President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term has plunged Burundi into chaos, reversing a decade of progress towards ethnic reconciliation and economic growth. While the present conflict is political in origin, triggered by the president’s ambitions, the climate of violence and repression it has fostered may revive ethnic tensions that could potentially spark a conflict of regional dimensions. In a continent where entrenched presidents-for-life are often the main obstacle to building democracies, Burundi’s crisis will have broad reverberations in African politics. It could be an inspiration or a warning for these ageing leaders, depending on the outcome.

Burundi is a sma...

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Professor Jaime Nogueira Pinto
Both sides acknowledge the centrality of the constitutional issue, especially because the two-term limit and other curbs on the ruling majority’s power were crucial to the compromise that ended the civil war
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