TITLE=BURUNDI - REBELS (L-ONLY)
INTRO: Burundi's army says a deadly attack late
Saturday by Hutu rebels ended with a heavy casualty
toll among both civilians and rebel fighters.
Jennifer Wiens has details from VOA'S East Africa
TEXT: Eyewitnesses say the rebels came in the night,
shooting civilians and setting houses on fire.
Officials say at least 14 people were killed in
Musaga, located about five kilometers outside the
capital, Bujumbura. Many of the victims were burned
to death in their homes. Several other people were
killed and many houses looted and burned in two nearby
The attack occurred late Saturday and lasted about
four hours until government soldiers drove the rebels
out of the capital. Burundian military officials say
they killed at least 20 rebels. Some civilians said
they also fought back, killing several rebels.
This is the latest attack in Burundi'S ongoing
conflict between ethnic Hutu rebels and the country's
Tutsi-dominated army. Ethnic Hutu form the majority
of Burundi's population, but traditionally, the
minority Tutsi have held most of the political and
Hutu rebels say the government is responsible for the
1993 assassination of the country's first
democratically elected president, a Hutu. His death
touched-off a wave of ethnic violence across Burundi
that has now claimed more than 200-thousand lives.
East African mediators are trying to find an end to
the conflict. Earlier this year they suspended an
economic embargo against Burundi'S military president
Pierre Buyoya, saying they were encouraged by his
efforts to bring rebels into the peace process.
But that process has so far failed to end the fighting
because of splits within the Hutu rebellion. Some of
the rebel groups are angry because they are not
represented in regional talks chaired by former
Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere. Also, Hutu say
President Buyoya needs to do more to share power in
the Burundi government.
With the peace process stalled, Hutu rebels show no
sign of stopping their attacks on government soldiers
or on Tutsi civilians.(SIGNED)
30-Aug-1999 09:21 AM EDT (30-Aug-1999 1321 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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