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Rwanda's Kagame Eyes Third Term as Millions Call for Constitution Change

The list of supporters is long: more than two-fifths of Rwanda's voters have signed a petition calling for constitutional reform to allow strongman Paul Kagame a third term in power.

The authorities speak of a popular mass movement, critics of a manipulation of power.

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Burundi Opposition Threaten to Boycott Polls

Burundi's opposition parties have threatened to boycott elections later this month if the government fails to create the conditions for a fair vote, a spokesman for a coalition of 17 parties said Friday.

The troubled central African nation has been in crisis since late April over President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive five-year term, a move branded by opponents as unconstitutional and a violation of a 2006 peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war.

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Rwanda Opposition Seeks to Block Third Term Change for Kagame

Rwanda's Green Party, the country's tiny but main opposition, said Thursday it was challenging moves to change the constitution to allow strongman and President Paul Kagame to stand for a third consecutive term in elections in 2017.

"We submitted a lawsuit to the Supreme Court yesterday, demanding the court block parliament from any future plans to reform the constitution, especially article 101 about the lifting of presidential term limit," party president Frank Habineza told AFP.

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U.S. Aiding Americans, Canadians to Evacuate Burundi

The United States on Sunday helped evacuate American, Canadian and other foreign citizens from Burundi, rocked by weeks of deadly street protests and an attempted coup, a State Department spokesman said. 

Burundi's streets have been mired in violence since the announcement by President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would stand for a third term in office. 

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U.N. Troops Ready to Move against DR Congo Rebels

U.N. troops are preparing an offensive against Hutu rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo after plans for a joint operation with the Congolese army fell through, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said Thursday.

Herve Ladsous told reporters following a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council that the U.N. mission MONUSCO would carry out unilateral operations to drive out the Hutu militia based in eastern DR Congo.

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Burundi Anti-President Protestors Clash for Third Day

Protesters in Burundi clashed with police for a third day Tuesday in fresh demonstrations against the president's bid to cling to power for a third term, witnesses said.

At least five people have died since clashes broke out Sunday after the ruling CNDD-FDD party, which has been accused of intimidating opponents, designated President Pierre Nkurunziza its candidate in the June 26 presidential election.

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Tensions as Burundi President Launches Contested Re-election Bid

Burundi's president was Saturday declared as candidate for a controversial third term in office, his ruling party announced, despite mounting protests over a move that the opposition says is unconstitutional.

There were fears the political crisis, during which President Pierre Nkurunziza's ruling CNDD-FDD party has also been accused of intimidating opponents, could push Burundi back into violence. 

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Rwanda U.N. Genocide Court Holds Final Hearing

The U.N.-backed international tribunal trying Rwanda's worst genocide cases ended its final hearing Wednesday after more than two decades of work.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), based in the Tanzanian town of Arusha, was set up in 1994 by the United Nations to try those responsible for the genocide.

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Burundi Police Clash with Protestors Opposing Presidential Third Term

Police in Burundi on Friday fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters calling for the president not to run for a third term, as tensions rise in the central African state.

Opposition parties are concerned at incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza's expected bid for a third term in June elections, despite the constitution stating a president can only be elected twice.

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Terrified Burundi Refugees Flee as Tense Polls Approach

Burundian farmer Emmanuel Minani knew it was time to leave when the gang who had terrified him for months told him directly they would torch his house and kill him.

As elections in Burundi approach, thousands of people are fleeing into neighbouring Rwanda, fearing violence from the hands of the ruling party's youth wing, the Imbonerakure.

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