Burundi President asks citizens to fund election despite protests

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As Burundi remains embroiled in anti-government protests, the President is asking citizens for donations to fund next month’s election despite calls against his candidacy.

In a statement, President Pierre Nkurunziza said he has resorted to donations after the international community withdrew its support.

“The government invites the patriotic citizens convinced of this noble principle to make a voluntary contribution to support the efforts that are already made by the friends of Burundi,” the government said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page.

 

It included a bank account number to send the donations.

Scores have died in Burundi since Nkurunziza said he will run for a third term, which would extend his decade in office by five more years.

Critics say a third term is prohibited by a peace accord that ended the 1993-2003 civil war.

Protesters determined to prevent his candidacy have taken to the streets in the capital and have been met with deadly force by police.

 

More than 110,000 people have fled to neighboring nations, according to the United Nations, amid fears Burundi will return to a conflict similar to the civil war that left 300,000 people dead.

Attempts to overthrow the President failed this month, but protests continue in the capital of Bujumbura, and so do fears of more violence.

The presidential election is scheduled for June 26.

The small, lush nation in central Africa has a population of almost 10.4 million.

CNN’s Catherine Shoichet contributed to this report.

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