The election observation mission of the East African Community (EAC), expected earlier this week, will probably not be in Burundi for the triple election scheduled in nine days, at least according to a letter from the Burundian government to the secretariat general of this organization.
The minister responsible for relations with this regional organization has just announced to its secretary general, in a letter dated 8 May, that any team of observers coming from abroad must be mandatorily confined for 14 days, in accordance with the national strategy to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. This mission of twenty people, mostly Tanzanians but not including Rwandans, is financed by China according to our sources. It was expected in Bujumbura this week. It is therefore impossible for it to be on the ground on 20 May, Election Day.
The Burundian government did not want observers from the UN and the European Union, accused of being close to its opposition since the beginning of the 2015 crisis.
The Catholic Church and civil society will not be there as well. “We are going to see an election behind closed doors, with all the dangers between the ruling CNDD-FDD, which does not want to give up, and an opposition led by Agathon Rwasa who believes in his victory,” a diplomat warned. The tension between the government and the main opposition party continues to rise.