Vrede is belangrijk

15 mei 2020

Verkiezingen, berichten, nepberichten, geweld, angst, gevaar, corona, malaria, sprinkhanen, tekort aan water en zeep en voedsel en uiteraard aan coronatesten. Burundese autoriteiten stellen dat God de burgers zal beschermen tegen het nieuwe coronavirus. De oppositie wilde de verkiezingen uitstellen tot een veiliger tijd, na de coronapandemie, maar de regering besloot anders. Op 20 mei a.s. wordt er gestemd en dat is zoals altijd of men wil of niet. Geen stemkaart kunnen tonen ontneemt een burger lokaal een aantal rechten. Er zijn geen buitenlandse verkiezingswaarnemers als gevolg van de pandemie. De pers is monddood gemaakt of erger. Een inwoner van Bujumbura zei, gevraagd naar commentaar over de verkiezingen tijdens de pandemie: ‘We hopen dat de campagnes goed verlopen. Wie wint of verliest moet dat accepteren. Voor ons burgers is vrede het belangrijkste. We hebben vrede nodig.’ De meeste andere mensen geven liever geen commentaar.

Hieronder enkele teksten over de situatie, overgenomen van Voanews.

Seven candidates launched campaigns Monday, with large rallies that are off limits in other parts of Africa, where governments are mandating that people practice social distancing to curtail the spread of the virus.
Burundi’s presidential, legislative and municipal elections are scheduled for May 20. Opposition groups accused President Pierre Nkurunziza’s administration of being irresponsible for not delaying the election.

Burundi Opposition Leader Says Party Members Attacked in Run-up to Elections
Burundi’s main opposition leader and presidential candidate Agathon Rwasa says supporters of his Congres National pour la Liberté (CNL) party are being arrested, attacked and in some cases killed ahead of the country’s May 20 elections. “We are experiencing some behaviors which are meant to destabilize mainly the CNL where our people are attacked and there is no judiciary or police prosecution which could be conducted against the perpetrators,” Rwasa said this week in an exclusive interview with VOA News. According to the CNL, one party member was attacked and two others went missing in Ruyigi province. The party says a local CNL leader in Mwaro province was kidnapped and his body was found floating in a river. Rwasa said his members are being targeted specifically because they are candidates or electoral observers for his party. “We can say all of this is meant to intimidate the opposition so as to guarantee the victory of the ruling party,” he added.
Campaigning for the presidential and parliamentary elections officially kicked off on April 27 and is expected to last for 21 days as the seven presidential candidates compete for voters’ support. Confrontations between the opposition members and ruling party’s youth wing, the Imbonerakure, have been reported countrywide during the political rallies, specifically in the provinces of Ngozi, Kirundo, Kayanza, Bujumbura and Gitega.
According to the Burundian government, at least two people were killed in the first week of the campaigns, and 26 were injured. “We call on all party members to stay away from hate speeches, inciting violence and words that create hatred, because when the political leaders tell these kind of words to their supporters, the next day they implement, as we have witnessed recently,” said Pierre Nkurikiye, spokesman for Burundi’s public security minister.
Earlier this week, one of the CNL legislative candidates, Kathy Kezimana, was arrested by Burundian police and accused of spreading hate speech.
The ruling CNND-FDD party, led by presidential nominee Evariste Ndayishimiye, is expected to win the elections.
Ndayishimiye is the handpicked successor of President Pierre Nkurunziza, who is stepping aside after 15 years. The president’s controversial decision to seek a third term in 2015 sparked violent protests that killed hundreds of people and prompted hundreds of thousands to flee the country. A 2018 referendum scrapped the previous two-term limit in the constitution.
For this year’s election, opposition members have raised concern about the Independent Electoral Commission because the members of the commission are allied to the ruling party. There will be no international observer mission for the vote. The East African Community expressed interest in deploying a mission, but plans never materialized because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Burundian officials have recorded 19 cases of coronavirus and one death.
Most Bujumbura residents prefer not to comment on the current political situation for fear of their own security.
“We pray that the campaigns are conducted well and whoever will lose or win should accept the outcome. For us citizens, the most important thing is peace. We need peace,” said one Bujumbura resident.

Verantwoording:
De informatie die is gebruikt voor dit bericht van Kennis zonder Grenzen is verkregen van openbare media en van bekenden uit Burundi. De foto is overgenomen uit Voanews.