Over 2,500 Burundi refugees in Congo seek shelter in Rwanda

A Rwandan official says more than 2,500 Burundian refugees in Congo are seeking shelter in Rwanda amid fears they could be forcibly repatriated back home by Congolese authorities.

Jean Claude Rwahama, a refugee official in Rwanda, said Thursday that most of the refugees had lived in Congo since 2015, when political violence erupted in Burundi over the president's decision to seek a disputed third term.

He said Rwanda was temporarily sheltering them at Bugarama refugee center near the Burundi border.

Francoise Ndayisenga, a leader among the refugees, said they were seeking asylum in Rwanda because they don't want to be forcibly sent back to Burundi.

The refugees' arrival in Rwanda coincides with a rise in militia violence in Congo's restive east.