Burundi: USA Embassy Statement on Third Election Term
Embassy Bujumbura reiterates the policy of the U.S. government that President Nkurunziza's bid for a third term stands in violation of the Arusha Agreement. We continue to strongly urge President Nkurunziza to reconsider his bid to retain power at the expense of the Arusha Agreement and Burundi's hard-earned stability after a tragic civil war.
All citizens in the United States, including individual members of Congress, have a right to express their private opinions about U.S. foreign policy. The United States' government’s position remains that the Arusha Agreement must be respected, and that any violation of Arusha seriously undermines Burundi’s stability.
The conditions for free, fair, transparent and credible elections do not currently exist due to the closure of political space, the shutting down of independent media, the government’s violent response to political protests, and continuing reports of violence and intimidation by an armed youth militia of the ruling party. These policies are not in accordance with the principles of a democratic country, especially one facing national elections.
The United States calls for restraint by all Burundian stakeholders and regional partners. We urge all parties to continue to support the ongoing peaceful efforts to find a solution that is in accordance with the Arusha Agreement, and to refrain from any acts that could contribute to the climate of instability or undermine the rule of law in Burundi.