The African Union's top official says Burundi's recent violence shows there is a risk the country can slide into chaos with catastrophic consequences for the country and the surrounding region.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwoman of the African Union Commission, reacted Sunday to the assassination the day before of former military chief Jean Bikomagu, which came days after the assassination of the president's security advisor Lieutenant General Adolphe Nshimirimana. In a statement Dlamini- Zuma stressed the need for dialogue.

Burundi has been rocked by violence since April when President Pierre Nkurunziza launched his re-election bid for a third term in office. Nearly 100 people died in street protests against Nkurunziza's third term. Nkurunziza won widely disputed elections last month. In recent weeks, opposition and government officials have been victims of targeted killings.