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Burundi military announces mass arrests of Hutu separatists

[JURIST] Burundi military officials Wednesday announced the arrests of nearly 100 members of the Forces for National Liberation (FNL) [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], a Hutu separatist group engaged in an ongoing conflict with the Burundian government. The FNL denied accusations [Reuters report] that the arrests were a government response to the alleged recruitment of new fighters. Those arrested were said to be established members of the rebel group who were moving to assembly and disarmament areas established with international help. From South Africa, Bua News has more.

The announcement of the arrests followed FNL leader Agathon Rwasa's Tuesday declaration of a formal end [IRIN report] to the group's struggle with the government. Rwasa returned to Burundi [BBC report] from exile in Tanzania in late May, at the urging of South African mediators. Burundi is still recovering from a 12-year civil war [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] between the Hutu majority and the dominant Tutsi minority, a conflict which began in 1993 and claimed more than 300,000 victims.

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