikou. A Congolese officer was also killed, Sidikou said.

The violence broke out when refugees went to the bureau of intelligence in Kamanyola, South Kivu province, to protest the expulsion of four Burundian refugees from Congo.

Congo’s government spokesman Lambert Mende blamed the refugees for the violence, claiming some protesters had been armed and attacked the intelligence office.

Sidikou said he was “deeply shocked” by the deaths and called for an immediate investigation.

Italian Complaint: Libya Deal Violates European Human Rights Convention

An Italian political party has filed a legal complaint claiming that Italy’s deal with Libya to stop migrant boats violates the European Convention on Human Rights.

The complaint does not name defendants, but suggests Italian officials have committed criminal association and abuse of office, according to the Associated Press, which obtained a copy of the petition.

Italian officials claim their cooperation is with the U.N.-backed Libyan government of Fayez Serraj alone, not the Libyan militias who are preventing boat departures.

Growing Violence in Central African Republic Has Displaced 1.1 Million

Renewed militia violence in the Central African Republic has left record numbers of people displaced, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

More than 500,000 people have fled the country and some 600,000 are internally displaced, the highest number since conflict broke out in 2013, the UNHCR said.

Yet aid lags behind the scale of the crisis, the agency warned, and some humanitarian groups have recently had to suspend operations due to attacks on aid workers.

“Many newly displaced people speak of having witnessed killings, robberies, lootings and kidnappings,” a UNHCR statement said. “Even after reaching safe locations, they often risk assault by armed groups, if they venture outside. Unable to approach aid workers, they barely have access to vital supplies.”

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