Robotic Team From Burundi Went Missing After Competition Held In Washington DC

by Leslie Wood July 22, 2017, 0:41
Robotic Team From Burundi Went Missing After Competition Held In Washington DC

Six teenagers from the Burundi robotics team were reported missing after attending an worldwide competition in Washington, D.C.

The two teenage boys Don Ingabira, 16, and Audrey Mwamikazi, 17, were reported missing Tuesday night, according to Fox News.

The robotics competition grabbed headlines worldwide after an all-girl team from Afghanistan was twice denied USA visas to compete, but the White House later intervened in a last-minute act, granting that team and its chaperone a special parole to enter the country on a short-term basis.

Six members of a Burundi robotics team went missing after a Washington, D.C., competition. The reports state police canvassed DAR Constitution Hall, where the competition was held.

Escotto said FIRST Global President Joe Sestak, a former Navy admiral and congressman, called police after receiving word from the team's mentor, Canesius Bindaba, that the teens had gone missing.

"Security of the students is of paramount importance to FIRST Global", the statement says.

Police say they don't expect any foul play.

The other missing Burundians were named as Nice Munezero, 17; Kevin Sabumukiza, 17; Richard Irakoze, 18; and Aristide Irambona, 18.

A team of girls from Afghanistan made global headlines when they were twice rejected for United States visas before President Donald Trump intervened, NBC News noted.

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According to six identical police reports, one filed for each missing teen, a mentor to the teens told the event volunteer the group went missing and that volunteer called police.

The ongoing civil war in Burundi prompted the State Department to issue a travel warning in late June, warning us citizens of "sporadic violence throughout the country, including frequent gunfire and grenade attacks by armed groups".

The robotics competition previously attracted global headlines when Afghanistan's team of six teen girls were denied visas twice.

Immigration attorneys said an asylum application could take years to sort out.

President Donald Trump intervened to allow them into the country.

Clarke added that Burundi - an East African nation of about 10 million people who speak the local Kirundi language and French - is on a list of countries at the Refugee Protection Division for expedited processing.

The Canadian government has faced pressure to repeal the agreement, with many arguing it is the reason asylum-seekers have crossed the border on foot, to bypass border points so they could make their refugee claims once already in the country. FIRST Global informed the police later that day.

However, the Burundi Embassy in Washington said by email that it did not know about the robotics contest or if a Burundian team was attending.

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