Burundi's government calls anti-opposition rally 'for peace'

Thousands of Burundians took part in a government-backed rally “for peace” Saturday, where speakers took aim at the opposition, civil groups and the media, accusing them of leading the country towards war. The demonstration in the capital Bujumbura was mirrored at rallies organised by the authorities in other towns, underlining the growing tension in Burundi ahead of a presidential election in June. “We are here to denounce all those who seek to bring us to war, all those who want to organise popular uprisings,” Bujumbura mayor Saidi Juma told the crowd, reading a text prepared by the government. Last month, vast crowds took part in one of the largest demonstrations in recent years after the release of a popular journalist and government critic from jail.

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