Burundi: What Holds for Burundi Once June Elections are Postponed?

Event: Burundi was preparing for the June 2015 Presidential elections until former Intelligence Chief Major General Godefroid Niyombare staged a military coup on 13th May 2015. Forces loyal to President Pierre Nkurunziza however reversed the coup enabling the President to jet back to the country.

President Pierre Nkurunziza assumed office on 26th August 2005 and later announced he would seek a third term in office, a decision which was considered a defiance of the constitution according to the opposition.

This led to the now flopped coup attempt, in which regional leaders and African Heads of State intervened to ensure that the country is back in control of its peace and political stability.

Regional leaders have however called for Burundi to indefinitely postpone the elections as the country makes attempts to restore the country’s stability.

Event Analysis on Burundi Elections if not Postpone

The African Union and the United States have called for Nkurunziza not to stand for a third term. With only a few weeks to go before the election, Burundians could face another term of civil war if President Nkurunziza runs for a third five-year term.

This is set to take back the country and further undermine the Arusha consensus which paved way for peace more than a decade ago.

There is also a chance that more refugees will flee the country, destabilizing the Great Lakes region. The uncertainty in Burundi will not only affect the country but also nearby states.

The rapid rising of chances that violence might take place highly depends on Pierre’s decision with regard to his desire to run for a third term.

Intelligence Recommendations

Voters’ confidence is currently quite shaky on who exactly they should cast their vote on. Possibly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should strategically give the election date a proper time-frame as the country heals from effects of the attempted coup.

There could be signs of oppression on Burundians therefore, using proper mediation methods the Burundi government should try encourage the return of their nationals who have already fled to Rwanda for safety.

As for the opposition, the team ought to operate on a legal boundary to challenge the president’s desire to lead Burundi for a third time.

A Court process could legally cease any possible conflicts between the two sides.

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