AU: We won’t observe Burundi elections

Anti-third term protestors in Bujumbura

Anti-third term protestors in Bujumbura

As Burundians wake up to go to the polls to elect their local leaders and legislators, the African Union (AU) has announced it will not be sending personnel to observe the elections.

In Sunday’s statement Dlamini-Zuma, The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union said the “AU reiterates the imperative need for dialogue and consensus for a lasting solution to the crisis in Burundi” adding “The AU will not observe the elections scheduled for 29 June 2015.”

Like the AU, the United Nations in the lead up the elections it has expressed concern the Bujumbura government has ignored all calls to postpone the election until calm returns to the country.

The development comes as the elections eve was marked by heavy gunfire that rocked the capital Bujumbura. Sunday morning grenade attacks killed two people but it is not yet clear with last night’s shooting led to loss of life or not.

Residents told this website, they were too scared to venture out to know or see what was going on.

There has been unconfirmed reports of a possible at on Election Day, and as result polling stations around Bujumbura and across the country are heavily guarded by the police

Meanwhile, the former Speaker of the National Assembly has finally announced he will not be coming back to Burundi until the ongoing crisis triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek the third term is over.

“For the moment, I am forced to stay in Brussels… I stayed here given the difficulties in my country, difficulties which are due to the illegal third mandate of the president,” Pie Ntavyohanyuma told France 24.

Ntavyohanyuma, who recently fled the country has urged President Nkurunziza to withdraw his candidacy because it violates the country’s constitution and the Arusha Peace Agreement.

The government has downplayed the speaker’s departure, Willy Nyamitwe, President Nkurunziza’s Spokesman says they had anticipated him to make the move.

“We were already aware that he might leave in the way he left. Hon. Ntavyohanyuma is among irresponsible people that we have been observing these days,” Nyamitwe said