Uhuru Kenyatta tells President Nkurunziza to delay June’s presidential election as army is deployed to quell protests.
Police in Burundi have beaten and tear-gassed protesters in the capital who were demanding President Pierre Nkurunziza reverse a decision to run for a third term in office, a Reuters has reported.
At least eight people were arrested as the police tried to disperse the demonstration in Bujumbura on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Some protesters responded by throwing rocks at police ranks.
The protests began earlier in the day with more than 100 protesters chanting slogans against the president in defiance of the government threats of a crackdown.
Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa reporting from Bujumbura said that the police were stopping journalists from filming the protests.
“People are on edge. They [protesters] seem to be planning something,” Mutasa said.
“We will not stop until he gives up the third term,” the protesters chanted in the flashpoint suburb of Nyakabiga.
“No to the coup, and no to the third term. We will continue until he says no to the third term,” one of the demonstrators, who gave his name as Jean-Paul, told Reuters news agency.
Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma has said that presidential elections scheduled for next month should be postponed indefinitely until political stability returns to Burundi.
He was speaking at a summit in Angola that was convened after last week’s failed coup attempt.
— harumutasa/aljazeera (@harumutasa) May 19, 2015
President Nkurunziza on Monday dismissed his defence and foreign ministers after last week’s failed military coup, a presidential spokesperson said.
Emmanuel Ntahonvukiye, a civilian, has been named to replace Pontian Gaciyubwenge, the defence minister, while Alain Aime Nyamitwe was appointed foreign minister to succeed Laurent Kavakure, the spokesperson said.
Earlier on Monday, Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan president, told Nkurunziza that he should postpone a presidential election due next month after last week’s failed military coup, Kenyatta’s spokesperson said.