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South Africa Commits 1,100 Peacekeepers to Burundi


The South African government has approved the deployment of 1,100 soldiers to an African Union special task force in Burundi.

Government spokesman, Themba Maseko told reporters in Capetown Thursday that the deployment is designed to contribute to Burundi's peace and stability, and to ensure that progress towards peace is not reversed.

Burundi is working to rebuild following more than a decade of civil war. Earlier this week, leaders of the country's last active rebel group, the Hutu Forces for National Liberation arrived in the capital, Bujumbura, to begin work with the government on monitoring a ceasefire.

South African mediator, Charles Nqakula helped to negotiate the agreement.

The Hutu rebels and the Burundi government signed the ceasefire back in September. But the rebels had refused to help implement the deal until the government freed some of its fighters from jail.

The civil war killed an estimated 300,000 people in the central African nation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.