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Ban Ki-moon starts Burundi visit since crisis began

By afp

Added 22nd February 2016 08:59 PM

More than 400 people have been killed and over 240,000 have left the country since then, with thousands more arrested and the security forces repeatedly accused of extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (R) is welcomed by Burundi's Vice President Gaston Sindimwo upon his arrival at Bujumbura airport on February 22, 2016. Ban is to hold talks with President Pierre Nkurunziza on Tuesday morning after meeting political parties and civil society leaders in hopes of giving fresh impetus to stalled efforts at resolving the 10-month-old crisis. / AFP / STRINGER

More than 400 people have been killed and over 240,000 have left the country since then, with thousands more arrested and the security forces repeatedly accused of extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Bujumbura on Monday on his first visit to Burundi since a political crisis began in April last year.

Ban, who landed late on Monday afternoon an AFP reporter said, is to hold talks with President Pierre Nkurunziza on Tuesday morning after meeting political parties and civil society leaders in hopes of giving fresh impetus to stalled efforts at resolving the 10-month-old crisis.

  ecretary eneral an imoon  arrives on ebruary 22 2016 in ujumbura on his first visit to urundi since a political crisis began in pril last year  an is to hold talks with resident ierre kurunziza on uesday morning after meeting political parties and civil society leaders in hopes of giving fresh impetus to stalled efforts at resolving the 10monthold crisis    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (C) arrives on February 22, 2016 in Bujumbura on his first visit to Burundi since a political crisis began in April last year. Ban is to hold talks with President Pierre Nkurunziza on Tuesday morning after meeting political parties and civil society leaders in hopes of giving fresh impetus to stalled efforts at resolving the 10-month-old crisis. / AFP / STRINGER


"This is a very important visit because we hope the UN Secretary General will bring his weight to bear on President Pierre Nkurunziza so he finally accepts an inclusive and unconditional dialogue with his opponents," a UN official told AFP ahead of Ban's arrival.

A Western diplomat in Burundi said he hoped Ban would also discuss, "massive violations of human rights observed since the beginning of the crisis."

"We hope the visit will convince (Nkurunziza) to accept a genuine international investigation into these allegations," the diplomat said.

Burundi was thrown into crisis in April when Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term that he went on to win in July.

  relative place flowers on top of the grave bearing remains of onhalex tugane at ujumbura on february 17 2016 he 6 years old boy was killed on february 13 2016 after a grenade exploded by a military post in gagara quarter renade blasts have become commonplace in the city but it remains unclear who carries out the attacks which have increased in the past two weeks     A relative place flowers on top of the grave bearing remains of Don-Chalex Ntugane, at Bujumbura on february 17, 2016. The 6 years old boy was killed on february 13, 2016, after a grenade exploded by a military post in Ngagara quarter. Grenade blasts have become commonplace in the city, but it remains unclear who carries out the attacks, which have increased in the past two weeks. / AFP / STRINGER

 

More than 400 people have been killed and over 240,000 have left the country since then, with thousands more arrested and the security forces repeatedly accused of extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations.

Ban's visit comes after the Burundi government appeared to soften its position towards opponents by agreeing to receive a delegation of African heads of state, expected later this week, and by cancelling international arrest warrants against several exiled opposition leaders.

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