Burundi: Another rebel leader signs memorandum on ceasefire implementation

News and Press Release
Originally published
NAIROBI, 28 January (IRIN) - Burundian President Pierre Buyoya and the leader of a wing of the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Force pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD, Pierre Nkurunziza, signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday, paving the way for the implementation of a ceasefire accord they reached in Arusha, Tanzania, on 2 December 2002.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reported on Tuesday that the memorandum, signed in the South African administrative capital, Pretoria, was reached after "a marathon meeting", which was supposed to have ended on Sunday.

The Office of South African President said the parties agreed to the "urgent establishment" of the Joint Ceasefire Commission; provide information to the facilitator of the Burundi ceasefire talks, South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, that will facilitate the conclusion of the "Forces Technical Agreement"; and the immediate deployment of the African Union Military Observer Mission. Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa have agreed to provide troops for this mission.

The parties also agreed that their technical commissions would meet in Dar es Salaam from 30 January "to work on the finer implementation details and report back to the principals and the facilitator by 8 February 2003 in Pretoria", the Presidency said.

They parties also discussed the problem of food supplied to CNDD-FDD fighters and agreed that the two food supply points to the combatants would be in the provinces of Bubanza in the northwest and Ruyigi in the east.

Zuma said Monday's agreement was "a crucial step" towards the full implementation of ceasefire agreement. That process has been threatened by continued fighting despite ceasefire deals signed between Burundi's transitional government and all but one of the rebel factions.

Zuma facilitated a similar memorandum in December 2002 with the other Burundi faction leaders, Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye of the Parti de liberation du peuple hutu-Forces nationales de liberation, and Alain Mugabarabona of the CNDD-FDD.


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