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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September, 2003, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
Burundi peace talks collapse

President Domitien Ndayizeye
President Ndayizeye rejects rebels demands

A summit of several African leaders in Tanzania to resolve the civil war in Burundi has ended without agreement.

Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa said he had failed to get the government and rebels to agree to share power, after nearly 12 hours of talks.

An estimated 300,000 people have been killed in Burundi during a decade of civil war.

Mr Mkapa insisted that the differences were not impossible to resolve.


But BBC reporter Prime Ndikumagenge in Tanzania says the rebels were demanding a number of posts in the Burundian government, including those of the vice president and the speaker of parliament.

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The government says that this would break the regional and ethnic balances that have been defined by the Arusha peace accord which has governed political life in Burundi since 2001.

The secretary general of the main rebel group, the FDD, Hussein Radjabu told AFP news agency: "The government still does not want to give way."

A government spokesman told the BBC the FDD rebels walked out of the talks because they wanted to have greater representation in the new army.

The Burundian transitional government delegation was led by President Domitien Ndayizeye with the main rebel FDD group represented by its leader Pierre Nkurunziza.

They had also failed to reach agreement at face-to-face talks in Uganda last week.

The two leaders met in a Dar es Salaam hotel as part of the long running attempts to persuade them to abide by the ceasefire they signed last December.

Even if the FDD and government can reach agreement, another rebel group, the National Liberation Forces (FNL), are still refusing to hold talks with the transitional government.

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