Author Topic: Burundi: Where jogging is a crime  (Read 169 times)

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Offline EC

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Burundi: Where jogging is a crime
« on: June 16, 2014, 01:32:39 AM »
Burundi's football-loving president is rumoured to be standing for a controversial third term, despite the two-term limit in the current constitution. It's one factor contributing to mounting tensions in the nation, where it now seems a morning jog could result in life imprisonment.

The drive out of Bujumbura last Saturday provided an image that will stay with me for a long time yet.

It was just after dawn, and we were climbing away from Lake Tanganyika, towards the high plateau of the interior. The escarpment wound on and on. From time to time, on my left, the curtain of banana trees and acacias would swing open, and the hills and valleys would spill away from us, towards a horizon of forest.

But it was the view to my right that entranced me.

Tucked between the narrow road and the side of the hill, the people of Bujumbura were running. Up, and up. A great, long line of them.

Some were in clusters - others, in their private reveries. Most were young men. But I also saw a man and a woman - of late middle age and generous girth - running together and holding hands.

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