BURUNDI: AU Will Not Observe June 29 Elections In Burundi

The African Union will not observe Burundi’s legislative elections scheduled for Monday, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the commission of the AU, has said.

In a communique released on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the “AU reiterates the imperative need for dialogue and consensus for a lasting solution to the crisis in Burundi”.

“[The AU] will not observe the elections scheduled for 29 June 2015,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

Echoing the AU’s remarks, the UN said on Sunday that Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was concerned about “the Government of Burundi’s insistence on going ahead with elections on 29 June despite the prevailing political and security environment.”

Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from the capital Bujumbura, said some supporters of President Pierre Nkurunziza are wondering why Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir was seemingly protected in South africa at the AU summit in Johannesburg just over a week back, while their president seems to have been abandoned by the AU.

Burundi has been in turmoil since April, when Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term, triggering weeks of protests, and an abortive military coup last month.

Dlamini-Zuma said the AU was disappointed that proposals put forward to postpone elections were not accepted.

“Noting that the necessary conditions are not met for the organization of free, fair and transparent and credible elections .. the AU commission will not observe the local and parliamentary elections,” the statement read.

Nkurunziza’s opponents say his decision to stand again violates the constitution as well as a peace deal that ended a civil war in 2005

The latest developments come as clashes continued on the streets of the capital Bujumbura, as the country inched towards the controversial poll.
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