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Monday, August 16, 2004

Manorama Online, Malaysia > UN condemns massacre of Congolese refugees in Burundi

United Nations: The UN Security Council has condemned last week's massacre of refugees in Burundi and called on that country and the Democratic Republic of Congo to help bring the perpetrators to justice. The council called for informal consultations on the situation in Burundi after the massacre on Friday. The council "condemns with the utmost firmness the massacre of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which occurred on the territory of Burundi, in Gatumba," the statement said on Sunday.

The rebel Burundian Hutu National Liberation Forces claimed responsibility for the slaughter, but Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye said his country "has been attacked, our frontier violated by elements coming from the DRC to massacre Congolese civilians who had sought asylum." Some 20,000 Tutsis from the DRC have sought refuge in Burundi since May as a result of clashes between Hutu fighters and Congo military forces.

"The council calls upon the authorities of Burundi and of the Democratic Republic of Congo to cooperate actively so that the perpetrators and those responsible for these crimes can be brought to justice without delay," the statement said. "The council calls upon all states in the region to ensure that the territorial integrity of their neighbors is respected. It encourages them to redouble their efforts in order to provide security for the civilian population on their territories including the foreigners to whom they grant refuge," it said.

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