Fightings near Rwanda-Burundi-Congo border
BURUNDI-DRC: Recent Congolese refugees begin returning to eastern DRC
BUJUMBURA, 10 Oct 2002 (IRIN) - Some of the estimated 500 Congolese refugees who fled recent fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Rugombo Commune, in the northwestern Burundi province of Cibitoke, have started going home, a senior military official told IRIN.
Humanitarian workers, who did not want to be named, said the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had counted between 200 and 250 refugees still in the commune but who were also likely return spontaneously.
The army said the refugees, mostly women and children, had fled fierce fighting on 7 and 8 October, in the Bwegera and Luvungi areas, between the Rwandan-backed Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD), and DRC government-backed Mayi-Mayi militias. The official also said that Burundian rebel fighters of the Forces pour la defence de la democratie had joined the Mayi-Mayi in attacking areas controlled by the RCD, close to the Burundi border.