May 10, 2015 12:37 PM

Burundi: 1 killed in protest against president's 3rd term

The Associated Press

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) One person was killed in a clash with Burundi's police on Sunday in demonstrations in the capital, Bujumbura, as the government ordered a ban on any further street protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in power.

One protester was shot dead Sunday in the Musaga part of the capital, said witnesses, who insisted on anonymity because they feared for their security.

At least 14 people have died and 216 have been wounded in protests since April 25, when the ruling party nominated Nkurunziza to be its presidential candidate in elections set for June.

Nkurunziza's government ordered all state officials report back to work and all schools to reopen on Monday in a statement read out by the Minister of Defense, General Pontien Gaciyubwenge Saturday.

The government's order will escalate the violence, said Pacific Nininahazwe, a civil society activist. He said he is surprised that the defense minister endorsed the government statement after declaring on May 2 that the military would remain neutral and comply strictly with the Arusha Accords and the constitution.

More than 50,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring countries fearing violence, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

On Sunday about 200 women held a march in the capital heading toward the central Independence Place but were blocked by police. Many see Nkurunziza's decision to run again as a violation of the Arusha Agreements that ended Burundi's civil war in which more than 250,000 people were killed.

Burundi's constitution states a president can be popularly elected to two five-year terms. Nkurunziza maintains he can run for a third term because parliament elected him for his first term, leaving him open to be popularly elected to two terms.

The U.S. and the African Union have said Nkurunziza should not seek a third term.

Burundi's Constitutional Court has validated the president's bid for a third term but the deputy president of the court, who fled to Rwanda ahead of the ruling, said the court had been pressured to do so.


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