Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

At least 300 Burundian citizens from the province of Kirundo have fled to neighboring Rwanda over “insecurity rumors” ahead of elections, Burundi National Radio reported Thursday.

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

The radio indicated that residents in Kirundo flee after reports of a war that may break out during the country’s forthcoming elections.
According to the state-run radio, by Wednesday, more than 202 Burundian citizens had sought asylum in Bugesera District, Rwanda’ s Eastern Province whereas others are seeking asylum in Butare District, Rwanda’s Southern Province.
In Bugesera District, those asylum seekers were received in householders, but were later regrouped in a camp at Gashora.
The radio indicated that Kirundo Governor Reverien Nzigamasabo called on those Burundian nationals to return home, arguing that they are just fleeing “rumors”.
The radio reported that citizens in various localities of Kirundo started to flee to neighboring Rwanda since last month.
Most fugitives are from the Tutsi minority group who fear for their security.
The radio reported that they fear that the situation during the country’s general elections due from May to September this year may be similar to that of 1993 when inter-ethnic massacres between the majority Hutus and the minority Tutsis occurred after the killing of first Hutu democratically elected President Melchior Ndadaye.
The radio also reported that residents fear rumors that violence might erupt if Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza runs a third term despite protests made by opposition parties.
They argue that if Nkurunziza runs the third term, it will be a violation of the Arusha Agreement and the Burundian Constitution.
Burundi is to hold this year’s general elections between May and September, with the presidential election to be held on June 26. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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