Burundi urged to postpone elections

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

The authorities in Burundi are being urged to postpone upcoming elections.

The appeal comes from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who has reiterated his call for political leaders to address the current crisis in the East African country.

Burundi has experienced weeks of civil unrest following the President's announcement to run for a third term.

Dianne Penn reports.

More than 120,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, with more leaving ahead of the vote.

Parliamentary elections are set for Monday (29 June) while a Presidential vote will take place next month.

The Secretary-General expressed concern over the prevailing political and security environment in Burundi.

Mr Ban urged the authorities to seriously consider a proposal by regional and international representatives to postpone the elections.

The East African Community, the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the UN have been facilitating the political talks.

Mr Ban repeated his call for Burundi's political leaders to address the crisis through dialogue in order to consolidate peace and security and further strengthen national reconciliation.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 50″

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