UN chief recommends a stepped-up UN presence in conflict-torn Burundi to promote dialogue

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is recommending that the Security Council authorize a stepped-up U.N. presence in violence-wracked Burundi but has stopped short of calling for a full-fledged U.N. peacekeeping operation.

In a letter to the council Monday, the U.N. chief said “Burundi stands on the brink of another armed conflict that could … have potentially disastrous effects in an already fragile region.”

The letter outlined three options: a U.N. peacekeeping operation; a special political mission focusing on starting a national dialogue and promoting human rights; or a team to support U.N. special adviser Jamal Benomar in promoting a political dialogue and advising the government on strengthening security.

Ban recommended the support team given political realities and security conditions.

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