March 27, 2018 / 11:26 AM / 2 years ago

Burundi opposition politician arrested: party spokesman

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Authorities in Burundi have arrested the head of an opposition party, members of his party said on Tuesday.

Aloys Baricako, president of the opposition ground RANAC (National Gathering for Change) was apprehended on Monday evening in the central town of Gitega where he had traveled to attend a funeral, party spokesman George Nikiza said.

“The intelligence services in Gitega confirmed his arrest to us and said he was detained for inquiry,” Nikiza said.

The small and impoverished Central Africa nation has been rocked by insecurity since 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term in office that his opponents said was unconstitutional.

Opponents of Nkurunziza’s third term launched an armed struggle against his government, and the resulting violence has killed hundreds of people and forced at least 400,000 into exile. Some of those who fled were opposition politicians who said they feared for their lives.

Baricako’s party RANAC was a coalition of three political parties during the 2015 elections and registered as a single party in December 2016.

Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Peter Graff

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