Burundi Vice-President, Gervais Rufyikiri Flees


One of Burundi’s vice-presidents has fled the country, saying he felt threatened after opposing President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third-term bid. Burundi has seen months of turmoil since Mr Nkurunziza announced that he would be running for office again in July’s election. Gervais Rufyikiri told France24 TV that a third term for the president would be unconstitutional. BBC was there:

A government spokesman denied that Mr Rufyikiri had been threatened. Violent protests in the capital Bujumbura followed the 25 April announcement that Mr Nkurunziza would seek re-election.  Rights groups say at least 70 people have been killed and 500 wounded as demonstrators clashed with police over the past two months.

More than 100,000 people have fled Burundi since the start of the crisis, the UN says.

In a sign of continuing tension, four people have been injured in a grenade attack in Bujumbura. The fleeing of another high-profile Burundian may look like a further blow to President Nkurunziza, but it is not clear how much impact it will have on the politics in the country as Gervais Rufyikiri had already been sidelined by the governing CNDD-FDD party.


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