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Last Updated: Friday, 14 April 2006, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Burundi lifts 34-year old curfew
By Robert Walker
BBC News

Pierre Nkurunziza
Former rebel Pierre Nkurunziza came to power last year
Burundi has lifted a midnight to dawn curfew that has been in place for 34 years, saying the country is stable.

A new government was elected last year following a civil war that killed an estimated 300,000 people.

The curfew was used by the government in the 1970s - dominated by a Tutsi minority - to try to maintain control.

But the country soon spiralled into chaos - as Hutu rebel groups took up arms against increasingly brutal repression by the military.

The curfew remained in force for the next three decades - with Burundians prohibited from venturing on to the streets between midnight and dawn.

Now the government says these restrictions are no longer necessary.

Peace has returned to almost all of Burundi - with only one small rebel group still active and the government is trying to negotiate a peace deal with them.

And Burundians themselves are increasingly confident about the future.

Many in the capital have ignored the curfew in recent years - to visit the growing number of bars and nightclubs.

At the heart of this new found stability is a power sharing deal, which guarantees the Tutsi minority a share in government and parliament.

The key challenge now the for newly elected government is to bring into this process the final Hutu rebel group - the National Liberation Forces.


SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Burundi
26 Feb 04 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Burundi
31 Dec 05 |  Country profiles


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