Burundi will slip into civil war if the international community does not put pressure on President Pierre Nkurunziza to negotiate his controversial third-term with the nation's opposition, a prominent activist warned IBTimes UK on Friday (12 June).
"If the international community does not find a solution, Burundians will be encouraged to take arms and fight against the regime," lawyer and activist Pacelli Ndukimana said.
"The government has to take into account the will of the population and then negotiate conditions for the post second-term with the opposition."
Opposition leaders want the president to withdraw his third-term bid, claiming it violates the country's constitution and the Arusha Accords, a peace deal that ended ethnic civil war.
But Nkurunziza's supporters argue the president's first term should be discounted as he was chosen by the parliament and not by the people in an election as is specified in the agreement.
Nkurunziza, meanwhile, is consolidating his position in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on 13 May by carrying out a relentless crackdown on dissidents and enforcing a virtual ban on protests that have lasted more than a month and a half, as a political and legal deadlock grips the country.
Pacelli, who estimates between 60 and 70 have died in the clashes and around 150,000 civilians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, also called on the international community to guarantee the disarmament of the ruling party National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD)'s Imbonerakure youth wing.