The African Union has stated that it will not attend the presidential election.
Many of Burundi’s citizens claim that violence and intimidation are rampant in the lead up to the presidential elections. A vice-president and the speaker of the house have both fled the country, seeking asylum in Belgium. Tanzania is overwhelmed with refugees. At last count, 100 000 people have fled.
The situation is tragic for the people of Burundi. The elections that placed Nkurunziza in power in 2006 were the hope for a nation that saw a 13 year long civil war end. That civil war erupted shortly after the first elections since independence. When Belgium divested itself of the former colony, a monarchy held sway until 1993.
The civil war was particularly vicious, splitting the population along ethnic lines. At final count, there were at least 300 000 dead.
Burundi president precipitates crisis
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