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Burundi: Annan hails agreement with holdout rebels

Burundi: Annan hails agreement with holdout rebel group

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the signing of a preliminary agreement between the Government of Burundi and the last remaining major rebel group in the small Central African country, calling it “an important step towards ending the devastating thirteen-year conflict.”

The Agreement of Principles towards Lasting Peace, Security, and Stability in Burundi resulted from talks which opened late last month between the Government and the Palipehutu-National Liberation Forces (Palipehutu-FNL) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, under South African sponsorship.

“The Secretary-General calls upon the Government of Burundi and PALIPEHUTU-FNL to build on this positive step and to continue working together towards reaching an early comprehensive agreement, within the framework of the national constitution,” Mr. Annan’s spokesperson said in a formal statement.

Through the spokesperson, Mr. Annan also expressed appreciation to the South African Facilitation, members of the Regional Peace Initiative for Burundi, and the African Union for what he called “their crucial contribution” to the accord.

Palipehutu-FNL is the last hold-out from a four-year transition process which concluded last August with the election of President Pierre Nkurunziza after decades of ethnic conflict pitting the Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority.

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