In Burundi Violent protests against President's 3rd term bid continues

At least 6 people have been killed in the demonstrations since Sunday while over 24,000 people have fled the country this month

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play (BBC)
play President Pierre Nkurunziza (BBC)
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Violent protests against Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza's 3rd term bid has entered its 3rd day as protesters continue to clash with police in capital, Bujumbura.

According to the Red Cross, at least 6 people have been killed in the demonstrations since Sunday while over 24,000 people have fled the country this month, as tensions mount ahead of presidential elections in June.

BBC reports that gunfire was heard and streets were barricaded in parts of Bujumbura. Residents have also reported that police are blocking students in the second city, Gitega, from joining the demonstrations.

The army and police have been deployed to quell the protests even as UN chief Ban Ki-moon said, in a statement, that he had despatched his special envoy for the region, Said Djinnit, to Burundi for talks with President Nkurunziza.

Meanwhile, according to BBC analyst, Prime Ndikumagenge, phone lines of private radio stations have been cut by government authorities in other to prevent news of protests from spreading.

play (BBC)

 

Earlier, government authorities described the protests as an insurrection while the ruling party's Vice-President Joseph Ntakirutimana compared one radio station to a former Rwandan broadcaster, accused of fuelling the 1994 genocide.

Pierre Buyoya, Burundi's ex-President who was involved in the peace process that ended the genocide conflict  has warned that Burundi could return to war if the crisis is not resolved.

Burundi President,  Pierre Nkurunziza who is a former rebel leader, took power after the civil war ended and is looking to seek a 3rd term which members of the opposition say is a breach of the consitution.

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