Burundi has been urged to take advantage of the recently adopted new constitution to create a new political environment that is conducive to consolidating national unity and peace.

The UN secretary-general’s special envoy for Burundi, Michel Kafando, made the call on Thursday as he addressed the Security Council in New York.

Kafando commended the adoption on August 3 of a roadmap for 2020 elections that brought the various political leaders to a consensus.

He also commended President Pierre Nkurunziza for his recent commitment to leave office in 2020 and for pledging his “full support” for whoever emerges from the voting process as the new president.

The current crisis in Burundi began in April 2015, when Nkurunziza began his campaign for a disputed third term in office, triggering protests and a failed coup attempt.

There has been an improvement in the security situation since a May 17 national referendum on the new constitution which saw nearly three-quarters of voters registering their approval.

Regarding the humanitarian situation caused by the onset of the crisis three years ago, the special envoy commended the efforts made by Burundi, Tanzania and the UN refugee agency UNHCR to enable the voluntary return of some 35,000 Burundian refugees since September last year.

- African News Agency (ANA)