South Africa confident over Burundi's peace process

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- The South African government is confident that the Burundi peace process remains on track, despite Sunday night's attempted coup in Bujumbura.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said South Africa was opposed to the unconstitutional transfer of power and would continue to give its full support to the peace process.
He was reacting to a statement by Burundi's Defence Minister General Cyrille Ndayirukiye that a group of rebel soldiers had attempted to scuttle the peace process by force.
The abortive coup attempt occurred on the eve of a regional summit convened in Arusha, northern Tanzania, to finalise arrangements for Burundi's transitional leadership during a 36- month period.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who is the mediator in the eight-year long Burundi civil war, joined several African leaders at the conference, which named the incumbent President Maj.
Pierre Buyoya as head of state for the first 18 months.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, who chairs a regional peace initiative for Burundi, announced that the Secretary General of the Front for Democracy in Burundi, Domitien Ndeyizeye, from the majority Hutu ethnic group, will be Deputy President.
Implementation of a peace accord signed last August by the government and the political opposition stumbled due to the failure to reach a cease-fire with Hutu armed groups.
These groups took up arms after Tutsi paratroopers assassinated the country's first democratically elected Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye, in October 1993.

24 july 2001 08:17:00




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