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DATE=1/20/2000 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT TITLE=MANDELA / BURUNDI NUMBER=5-45276 BYLINE=SCOTT STEARNS DATELINE=NAIROBI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Nelson Mandela focused international attention on Burundi with a speech at the United Nations Wednesday. The former South African President is the new mediator in efforts to end ethnic violence in the Central African country. As V-O-A's Scott Stearns reports, Mr. Mandela believes those talks must now include all armed groups. TEXT: When regional leaders asked him to take over the Burundi talks, Mr. Mandela says they told him the only way to end ethnic violence would be by bringing fighters to the same table with politicians. /// FIRST MANDELA ACT /// There is one thing which heads of state in this region have emphasized: that this process must be all inclusive. It must include the 18 political parties that are negotiating and the armed groups on the ground. /// END ACT /// Ethnic majority Hutu rebels are fighting a military government led by the minority Tutsi. Mr. Mandela says without the rebels, there is nothing these talks can do to bring peace. /// SECOND MANDELA ACT /// Although the 18 political parties may agree, there is no guarantee that the armed groups on the ground will obey what the 18 political parties decide. /// END ACT /// Burundi's military government is already talking with rebels on the side. Ambroise Niyonsaba is the government's chief negotiator for the talks in Tanzania. He says Mr. Mandela's decision to invite the rebels is the right way forward. /// FIRST NIYONSABA ACT /// I think the main thing to do is to include all the armed groups. This is the main change to be done. /// END ACT /// Regional diplomats say Mr. Mandela's first step will be convincing rebel groups already in the talks not to block the inclusion of their rivals. The people doing most of the fighting around the capital are a splinter faction of the group known as C-N-D-D. Their inclusion would detract from C-N-D-D representatives at the talks now. Leonce Ndarubagiye is the group's spokesman. He says C-N-D-D reserves its right to approve the addition of any new members to the talks. /// FIRST NDARUBAGIYE ACT /// We would like the rules, the general rules of the negotiation, to be adhered to, and there is no place for any other groups accept if those 18 parties agree. /// END ACT /// Mr. Ndarubagiye says including more groups in the process will only make it more divisive. /// SECOND NDARUBAGIYE ACT /// Probably you would suggest that we continue to split and eventually you will advise that they come 20, 30, 50s. /// END ACT /// /// OPT /// It will not be enough for Mr. Mandela to invite more people to the talks unless they are the right people. In Burundi, it is often hard to know who represents the various rebel groups. Government negotiator Niyonsaba says his efforts with the rebels have made little progress, largely because they speak with so many voices. /// SECOND NIYONSABA ACT /// The progress was not sufficient to say that there has been some progress. The problem is that we were not sure of meeting the right people. This movement has a leadership somehow which is not so clear. So this was a problem. /// END ACT /// /// END OPT /// Mr. Mandela says Burundian leaders must put the past behind them, and find the good will to broaden talks across ethnic lines. That has not been the case so far, and in his first appearance as Burundi's new mediator, Mr. Mandela scolded delegates for their inflexibility. /// THIRD MANDELA ACT /// Are you measuring up to the expectations? Do you have the will, the determination to speak to your opponents amongst yourself and say, "Look, let's remember. We are not Hutu. We are not Tutsi. We are not Twa. We are Burundians. We are human beings. If you scratch my skin and if you scratch your skin, same blood will flow." /// END ACT /// Mr. Mandela says he will reconvene Burundi peace talks next month and wants to see a new sense of urgency in the process. He said the "daily slaughter of men, women, and children" is an indictment of everyone involved, everyone who has failed to stop the violence that has killed more than 200-thousand in the last six years. (Signed) NEB/SS/GE/KL 20-Jan-2000 07:40 AM EDT (20-Jan-2000 1240 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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