Minister for Africa warns that progress in Burundi is at risk as discredited presidential elections go ahead.
Commenting on the elections that took place on 21 July, Minister for Africa, Grant Shapps said:
The Burundian government has failed to ensure the necessary conditions for credible, inclusive and peaceful elections. I therefore do not consider these elections legitimate. Since April, 77 people have been killed and many arrested; over 170,000 Burundians have become refugees and freedom of expression has been curbed. The Burundian government’s refusal to engage in political dialogue has destabilised the country.
I urge the Burundian government to accept the reality on the ground and to uphold the spirit of the Arusha Agreement. I call for calm and restraint from all sides. Otherwise, the significant progress Burundi has made since the end of the civil war is in danger of being lost.
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