BURUNDI: Catholic Bishops Urge for Elections

BUJUMBURA MAY 8, 2015(CISA) – The Catholic bishops of Burundi have urged the country to go on and hold elections in order to ease tension in the country and to have institutions in place.

“We strongly recommend elections to be held so that the country has institutions elected by the people,” said the bishops in a message on the situation of the country, reported Fides.

The bishops also called for dialogue between the government and the opposition following protests against the candidature of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Burundi has been rocked by deadly attacks since the ruling party nominated President Nkurunziza to stand for re-election for a third term, in violation of the constitution which provides only two presidential terms.

At least 15 people have been killed and many others wounded in the violence.

Opposition parties and civil society groups say Nkurunziza’s third-term quest violates both the constitution, and the accords that ended a 13-year civil war between Tutsis and Hutus in 2006.

The bishops said they are concerned about the tension in the country that have led to clashes between police and protesters, schools and offices to be closed, and displacement of people fleeing for fear of being killed and the widespread fear of a resumption of civil war.

They further called for safety to be ensured everywhere so that refugees return to their homes.

In a meeting of east African foreign ministers to discuss the political crisis President Nkurunziza said that if elected, this would be his last run for the office, reported to Reuters.

Nkurunziza was first elected by parliament in 2005.

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