In this photo taken Wednesday, May 2, 2018, President Pierre Nkurunziza gestures as he launches the ruling party's campaign calling for a "Yes" vote in the upcoming constitutional referendum, in Bugendana, Gitega province, Burundi. Image Credit: AP

Bujumbura, Burundi: Burundians vote on Thursday in a referendum that could keep the president in power for another 16 years and threatens to prolong a political crisis that has seen more than 1,000 people killed and hundreds of thousands fleeing to neighbouring countries.

Many in this East African nation do not see a positive outcome no matter the results of the vote, which President Pierre Nkurunziza's government forced through despite widespread opposition and the concerns of the US and others warning of continued bloodshed. The country entered crisis in 2015 when Nkurunziza pursued a disputed third term.

Now Burundi's five million voters are asked to approve a change to the constitution that would extend the length of the president's term to seven years and allow him to stand for two more terms.