Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Burundi: Prosecutor arrests opposition member

The representative of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) opposition party in Burundi’s Ngozi province Deo Gasamagera was arrested Sunday as he was attempting to flee to Rwanda, Burundi National Radio reported Monday.

According to the state-run radio, MSD representative in Ngozi Deo Gasamagera was arrested at Akanyaru border post as he was about to cross to Rwanda.

The radio indicated that the prosecutor in Ngozi had issued an arrest warrant against Gasamagera in April over “defaming” Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and “rebelling” against a decision of the Home Affairs Ministry preventing collective sports.

In April, members of the MSD opposition party, most of them youths, took to the streets in Ngozi town, singing and shouting that Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza “has no right to run for a third term” and that he has to “face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague” for crimes against humanity that he committed.

Burundi has been in turmoil since April 25 when Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) , announced that he will run for a third term in the forthcoming presidential election, despite warnings at home and abroad.

Clashes between protesters and police, mainly in the capital Bujumbura, have left more than 30 dead, according to Burundi’s civil society groups.

Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005.

Opponents say his decision violates the constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that limits the president to two terms in office.

His supporters argue that his first term does not count as he was appointed by parliament, not elected by people.

Burundi is organizing elections until August to avoid an institutional vacuum.
The first polls have been postponed twice, respectively on May 26 and on June 5 and a new election schedule should be announced soon by the Burundian president’s office. Enditem


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