France Suspends Burundi Security Cooperation

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France has decided to suspend its security cooperation with Burundi, a French diplomat says, amid a crackdown on anti-government protesters in the Central African country.

The diplomat, whose name was not mentioned in reports, said on Tuesday that Paris is halting its aid to Burundi’s police and defense establishment due to the ongoing crackdown on those who oppose President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive term in power. France helps train the Burundian police, who have been recently engaged in a violent suppression of anti-government street protests. It also helps train the Burundian army for international peacekeeping missions.

France’s decision came a day after a protester was shot dead and two others wounded during an anti-government demonstration in the town of Muyange in southern Bururi Province. Burundi has been the scene of violent clashes ever since Nkurunziza announced his plans to run for a third term in late April.