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Burundi suspends activities of MSD opposition party


Burundi’s government has suspended operations of the opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) and ordered its offices closed for six months, Bloomberg news agency reports.

Burundi’s Home Affairs and Civic Education Ministry Spokesman Therence Ntahiraja said the MSD has since 2013 been violating the country’s constitution and the law on political parties and said the party was planning to create a rebel group.

Officials said they have evidence from witnesses who claimed that the party chairman had recruited them for the rebel group that would be formed outside Burundi.

In March 2014, the MSD was suspended for four months following violent clashes between the party youth and police agents at the party headquarters in the capital.

Burundi has been marred by instability since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his plan to run for a third term. The opposition said such a move was unconstitutional and violated a peace deal that ended a civil war in 2005.

Rights groups say at least 450 people have been killed in the violence since the crisis began in April 2015.

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