Burundi still in conflict one year after Arusha accord

Bujumbura- Burundi (PANA) -- Though the peace accord on Burundi became one-year old on Tuesday, the country is still in a quagmire of civil war and political strife.
Despite the great pomp which greeted the signing of the agreement 28 August 2000 in the Tanzanian town of Arusha after more than two years of negotiations among 19 Burundi political parties, it has not succeeded in stopping the civil war in Burundi.
The question of a cease-fire in the war between the two main rebel movements -- the Democracy Defence Forces (DDF) and the National Front for Liberation (NFL) -- and the national army still remains a wishful thinking, observers believe.
The civil war and its concomitant extreme poverty were tantalising civilians , while politicians showed indifference, they said.
Commentators on national radio continued since Monday to condemn this class of blinded politicians whose "only concern is to quickly join the state institutions, ignoring the dramatic social cost of the civil war".
The commentators share the view of external observers like the NGO -- International Crisis Group -- whose recent report indicates the regression of all the population development indicators, thus throwing Burundi more than 20 years backward in less than a decade of insurrection.
The NGO expresses concern about the forced movement of populations inside and outside the country due to the civil war.
About 390,000 Burundians were made refugees in just February alone this year, according UNHCR statistics, which indicate that some 370,000 of them live in neighbouring Tanzania.
Meanwhile, over 380,000 citizens were moved inland into 210 special sites, while more than 120,000 others were forced into displacement, the NGO says.

28 august 2001 22:27:00

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