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.
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.