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DATE=8/30/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=BURUNDI - REBELS (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-253253 BYLINE=JENNIFER WIENS DATELINE=NAIROBI CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 Bureau. 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 suburbs. 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 military power. 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) NEB/JW/PCF/kl 30-Aug-1999 09:21 AM EDT (30-Aug-1999 1321 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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