Ban urges Bolivians to restraint as violence flares

Ban urges Bolivians to restraint as violence flares New York  - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Bolivian parties on Friday to seek a political settlement to their conflict, which has caused deaths and damage to the country's economic infrastructure.

"The secretary general rejects the use of violence as a means to advance political ends and joins others, including the secretary general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, and Bolivia's Conference of Catholic Bishops, in calling for dialogue, urgently, to seek consensus on the pressing issues affecting the Bolivian people," the UN said in a statement.

It said the UN stands ready to provide any assistance Bolivians may require in engaging in such a dialogue.

Three people died and at least 12 were injured Thursday in clashes between peasants loyal to Bolivian President Evo Morales and supporters of the opposition governor in Pando province.

The long-standing conflict between the leftist president Morales and five eastern, opposition-controlled provinces is a conflict over regional autonomy and Morales' redistribution of oil revenues to help the country's poor. (dpa)