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‘Hundreds arrested’ on Burundi election day

Around 200 members of an opposition party in Burundi were arrested on election day, the party says.

National Freedom Council (CNL) spokesperson Terence Manirambona says the arrests went on until Thursday.

“Most of those arrested were CNL observers at polling stations, it happened in every province of the country, we could see it was a hunt on them,” he told BBC Great Lakes.

Police have not commented on the arrests but the police spokesperson had said Wednesday’s general elections were generally peaceful.

CNL’s leader and presidential candidate, Agathon Rwasa, is considered the main challenger of the ruling party’s Evariste Ndayishimiye.

“Our observers, any who could tell poll officers that ‘what you are doing is against the law’ would be accused of disrupting the poll and thrown to jail,” Mr Manirambona said.

He said some were arrested for going to observe vote counting on Thursday.

Some were arraigned in court for what Mr Manirambona termed as “non-factual charges”.

Meanwhile, social media users in Burundi were able to reconnect to Twitter, Whatsapp and Facebook on Thursday, ending hours of an outage that started on Wednesday morning.


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