Zuma Sends Envoy To Burundi As Demos Intensify

South African President Jacob Zuma is sending a special envoy to Burundi to bolster efforts to end the deadly demonstrations against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term bid.

According to the latest reports, at least 13 people have died while 7000 Burundians have fled across the border to Kavimvira in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The head of the UN Mission in the DRC, says they are are risking their lives to flee Burundi. He visited the refugee facility at Kavimvira and says the United Nations plans to assist. On Tuesday Burundi’s Constitutional Court ruled that President Nkurunziza is eligible to run in the June election.

Zuma expressed concern about developments in Burundi. He was one of the architects of the peace process that led to the adoption of the new constitution in the town of Arusha in Tanzania.

He’s now calling for calm, following the week-long deadly protests. President Zuma says no stone should be left unturned to ensure stability in the country.

East African foreign ministers are also in Burundi, in yet another effort to bring peace. Burundi’s constitution allows the president two terms.

Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005. The country previously suffered a devastating 13-year ethnic civil war that pitted Tutsis against the Hutus.

It is that situation the African continent is trying to avoid.