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UN Chief Arrives in Burundi for Crisis Talks

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) is welcomed by Burundian First Vice President, Gaston Sindimwso (L) as he arrives in Bujumbura, Burundi, Feb.22, 2016, in an effort to encourage political dialogue.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in Burundi for a visit aimed at calming a political crisis that has embroiled the country for almost a year.

Ban arrived in the capital Bujumbura, Monday, ahead of scheduled meeting with the country's politicians and civil society groups.

His visit comes a month after a U.N. Security Council delegation traveled to the country to press for negotiations among President Pierre Nkurunziza and his opponents.

Ahead of the visit, four people were killed in two separate grenade attacks in the capital over the past 24-hours.

Burundi has been mired in a sometimes violent political crisis since April of last year, when Nkurunziza sought and won what is widely seen as an unconstitutional third term.

Observers fear the violence — which has killed more than 400 people and caused 230,000 more to flee the country — could tip into another civil war or worse, in the ethnically mixed Hutu-Tutsi nation.