Burundi: senior UN officials step up engagement to ease country’s political crisis

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05-13-2015Election_Burundi

Burundians arriving in Rwanda after fleeing pre-election violence. Photo: UNHCR/Kate Holt

28 May 2015 – The United Nations Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, arrived in Burundi today as the top UN political official met with a Burundian government representative at UN headquarters and discussed the need to prevent and investigate political violence and killings.

Also in Burundi today, a “consultative political dialogue” resumed today, under the facilitation of Said Djinnit, the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, with all parties being represented.

In a phone call yesterday to the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was vital that Burundian stakeholders take concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and create an enabling environment for credible legislative elections to take place.

In New York, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman met today with the chargé d’affaires of the Burundi Mission to the United Nations, Anesie Ndayisimiye, and underlined that the Government needed to take concrete steps to prevent and investigate political violence and killings.

Mr. Feltman also said “there must be security of the electoral process; security for political and civil society actors; disarmament of armed civilians; strengthening of the national independent electoral commission (CENI); and provisions for the vote of refugees.”

He noted that the risk of escalation of violence remains in Burundi and that the UN’s Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide had arrived in the capital of Bujumbura today.

In his meeting with Ms. Ndayisimiye, Mr. Feltman underlined that “he Government must take concrete steps to prevent and investigate political violence and killings, as well as violence targeting journalists and other civil society representatives. He also stressed the importance of respect for the UN-backed Arusha Agreement going forward.

Source: United Nations

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