The U.S. Department of State issued a strongly worded condemnation to Burundi's government on Tuesday for its "heavy-handed tactics" against opposition groups, and also condemned violent clashes between police and opposition political parties.
On March 8, the Burundi government used "heavy-handed tactics ... to break up a peaceful International Women's Day rally by the women's wing of the opposition political party, United for National Progress."
Later that same day in the capital city of Bujumbura, police and opposition political parties clashed violently when the police attempted to stop an opposition meeting at the headquarters building of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy political party.
"Actions taken by both sides are inconsistent with Burundi's notable progress toward creating a peaceful democracy," deputy spokesperson Jen Psaki remarked.
"The United States is deeply concerned by the Government of Burundi’s actions to prevent or break up two separate meetings of opposition political parties on March 8."
Psaki conveyed a message from the U.S. government to the Burundi government to "adhere to its human rights obligations and to respect the constitutional right of the political opposition to hold peaceful gatherings."