Burundi police block protesters' bid to take to streets

2015-06-03 14:06
Burundian riot police chase away protesters after blocking the roads in Musaga, on the outskirts of Bujumbura. (Simon Maina, AFP)

Burundian riot police chase away protesters after blocking the roads in Musaga, on the outskirts of Bujumbura. (Simon Maina, AFP)

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Bujumbura - Police in Burundi were out in force in the capital on Wednesday to block all attempts by protesters to take to the streets, witnesses said, two days before a scheduled parliamentary election.

After a night punctuated by sporadic gunshots, security forces were deployed throughout Bujumbura, which has seen more than a month of protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive term.

The slightest sign of a group gathering was met with automatic weapons fire and the use of tear gas, AFP correspondents said.

Nkurunziza hopes to win a third term in a presidential vote due on 26 June, but opponents say his candidacy is unconstitutional and goes against the 2006 Arusha peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war.

Burundi's electoral commission is meanwhile considering whether to hold the parliamentary vote on schedule on Friday.

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.

Read more on:    burundi  |  burundi protests

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