The United Nations and the African Union have appealed to all political actors in Burundi to shun any act of violence and hate speech as the the country prepares for a general election.
While making the appeal in a joint statement on Sunday May 17, 2020, the two organizations said in a statement that the country’s politicians should resort to dialogue to conduct consensual and peaceful elections.
These elections, which will be held next Wednesday, will be the first competitive presidential elections since the outbreak of the civil war in Burundi in 1993.
UN and AU expressed concern about reports of intimidation and violent clashes between supporters of the competing parties in the elections, calling on all political parties to Adhere strictly to the Code of Conduct, signed last December.
They also urged all entities involved in organizing next Wednesday’s elections, state-owned defense and security forces and media, to contribute fully to maintaining a stable and peaceful environment, as a precondition for the holding of free, inclusive, fair, transparent and credible elections in Burundi.
“Authorities should try as much as possible to create a safe environment that allows the people to exercise their political and civil rights to tolerance, peace and mutual acceptance,” the statement reads.
They also stressed that authorities should ensure they preserve the health of their citizens, through the development of preventive measures to curtail the spread of the Corona pandemic.
In the statement, the organizations expressed their support for the people and government of Burundi in consolidating peace and building a prosperous future.
Six candidates are running in this election, in addition to the ruling party candidate.