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Factbox: Burundi


Independence: July 1, 1962, from U.N. trusteeship under Belgian administration

Location: Central Africa; borders Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania

Size: 27,830 square kilometers (17,292 square miles); worldwide, ranks 147th in size

Population: 10,395,931 (July 2014 est.)

Capital: Bujumbura; population, 707,000 (2014 est.)

President: Pierre Nkurunziza, took office August 26, 2005

Term limits: Burundi's existing political structures were founded on the 2000 Arusha agreement, which brought to an end the civil war between Hutu and Tutsi factions that had killed up to 300,000 people.

That agreement states the president can serve no more than two terms in office. But the 2005 constitution states the president must be elected through “universal direct suffrage” – interpreted to mean a popular vote. Nkurunziza was elected by parliament to his first term, so, his supporters argue, he is eligible to run again.

Protests: Protests began in April, after supporters of Nkurunziza urged him to run for a third term; elections are scheduled for June 26. The demonstrations have turned violent, with the government reporting at least 14 deaths as of May 12.

Source: CIA World Factbook