Clashes leave 15 injured in Burundi amid protests against president’ s third term

Xinhua
May 5,2015

BUJUMBURA, A total of 15 protesters were Tuesday injured, four of them seriously, in clashes that opposed with police agents who used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse demonstrators against the third term of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Burundi Red Cross Spokesman Alexis Manirakiza told Xinhua that a pregnant woman was also “traumatized” when gunfire was opened near her in northern suburbs of the Burundian capital Bujumbura.

“We have counted 15 injured persons. They also include a pregnant woman who was traumatized. Four of the injured persons were seriously injured and our ambulances took them to hospital,” said Burundi Red Cross Spokesman Alexis Manirakiza.

Besides, policemen also fired in the air near the U.S. Embassy in Kigobe residential area to disperse protesters coming from Ngagara and who were attempting to go to Bujumbura city center via Kigobe.

Since protests broke out on April 26 in some neighborhoods in the capital Bujumbura, a day after the ruling party nominated President Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate to the upcoming presidential election due on June 26, the Red Cross reports that at least 12 people were killed during the clashes.

Some neighborhoods have since then been rocked by protests against the third term of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Convened by the opposition and some civil society organizations, those protests are aimed to force Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza to avoid running for third term in the upcoming presidential election.

Nkurunziza was, on April 25, elected by his party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), in an extraordinary congress, to represent the party in the upcoming presidential election.

Earlier, the opposition and the civil society had called for mass protests if the country’s ruling party nominates Nkurunziza to run a third term which, they say, would be a violation of the country’s constitution and the Arusha Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi.

The constitution and the Arusha Agreement stipulate that a president of Burundi cannot serve the country for more than two terms.

Nkurunziza was elected by parliament in 2005 and directly re- elected by citizens in 2010.

Burundi is this year to hold general elections between May 26 and August 24, with the presidential election to be held on June 26.

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