DR Congo

Covid-19 pandemic: Burundian migrants blocked
in South Kivu after border closure

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Due to the restriction in the fight against Covid-19, the borders are currently closed in the village of Katogota. Therefore, it is impossible for Burundian immigrants who live in our village to return to their homeland", says a message sent to Agenzia Fides by the humanitarian organization ACMEJ, which works in this village in South Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on the border with Burundi.

Burundian emigrants came to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to visit relatives and friends, others to look for work, and still others are fleeing from the insecurity in their country. Currently some are hosted by host families, others live in rented apartments. However, conflicts continue to arise between the population of Katogota and immigrants who can no longer afford to pay the rent, while some of them have become a burden on the families who host them.

Even the local health center, which does not have the financial means to provide free treatment, has complained of being overburdened by Burundian immigrants who cannot afford medical bills. Burundians therefore urgently need humanitarian aid, especially for children and the provision of medicines and medical aid by humanitarian organizations.

"We hope that the governments of Burundi and the DRC will have bilateral consultations on the possible reopening of the borders in line with the measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. This would allow these immigrants to return home and the situation in Katogota could improve", ACMEJ concludes.

Source: fides.org

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