Four people died in Monday in fresh protests in Burundi as police fired live rounds towards protesters according to AFP. More than 40 others were injured. For more than a week demonstrators in Burundi have been rallying against president Pierre Nkurunziza standing for a third term.The latest clashes started when some demonstrators threw stones and the police responded by firing live rounds.
They are the most serious protests to rock Burundi since Mr Nkurunziza took power at the end of a 12-year civil war in 2005. The international community has already weighed in on the situation in Burundi with the US urging President Pierre Nkurunziza not to seek another term. Speaking during an official visit to Nairobi the US state secretary John Kerry told presiodent Pierre Nkurunziza not to take part in the June elections saying it is unconstitutional.
Meanwhile the vice president of the constitutional court in Burundi which was due to decide if Nkurunziza’s bid is legal has fled the country. He is reported to have said that he refused to be pressured to put his name to it.
Judge Sylvere Nimpagaritse said the court’s judges had come under “enormous pressure” from senior figures, which he refused to name, to approve the disputed candidacy of Nkurunziza.His departure comes only hours after police shot dead four protesters in Burundi where violence has left at least 13 dead in just over a week.
Nimpagaritse is quoted by several media sources saying that said most of the court’s seven judges believed it would be unconstitutional for Nkurunziza to stand again, but had faced enormous pressure to force them to change their mind. Meanwhile the government of Rwanda has expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Burundi . Increasing reports of unrest and violence targeting unarmed civilians are particularly worrying.
However Rwanda commends the efforts of several regional and international organisations and leaders including EU urging Burundi to maintain peace. The government of Paul Kagame has urged Burundi to take immediate steps to ensure the protection of its population, end the worsening humanitarian situation and restore peace.