Burundi's monitoring team set to move to Bujumbura

Dar es Salaam- Tanzania (PANA) -- Burundi's Implementation and Monitoring Committee, a body set up to steer the country's peace process, will move its seat to Bujumbura by the end of October, it was confirmed here Wednesday.
The committee's chairman, Berhanu Dinka, said everything was going according to plan for the inauguration of the first phase transitional government of Burundi in November.
Since its formation early this year, under the Peace and Reconciliation Accord for Burundi, the IMC has been based in Arusha, Tanzania.
Burundi's strongman, Major Pierre Buyoya was on 23 July endorsed by leaders of the Great Lakes region to head the first 18-month phase of the transitional government.
They also endorsed Domitien Ndayizeye, secretary general of the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) party, as vice- president in the same phase.
Dinka said the IMC has requested the current administration in Bujumbura and the National Assembly to have the groundwork for formation of the transitional government completed early October.
Movement of the IMC to the Burundi capital, however, hinges on having legislation which allows free political activities and guarantees immunity to politicians in exile, and the setting up of an ad hoc committee for political prisoners.
Dinka said his committee would be in Bujumbura two weeks ahead of the installation of Buyoya as president of the first phase transitional government.
He said laws against genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity must also be enacted to warrant dialogue in the transitional process towards a democratic Burundi.
A security protection force, comprising members of the Hutu and the Tutsi ethnic groups, is expected to be formed before November.
Dinka said the IMC has held discussions with the warring factions and the Bujumbura government on all fundamental issues.
He conceded however that more work was to be done on the part of government to meet the deadline for the launch of the transitional phase.
The IMC is due to hold a review meeting early October in Arusha.
So far, the Burundi government has drafted a bill on refugees and displaced persons which awaits approval by the National Assembly.
The government has agreed to issue diplomatic passports and special identity cards to political leaders returning from exile.
Dinka said they will be treated as senior officials but below the president.
Meanwhile, two armed rebel groups, the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) and the National Liberation Forces (FNL), are still opposed to the August 2000 peace accord for Burundi.

22 august 2001 11:27:00

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