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Burundi’s crisis poses ‘catastrophic’ risk for region


President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza.

President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza.

THE African Union warned yesterday of potential “catastrophic consequences” for troubled Burundi and the wider region if rivals do not resolve political differences peacefully.

One day after the former head of Burundi’s army during its 13-year civil war was assassinated, further fuelling fears of a new conflict, African Union (AU) Commission chief, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, called for “utmost restraint” by all sides.

“This despicable act, and multiple other acts of violence recorded in recent months, illustrates yet again the gravity of the situation in Burundi – and the real risk of seeing a further deterioration with catastrophic consequences both for the country itself, and for the whole region,” Dlamini-Zuma said in a statement.

Violence erupted in Burundi in April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza launched his now successful but controversial bid for a third term in power, despite weeks of protests and a failed coup against him, according to AFP.

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