Burundi’s president wants enemies ‘destroyed’

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Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has called for groups that he said threaten national security to be “destroyed.”

In a speech broadcast by state media on Wednesday, Nkurunziza said that young people would be given “patriotic, theoretical and practical training” to be recruited by the country’s military in the form of security committees.

“These mixed security committees will be asked to work day and night, so that groups which seek to only kill and upset security, especially inside [the capital,] Bujumbura, will be destroyed and, so that we won’t be talking about them two months from now,” Nkurunziza said.

“All people [have] to rise up as one, and to work with security forces, so that this promise can be kept,” Nkurunziza said.

Burundi has been experiencing turmoil since April, when Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in office. Many protests were held in the country against the bid, which opponents said was unconstitutional. Violence killed at least 94 people during the protests, according to the United Nations.

Nkurunziza struck back by saying that his first term did not count as he was not elected by popular vote but was picked by the parliament.

The crisis escalated after Nkurunziza won a third term in a controversial election late last month, which was boycotted by the opposition

In his Wednesday speech, Nkurunziza said that the dispute over his third mandate was now “over.”

Earlier this week, Amnesty International accused Burundian security forces of using acid and iron bars to extract confessions from the opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

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