Burundi accuses Rwanda of keeping Burundian refugees hostage

Burundi government spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba claims Rwanda has held hostage Burundian refugees

In a statement on Wednesday Mr Nzobonariba urged the release of refugees taken hostage by the government of Rwanda in complicity with some agents of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Rwanda.”

The statement was   followed by deportation of some 2,500 Burundian refugees from Rwanda on Sunday and Monday.

The group, which belongs to a Catholic sect, refused biometric registration, a common practice under international laws on refugees, saying it would violate their religion.

Last week, 33 Burundian refugees, belonging to the group, were arrested in Rwanda for “instigating violence” during a registration exercise.

The group had left Democratic Republic of Congo in early March for Rwanda fearing deportation. They claimed they fled Burundi in 2015 due to religious persecution.

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Fred Masengesho Rugira/

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