- The Burundian government has released 203 National Liberation Front political prisoners as part of the ceasefire agreement signed between the government and the former rebel group, Ministry of Justice has said late yesterday in a statement.
According to the statement, the government has also registered NLF as a political party after having accepted to change its former name with an ethnic connotation of Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People/National Liberation Front (PALIPEHUTU-FNL). NLF is the 42nd registered political formation in Burundi.
The part implementation of the ceasefire agreement which is almost three years after the signing of the agreement on 7 September 2006 between government and the former rebel group, saw the number of releases reaching a thousand.
Local reports said the last of seven former main rebellion movements of the country have been able to separate the political wing from the military as part of the ceasefire agreement.
The current Burundian constitution does not recognise any political party which claims to represent any ethnic group, region or religion.
The government has accepted to integrate into the different defence and security corps, 3,500 former combatants of the NLF and has to make some positions of responsibilities available for high ranking military rebels.
Burundi, one of the world's poorest nations, is emerging from a 12-year, ethnic-based civil war. Since independence in 1961, it has been plagued by tension between the dominant Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority.
The ethnic violence sparked off in 1994 made Burundi the scene of one of Africa's most difficult conflicts.
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