Burundi elections draw near, UN sends Special Envoy in support of regional efforts

President Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, has been in power since 2005

Concerned by the political crisis in Burundi, “which threatens to undo more than a decade of work to consolidate peace and reconciliation in the country”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the arrival in Bujumbura of his Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, Abdoulaye Bathily.

Mr Nkurunziza has ruled out delaying next month's elections
Mr Nkurunziza has ruled out delaying next month’s elections

“The Secretary-General has requested [Mr. Bathily] to offer good offices in Burundi in support of regional efforts to reduce tensions and help Burundians peacefully settle their differences. Special Representative… will work closely with the African Union, the East African Community and the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region. He will arrive in Bujumbura on Sunday, 21 June”, reads a statement from the UN Spokesperson.

The UN Chief also welcomed the communiqué of the meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council, held on 13 June, at the level of Heads of State and Government, which provides “a clear way forward towards peaceful and credible elections in Burundi.”

Mr. Ban expressed deep gratitude to his Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, for his “tireless efforts” “impartially” facilitating the dialogue among Burundian stakeholders during May and June of this year.

As elections draw near, the Secretary-General called on all Burundian political leaders to address the current political crisis with the highest sense of responsibility, urging them to resume political dialogue “earnestly”, with a view to creating an environment conducive for peaceful, credible and inclusive elections.

Burundi’s elections are scheduled for July 15.

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