PRETORIA, May 7 — South African President Jacob Zuma is sending a special envoy to Burundi to bolster efforts to end the deadly demonstrations against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s nid for a third term of office.
According to the latest reports, at least 13 people have died while 7,000 Burundians have fled across the border to Kavimvira in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The head of the United Nations Mission in the DRC, says the Burundians are are risking their lives to flee their country. He visited the refugee facility at Kavimvira and says the UN plans to assist them.
On Tuesday, Burundi’s Constitutional Court ruled that President Nkurunziza is eligible to run in the June election.
Zuma, who was one of the architects of the peace process which led to the adoption of the new Burundian Constitution in the town of Arusha in Tanzania, on Wednesday expressed concern about developments in Burundi.
He called for calm, following the week-long deadly protests. President Zuma said no stone should be left unturned to ensure stability in the country.
East African foreign ministers are also in Burundi in yet another effort to bring peace to that country. Burundi’s constitution allows the president two terms. Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005.
The country previously suffered a devastating 13-year ethnic civil war which pitted Tutsis against Hutus.
It is that situation which the continent is trying to avoid seeing a repeat of.