Army accused of killing Congolese in campus bombing

Ten people from the Democratic Republic of Congo have been killed in an army attack on a university campus in Sudan, the Congolese government has announced.

They died in shelling on Sunday afternoon at the African International University in Khartoum, he added.

“What hurts us very much is that it was the regular army that dropped the bombs knowing that there were foreigners there,” said the Congolese foreign minister.

Rival military forces have been fighting in the Sudanese capital for weeks.

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary fighters have bases in many residential areas of the city, which tend to be attacked by the military from the air.

It is unclear whether those caught in Sunday’s bombing were university students. This may be an area within or near the university where various foreign nationals have sought refuge.

UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi tweeted his shock that 10 refugees died in an attack in Khartoum, without giving further details.

The RSF, which is in a fierce power struggle with the military, said – in what appears to be a reference to the same attack – that Sunday’s bombing occurred in an area where African refugees. He put the death toll among Congolese nationals at 25.

He tweeted a video purporting to be from the scene. It showed smoke rising in the background from the direction of the International University of Africa.

The people in the video, including a distressed woman who says her husband died in the attack, speak a mixture of Arabic and Lingala, the language spoken primarily in western DR Congo.

A man says: “We are Congolese… a lot of people here are Congolese. Where is the international community?

From visual clues in the video, including the minaret of a mosque in the background and what looks like a communications tower nearby, the BBC located the site in an area of ​​Khartoum near the university campus and of a sports stadium.

Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula said DR Congo had demanded an explanation from the Sudanese government and expected the bodies of those killed to be repatriated free of charge.

This would ensure that “our compatriots are buried with dignity in accordance with our traditions”, he told reporters on Monday.

The Congolese government has also asked the Sudanese authorities to open a humanitarian corridor so that those injured in the attack and others still stranded in Sudan can be evacuated.

The foreign minister went out of his way to say that arrangements had been made since the outbreak of the conflict on April 15 to evacuate Congolese living in Sudan.

Some buses had taken students from the International University of Africa to the Egyptian city of Aswan, from where they were then flown to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.

These efforts will continue, Mr. Lutundula said.

The humanitarian truce between the army and the RSF, which began on May 22, officially expired on Saturday evening – although it was often ignored by both sides.

The fighting, now in its eighth week, has killed hundreds of civilians and forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

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