The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, wants Burundi elections deferred until the political crisis is resolved.
The elections are scheduled for May and June 2015 but protests which are still rocking the capital will not allow this to happen.
Last evening, after meeting EAC foreign ministers in Bujumbura, Nkurunziza said he would only stand for the third term and no more.
His party has already nominated him and the constitutional court too rubberstamped his 3rd presidential bid which he confirmed to see through.
However, AU chair, Nkosazana, told CCTV television channel in Addis Ababa that conditions could not allow a meaningful election.
“What type of election is going to take place under these conditions?”
She said AU was planning to send long-term observers but now can’t.
“We cannot. Because the environment is not conducive for an election.”
“You can’t be going to a country meeting refugees leaving and saying we are going to observe the elections. As things stand I don’t even see how elections can take place under these conditions,” she said.
So far, UN says 40,000 Burundians have fled the country to Congo, Rwanda and some to Tanzania.
Crackdown on Opposition
Yesterday, police arrested an opposition presidential candidate, Audifax Ndabitoreye, in front of East African Foreign Affairs ministers.
Ndabitoreye, was trailed to Le Panoramique Hotel in the capital Bujumbura by plain-clothed men.
We are told he has been released following Thursday protests that left one person dead and nine others injured, according to Red Cross.
Nkurunziza’s greatest rival, Agathon Rwasa, also told press that with the ongoing repression and protests, no meaningful election could not be held.
Rwasa, a former rebel commander of the National Liberation Front (Forces pour la Libération Nationale, FNL), believes the only way is to postpone elections.
East African heads of state will meet on May 13, in Dar es Salaam to end the political crisis in Burundi.
Civilians drive out army over Imbonerakure militia
On Thursday, protesters battled members of a pro-government militia, the Imbonerakure squad in Kinama district.
Protesters once more barricaded roads and burnt tyres before being dispersed by police.
They however managed to drive out the army that has been standing between them and the brutal police that has so far killed some.
Civilians hunted the army down accusing them of having not protected protesters against Nkurunziza’s torturous imbonerakure militia as well as police.
The civilians have vowed to continue the fight.