Bujumbura (Fides Service) – The Burundian government and main rebel movement Force for Defence of Democracy FDD have reached an agreement. The agreement was signed in Pretoria, South Africa by President Domitien Ndayizeye and FDD leader Pierre Nkurunzuza in the presence of the South African President Thabo Mbeki who mediated the negotiations.
The treaty foresees immediate cessation of hostilities between the army and FDD forces; rebels have been assigned the vice-presidency, four ministries, 40 percent of army officer posts and 35 percent of police officer posts.
“The rebels obtained less than they were asking for a few weeks ago in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where talks failed because the Burundian President objected to the rebels’ excessive requests” local sources in Bujumbura tell Fides. “We hope the agreement will be respected by all in the FDD and the army” LM (Fides Service 8/10/2003 EM lines 19 Words: 185)