Socio-political tensions are rising in Burundi with the approach of parliamentary and presidential elections in May and June, and the constitutional court’s approval of President Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term. Mass protests organised by civil society and some opposition parties since 26 April have turned violent. As of 5 May, at least 13 individuals have been killed, more than a hundred injured, and at least 600 arrested, and nearly 39,100 have fled to neighbouring countries. Inter-ethnic tensions, a rift between the military and the police, and an existing challenging humanitarian situation are all potential aggravating factors.
So far, clashes have taken place mostly in the capital Bujumbura and surrounding areas, but eight provinces have been identified as potential ‘hot spots’ for an election crisis and related violence. Young men and those seeking to flee the country are particularly vulnerable .