Burundi Police Teargas Protesters Opposing Presidential Third Term

Burundi policemen clear a barricade set up by protestors opposing President Pierre Nkurunziza from running for a third term, in Bujumbura

Burundian police fired tear gas and water cannon on Friday at hundreds of protesters opposed to the president running for a third term, a Reuters witness said, a further sign of tension in a nation that emerged from civil war a decade ago. Reuters was there:

Supporters have urged President Pierre Nkurunziza to stand again in June’s election, although he has not commented on his intentions. Opponents say such a move would violate the constitution, and even some ruling party officials have asked him not to run.

“We won’t let him run again!” people in the demonstration in the capital Bujumbura shouted. Protesters took shelter in shops or buildings before regrouping. Some hurled stones at police. Rain later helped disperse them.

Opposition parties are discussing uniting behind a single candidate to improve their chances of defeating Nkurunziza, who took office in 2005 after 12 years of civil conflict. He has served two terms. The constitution and the peace deal that ended that war both stipulate no one should be president for longer than 10 years.

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