Minister Nicholson Calls for Return to Calm as Burundi's Elections Approach
OTTAWA, Canada, April 29, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement expressing Canada's concern over the violence that erupted on Sunday, April 26, in Burundi. This violence, occurring in the lead up to the elections in June, led to the death of protesters:
“We are troubled by the rising political tensions and by credible reports of violence involving the Imbonerakuré, armed militants in the ruling party's youth movement, who are terrorizing the people of Burundi. As a result, large numbers of Burundians are fleeing to neighbouring countries, mainly Rwanda. Arbitrary arrests of journalists and other opponents are becoming more frequent.
“Canada calls on all Burundian parties to work peacefully and actively to restore a safe and secure environment for all Burundians, which is vital to ensuring free, fair and transparent elections.
“We urge Burundi to comply with the Arusha Accords, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, to which Burundi is a signatory, and Burundi's international commitments, including within La Francophonie.”