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Breakthrough Reached in Burundi Peace Talks


A breakthrough is reported at peace talks in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, between the government and the nation's last active rebel group.

Following a one-day summit of regional leaders Thursday, President Pierre Nkurunziza and rebel Forces for National Liberation (FNL) leader Agathon Rwasa signed a communiqué.

It indicates the FNL had dropped its demand to be recognized as a political party with the name Palipehutu, meaning party for the liberation of the Hutu people.

The government has maintained that Burundi's constitution forbids parties with ethnic affiliations.

In today's communiqué, the FNL says it understands it can not be recognized by the ethnic name. The agreement also calls for the FNL to take 33 posts in the Burundi government.

The FNL has been the only rebel group from Burundi's civil war that has not signed a peace agreement with the government.

The two sides had initially signed a ceasefire in 2006 but it was never implemented.

The small central African nation has been trying to recover from a civil conflict that began in 1993 and killed more than 300,000 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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