East African Leaders Urge Burundi President To Postpone Elections

East African leaders have urged Burundi's president to postpone elections due in June.

They have also called for an end to the violence sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to stand for a third term.

Their statement was made after a summit of the East African Community in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.

A coup attempt against Mr Nkurunziza failed earlier in May and some 90,000 Burundians have fled the unrest.


"The summit, concerned at the impasse in Burundi, strongly calls for a long postponement of the elections not less than a month and a half," said the statement on Sunday.

The leaders also called for the "disarmament of all armed youth groups" and for the "creation of conditions for the return of refugees".

Burundi government spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba told AFP news agency that the government welcomed the statement and was open to idea of delaying the elections.

But he said that the issue of whether the president should stand for a third term had not been discussed at the conference and that the Burundian government therefore considered the matter to be "closed".
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