World

Burundi's 2nd vice president flees country after opposing president's 3rd term bid

  • FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 file photo, Gervais Rufyikiri, Second Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi, addresses a summit on the Millennium Development Goals at United Nations headquarters. Rufyikiri said Thursday, June 25, 2015 that he has fled the country fearing for his life after opposing the president's controversial bid for a third term that has sparked off violent protests in the capital in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 file photo, Gervais Rufyikiri, Second Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi, addresses a summit on the Millennium Development Goals at United Nations headquarters. Rufyikiri said Thursday, June 25, 2015 that he has fled the country fearing for his life after opposing the president's controversial bid for a third term that has sparked off violent protests in the capital in recent weeks. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Student protesters seeking refuge crawl under the gates of the U.S. Embassy in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Thursday, June 25, 2015. The U.S Embassy in Burundi says about 100 university students are in the embassy's parking lot seeking refuge, after police persuaded the students to move from an adjacent construction site where they had camped out after the government closed their university due to the political turmoil. (AP Photo)

    Student protesters seeking refuge crawl under the gates of the U.S. Embassy in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Thursday, June 25, 2015. The U.S Embassy in Burundi says about 100 university students are in the embassy's parking lot seeking refuge, after police persuaded the students to move from an adjacent construction site where they had camped out after the government closed their university due to the political turmoil. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Student protesters sit on the ground with their hands up in the air, inside the embassy parking lot, after crawling under the gates at the U.S. Embassy in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Thursday, June 25, 2015. The U.S Embassy in Burundi says about 100 university students are in the embassy's parking lot seeking refuge, after police persuaded the students to move from an adjacent construction site where they had camped out after the government closed their university due to the political turmoil. (AP Photo)

    Student protesters sit on the ground with their hands up in the air, inside the embassy parking lot, after crawling under the gates at the U.S. Embassy in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi Thursday, June 25, 2015. The U.S Embassy in Burundi says about 100 university students are in the embassy's parking lot seeking refuge, after police persuaded the students to move from an adjacent construction site where they had camped out after the government closed their university due to the political turmoil. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Burundi's second vice president says he has fled the country fearing for his life after opposing the president's controversial bid for a third term that has sparked off violent protests in the capital in recent weeks.

Gervais Rufyikiri, believed to have taken refuge in Brussels last week, said in an interview on Radio France International aired Thursday that he has not officially resigned.

In a Twitter posting, the presidential adviser for information and media Willy Nyamitwe confirmed Rufyikiri had fled.

Rights activists say at least 77 people have died in streets protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in office in the July 15 presidential elections.

Critics say Nkurunziza's push for a third term violates the two-term limit for presidents set by the constitution.