Thou­sands protest in sup­port of em­bat­tled Bu­rundi leader

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

BUJUMBURA — Thou­sands of peo­ple have taken part in street protests across Bu­rundi in sup­port of the govern­ment’s op­po­si­tion to United Na­tions in­ves­ti­ga­tors who are look­ing into al­leged hu­man rights abuses in the east African coun­try.

Spo­radic po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence has plagued Bu­rundi since April 2015, when Pres­i­dent Pierre Nku­run­z­iza an­nounced he would seek a third term amid sig­nif­i­cant op­po­si­tion. Hun­dreds of peo­ple have been killed, and the UN also is in­ves­ti­gat­ing re­ports of tor­ture and rape.

In the cap­i­tal Bujumbura on Satur­day, the protests were led by Mayor Freddy Mbon­impa, an ally of Nku­run­z­iza’s. There were sim­i­lar protests in more than 100 ar­eas.

Bu­rundi has been at log­ger­heads with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity over al­leged atroc­i­ties by its se­cu­rity agen­cies. The govern­ment says ex­iled op­po­nents fab­ri­cated the al­le­ga­tions. — AFP

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