UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is strongly condemning the latest attacks in Burundi and reaffirming "the critical importance" of contingency planning by the African Union and the United Nations if violence escalates.
The council statement issued late Friday did not elaborate on the planning.
But U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power says the Obama administration believes the situation "compels us to look squarely on how the international community can protect civilians from mass violence, including for the possible deployment of a regionally led peace support operation."
Burundi has seen months of violence and protests around President Pierre Nkurunziza's successful bid for a third term.
The Security Council said it is ready "to consider further steps if necessary," including sanctions against those promoting violence. It also urged the parties to immediately resume a dialogue.