Burundi on Sunday rejected a second UN diplomat named to help resolve the country’s political crisis, saying a critical UN report on last week’s parliamentary elections was biased. The tiny east African country plunged into turmoil in late April when protests erupted in response to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term. The opposition boycotted the June 29 parliamentary election and says it will boycott the July 15 presidential vote.
The rejection of UN diplomat Abdoulaye Bathily came in response to a UN report saying its mission in Burundi had observed restrictions on media freedoms, arbitrary detentions and acts of violence around the June 29 vote.
“He has produced a critical report not reflecting reality on the scene, saying that elections of June 29 were not ‘free and credible’, while (the ruling coalition) believe that these elections were ‘transparent, fair, free and credible and were held in peace and security,'” the coalition said in a letter to the UN secretary general.