Lusenda: Burundi refugee camp in Lusenda: disturbing arrests

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Burundian refugees from the Lusenda camp, about 60 km south of Uvira, in the eastern DRC, are experiencing fear in their stomachs. They speak of arbitrary arrests and disappearances since the assassination a month ago of a Congolese army officer in the vicinity of this site.

According to sources contacted, there would be a list of about 100 refugees to be apprehended. More than 10 people were already officially arrested in the camp, including the representative of these Burundian refugees, Faustin Nibizi. But he is hospitalized in Uvira following injuries.

The vehicle in which the accused was held, along with four other Burundian refugees suspected of having played a role in the murder, made an accident. The police took them to Baraka Prison.

All the arrested refugees are accused of attacking the internal security of Congo and Burundi. They are mainly intellectuals who are targeted and suddenly, the latter prefer not to show too much. They hide in their tents.

“We are afraid for our security, what we fear is to be embarked to an unknown destination or to be extradited to Bujumbura as happened recently in Gatumbu,” said one of the refugees.

Fearing for their lives, he regrets, some refugees have already decided to leave Lusenda camp to try an adventure elsewhere with what this entails as risks.

Already about 30 kilometers from this camp, another refugee said, there would be rebel groups including Mayi-Mayi fighters. “Our safety is not guaranteed”.

Lusenda camp has more than 20,000 Burundian refugees. Most have fled the political-security crisis following the decision of President Pierre Nkurunziza to brighten a third constituent deemed unconstitutional by the opposition.

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