Two killed in anti-government protests in Burundi

Two protesters shot dead as protests against Burundi President’s bid for third term continue to escalate

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Burundi’s Red Cross reported Thursday that two protesters were killed when police forces opened fire on a group of protestors in the country’s capital Bujumbura.

With the two new casualties, the total number of protesters killed during protests against  President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third-term in office has risen to at least 18 with some reports claiming a death toll of above 20 since demonstrations began three weeks ago. At least 230 have also been wounded.

Demonstrations against Nkurunziza began after he announced he would seek a third term in office despite the country’s constitution stipulating a two-term limit.

Nkurunziza's supporters and administration claim his first term does not abide by the constitution as he was selected by the country’s assembly and not through general elections.

Protests in Burundi reached a fever pitch last week as a group of generals and police officials attempted a coup to oust Nkurunziza, though forces loyal to the government suppressed the attempt in just 48 hours.

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza delayed parliamentary  which were set for May 26 by a week, after nearly a month of anti-governmental demonstrations and the failed military coup in the east African state.

The decision came following the recommendation from the election commission, opposition politicians, and the international community for a postponement.

The defence and foreign ministers of Burundi were dismissed by president Nkurunziza following the failed coup attempt

Hundreds of protesters continue demonstrations and anti-government street marches despite warnings. Singing songs and blowing whistles, the demonstrators gathered in several parts of the capital Bujumbura.

Bujumbura mayor Juma Saidi, speaking on state television on Sunday, warned that "demonstrators will be considered as part of the coup, and security forces have been ordered to treat them as such."

TRTWorld and agencies