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SA concerned about ongoing unrest in Burundi

South Africa supports AU’s proposal to send 5,000 peacekeepers to Burundi.

Military personnel sits aboard a vehicle driving through the Musaga neighbourhood of the city of Bujumbura on December 11, 2015. Heavily-armed gunmen launched coordinated assaults on three army barracks in the Burundian capital on December 11 leaving at least a dozen dead in the worst unrest since a failed May coup. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The International Relations Department has raised concerns about the ongoing instability in Burundi and its potential impact on neighbouring countries in East Africa.

The government says it supports the African Union (AU)'s proposal to send an additional 5,000 peacekeepers to the volatile country.

Unrest in Burundi started in April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans for a third term in office.

The South African government says recent attacks by armed rebels around the capital, Bujumbura, are a cause for concern among the international community.

The International Relations Department says it wants to see all human rights violations and violence come to an end.

Calls have been made for Burundi's stakeholders to engage in a dialogue and to allow urgent mediation to take place.

Donor partners, who have cut funding to that country, have also been called upon to reconsider their decision amid fears of worsening poverty levels.

South Africa says it remains committed to helping Burundi achieve stability as a former mediator in the country.