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Missing Burundian teens in DC for robotics competition seen entering Canada

Two of six teenage Burundian athletes who went missing in the middle of an international robotics competition in Washington D.C. have been seen crossing into Canada.

The Metropolitan Police Department in the American capital confirmed athletes Don Ingabire and Audrey Mwamikazi’s entry into the country.

On Tuesday, a chaperone for the team informed organizers of the competition that she could not find two girls and four boys, who range in age from 16 to 18. Police in Washington later tweeted out a missing persons alert, with photos of the youth.

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It’s not clear where Ingabire and Mwamikazi are now. The mentor of the Burundi team told police that they “do not know where they could have went.”

The FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition which took place in Washington is the first ever of its type, meant to encourage high school students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in 160 countries. It received wide media attention when U.S. President Donald

Trump reportedly had the Department of State provide an Afghan team of six women with the visas they needed to enter the country, which they were previously denied.

Burundi, home to a civil war lasting from 1993 to 2006, is in the midst of ongoing political clash and thousands fleeing the country due to the authoritarian-like government with high rates of arrest, assassination and torture of government critics, according to Freedom House, a non-governmental organization that researches democracy and human rights.