Once again, Burundi is at a crossroads. Will it turn the page on violence and impunity or lapse into revenge killings?
After provisional results declared that Évariste Ndayishimiye won the presidential elections and his ruling party, the CNDD-FDD, won the legislative and local elections, Burundians are worried that violence may escalate in the coming months.
The opposition CNL claimed that hundreds of its members were arrested, that serious fraud took place during the vote and that it was the rightful winner. The Catholic Church of Burundi, one of the few independent organisations that deployed election observers, issued a statement detailing widespread abuses and irregularities.
International actors’ silence in the face of serious violence before the elections is deeply worrying. Their reluctance to confront the CNDD-FDD about recent abuses will only embolden those in power to continue acting with impunity.
The Burundi Human Rights Initiative (BHRI) calls on international actors to condemn the political violence unequivocally and urge party leaders to hold their members to account.