Authorities in Burundi on Thursday closed university accommodation facilities and forced thousands of students to leave the campus, witnesses said, in an operation apparently designed to halt a wave of protests.
Large numbers of students, many of whom come from rural areas, could be seen evacuating the University of Burundi, situated in the capital Bujumbura, after the government order was issued overnight.
Hundreds of students from a Burundi university shuttered by the government were seeking refuge outside the U.S. embassy in the capital on Friday, amid unrest and escalating tensions ahead of the June 26 presidential vote.
At least five people have died since unrest broke out at the weekend, when the ruling CNDD-FDD party designated President Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate for the presidential election, which is due to be held in the central African nation on June 26.
Opposition figures and rights groups say 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.