Ban urges calm, inclusive dialogue as mass protests sweep Burkina Faso capital

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Ban urges calm, inclusive dialogue as mass protests sweep Burkina Faso capital

Billboard promoting peace in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso. Photo: IRIN/Chris Simpson
Billboard promoting peace in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso. Photo: IRIN/Chris Simpson

30 October 2014 – Greatly concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for an end to the violence and announced that he is dispatching his special envoy for West Africa to the crisis-gripped country.

According to a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, the Secretary-General is following with great concern the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso.

Media reports suggest that thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in the capital, Ouagadougou, facing off with security forces outside the presidential palace amid deadly violence that included ransacking Government buildings and the state television headquarters earlier today. The country’s airport has reportedly been closed.

“He calls on all parties to end the use of violence, exercise calm and restraint, and use dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues,” said the statement.

“The Secretary-General is saddened over the loss of life resulting from recent events,” the statement continued, adding that Mr. Ban has requested his Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, to visit Burkina Faso tomorrow and he welcomes that Mr. Chambas’ mission will be undertaken jointly with the African Union and the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS).