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Rwanda Refugees Attack Countrymen

August 25, 1994| Associated Press

GOMA, Zaire — Rwandan refugees attacked a group of their countrymen who were attempting to return home Wednesday, forcing the United Nations to halt the repatriation, officials said.

The incident came a day after five refugees were hacked to death for stealing in a refugee camp, said Ray Wilkinson, spokesman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

About 250 Rwandans set out from the Goma-area refugee camps but never made it out of Zaire.

Wilkinson said there was a report that five had been taken hostage, but officials later said it was unclear what happened to all the people because they scattered into banana groves.

Among the refugees were 25 game scouts and trackers for Rwanda's famed mountain gorilla reserve in the north and their extended families. They fled about a month ago to a mountaintop Zairian gorilla station near Rugari, a town about 27 miles north of the main refugee center of Goma.

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