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UN Chief proposes peacekeepers

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that deploying peacekeepers to Burundi was an option to quell the violence but recommended that a UN team be first sent to help bolster dialogue.

Ban laid out three options to address the crisis in a letter to the UN Security Council yesterday, which has adopted a resolution calling for measures to prevent mass atrocities in Burundi.

Among those options was setting up a special political mission to monitor human rights, support political dialogue and lay the groundwork for a possible peacekeeping operation.

Citing “existing political realities” and security concerns, Ban however shied away from recommending the deployment of a full-fledged peacekeeping operation or a political mission.

He put forward a third option – a UN support team – that would work with the Bujumbura government to shore up a dialogue with the opposition.

“Violence in Burundi has reached alarming levels,” Ban said in the letter to the 15-member council.

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