Burundi expels senior WHO official, experts

Thursday May 14 2020

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza and

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza and Evariste Ndayishimiye presidential candidate of the ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), with his wife Angeline Ndayubaha attend a campaign rally at the Bugendana Stadium in Gitega Province, Burundi on April 27, 2020. PHOTO | REUTERS 

AGGREY MUTAMBO
By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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Burundi on Wednesday expelled the representative of the World Health Organization and three senior health experts deployed to Bujumbura over unspecified reasons.

Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo who was the WHO boss in Bujumbura and his three colleagues were declared persona non-grata and given up to May 15 to leave the country.

The other health experts included Prof Daniel Tarzy, Dr Ruhna Mirindi Bisimwa and Dr jean-Pierre Mulunda Nkata.

The local Foreign Ministry wrote a note verbale to the WHO Africa head offices in Brazzaville, asking that the four officials leave the country, but did not specify the reasons. Burundi as of Wednesday reported 15 cases of Covid-19 with one death.

The country has imposed closure of its main airport from international flights. But it has attracted public criticism for going on with planned elections due on May 20 by allowing public rallies and gatherings.

President Pierre Nkurunziza is stepping down after three terms in office.

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However, officials in Bujumbura said they will not permit election observers into the country unless they accept to take 14 days of quarantine. That would effectively mean that will come out days after ballots are cast.

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