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Amid Burundi Crackdown, ICP Asks & UN on Djinnit, Now to UNSC

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 6, with video -- Amid protests and crackdown after Pierre Nkurunziza was nominated to run for a third term as President in seeming violation of the Arusha Peace Accord, Inner City Press has asked the UN about Burundi, most recently on May 4 and 5 and now May 6, below. Now it's said the UN's Said Djinnit will belatedly brief the Security Council on May 7 - we'll be there.

  On May 6, Inner City Press asked the UN, " I don't know if you have an update on Burundi?"

  Moments later, beyond an if-asked, a statement was handed to UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, who answered Inner City Press with this:

"Regarding Burundi, after a plenary session yesterday, Burundian stakeholders continued the political dialogue.  Our Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit, is facilitating work in smaller committees.  The objective of the dialogue remains to seek common grounds for creating conditions for the holding of peaceful, inclusive, and credible elections in Burundi.  Meanwhile, we welcome the arrival in Bujumbura of the foreign ministers of the East African community, and we look forward to working closely with the region on this."

  The UN is relentlessly upbeat - and marginalized. Watch this site.

 On May 4, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Inner City Press: On Burundi, I want to know if you have any statement on the violence in the capital in which at least two people have been killed today protesting the third-term run of the President?

Spokesman Dujurric:  Sure, we continue to follow the events in Burundi with great concern and deplore the loss of lives and injuries as well as the destruction of property that we've seen.  We reiterate our calls to all the parties to reject violence, exercise maximum restraint, and avoid using inflammatory language, as well as to take the necessary appeasement measures to create conditions for dialogue.  In this regard, the UN mission on the ground, MENUB, has been encouraging all stakeholders to seize the opportunities of the dialogue that is organized by the Ministry of Interior with the support of the UN on 5 and 6 May.  That is tomorrow and Wednesday.  And we trust that stakeholders will see and build on this dialogue as an opportunity to defuse tensions and seek common grounds for creating conditions for the holding of peaceful, inclusive, and credible elections in Burundi.

 Later on May 4, Ban Ki-moon met with Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, but no UN read-out was issued. On May 5, Inner City Press asked for this, and about the judge who fled the country amid death threats. Video here.


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