Ban alarmed by ongoing escalation of violence

Just today, he said, the son of prominent Burundian human rights defender Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa was killed following his arrest by police in Bujumbura.

Residents look on as police and soldiers guard a voting station in Burundi's capital Bujumbura during the country's presidential elections, July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says he is alarmed by the ongoing escalation of violence in Burundi.

Ban, in a statement on Friday in New York, expressed concern that the discovery of civilian bodies, many apparently summarily executed, had become a regular occurrence in several neighbourhoods of Bujumbura in recent weeks.

Just today, he said, the son of prominent Burundian human rights defender Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa was killed following his arrest by police in Bujumbura.

Ban said that the recurring violence and killings in Burundi must stop.

The Secretary-General underlined the responsibility of the Burundian authorities to protect the civilian population, regardless of political affiliation.

He said the authorities also had the responsibility to ensure that the widespread impunity for the heinous acts was brought to an immediate end.

Ban condemned public statements that appeared to be 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 said.

He called for accountability for those who have engaged in publicly inciting violence.

The Secretary-General stressed the imperative to intensify all efforts to find a political settlement to the crisis in Burundi.

Ban called on all parties, including the national authorities, civil society, and opposition, to put an immediate end to the propagation of hate speech.

He also urged them to renounce violence, and engage in good faith with the ongoing facilitation of the East African Community.

The Secretary-General called on all Burundians, especially government leaders, to help create the conditions for a credible and inclusive dialogue that could address the deep political challenges facing the country currently.

The United Nations, according to him, extends its full support and assistance to all efforts aimed at promoting a peaceful settlement.

Time, he added, is of the essence.

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