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UN Security Council to meet on Burundi crisis

Update: May, 27/2015 - 10:37

UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council will hold closed-door talks on Wednesday on the crisis in Burundi after an opposition leader was gunned down at the weekend.

The 15-member council will hear a report by UN envoy Said Djinnit who has been trying to broker an agreement to end the political violence that has left at least 30 dead over recent weeks.

The council's Lithuanian presidency said the meeting is set for 1715 GMT.

The Security Council warned at the weekend that it was ready "to respond to violent acts which threaten peace and security in Burundi" after opposition leader Zedi Feruzi was killed in Bujumbura along with his bodyguard.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the violence and reiterated calls for dialogue to resolve differences.

Burundi's government however struck a defiant tone in response to calls for compromise, with a spokesman declaring on state radio that Bujumbura "will not negotiate and will not discuss matters that undermine our institutions."

Burundi has been in turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to run for a third term, sparking violent demonstrations.

The crisis deepened during a coup attempt this month that has raised alarm over revenge attacks.

Opposition leaders argue that Nkurunziza's bid for another five-year term violates the terms of the Arusha accord that ended Burundi's 13-year civil war in 2006.

But the president's supporters maintain that he is eligible to run because he was elected by parliament and not by popular vote to his first term. — AFP


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