117 arrested for opposing Nkurunziza 3rd term


About 117 were arrested


A report from Burundi indicates that about 117 opposition activists and bystanders were arrested and detained on Friday for participating in protests that hit the capital, Bujumbura.

They were to be produced in court later where they risk life sentences, according to sources.

Protests against President, Pierre Nkurunziza’s attempt to seek a third term in office once more shook Bujumbura prompting a clash between police and protesters.


Caged activists

Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse hundreds of opposition members who were calling upon Nkurunziza not to stand for a third term in presidential elections scheduled for June.

Chanting “we won’t let him run again”, crowds clashed with police at the entrance of the Independence Square.

Two police officers were injured while security picked at least 117 of the protesters.

Chauvineau Mugwingizo, a spokesman for the five opposition groups told Reuters that police used brutality to disperse peaceful protesters.

Nkurunziza who is expected to be named candidate for the elections by the governing CNDD-FDD party, has not officially spoken on the matter.

Nkurunziza took office in 2005 following the end of a 12-year conflict which killed more than 300,000 people.

He was re-elected in June 2010 in a vote was boycotted by the opposition on allegations of fraud.


Bujumbura protests


Not long ago, the Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, while visiting Burundi, asked Nkurunziza not to violate the country’s constitution and to respect the Arusha peace accord that ended Burundi’s civil war.

Burundians have already fled the country for fear of being killed by Nkurunziza’s violent youth group, the imbonerakure.

About 8,000 Burundians, according to UN, had fled to neighbouring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A report by Human Rights Watch says Burundi government harassed opposition parties, activists and journalists.

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