BUJUMBURA, Burundi — A growing political crisis is threatening to plunge Burundi into renewed bloodshed a decade after it emerged from civil war, with over 40,000 people already fleeing the country, officials say.
Protests have erupted almost daily since April 25, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in elections scheduled for next month. The peace accord that ended the civil war mandated a two-term presidential limit.
Three demonstrators were killed on Thursday, and two were injured when police lobbed a grenade into a crowd of protesters in Bujumbura, witnesses said. Another demonstrator was killed in a different part of the capital; after he died, witnesses said, the crowd pursued a man suspected of being a member of the ruling party’s youth wing, the Imbonerakure, and beat him severely.
With the latest violence, at least nine people have died in clashes between protesters and the police linked to the political crisis, according to witnesses and the Burundian Red Cross.