Politics

CNARED condemns authorities’ attitude to oblige Burundians to register for upcoming elections

In a communiqué released this Wednesday February 14, the National Council for Arusha Agreement Respect and Rule of Law-CNARED, an opposition platform in exile, deplores Burundi authorities’ behaviour to force people to register for constitutional referendum and 2020 elections.

Pancrace Cimpaye: “People are forced to register for the constitution referendum. Some are persecuted and/or even jailed”

Pancrace Cimpaye: “People are forced to register for the constitution referendum. Some are persecuted and/or even jailed”

Pancrace Cimpaye, Spokesperson for this platform says people have not positively responded to the appeal made by the Burundian authorities.

“Due to this refusal, authorities have adopted strategies to make them register by force,” says the spokesperson for CNARED.

He says some citizens are denied their rights because they don’t have the paper proving that they have registered. “School, hospital, market, public transport and even consular services are henceforth accessible to people who have registered,” he says.

Mr Cimpaye also says there are people who are persecuted because authorities suspect that they are preaching against the referendum. “A person suspected of preaching “no” to the constitutional referendum is punished by imprisonment or threatened to be killed by the authorities”.

He says that Burundi is highly likely to enter another civil war if the situation remains so. “People may flee because they are persecuted and others are unjustly jailed”.

He calls on the African Union, the East African Community, the European Union and the United Nations to intervene before it is too late. “They should take punitive sanctions so that the government resume dialogue for the well-being of all Burundians”.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission declared that registering for elections is not an obligation but a right. Yet, some local authorities in different areas of the country continue to force people to register.

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