Election disrupted as Rwasa's FNL shells Bujumbura - again
Overnight attacks in and around Bujumbura by Burundi's lone remaining rebel group put scheduled Tuesday re-votes for key local elections on hold in six violence-hit districts, officials said.
The strikes blamed on the National Liberation Forces (FNL) included shelling over several Bujumbura neighborhoods and several attacks on government positions on the outskirts of the capital, the army said.
No lives were claimed but property damage was reported and polling stations in Bujumbura Rural and Buganza provinces -- on the periphery of the capital -- where re-voting had been set to begin Tuesday morning remain closed, officials said.
"The FNL shelled several districts of the capital (Monday) night," said army spokesman Adolphe Manirakiza. "At the same time, they attacked several military positions on the outskirts. Up to now, there is only property damage."
He told AFP that the attacks appeared aimed at scaring voters away from the polling stations where the re-votes were planned following early closures due to violence in the initial elections last week.
"We think that they are shootings of intimidation to prevent the population from going to vote," Manirakiza said.
These latest attacks show once again that the international community's "softly softly" approach to Rwasa's FNL is an abject failure. Only by bringing Rwasa to account can the violence by brought to an end.