"The Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) government is shocked at such a huge loss of life," the government spokesman said when he addressed the media on Wednesday.
Mende said the refugees were willingly returning to their country using their own means because of poor treatment where they had been deployed.
He said the highest levels of government were involved to first resolve the challenge of organizing funerals for those who died and then assist the survivors.
North Kivu governor Julien Paluku said the search will continue to find other bodies. He said 251 bodies have been recovered out of 292 that were onboard the ill-fated boat.
The refugees had fled to take refuge in Uganda following an attack by assailants on Kamango locality in July 2013.