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UN: Secretary calls for peace talks in Burundi to avert continued violence

[JURIST] United Nations (UN) [official website] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] urged both parties to the Burundian conflict yesterday upon the resumption of talks [UN report] between Burundian stakeholders that continued dialogue between the parties is needed to prevent a relapse into the decades of civil war. Recent violence stemming from President Pierre Nkurunziza's re-election has caused international concern over the internal tension boiling in the country. The statement [official statement] went on to say that "[t]he current crisis [in Burundi] can only be resolved through a credible and inclusive political dialogue."

Violence in Burundi began in the wake of President Pierre Nkurunziza's announcement in early 2015 that he would seek a third term of office, which he was voted into [JURIST report] in July. Since his announcement at least 400 people have been killed, with the toll possibly considerably higher, and 220,000 have fled to neighbouring countries with many others internally displaced. In November, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Wednesday condemned [press release] the suspension of 10 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Burundi [JURIST report], calling it "an attempt by Burundian authorities to silence dissenting voices and to limit the democratic space." Earlier that month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted [JURIST report] a resolution condemning the political violence and killings currently afflicting Burundi. Shortly before, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement calling for [JURIST report] an end to the political violence and killings in Burundi. In October the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights shared concerns [JURIST report] over the "rapidly worsening security and human rights situation in Burundi."

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