Burundi protesters on streets

2015-06-02 19:37
Burundi (AP)

Burundi (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bujumbura - Police fired on protesters who took to the streets of Burundi's capital on Tuesday in renewed protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in office, witnesses said.

Protesters said they were angry that a weekend summit of African leaders had not urged Nkurunziza to halt his bid but only urged a delay in elections.

Witnesses in Cibitoke and Musaga, two volatile districts of Bujumbura, said the police shot at protesters in the morning. One demonstrator in Musaga was wounded in the clashes and four others arrested, witnesses said.

Police have routinely denied shooting any protesters, who have often burned tyres and hurled rocks at security forces during several weeks of unrest.

Opponents of the president say he is violating the constitution by running, while supporters say a constitutional court ruling allows him to enter the race again. The crisis is the worst since the end of an ethnically fuelled civil war in 2005.

Presidential spokesperson Gervais Abayeho said on Monday the government was receptive to the idea of shifting the poll, as requested by regional leaders meeting in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

"The Dar es Salaam summit was a failure because the issue that forced people on the streets is the third term of Nkurunziza," said Claver, a protester in Musaga who declined to give his full name for fear of government reprisals.

Diplomats have said the longer unrest continues the more chance old ethnic wounds are reopened. The civil war pitted the army, which was then led by the Tutsi minority, against majority Hutu rebel groups, including one led by Nkurunziza. The violence has rattled a region with a history of ethnic conflict.

The government has called the protests, which erupted on April 26, an insurrection and detained scores of people.

Civil society activists say at least 30 people have been killed in the unrest.

Parliamentary and local council elections have already been delayed by more than a week to June 5, although experts say it will be difficult to meet that deadline now. A presidential poll is set for June 26 and a senate vote for July 17.

The East African Community - comprising Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi - joined by South Africa's President Jacob Zuma called for a delay of "at least" month and a half for "the elections", without giving specifics.

The opposition has called for a delayed and says it will boycott the June 5 poll. Some opposition politicians say the votes should still be held before the president's current term runs out on August 26.

The European Union and Burundi's influential Roman Catholic Church last week pulled out from observing elections, saying the vote cannot be fair because of unrest and a crackdown on media.

Read more on:    eu  |  roman catholic church  |  jacob zuma  |  pierre nkurunziza  |  burundi  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.