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UN calls for disarming Burundi youth groups

05 June 2015, 15:29

Bujumbura - The United Nations on Thursday called for the urgent disarming of youth groups in Burundi to help pave the way for peaceful elections.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council backed a call from regional leaders for quick disarmament after Bujumbura agreed to postpone elections scheduled for Friday.

Ban urged "the swift implementation of measures to help create the conditions for the holding of peaceful, inclusive and credible elections in Burundi, such as the disarmament of all armed youth groups affiliated with the political parties."

The 15-member council heard a report from UN envoy Said Djinnit who confirmed that opposition parties were ready to resume talks with the government on ending the crisis.

In a statement, the council called for restraint from all Burundians and said they supported an African Union proposal to send human rights observers to Burundi.

Burundi descended into crisis after President Pierre Nkurunziza, in power for 10 years, decided in April to run for a third term, triggering weeks of violent street protests.

About 40 people have died in the violence and more than 90,000 civilians have fled to neighbouring countries.

Parliamentary elections scheduled for Friday were postponed, but the presidential vote is set for June 26 despite calls for a delay until at least mid-July.

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