Congo refugees warned not to return home

Oct. 10, 2009 at 12:53 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The United Nations said more than 2,000 Democratic Republic of Congo refugees residing in Burundi should not return home.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said in a U.N. release Friday the Congolese refugees in Burundi should not travel back to their homes because the U.N. agency can't ensure their safety in their homeland.

"UNHCR has repeatedly urged the refugees not to go back to their native South Kivu province in DRC for the moment, stressing that that under the prevailing security conditions neither the government authorities nor UNHCR would be in a position to guarantee their safety on return," agency spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said in Geneva, Switzerland.

The warning from UNHCR officials comes after more than 400 Congolese refugees were stopped from entering their home country by Congolese immigration officials Thursday.

The United Nations said Congolese officials refused the refugees entry because of security concerns.

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