May 15, 2015 / 5:37 PM / 2 years ago

U.N. chief warns against reprisals after failed Burundi coup

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday warned against reprisals and revenge in Burundi after security forces arrested the leader of a failed coup and President Pierre Nkurunziza returned to the capital.

Burundi was plunged into deep crisis after Nkurunziza announced he was running for another five-year term. Ban expects to speak with Nkurunziza in the coming days, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

"We remain deeply concerned about recent developments. There is an imperative need to restore calm and avoid violence in the wake of the attempted coup," Haq said. "There should be inclusive dialogue. Reprisals and revenge must be avoided."

"Due process and full respect for human rights must be observed," he added. "It is also essential that Burundians are able to fully exercise their freedoms of expression and assembly."

Major General Godefroid Niyombare was captured two days after announcing Nkurunziza had been toppled in the African nation, which is still recovering from an ethnically fueled civil war that ended just a decade ago.

Ban discussed the situation in Burundi with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in a telephone call, in which he emphasized the need for regional leaders to join efforts to help end the crisis, Haq said.

Haq noted that U.N. special envoy Said Djinnit returned on Friday to the capital Bujumbura and was working with the African Union and the East African Community "to support a dialogue process to help create the conditions for the holding of peaceful, credible and inclusive elections in Burundi."

(This version of the story replaces headline to correspond to lede of story)

Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; editing by Andrew Hay

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