Burundi Opposition Keep Up Protests a Week Before First Polls

Burundi’s opposition continued protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term, a week before the East African nation is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections.

Opposition leader Frederic Bamvuginyumvira said by phone that demonstrations must persist until Nkurunziza retracts his decision to stand in the June 26 presidential vote, a move opponents say violates peace agreements than ended Burundi’s 12-year civil war.

At least 20 people have been killed in demonstrations in the capital, Bujumbura, since Nkurunziza’s ruling CNDD-FDD party in April nominated him as its candidate in presidential elections, due to take place a month after the parliamentary vote.

Burundi’s military last week crushed an attempted coup by some army officers and the nation’s former intelligence chief. Fear of violence has driven more than 105,000 people across Burundi’s borders, with the largest number heading to Tanzania, where the World Health Organization has warned of a developing “severe humanitarian crisis.”