politics

Burundi Names New Foreign Minister as Nation Prepares for Vote

Burundi’s president appointed five new ministers, including a former chairman of the ruling party’s youth wing as foreign affairs chief, a month before a referendum that could extend his rule until 2034.

Ezechiel Nibigira will replace Alain Aime Nyamitwe as foreign minister, according to a government decree. President Pierre Nkurunziza also appointed new ministers for health, trade, higher education and information and communications technology.

The East African nation, mired in unrest that’s left hundreds of people dead since April 2015, is due to hold a May 17 referendum on changes to the constitution, including extending presidential terms to seven years from five. Opponents say the vote would jeopardize a peace agreement that ended a decade-long civil war.

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