UN Security Council to discuss violence in Burundi
The United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss recent violence in Burundi, diplomats say, hours after attacks were carried out by heavily armed gunmen in its capital Bujumbura.
Friday's meeting, which comes at the request of France, follows coordinated assaults on three army bases earlier in the day which left at least a dozen attackers dead, the military said.
Army spokesman Colonel Gaspard Baratuza said that an additional 21 attackers were captured while five soldiers were wounded, following the early morning assaults, which marked the worst unrest in the country since a failed coup attempt in May.
The situation in Burundi will be discussed during a closed-door meeting between ambassadors of the 15 Security Council members at 5pm local time, diplomats said.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon meanwhile condemned the attacks by "groups of unidentified assailants," his spokesman for Burundi said in a statement, adding that "such acts of violence can lead to a further destabilisation of the situation."
Ban also urged "these groups and the national authorities to refrain from any further escalation of violence or retaliation and stresses that anyone responsible for ordering or committing human rights violations will be held individually accountable."
The attacks were carried out on a base at Ngagara and a military training college in the capital, as well as another base at Mujejuru, 40 kilometres outside the city.
Baratuza said the attackers aimed "to stock up on weapons and ammunition."
However clashes continued throughout the day in different parts of the capital with witnesses describing heavy firing, including artillery, lasting several hours at the military locations.
Ban urged authorities "to help create the conditions for a credible and inclusive dialogue that can address the deep political challenges facing the country," the spokesman said.
"The United Nations extends its full support and assistance to all efforts aimed at promoting a peaceful settlement of the crisis."