Urgent action needed to stop violence in Burundi

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Recent violence in Burundi has left hundreds dead. Photo: Photo: Désiré Nimubona/IRIN

Escalating violence in Burundi has resulted in calls from the UN Security Council for immediate action to stop the bloodshed.

The Presidential statement issued by the 15-member body said mediation efforts need to be stepped up.

Hundreds have been killed in months of violence that was touched off when the president of Burundi announced he would seek a third term in office.  Some 200,000 people have fled their homes to neighboring countries.

Veronica Reeves has the story.

Expressing "deep concern" at the continued escalation of violence in the central African country, the Security Council has called for the "urgent acceleration" of mediation efforts.

The Council has called on all stakeholders work closing with the East African States on mediation efforts and to fully cooperate with a proposed African Union peacekeeping mission.

In some of the most severe fighting seen to-date, dozens were killed in attacks against several military camps in the capital Bujumbura a little more than a week ago.

The upsurge in violence has created fears of an all out civil war in Burundi, with the UN warning of dire consequences if a political solution isn't found as quickly as possible.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

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