UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has arrived in Burundi to hold discussions with President Evariste Ndayishimiye regarding the ongoing conflict in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Burundi has already contributed around 100 soldiers to the peacekeeping force in the eastern DRC, where the Congolese army is currently battling the M23 rebel group.
Upon his arrival on Saturday, Guterres called for de-escalation, appeasement, and restraint from all armed groups, local and foreign, to lay down their arms in the DRC.
The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo is abundant in rare minerals that are in high demand across the globe.
This has attracted numerous rebel groups to form and attempt to seize control of the mines from the government. As a result, the conflict has persisted for many years, causing over a million people to flee to other countries.
Guterres stressed the need for an immediate cessation of the fighting before the conflict escalates into a civil war that could destroy the country and disrupt the region for many years to come. He urged all parties to defuse tensions, come to the negotiating table, and agree on a stable and lasting ceasefire.
In another development, Congolese authorities reported on Wednesday that 60 bodies were found in various villages in the North Kivu province.