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Burundi releases political prisoners in reconciliation effort

[JURIST] Burundi's Justice Minister Clotilde Niragira said Tuesday that 673 political prisoners held for alleged crimes related to Burundi's 12-year civil war [Global Security backgrounder] have been released. Niragira said that those released will face a special commission that will determine whether the prisoners committed abuses and crimes during the civil war in the central African country. More than 8,000 prisoners held for reasons related to the conflict are still being detained throughout Burundi [JURIST news archive], including some 5,000 who were accused of taking part in the large scale killings that erupted after paratroopers from the Tutsi ethnic minority assassinated the democratically elected Hutu president. Last June, Burundi agreed to a UN plan to establish a truth and reconciliation commission [JURIST report] with a special war crimes chamber to investigate the civil war. AP has more.

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