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Pierre Nkurunziza Burundi president to forge ahead with elections, defies EU, US

Nkurunziza, who has ruled the country since the end of the country's 12-year civil war in 2005, has remained relentless in his bid for a 3rd go at office.

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play Burundi president, Pierre Nkurunziza refuses to back down (BBC)
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Burundi will forge ahead with elections come June with president Pierre Nkurunziza in the running as the Burundi president has rejected European Union and United States calls to delay the controversial elections.

According to BBC, Nkurunziza told the news portal that such a move would plunge Burundi into a deeper crisis.

In the wake of the protest over the forthcoming elections, Belgium, Burundi's former colonial power said it was suspending nearly $6m (about N1.1 billion) in aid to Burundi, as the EU and US warned that credible elections could not be held by June.

In addition, African Union (AU) commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last week said the climate in Burundi was not conducive for elections.

But  Nkurunziza, who has ruled the country since the end of the country's 12-year civil war in 2005, has remained relentless in his bid for a 3rd go at office.

No fewer than 18 people have been killed in protests against his bid for a 3rd term and more than 50,000 have fled to neighbouring states for fear of escalating violence.

While Burundi's opposition and civil society groups insist that Nkurunziza should step down as his 3rd-term bid is unconstitutional, the president argues his first term does not count as he was appointed by parliament, not directly elected by the people.

Meanwhile, there were reports of continued protests today in parts of the capital, Bujumbura.

 

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