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UN concerned by Burundi revenge attacks

16 may 2015, 11:49

 The United Nations expressed concern on Friday about possible revenge attacks in Burundi following a failed coup attempt as it weighed ways to bolster human rights monitoring in the country, AFP reports.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta by phone to mobilize regional leaders to help end the crisis in Burundi.

"Certainly we do have concerns about human rights, about the risk of reprisals and revenge attacks," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

"We would support efforts to boost any sort of human rights presence in Burundi," he said.

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza returned to Bujumbura on Friday and thanked soldiers that helped defeat the coup attempt launched two days earlier by a top general.

General Godefroid Niyombare told AFP he was ready to surrender and said he hoped "they won't kill us."

UN envoy Said Djinnit flew to Bujumbura for talks on restoring peace in the country after weeks of deadly civil unrest sparked by Nkurunziza's controversial bid to stand for a third term.

"We hope President Nkurunziza leads a process of reconciliation and dialogue," said the UN spokesman.

The UN envoy is working with regional leaders and the African Union on ways to support a dialogue between the opposition and the president "to create conditions for credible, peaceful and inclusive elections."

Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005, when a 12-year civil war ended.

Burundi's constitution only allows a president to be elected twice -- for a total of 10 years in power -- but Nkurunziza argues he has only been directly elected by the people once.

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