The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General is alarmed by the ongoing escalation of violence in Burundi. He expresses grave concern that in recent weeks, the discovery of the bodies of civilian victims, many apparently summarily executed, has become a regular occurrence in several neighbourhoods of Bujumbura. Just today, the son of prominent Burundian human rights defender Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa was killed following his arrest by police in Bujumbura.
The recurring violence and killings in Burundi must stop. The Secretary-General underlines the responsibility of the Burundian authorities to protect the civilian population, regardless of political affiliation, and ensure that the widespread impunity for these heinous acts is brought to an immediate end.
The Secretary-General also condemns public statements that appear aimed at inciting violence or hatred towards different groups in Burundian society. Inflammatory rhetoric is reprehensible and dangerous; it will only serve to aggravate the situation in the country. He calls for accountability for those who have engaged in publicly inciting violence.
The Secretary-General stresses the imperative to intensify all efforts to find a political settlement to the crisis in Burundi. He calls on all parties, including the national authorities, civil society, and opposition, whether they are in Burundi or abroad, to put an immediate end to the propagation of hate speech, renounce violence, and engage in good faith with the ongoing facilitation of the East African Community.
The Secretary-General calls on all Burundians, especially Government leaders, to help create the conditions for a credible and inclusive dialogue that can address the deep political challenges the country currently faces. The United Nations extends its full support and assistance to all efforts aimed at promoting a peaceful settlement. Time is of the essence.