The following comments were attributed to US President Barack Obama by the BBC. He is said to have told the African Union Summit in Ethiopia that:
“Just as the African Union has condemned coups and illegitimate transfers of power, the AU’s authority and strong voice can also help the people of Africa ensure that their leaders abide by term limits and their constitutions. Nobody should be president for life. And your country is better off if you have new blood and new ideas. I’m still a pretty young man — I’m still a pretty young man, but I know that somebody with new energy and new insights will be good for my country. It would be good for yours too in some cases.”
Mr Obama specifically mentioned Burundi, whose president was just elected to a controversial third term in office. “When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office it risks instability and strife. As we’ve seen in Burundi. And this is often… And this is often just the first step down a perilous path… And sometimes you will hear leaders say ‘I’m the only person who can hold this nation together.’ If that’s true, then that leader has failed to truly build their nation.”
C.c. “Sole Candidate” group.