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Ban Ki-moon urges restraint amidst fresh violence in Bangladesh

Publish Date: 01 Nov 2013, 03:26 PM
Last Updated: 01 Nov 2013, 03:26 PM
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Dhaka: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged Bangladesh's major political parties to exercise restraints ahead of parliamentary polls due in January, amid the latest wave of deadly violence that has claimed 18 lives.

Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon

 

Ban was concerned about "the latest wave of deadly violence in Bangladesh ahead of parliamentary elections due by January" as the evolving situation intensified the UN worries, a spokesman of the UN chief said on Thursday.

"He calls on all concerned to respect the rule of law, exercise restraint and to express their views peacefully," the spokesperson said.

The spokesman, however, said Ban was hopeful that the recent steps to initiate dialogue would as he urged all parties to ensure an environment "conducive to credible and peaceful elections".

Ban's comments came as foreign envoys here made visible their strong presence in Bangladesh's political scenario amid uncertainties over the fate of the elections due in January.

Ban earlier called up Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her archrival Khaleda Zia of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) seeking to bridge their gaps over the electoral system while US secretary of state John Kerry followed his footstep writing letters to the two top leaders.

A senior UN official earlier warned that failure of the major parties to reach quickly a consensus could invite military interventions endangering the country's democratic process as he visited Dhaka as Ban's special envoy.

India and the US in recent weeks made efforts to solve the country's standoff. US ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena flew home today to inform the State Department the outcome of his talks with Indian officials in Dhaka and New Delhi.

The US and Indian High Commission in Dhaka, however, remained tightlipped about the meetings, amid media reports that the two sides were not on the "same page" over the issue.

Several foreign envoys of countries like the US, Britain, Japan and China in the past weeks came up with statements expressing their concerns over the situation, condemning the violence and urging parties to resolve their differences through constructive dialogue.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Wednesday hurriedly invited all foreign envoys in Dhaka to explain the government position after bitter exchanges between Hasina and Zia over phone failed to ease the political tensions.

The Prime Minister earlier this month suggested formation of an all-party government for polls oversight remaining within the constitutional framework and asked the opposition to join talks over the proposition.

Opposition sources said BNP-led 18-party alliance were contemplating enforcement of a fresh three-day nationwide shutdown from November 4 or a tougher campaign like "siege Dhaka" blocking the capital's road communication systems with rest of the country.

Awami League led 14-party ruling coalition, on the other hand, is set to stage a mammoth rally in Dhaka on Sunday and asked their activists to mobilize strengths to thwart the opposition "plot" to stall the polls.

(Agencies)

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