Protests flare again in Burundi’s capital
Police fired live rounds and tear gas to break up groups of demonstrators trying to gather in the three hotspot neighbourhoods of Cibitoke, Musaga and Nyakabiga in the capital Bujumbura, AFP correspondents said.
“Five months ago, no one could have imagined a movement of this magnitude in Burundi,” said protest leader Pacifique Nininahazwe.
Nkurunziza hopes to win a third term in elections due on June 26, but opponents say his candidacy is unconstitutional and goes against the 2006 Arusha peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war.
After meeting for a Burundi crisis summit at the weekend, regional heads of state added their voices to those calling for a delay, suggesting that the poll be postponed until mid-July.
Burundi’s electoral commission is considering whether to hold the vote on schedule.
The US also issued a statement on Monday warning that Nkurunziza’s third term bid “seriously undermines Burundi’s stability”.
More than 30 people have died in the protests that began when Nkurunziza announced in late April that he would stand for re-election after Burundi’s constitutional court gave him the green light.
Nkurunziza survived a coup attempt last month and has since ignored international pressure, including aid cuts, aimed at forcing him to withdraw, or at least delay the vote.