Burundi's government is ready for peace talks with rebels

Burundi's government is ready for peace talks with the last rebel group after its leader said he was prepared to negotiate an end to civil war that has devastated this small central African nation, the government spokesman said Monday. Information Minister Karenga Ramadhani was speaking a day after Agathon Rwasa, leader of the National Liberation Force, said his group is ready for unconditional negotiations following talks with mediators from the government of neighboring Tanzania.

"No one is happy with the ongoing war," Rwasa said Monday. "My hope is that this will end because everyone is tired of the current situation." "The time has come to understand that the language of violence will not liberate us, but will sink us deeper into trouble," he said by telephone from Tanzania.

The National Liberation Force, or FNL, is the only rebel group to hold out from a series of peace deals that virtually ended a 12-year war that killed 250,000 people, mostly civilians. The group has agreed to a cease-fire, which it has repeatedly violated. Burundi's new government has pledged to enter into talks with the rebels, which will be mediated by Tanzania, reports the AP.


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