Ban Ki-moon concerned Burundi vote will go ahead despite violence and insecurity

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (UN File Photo/Evan Schneider)

The UN Secretary-General is concerned that parliamentary elections will take place in Burundi on Monday despite the insecurity in the country.

Mr Ban condemned recent attacks and appealed to citizens to refrain from violence.

Burundi has been experiencing civil unrest since April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term.

More than 120,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reporting more arrivals ahead of the vote.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Secretary-General appealed to Burundi's political leaders to resolve their differences through dialogue in order to preserve peace and strengthen national reconciliation.

He expressed concern over the government’s insistence on holding the 29 June vote despite the prevailing political and security environment.

Representatives from international and regional organizations had been assisting the parties to reach consensus on holding free, fair and peaceful elections, and Mr Ban lamented that these efforts were inconclusive.

While a UN electoral mission will observe the elections, the Secretary-General emphasized the government's responsibility to ensure that the vote takes place in a secure environment and that the UN observers can perform their tasks free from intimidation or harassment.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 55″

 

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