Burundi: sudden increase in tension in the presidential election campaign

Opponent Agathon Rwasa (left) and General Évariste Ndayishimiyé (right) of CNDD-FDD are the main candidates for the presidential election of May 20, 2020 in Burundi. REUTERS / AFP / RFI editing

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Numerous incidents have pitted activists from the ruling CNDD-FDD party against those of the opposition CNL since the start of the electoral campaign. But the tension rose a notch Tuesday, with the arrest of a cadre of this party while the general elections are scheduled for May 20.


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First warning shot on Tuesday. Katy Kezimana, n ° 2 on the CNL electoral list for the legislative elections in rural Bujumbura province, is arrested after a meeting in this region considered as one of the main strongholds of Agathon Rwasa. She was heard by a magistrate for 15 minutes before being imprisoned in Bujumbura prison.

Her lawyer just had time to learn that she was arrested on complaint from the administrator of Mugongomanga commune. Since then, he has had no access to the file or to his client. She was also allegedly prosecuted for "political intolerance", according to a judicial source.

What seems to be going wrong is the very offensive campaign of the main opposition party which denounces all day long "  the many crimes  " committed by "  a corrupt power  ", which "  divides the population  ", according to the CNL.

Power on the offensive

Then the government entered the dance with a statement from the Ministry of Public Security, before the all-powerful Burundian Minister of the Interior slapped his fist on the table, accusing the CNL party of being responsible for the dozen violent incidents noted by his administration since the start of the campaign, ten days ago. Too much is too much,  " insisted Pascal Barandagiye, throwing a last warning to the party of Agathon Rwasa, before "  sanctions  ".

No word, however, on the acts of violence or attacks attributed by the CNL or the independent media to the Imbonerakure, the young people of the party in power that the UN describes as militia.

The CNL, which has been feeling its wings since the start of the campaign , ensures that it will not give up.

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  • Burundi

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