1 more killed in Burundi before regional meeting on violence

AP News
Posted: May 12, 2015 1:58 PM
1 more killed in Burundi before regional meeting on violence

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — One more demonstrator was killed in Burundi bringing the death toll to 15 in continuing protests in the capital over President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in office, an official said Tuesday.

A policewoman was among those injured in the violence said government administrator Pauline Ruratotoye. More than 220 have been injured in the protests, which are now in their third week.

In the Musaga area south of the capital, police fired into the crowd with live bullets, injuring four people, said protester Jean Vyukuri. In Ngagara in the capital, protesters burned two vehicles including a bus and a state-owned car.

The latest violence comes on the eve of an East African Community summit in Tanzania to discuss Burundi's violence.

The top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has travelled to Tanzania's largest city, Dar es Salaam, to contribute to the emergency meeting, according to a statement from the State Department.

Thomas-Greenfield will express U.S. concern about the situation in Burundi as well as U.S. support for the Arusha Agreement and political dialogue among all parties to ensure peaceful, credible and inclusive elections in Burundi, the statement said.

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.

Nkurunziza's government on Saturday forbid any further protests and ordered all state officials report back to work and all schools to reopen on Monday. But the street demonstrations have continued.

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The protests started on April 25 after the ruling party nominated Nkurunziza to run for re-election in elections set for June.

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

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

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.