UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his profound concern about the direction in which the transition in Egypt is moving and reiterated his strong condemnation of the upsurge of violence that has led to scores of people killed and hundreds others injured.

In a telephone call with Egyptian Interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, Ban called on the interim authorities to assume full responsibility for the peaceful management of the demonstrations and to ensure the protection of all Egyptians, regardless of party affiliation.

“The Secretary-General renewed his calls for the interim authorities to launch a genuinely inclusive, peaceful political process for going forward,” according to a readout of the conversation provided by a UN spokesperson in New York. “He underlined that with every new death this long-term reconciliation becomes harder,” the readout said.

During the phone conversation,  the secretary-general also appealed to all Egyptian leaders to urge their supporters to show restraint. He urged Egyptians to put the interest of their country above individual, group and political interests in order to start a meaningful reconciliation process.

The UN chief also reiterated his call that deposed president Mohammed Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders to be released by the interim authorities, or to have their cases reviewed in the fullest transparency.

The secretary-general also discussed the situation in Egypt with the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Qatar, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.  In these telephone discussions, Ban shared his deep alarm about the situation in Egypt, and the unacceptable loss of life over the past two days, according to his spokesperson.

Also on Sunday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay added her voice to the widespread condemnation of two days of violence and urged for a second time in a month that “credible, independent and prompt” investigation be launched into the large-scale killings in which the security forces appear to be heavily implicated and the responsible brought to justice.