The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today said it was “gravely concerned” about allegations from Congolese refugees in Rwanda that local authorities and officials of a rebel group have been pressuring healthy males to return to the north to join rebel security forces. The Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD-Goma) is “‘asking all able-bodied men to repatriate and secure the area,’” UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski said, quoting one 20-year-old male who angrily complained to the agency on Wednesday. In another sign of pressure on the Congolese to leave Rwanda, Mr. Janowski said there have also been worrying reports from a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kiziba camp in Kibuye Province and Gihembe in Byumba Province that local authorities have declined to authorize the re-opening of schools. Schools were scheduled to re-open in early September but the NGO has now been told to run schools outside the refugee camps. “The re-opening of schools inside the camp would require ‘authorization from higher authorities’ the NGO has been told,” Mr. Janowski said. Meanwhile, information posters put up by UNHCR in the two camps telling refugees that the return operation being managed by the Government of Rwanda should be voluntary have been torn down. Since 31 August, the Government of Rwanda and RCD-Goma have carried out an operation that has seen the return of more than 8,500 Congolese refugees of Tutsi origin from two camps in Rwanda, according to Mr. Janowski, who noted that many of the returnees have said they went back under duress. “UNHCR is not involved in the operation and has repeatedly asked that any involuntary returns be halted,” he stressed.
She added: “When I arrived, the men with the horse had already left, dragging the trap away with them. “Witnesses provided photos of the suspected owners taking off the trap and leaving the horse in the road.”The inspector added that although the incident must have been “a shock”, she claimed the men had “abandoned” the horse to its fate by leaving the scene.The horse, which escaped without broken bones, is now at boarding stables and should make a full recovery, according to vets. Undated handout photo issued by the RSPCA of two men that the organisation wish to speak to as a horse was left bleeding in the roadCredit:RSPCA/PA Anyone who recognises the horse, or the men in the pictures are being urged to contact the RSPCA by calling 0300 123 8018.The incident came as the charity said the number of horses rescued had reached a four-year high, with 1,000 rescued in 2017 and 928 still under its care. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Meanwhile, a family travelling in the car escaped unscathed despite the seven-year-old mare shattering the windscreen and severely denting the Volkswagen Golf’s front-end.RSPCA inspector Vicki Taylor, who was on the scene alongside police, said: “The horse was lying in the road and bleeding where the smashed windscreen had cut into her front and legs.”This was a shocking sight and she was clearly suffering.” The car which collided with the horse was left badly damaged with a smashed windscreenCredit:RSCPA/PA The injured animal has now been taken to stables to recuperateCredit:RSPCA/PA Hit and run carriage riders who left a horse for dead are being hunted by the RSPCA.The animal welfare charity is now appealing for the public’s help in tracing those believed to be the animal’s owners, after they left the injured horse at the scene.The charity has issued photographs of two men it wants to speak to about the incident which happened in Great Bridge Road, Bilston, West Midlands, on Sunday afternoon.The horse had been pulling a trap and was part of a procession of other carriages, when the incident happened.Members of the public were left to help the animal, which was “bleeding profusely” from wounds to her front and legs, animal welfare officers said.