Burundi. According to Countryaah.com, Burundi population in 2020 is estimated at 11,890,795. Political tensions increased during the year ahead of the parliamentary and presidential elections, which are running in 2015. The hut-dominated government increased the pressure on the opposition, its coalition partners and individual organizations.
A contentious proposal was to allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term. The ruling party CNDD-FDD considered that he had the right to run for office when he was elected by Parliament in 2005.
The lower house halted the changes in March, as did proposals to abolish the provisions that hutus may have a maximum of 60% of the seats of the lower house.
On February 1, Nkurunziza dismissed Vice President Bernard Busokaza from the Tutsidom-dominated UPRONA co-operation party. He was hit after the Interior Minister dismissed UPRONA’s party leader Charles Nditije. UPRONA then left the government, which, however, added other, government-friendly UPRONA representatives. Nditije was excluded in June following a power struggle.
In February, the UN Security Council extended the UN operation in Burundi, BNUB, to the end of the year. A new mission, MENUB, then takes over the responsibility of monitoring the elections.
In March, 21 members of the opposition party MSD (Movement for Solidarity and Development) were sentenced to life imprisonment. They were found guilty of rebellion along with 24 co-defendants who received between two and ten years. The convicts had been jogging in a group when they clashed with police, who claimed it was an illegal demonstration. Group jogging was then banned. MSD leader Alexis Sinduhije fled abroad and the party was banned from working for four months.
Information that the government party’s youth federation Imbonerakure was provided with weapons created concern. The union has previously been accused of violence and harassment. A UN official had to leave the country after a UN report was leaked to local media. Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, leader of the Burundian human rights group APRODHU, was brought to trial after radioing about the armament.
Léonce Ngendakumana from the opposition alliance ADC (Democratic Alliance for Change) was sentenced in October to one year in prison for slander. In a letter to UN chief Ban Ki Moon, he stated that the government was preparing ethnic cleansing.