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Clashes in Burundi as refugees flee for Rwanda

Saturday, May 09, 2015 - 01:35

Clashes break out in Bujumbura after the president registers to run for re-election, while the U.N. Refugee Agency says more Burundians are fleeing into Rwanda. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Tensions simmer in Burundi where protesters are facing off with soldiers in their fight to stop the president from running for a third-term. (SOUNDBITE)(Swahili) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER SAYING: "They want to arrest all of us for what reason? We won't allow it. This is our country. Let them try." Clashes broke out Friday with police firing tear gas, and protesters throwing stones after President Pierre Nkurunziza officially registered for the election. Protesters say his bid violates the constitution, which limits the president to two terms. But a constitutional court ruled that his first term does not count because it came by appointment, not by election. The violence is sending many Burundians on the run. The United Nations Refugee Agency says an estimated 25,000 have fled north to Rwanda. Paul Kenya of the UNHCR says resources are running out. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAUL KENYA, UNHCR CO-ORDINATOR, BUGESERA RECEPTION CENTRE, SAYING: "So space is an issue and our services. Though we have services in place, they are busting out of the seams due to the number of refugees arriving here." One refugee at the camp says she still does not feel safe. (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) IZEIMA MWANAAMINI, BURUNDIAN REFUGEE, SAYING: "Because here is close to the border with Burundi, our enemies we run away from can find us here and harm us." The unrest has plunged Burundi into its worst crisis since an ethnically charged civil war end in 2005.

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Clashes in Burundi as refugees flee for Rwanda

Saturday, May 09, 2015 - 01:35