Protests in Burundi

"Mr Nkurunziza... has warned that anyone who wants to create problems for the governing party would find himself 'in trouble.""

Civilian protesters in Burundi are responding to President Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term, something considered unconstitutional to the country. The government has responded aggressively to these protests: banning the riots, deploying the military, and shutting down the radio station that claims to be the voice of the wronged and oppressed. While the conflict has remained fairly benign, Burundian immigration into Rwanda has been a source of tension between the two groups for decades, further lending to the instability of the country. The police are the primary perpetrators of violence: using tear gas and water cannons to force submission. However, many protesters have also begun to arm themselves, and both sides have now opened fire on each other. The protesters are outraged with the total violation of democracy that would allow Nkurunziza to remain president. Nkurunziza came into power at the end of the civil war, and was involved in the massacre of thousands of Tutsis and Hutus alike as part of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD). Both the protestors and the police force have seemed to abandon policies of nonviolence, as the government efforts to suppress the freedom of speech represented by the radio station have totally outraged the Burundians. The current tactics are violent and ineffective; the only tangible results of the efforts on both sides so far have been casualties. An intervention is necessary; a third party, possible another nation, should enter on behalf of the people and demand a democratic solution, or a more nonviolent protest needs to be organized that inhibits Nkurunziza from running again.

"Burundi Police Battle Anti-Pierre Nkurunziza Protesters." BBC News. BBC, 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 May 2015.

Shannon O'Hara

ECJ: California (5)


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