Burundi: Deadly Protests Erupt After President Seeks Third Term

Demonstrators lit tyres and lobbed rocks
Demonstrators lit tyres and lobbed rocks

At least one person has been shot dead in violent clashes in Burundi, a day after President Pierre Nkurunziza controversially launched his bid for a third term in office.

Hundreds defied a ban on demonstrations to take to the streets of the capital Bujumbura.

Police shot live ammunition in the air to disperse them.

President Nkurunziza was nominated by his governing CNDD-FDD party, a move opponents say is unconstitutional.

The protesters have been enraged by the president's decision to seek another term
The protesters have been enraged by the president’s decision to seek another term

They warn it threatens a peace deal that ended the country’s 12-year civil war in 2005, which killed more than 300,000 people.

Angry protesters on Sunday threw rocks and lit tyres. Police responded with tear gas, water cannon and live ammunition, blocking access to the centre of the capital.

Police also threatened to shut down a private radio station unless it stopped live broadcasts about the protests.

Police used tear gas to disperse angry protesters
Police used tear gas to disperse angry protesters

At his nomination by a special party congress, President Nkurunziza said: “I call people to go to the election in peace.

“But I would like to warn everyone: Whoever wants to create problems with the ruling party elected by the people, he’ll find himself in trouble,” he added, Reuters reported.

Mr Nkurunziza has served two terms as president, coming to the office at the end of the civil war.

Burundi’s constitution only allows the president to be elected twice. But Mr Nkurunziza’s supporters argue he is eligible for another term since he was appointed by parliament in 2005.

The protests come after President Nkurunziza confirmed he would seek a third term
The protests come after President Nkurunziza confirmed he would seek a third term

More than 8,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries in recent weeks citing violence ahead of June’s presidential election, the UN refugee agency says.

BBC

 

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