The head of the African Union has called for June's elections in Burundi to be delayed as the country continues to experience political instability. During ongoing protests in the capital Bujumbura on Thursday, a protester was burned to death by a mob, Reuters reported.
The AU's Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma told CCTV, a TV station based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday:
“What type of election is going to take place under these conditions? As the AU we were planning to send long-term observers but we can’t now. We cannot. Because the environment is not conducive for an election.
“You can’t be going to a country meeting refugees leaving and saying we are going to observe the elections. As things stand I don’t even see how elections can take place under these conditions.”
According to witnesses, a man was burned alive in Nyakabiga district, Bujumbura after being accused of being a member of the ruling party's Imbonerakure youth wing, who they said had launched attacks on the protesters, Reuters reported.
Images of a man's burned body lying in the street circulated on social media in Burundi late Thursday morning. A witness told Reuters: "They put tires around his neck and then burned him."
The Red Cross put Thursday's death count at two, but did not release any additional information regarding the fatalities, Reuters said.
Violence in Burundi escalated this week when the country's constitutional court ruled Tuesday that President Pierre Nkurunziza could run for a controversial third term during this year's elections. BuzzFeed News' report on that follows below.