Pope Francis appealed yesterday for an end to the violence in Burundi.
Violence erupted in the east African country after protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s attempt to stand for a third term. The president, who represents a former Hutu rebel group, came to power in 2005, 10 years after a civil war costs hundreds of thousands of lives.
The Pope made his appeal for peace in Burundi in St Peter’s Square during his address just before the recitation of the traditional Easter Marian prayer, the Regina Coeli.
“I wish to invite all you to pray for the beloved people of Burundi which is living through a delicate moment: May the Lord help all people to flee the violence and to act responsibly for the good of the nation,” the Pope said, according to Vatican Radio.
Recently different army factions have fought for control of the capital, Bujumbura, following a failed coup. On Saturday 18 people appeared in court charged with aiding the attempted coup.
More protests against Mr Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term in office in elections due next month are planned for today, activists have said, the BBC reports.