Three people have reportedly been killed in violent protests against a third term in office for the Burundian president, in the country’s capital Bujumbura.
Three protesters were killed in Burundi’s capital on Monday, the Red Cross said, as demonstrations against a decision by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s to seek a third term in office ran into a second week.
Police in the Musaga district of Bujumbura fired shots toward lines of protesters who were hurling stones, a Reuters witness said. An explosion also wounded at least two officers.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told a news conference in Nairobi the decision to seek a third term “flies directly in the face” of the constitution. Nkurunziza, he said, should pay heed to public concern.
Police spokesman Liboire Bakunduwukize denied two protesters were killed, and said 15 police were wounded by a hand grenade.
“Today, tomorrow or the day after, wherever they will hurl grenades or wherever they will shoot, the police has a right to throw a grenade as well and even to shoot back and that’s how it will be,” he told reporters at a hospital.
Hundreds more rallied elsewhere in the capital, called out by civil society groups who argue that under a peace agreement that ended a civil war, Nkurunziza could not serve another term.
Red Cross spokesman Alexis Manirakiza said three protesters had been killed and 35 wounded. Prominent activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa said some had bullet wounds.