Violence consuming Burundi

By May 20, 2015
(Photo courtesy Food for the Hungry)

(Photo courtesy Food for the Hungry)

Burundi (MNN) — Over 105,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring countries to escape violence following an attempted coup. In refugee camps, they’re lacking food, water, and medicine.

The UNHCR reported seven have died since the evacuation, and 300 are suffering from acute diarrhea. In Tanzania, officials reported an outbreak of cholera.

But many organizations are giving their support to feed and give medical attention to sick refugees.

Food for the Hungry is working with partners to set up emergency care programs for the thousands that have sought refuge in Rwanda.

The Protests

Protests exploded several weeks ago after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intentions to run for a third term–which is against the Burundi Constitution. Nkurunziza argued he should be entitled for the term since he was appointed to the presidential role by parliament in 2005, not elected.

Clearly, not everyone agreed.

“We just want Nkurunziza to respect the constitution and leave office. In the years he has been in power, he has done nothing for us,” said protestor Bertland Nkurunziza, according to the NY Times.

The Associated Press reports hundreds of angry protestors took to the streets, putting up barricades made of burning tires. In the capitol, BBC reports protesters broke into the national jail, released arrested demonstrators, and burned down the building.

Police and soldiers armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades have been standing against demonstrators.

The violence has led to at least 15 deaths.

According to International Business Times, the violence consuming the country is the worst it’s been in over 12 years when the civil war ended.

The Refugees

More than 100,000 Burundians are running to neighboring countries to find sanctuary. According to the UNHCR, more than 70,000 have flocked to Tanzania, 26,300 to Rwanda, and around 9,200 to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the Mahanga refugee camp in Kirehe, Rwanda, Food for the Hungry is transforming the lives of suffering refugees. They’re sharing the love of Christ by giving food, mosquito nets, and transportation. And for children who have become orphaned or don’t know where their parents are, FH is providing educational classes and trauma counseling. They’re even trying to reunite children who have been separated from families.

Help them reach more refugees by donating to their Rapid Response Fund.

Pray For:
• The violence to subside
• Refugees to be healed from any sicknesses in camps
• Burundians to find Christ in the midst of the violence and chaos

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