Burundi. According to
Burundi has a population of 11.18 million (2018). A number of general elections were held during
the year. The hope was that the elections would strengthen
democracy and consolidate the fragile peace of recent years.
Instead, the political contradictions were sharply sharpened
and the country appeared to be at risk of a new civil war.
In January, 13 soldiers were arrested accused of forging
dome plans. During the winter and spring, a series of
clashes between opposition and security forces took place,
and during the run-up to the general elections, hundreds of
supporters were arrested for opposition parties. Foreign
thought media called on the authorities to restore the
order, and the head of Human Rights Watch was expelled after
alleging that both the CNDD-FDD government party and the
opposition party FNL were behind the violence. African Union
Commission President Jean Ping expressed his strong concern
over the situation.
The CNDD-FDD was reported to have won a superior victory
in the local elections in May, but the opposition claimed
that there was serious cheating and demanded re-election,
which was not granted. A few weeks before the presidential
election, the four opposition leaders withdrew their
candidacies in protest that the members of the electoral
commission had not been replaced. Shortly thereafter, the
two main opposition men, including the FNL's Agathon Rwasa,
fled abroad claiming that they feared for their lives. The
election was conducted with the incumbent President Pierre
Nkurunziza as the only candidate. Most opposition parties
then boycotted the elections to both parliament's chambers,
with the result that the CNDD-FDD gained an overwhelming
majority in both the House of Representatives and the
FNL leader Rwasa was later dismissed in his absence as
leader of FNL. Party members dismissed the extra-long
Congress as a scam staged by the Home Office, which was
accused of allowing a regime-led phalanx, mostly made up of
young people, to infiltrate the party.
During the fall, sporadic fire fighting and civilian
killings continued north of the capital Bujumbura, as did
the arrests of oppositionists. The UN also found the
conditions "extremely worrying".