Bu­rundi takes steps to ex­tend pres­i­dent's rule as cri­sis deep­ens

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - Reuters

BU­JUM­BURA - Bu­rundi’s Cabi­net backed a con­sti­tu­tional change that would al­low its pres­i­dent to stay in of­fice un­til 2034, widen­ing a po­lit­i­cal rift that has driven the coun­try pro­gres­sively deeper into cri­sis.

Un­der ex­ist­ing laws, Bu­run­dian pres­i­dents are lim­ited to two fiveyear terms.

Un­rest that has gripped Bu­rundi si nce April 2015, when Pierre Nku­run­z­iza an­nounced he would stand for a third, has killed hun­dreds, left the econ­omy mori­bund and forced about 400 000 peo­ple to seek safety in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. UN rights in­ves­ti­ga­tors and in­de­pen­dent ac­tivists have ac­cused gov­ern­ment forces of wide­spread vi­o­la­tions in­clud­ing forced dis­ap­pear­ances, and of or­ches­trat­ing a cam­paign of ter­ror.

Un­der ex­ist­ing laws, Bu­run­dian pres­i­dents are lim­ited to two fiveyear terms. Un­rest that has gripped Bu­rundi since April 2015, when Pierre Nku­run­z­iza an­nounced he would stand for a third, has killed hun­dreds, left the econ­omy mori­bund and forced about 400 000 peo­ple to seek safety in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.

UN rights in­ves­ti­ga­tors and in­de­pen­dent ac­tivists have ac­cused gov­ern­ment forces of wide­spread vi­o­la­tions in­clud­ing forced dis­ap­pear­ances, and of or­ches­trat­ing a cam­paign of ter­ror.

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