Burundi's President vows to step down in 2020

By BBC
Burundi's President vows to step down in 2020
Burundi's President vows to step down in 2020

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has said he will not seek another term in office after the end of his current mandate in 2020.

He made the announcement in Bugendana, in Gitega province, where the country's new constitution was signed into law.

Last month, Burundians voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to back constitutional reforms, which include extending presidential terms from five to seven years.

Many had believed Mr Nkurunziza actively sought to change to term limits so that he could stay in office until 2034.

The 54-year-old leader ran for a controversial third term in 2015, a move which set off a wave of violence and an attempted coup that was foiled by government forces.

The political crisis led to hundreds of deaths and more than 400,000 people fled the country.

He is a former rebel leader who came to power at the end of Burundi's ethnically-charged civil war in 2005.

Mr Nkurunziza was re-elected in July 2015 in a poll boycotted by the opposition.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating the abuses and violence, following a 2017 UN report detailing killings, torture and rape, allegedly committed largely by pro-government forces in that period.

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