Burundi Vice President flees to Belgium

Gervais Rufyikiri, second Vice President of Burundi, has fled to Brussels, in a protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid to seek a third term in office.

He said on Thursday that he could no longer support Nkurunziza’s unconstitutional attempt for a third term, adding that Nkurunziza’s actions have plunged the country into a deep crisis.

Report from Bujumbura said before Rufyikiri, 50, fled to Belgium, where he earned his doctorate, other officials had left the country, including a constitutional court judge and members of the electoral commission.

For fear of an outbreak of new violence more than 100,000 people have fled Burundi into neighbouring countries.
A civil war that claimed 300,000 lives in Burundi ended in the country 12 years ago.

The opposition considers Nkurunziza’s attempt to serve a third term unconstitutional.

Protests that have gone on for weeks have not persuaded Nkurunziza to reverse course, with the EU and US demanding a postponement of the election until the matter is resolved.

Parliamentary elections are to take place on Monday and presidential elections are scheduled for July 15.

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