United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged all parties in Burundi to exercise calm and restraint after a reported coup attempt against President Pierre Nkurunziza in the African country.
“He reminds all Burundian leaders of the need to preserve peace and stability in a country that has suffered so grievously from previous bouts of violence,” says U.N. Secretary-General spokesperson Stephane Dujarric at a regular briefing.
The U.N. is continuing to evaluate the developments as the situation is still very fluid in Burundi, according to the spokesperson. “We are in contact with Special Envoy Said Djinnit, who is currently in Dar es Salaam at the Summit of the East African Community,” said Dujarric.
Burundi plunged into chaos on Wednesday as Burundi President Nkurunziza said a coup attempt had “failed” and “the situation is under control” via twitter as he was in the Tanzanian capital for a special summit with East African Community leaders.
Earlier in the day, former head of Burundi’s National Intelligence, Maj. General Godefroid Niyombare, announced that the army had overthrown the president and the stakeholders were working on a transitional government.
Following days of protests in Burundi against Nkurunziza’s third term bid, the European Union and the Unites States have urged Burundi to postpone elections, arguing that the climate is not “conducive” to hold elections.
The spokesperson was asked on how U.N. perceived the president’s seeking for his third term, and said the UN Secretary-General share people’s concerns about leaders who refuse to leave their office as terms conclude.
“I think we’re obviously, as I said, following these developments very closely. I think on a more general note, I think I would refer you back to the Secretary General’s, I think, very direct language that he used at the – in a recent African Union Summit, where he said people around the world have expressed their concern about leaders who refuse to leave office when their terms end. And he says: I share those concerns,” the spokesperson says.
Story from CCTV News.