Sunday, November 30, 2003

Burundi: reluctant rebel group in peace talks?

"The government sent a delegation to negotiate with the FNL [National Liberation Forces] to Nairobi, to try to convince them to join the current peace process," a government source who requested anonymity told AFP.

The talks, held in the presence of US ambassador to Burundi, James Yellin, and the UN envoy to Burundi, Berhanu Dinka, came just four days after FNL rebels shelled the presidential mansion in the capital. (link)
Here is a Q&A from the BBC for some BG on the conflict and a good explainer on the difference between the FNL and FDD (the rebel group that has already signed on to the peace agreement)

UPDATE: The FNL delegates have walked out of the talks ...
"It was a waste of time. The international community promised us talks witht the Tutsis and they sent us a government delegation," complained [spokesperson Pasteur] Habimana.

The FNL has long refused to negotiate with the government, insisting the real power in Burundi lay with the Tutsi leadership of the army.

"We are ready to resume negotiations with the Tutsis anytime but we will never negotiate with the Bujumbura government which does not exist," said Habimana.