Burundi riot police disperse protests against president’s bid for third term

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Burundians take to the streets in the capital Bujumbura, burning tires and blocking roads, ahead of a controversial election. The government has banned any gatherings for or against President Pierre

Burundi riot police disperse protests against president’s bid for third term

Burundians take to the streets in the capital Bujumbura, burning tires and blocking roads, ahead of a controversial election.

The government has banned any gatherings for or against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term.

At one point, the protesters and police faced off, forcing authorities to fire tear gas to disperse the crowds.

One witness said police also used live bullets.

(SOUNDBITE) (Kirundi) UNIDENTIFIED BUJUMBURA RESIDENT, SAYING:

“We are an unarmed, there is no need for violence. We just do not want the president, he should go. There is nothing the president has to show for all these years he has been in power, in office.”

Hundreds of civil society groups say Nkurunziza’s decision to run violates the constitution, which limits leaders to two terms in office.

But his supporters say his first term should not count because he was chosen by parliament — and not by popular vote.

So far the violence has left at least one police officer and one protester injured.

Tags : Term, Third, Presidents, against, protests, Disperse, police, Riot, Burundi

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