The head of a local human rights body was arrested Monday over organizing protests against the third term of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza
Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, chairman of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detainees’ Rights in Burundi (APRODH), was arrested at the Burundi Press House in the urban commune of Rohero while he had been invited by five private local radio stations that broadcast, in a radio synergy, on Monday morning before police urged those radio stations to stop the radio synergy.
Those private radio stations involved in the synergy included the African Public Radio (RPA), Bonesha FM, Radio Isanganiro, Renaissance Radio and CCIB FM+ Radio.
The radio synergy indicated that Mbonimpa was arrested for being “among the organizers of the protests” against the third term of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza in a presidential poll due on June 26.
The radio synergy also reported that Vital Nshimirimana, the chairman of the Umbrella for Civil Society Organizations in Burundi (FORSC) is also among the people wanted for being among the organizers of the protests.
According to the radio synergy, an arrest warrant has also been issued against Nshimirimana.
The east African country’s civil society and opposition called for mass protests nationwide against the third term of Nkurunziza in case of his nomination by his party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD- FDD).
On Saturday, the CNDD-FDD chose Nkurunziza in an extraordinary congress to represent the party in the upcoming presidential election.
Violent protests started on Sunday and continued on Monday, but are much reported in the country’s capital Bujumbura.
At the second day for the protests, the army backed the police to ensure that the demonstrations are held in a peaceful way.
Bujumbura Mayor Saidi Juma said at least two protesters “were killed by their fellow protesters” on Sunday, while 20 persons including 15 policemen were injured, eight of them seriously.
Juma indicated that more than 200 protesters were arrested.
The opposition argued that if Nkurunziza runs the upcoming presidential election, it will be a violation of the Burundian Constitution and the Arusha Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi.
They also indicate that such a move would bring back violence to Burundi.
The National Constitution and the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi stipulate that a president of Burundi cannot serve the country for more than two terms.
Nkurunziza was elected by parliament in 2005 and directly re- elected by citizens in 2010.
Burundi is this year to hold general elections between May 26 and August 24, with the presidential election to be held on June 26. Enditem