After a relatively calm election day on Wednesday, the following day was even more peaceful according to the police reports. The whole country is now waiting for the announcement of the provisional results. The Internet is restored in Burundi, but the Iwacu newspaper website is not accessible.
The head of the Burundi Electoral Commission (CENI) urges those who are counting votes to do it carefully and ensure that the outcome is not disputed.
Dr. Pierre-Claver Kazihise, the head of CENI, told media that the first stage after the elections was to collect data from the polling stations.
In an interview, Mr. Kazihise explained to the public that the process of counting the election results is a difficult task that had to take time. Commentators say that five or six days between elections and the announcement of the outcome of the interim are many.
Thursday evening on the television news, Media Synergy supervised by the Ministry of Communication, announced the results of just over 12% of Burundian municipalities.
The score attributed to the candidate of the ruling party, Evariste Ndayishimiye, in these municipalities scattered throughout the country, ranges from almost 80%, against less than 20% for Agathon Rwasa his main opponent.
“I reject them, they are fanciful results, they do not stick to reality,” Agathon Rwasa told RFI, ensuring to have at his disposal “proofs” of what he claims.
The candidate of the CNL Party affirms to have followed closely the results of the poll in the various provinces of Burundi.
“Since yesterday, we have been trying to follow the count. Across the country, the observation is that the CNL comes first. Whether for the presidential, for the legislative or for the municipal elections. All that we wish for all Burundians, especially the CENI and the constitutional court, is to be responsible. “said Agathon Rwasa.
A spokesman for the CNL party said more than 200 members of the party were detained in all provinces of Burundi on Wednesday. Some were released on the same day when they found no valid charges against them.
Terence Manirambona, a spokesman for the CCNL party, said that even on Thursday some people had been arrested in connection with the election.
In a Briefing With Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy on U.S. Support for Combating COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa, Tribor Nagy, the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs notes that the people of Burundi went to the polls and urges all sides to refrain from provocations or violence, to respect the democratic rights of all citizens, and to use established legal processes to address potential grievances.
“I am optimistic about the potential for progress in the U.S.-Burundi relationship following these elections.” ,he said
The Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Philippe Goffin, called on Thursday, in a statement released after the presidential, legislative and municipal elections in Burundi, Burundian political actors to work for a “peaceful management” of the post-election in this small country of ‘Central Africa.
“We salute the efforts made by the Burundian citizens who resolutely engaged, for some at the cost of their lives or their physical integrity, in the electoral process which led to the triple ballot of this May 20. A crucial step in the consolidation of the political and institutional stability of the country, “said the head of Belgian diplomacy in a statement.
Mr. Philippe Goffin urges all political actors to systematically defuse any speech and any action likely to jeopardize the good democratic end of this electoral process.
He called political actors to work together in order to create the conditions for the peaceful management of the post-electoral phase which respects the will expressed by the voter.
Egypt said that it is willing to resume negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia over the filling of a controversial mega-dam that has been a source of tension between all three Nile basin countries.
“Egypt is always ready to enter into negotiations and participate in upcoming meetings ... to reach a fair, balanced and comprehensive agreement,” the foreign ministry said.
The ministry said the agreement would have to take into account “Egypt’s water interests as well as those of Ethiopia and Sudan”.
Cairo’s thawing stance comes after Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok held a virtual meeting with his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmad earlier Thursday to hammer out a deal.
The online meeting comes after Addis Ababa said it would not delay filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which it began constructing in 2011.
In April, Ahmad proposed proceeding with the “first stage filling” that would collect 18.4 billion cubic metres of water in the dam’s reservoir over two years.
But both Egypt and Sudan fear the reservoir, which has a capacity of 74 billion cubic metres, will trap their essential water supplies.
Hamdok and Abiy’s talks were the first after a diplomatic spat that broke out between Egypt and Ethiopia reached the UN Security Council.
Filling and operating the dam “would jeopardise the water security, food security, and indeed, the very existence of over 100 million Egyptians, who are entirely dependent on the Nile River for their livelihood,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a letter to the UN Security Council dated May 1.
In a response dated May 14, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew accused Egypt of being obstructionist.
“Ethiopia does not have a legal obligation to seek the approval of Egypt to fill the dam,” Gedu said.
Egypt wants Ethiopia to endorse a draft agreement emerging from the talks earlier this year facilitated by the US Treasury Department, which stepped in after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sissi put in a request to his ally US President Donald Trump.
But Ethiopia skipped the most recent round of those talks and denies any deal was agreed upon.
Cairo’s heavily worded letter to the Security Council raised the spectre of the possibility of armed conflict stemming from the dam deadlock.
Sudan has confiscated assets valued at $4 billion from former President Omar al-Bashir, his family members and associates, the country’s anti-corruption body said.
“Our initial estimates of the value of the assets, shares in different companies and buildings we have confiscated is $3.5 billion to $4 billion,” Salah Manaa, a spokesperson for the Anti-Corruption and Regime Dismantling Committee, said in response to questions. The body was set up late last year.
Bashir, who was overthrown by the army a year ago amid mass protests against his three-decade rule, was jailed in December after being found guilty of illicitly possessing millions of dollars in foreign currencies. He has also been indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity committed in the western region of Darfur.