UN calls for new election timetable in Burundi and protection of human rights during campaign

The U.N. Security Council is calling for a new timetable for elections in Burundi and urging the government to reinstate private media and protect the right to peaceful assembly so opposition politicians can campaign freely.

A press statement issued Thursday after a closed briefing by Said Djinnit, the U.N. special envoy for Africa's Great Lakes Region, reiterated the council's concern at the violence in Burundi, called for those responsible to be held accountable. It urged the disarmament of all armed youth groups allied to political parties.

Burundi has been rocked by protests following the April 25 announcement that the president would seek a third term.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed concern about the potential for violence to escalate further and called for "calm and restraint," his spokesman said.