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UN Security Council visits Burundi seeking end to turmoil

[JURIST] A delegation from the United Nations Security Council [official website] on Friday met with [press release] top government officials in Burundi, in an effort to end months of political turmoil in the country. Led by Ismael Gaspar Martins, Samantha Power and Alexis Lamek, the delegation met with Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza [profiles], Foreign Minister Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, and various other political and civil leaders. The talks were to promote mediation efforts conducted by the East African Community (EAC) [official website] and to determine what the Security Council might do to support a resolution. The meeting comes just days after the UN, US State Department and African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights expressed concern [JURIST report] over human rights violations in Burundi, including forced disappearance and torture.

Violence in Burundi began in the wake of President Pierre Nkurunziza's announcement that he would seek a third term of office, which he was voted into [JURIST report] in July. Earlier this month the UN High Commission for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, warned [JURIST report] of increasing violence in Burundi. Last month the UN Human Rights Council approved [JURIST report] a resolution to dispatch experts to investigate human rights violations in Burundi, condemning violence in the country, use of excessive force by officials and restrictions on freedoms. In November, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted [JURIST report] a resolution condemning the political violence and killings currently afflicting Burundi.

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