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Thousands flee Burundi amid second day of pre-election violence

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Thousands flee Burundi amid second day of pre-election violence


There have been reports of more unrest in Burundi, during the second day of demonstrations against the president’s decision to run for a third term in office.

The army is said to have been deployed on the streets of the capital Bujumbura, which activists hope could calm the situation as the military is seen as more neutral than the police.

Tensions in the east African nation have sent thousands of people fleeing to neighbouring Rwanda and Congo.

Burundi emerged from a 13-year civil war in the mid-2000s.

Protesters claim President Pierre Nkurunziza – who is defying international pressure not to run again – is breaking the constitution and a peace accord limiting him to two five-year terms.

His supporters claim the first term does not count as he was not elected but was chosen by parliament.

Amid more clashes on Monday, police prevented protesters from reaching the centre of the capital and made several arrests.

Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa – a leading human rights campaigner – was arrested, with a warrant issued for protest organiser Vital Nshimirimana to be detained.

Bob Rugurika, another activist and director of private Burundi radio station RPA, said his station and two others had been stopped from broadcasting in the countryside.

Elsewhere demonstrations have been broken up and banned across Burundi.

A number of people were reported killed on Sunday.

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