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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > October
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 8, 2003


Burundi Peace Accord Signed

2003/1019

The United States Government hails the signing on October 8 of an agreement on political and military integration between the Government of Burundi and the National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Forces for the Defense of Democracy and we welcome the joint declaration announcing an immediate end to hostilities. This agreement was reached after marathon negotiation sessions in Pretoria, South Africa, led by South African President Thabo Mbeki and South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma. This is the most significant development in the Burundi Peace Process since the Arusha Peace Accords were signed in August 2000.

We commend the courage of Burundian President Ndayizeye and rebel group chairman Pierre Nkurunziza in reaching a peaceful resolution to the devastating conflict which has beset Burundi since 1993. We also commend the efforts of the members of the Regional Initiative on Burundi, chaired by President Museveni of Uganda, with critical leadership from Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and South African President Thabo Mbeki. The facilitation of the dialogue between the Government and the rebels by South African Vice President Zuma is likewise commended.

We are confident that both sides will continue with these constructive efforts and resolve the few remaining issues during their next meeting scheduled to take place in Pretoria in two weeks.

We once again call on the rebel forces of the Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People - Forces for National Liberation under the command of Agathon Rwasa to immediately cease fighting and seek a peaceful resolution of their grievances.

Released on October 8, 2003

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