Burundi blocks social media access in protests crackdown

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The government of Burundi has blocked mobile access to social media networks including Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Tango in an effort to crack down on growing protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s re-election efforts.

Protesters in the southeast African country have used the various messaging services on the social media sites to coordinate demonstrations in the capital city

Bujumbura this week, after Nkurunziza announced his decision to seek a third term in June.

At least five people have died since unrest broke out at the weekend, when the ruling CNDD-FDD party designated Nkurunziza its candidate for the presidential election to be held in the central African nation on June 26.

Opposition figures and rights groups say Mr Nkurunziza’s attempt to stand for a third consecutive term goes against the constitution as well as the peace deal that ended a civil war in 2006.

Authorities have also placed restrictions on local media, banning three popular radio stations from live reporting from demonstrations, and shut down at least one broadcaster, according to Human Rights Watch.

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