BUJUMBURA — Burundi's main opposition group massed youths at a weekend rally, warning that it was preparing to fight fire with fire after accusing the ruling CNDD-FDD of forming a militia ahead of polls.
Dozens of youths drilled in the streets of the central town of Gitega on Sunday as part of a "sports day" organised by the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU).
"The ruling party has for several months been organising massive youth sports days with the aim of forming a militia to destabilise peace before, during and after the elections," said FRODEBU's deputy leader, Frederic Banvuginyunvira.
He said similar rallies organised by the ruling party featured youths armed with clubs.
"We have begun and we will continue as long as the ruling party does it and until it understands that it has taken a dangerous road," Banvuginyunvira told AFP.
Gitega governor Selemani Mossi denounced the rally.
"What FRODEBU is doing is meant to disrupt public order and security and I will take the necessary measures," he said.
The small central African state is one of the world's poorest and is struggling to emerge from the effects of a more than a decade of civil war.
Last month, four opposition parties expressed concern over the worsening political climate which they blame on President Pierre Nkurunziza's CNDD-FDD, accusing it of corruption and forming a militia.
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