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US Embassy in Burundi Closed Due to Instability in Country - State Dep't

© AFP 2023 / Esdras NdikumanaUS embassy in Burundi
US embassy in Burundi - Sputnik International
The US embassy in Burundi is currently closed because of the ongoing conflict in the country, US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke told journalists on Friday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Rathke added that they are able to offer limited emergency services to US citizen in Burundi, but remain in touch with Americans staying in the country, including those who have an interest in departing.

A civilian jumps over a burning barricade of rocks erected by residents to protect themselves from police, in a northern district of the capital Bujumbura, in Burundi Thursday, May 14, 2015 - Sputnik International
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“Our embassy is closed today…The reason for the closure today is because of the situation in the country,” Rathke said.

The spokesperson also stressed that the State Department issued a travel warning for Burundi that advises US citizens against traveling to the country, and recommending those in Burundi to depart as soon as possible.

Policemen walk along a street in Bujumbura, Burundi May 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
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“In our travel warning we also informed that the Department of State has ordered the departure of dependents of US government personnel, as well as non-emergency government personnel from Burundi,” he noted.

Burundi, set to hold presidential elections on June 26, has been mired in violent protests since late April over President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in office.

Nkurunziza became president of Burundi in 2005 after a 12-year civil war, and was elected for a second term in 2010.

The president's supporters insist that despite the constitution limiting presidents to two terms in office, Nkurunziza's bid is lawful as in 2005, after years of civil war, he was appointed to the position of country's president by parliament rather than going before the electorate.

Earlier on Friday, a spokeswoman for the UN’s refugee agency said that over 105,000 people have fled Burundi to neighboring Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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