Blasts and gunshots reported prior to Burundi election

Burundians voted for a new parliament on Monday after a night of sporadic blasts and gunshots, and weeks of violent protests

Blasts and gunshots reported prior to Burundi election

World Bulletin / News Desk

Sounds of shooting and at least two blasts were heard overnight in the capital Bujumbura, the focus of clashes between demonstrators and police. A witness reported one blast in Bujumbura's restive Musaga district on Monday morning.

The private Iwacu newspaper website cited police saying two grenades exploded in Mayuyu district 25 km (15 miles) southeast of the capital, the latest in a spate of such attacks in Burundi in the past week or so that have killed four people and wounded dozens. A police spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The European Union said Burundi's decision to ignore U.N. and other international demands to delay voting further was a "serious matter" and could lead to withholding more aid.

The EU, European nations and the United States have already halted some funds, including support for the elections. European states together fund about half Burundi's annual budget.

"The organization of legislative elections on June 29 without establishing the minimum requirements to ensure their credibility, transparency and inclusiveness, can only exacerbate the deep crisis in Burundi," the European Union said.

The African Union said on Sunday it would not send observers as it did not believe voting would be fair. The European Union also said it was withdrawing its observers.

"Not being there means they are playing the game of the radical opposition who have boycotted the process," presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho said, adding U.N. observers were still monitoring the vote.

World powers have said basic requirements for a fair poll mean ensuring the media operates freely and the ruling party's Imbonerakure youth wing and other "militias" are disarmed. The CNDD-FDD dismisses charges its youths are armed.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Haziran 2015, 14:42