I utterly condemn the murder of opposition leader Zedi Feruzi and his bodyguard on Saturday and the grenade attack on Friday which left at least two people dead. The Burundian authorities must bring to justice those that have perpetrated these crimes. All violence is unacceptable and all parties have a responsibility to show restraint and ensure that Burundians’ human rights are respected, including the freedoms of assembly, association and expression. I fully support UN Special Envoy Said Djinnit, and the envoys of the African Union, East African Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, in their efforts to sustain a political dialogue. I urge all parties to engage in this dialogue in good faith to help create the conditions for peaceful, credible and inclusive elections.
I remain in close touch with my counterparts in the region and encourage them to persist in their efforts to defuse this crisis. I continue to believe that the principles of the Arusha Agreement – inclusion, compromise and peace – should act as a guide for all. It is the responsibility of those with influence and authority in Burundi to find a long term solution that allows people to live without fear of violence in a democratic country where their rights and freedoms are protected.