Election-Related Violence Spirals in Burundi

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Instability Rocks the African Nation

Worsening violence rocked the country of Burundi when clashes continued to escalate amid the election.

To try to halt the violence, the country’s presidential election was postponed to July 21 from July 15.

The African country has been tormented by violence since the April announcement that President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term in presidential elections. Demonstrations started to made headlines as protesters demanded Mr Nkurunziza step down. Citizens asserted it is unconstitutional for Mr. Nkurunziza to run for another term, because the laws say the president can only serve for two terms. Burundi’s opposition is boycotting the election as well.

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Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi.

Election Related Violence Worsens

In the country’s Kayanza province last week, soldiers and unidentified men exchanged fire, injuring two soldiers and two gunmen.

Earlier this month, one child died as a result of a grenade explosion in Muyinga province.

U.S. Condemns Violence in Burundi

The United States of America expressed deep concern about the recent escalation of violence.

In a press statement in Washington DC, US Department Spokesperson John Kirby urged all parties in Burundi to commit themselves to constructive dialogue to resolve peacefully the political impasse that threatens to unravel the peace and stability ushered in by the implementation of the Arusha Agreement over a decade ago.

“The United States condemns violence as a means to attain political goals, and opposes any attempt to seize power through extraconstitutional means.” – Mr. Kirby

Mr. Kirby underlined the US strongly opposes any armed activity or incursions into Burundi and will seek to hold accountable those responsible for gross human rights abuses.

Fear of Escalation of Violence

Burundi emerged from a brutal civil war a decade ago. But many fear that the crisis could trigger more violence similar to what existed during the civil war. The African nation experienced 40 years of armed violence and civil war since gaining independence from Belgium in 1962.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.