Gitega, Burundi, Sep 23, 2019 / 17:59 pm
Government officials in Burundi have accused the country's bishops of spreading hatred and division following a message from the bishops warning of violence and corruption in the country's election preparations.
According to AFP, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Burundi released a letter voicing concern over efforts to "suffocate" certain political parties ahead of the May 20 presidential election.
The letter, which was read in churches over the weekend, warned that "[c]riminal acts go as far as murders with political motives ... perpetuated against those with different opinions of the government," AFP reported.
The bishops also warned that the Imbonerakure – the youth wing of the ruling party – had replaced security forces in the country. UN investigators have accused the Imbonerakure of widespread human rights abuses, including murder, rape, torture, and arbitrary detainment against political opponents.