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Ban calls Burundi vote 'broadly peaceful'

24 July 2015, 06:52

New York - UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged calm and a political dialogue in Burundi after controversial presidential elections held against a backdrop of violence and international condemnation.

Results were expected on Friday.

Protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza and his bid for a third-term have been violently repressed, leaving at least 100 people dead since late April.

But Ban "takes note of the broadly peaceful conduct of polling in the Burundian presidential elections" on Tuesday, his spokesperson said.

"He calls on all parties to continue to remain calm and immediately resume an inclusive political dialogue to resolve their differences and address the challenges facing the country."

Also Read: Burundi security fired on protesters to 'punish' them - Amnesty

The Burundian government dismissed criticism of the poll after the United States, European Union and former colonial power Belgium said the elections were not credible.

Ban stressed that the Burundian authorities were responsible for protecting the population, halting violence and holding any perpetrators of human rights violations to account.

The UN secretary general also welcomed the deployment of African Union troops and human rights observers to prevent growing violence.

More than 150 000 Burundians have fled the country worried about the spreading violence in the east African country, which endured a decade of civil war and ethnic massacres ended by a 2006 peace deal.



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