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Secretary-General welcomes peace accord in Burundi

8 October United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the signing of an agreement aimed at ending a 10-year civil war in Burundi.

Burundian President Domitien Ndayizeye and Pierre Nkurunziza, the leader of the main rebel group, today signed an agreement worked out last year, after negotiations in Pretoria mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki.

A UN spokesman in New York said, "The Secretary-General welcomes the Pretoria Protocol on political, defence and security power-sharing, signed today by the Transitional Government of Burundi and the Conseil National pour la Défense de la Démocratie/Force pour la Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD/FDD)."

Mr. Annan commended both President Ndayizeye and Mr. Nkurunziza "for their courage and commitment to peace and reconciliation," spokesman Fred Eckhard told a press briefing in New York.

"The Secretary-General is grateful to President Mbeki and other leaders of the region for their sustained efforts that made this agreement possible," he added. "The Secretary-General urges all Burundians to seize this opportunity to bring about peace and reconciliation in Burundi."

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