The United States strongly condemns the May 29 grenade attack in Bujumbura, and the continued violence in Burundi. We are deeply concerned that the recent grenade attacks, violence perpetrated by the ruling party Imbonerakure youth militia, and continued restrictions on peaceful assembly and the media are undermining efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of the current crisis. President Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term, in contravention of the Arusha Agreement, has destabilized Burundi. This environment is not conducive to the holding of credible, free, fair and democratic elections, and we join with others in Africa and the international community in urging President Nkurunziza to postpone the June 5 legislative elections so as to avoid even greater unrest and violence.
Violence and militias have no place in the democratic process. For this reason, the United States has taken steps to impose visa restrictions against individuals responsible for inciting violence, including by those who support the actions of the Imbonerakure.
The United States urges all Burundian stakeholders and regional actors 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. A peaceful political resolution remains the best option for Burundi and its people, and the United States urges all stakeholders to participate in good faith in the consultative political dialogue facilitated by the UN Special Envoy, Said Djinnit, and envoys from the African Union, the East African Community, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).