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Rebel Group Agrees to Join Government

November 03, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Burundi's largest rebel group agreed to join the country's government in three weeks after the two sides resolved issues in their peace agreement, officials said.

Pierre Nkurunziza, leader of the rebel Forces for the Defense of Democracy, told reporters the deal was an important step toward signing a cease-fire in Burundi's 10-year civil war, in which an estimated 300,000 people have been killed.

"We look forward very much to working with our brothers who were our enemies yesterday," he told the South African Press Assn. The two sides had been meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, to finalize a deal to end fighting between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi-dominated army.

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