Catholic World News

Burundi: politicians charge bishops support violence by opposing president's re-election bid

April 22, 2016

Leading government officials in Burundi are accusing the country's Catholic bishops of dividing the nation and encouraging violence, because the bishops oppose President Pierre Nkurunziza's unconstitutional bid for a third term.

When Nkurunziza announced his plan to run for re-election last year, the bishops lodged a strong protest, pointing to the constitution's clear two-term limit. But the incumbent leader pressed ahead with his plan. The president and the bishops accuse each other of escalating conflict in the violence-plagued country.

Pascal Nyabenda, the president of the National Assembly, charged that the Catholic bishops are playing a "purely political, not spiritual role." He insisted that the government should not accept the role of forces that undermine the nation's stability. 

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