Violence in Burundi Escalates: 198 People killed Since April

Violence in Burundi Escalates: 198 People killed Since April REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Ethnic and political unrest in Burundi has risen in the midst of President Nkurunziza violating a two-term limit.


In April this year, Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza declared he would run for a third term, causing ethnic and political based violence to erupt throughout Burundi. Since April 198 people have been killed, thousands injured and 190,000 citizens displaced. Earlier this month nine people were “summarily executed” in the Ngagar neighborhood of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, by Burundi special police units. Violent protests have raged since April. In May, Burundi military officers launched a failed coup attempt.

Nkurunziza, who was re-elected in July, has violated  the country’s two-term limit documented in its constitution and Arusha Accords. The two-term policy was adopted in the constitution and Arusha Accords, both of which were part of peace accords created after Burundi’s brutal 13-year civil war. The civil war, fought mainly over ethnic divisions between Hutu and Tutsi tribes, caused over 300,000 deaths. The EU is worried that the rise in violence could cause another civil war.

The EU is urging Burundi to hold talks on human rights violations as Nkurunziza continues his third term. The United States is supporting the EU and African Union in pursuing targeted sanctions for Burundi. A U.S. special envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region, Thomas Perriello, has urged immediate resolution to the country’s “political crisis, humanitarian crisis and security crisis.”

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