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Minister for Africa: Burundian Presidential elections not credible

Minister for Africa warns that progress in Burundi is at risk as discredited presidential elections go ahead.

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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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Published 21 July 2015