US details "worrying developments" in Burundi

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Samantha Power. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Concern has been raised at the UN by the United States about what have been described as "worrying developments in Burundi."

Ambassador Samantha Power, who has just returned from the country, was asked about reports of a leaked UN cable detailing how the government is arming its youth wing.

She spoke about what she called "alarming signs" in Burundi, including the decision to end the UN mission when the country is facing a volatile political situation.

Following a meeting of the Security Council she addressed the media.

"There are a whole series of worrying developments there and, of course, the report from the United Nations only compounds our worry because if you take a political crisis on the one hand and combine it with armaments on the other, those are precisely the ingredients for the kind of violence that Burundi has been able to avoid now for a good few years and it would be terribly tragic after all the progress that Burundi has made if it slipped into a large scale political crisis and certainly, of course, if it descended into violence." (28")

Ambassador Samantha Power said she raised her concerns to the authorities in Burundi during her recent visit to the Central African region.

Burundi is preparing for elections in 2015 and there are concerns that President Pierre Nkurunziza wants to run although he is barred by law from doing so having already served two terms.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″

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