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Burundi ex-rebel leader Agathon Rwasa to contest poll

Agathon Rwasa, leader of Burundi's last active rebel group, the FNL, arrives at the Bujumbura airport on 30 May
Agathon Rwasa vowed to rule for all Burundians, if elected

Former rebel leader Agathon Rwasa has been chosen by his party as its candidate for Burundi's 2010 presidential election.

Mr Rwasa led his National Liberation Forces (FNL) in disarming in April. It was the last active rebel group.

Some 300,000 people are believed to have died during Burundi's decade-long civil war.

Pierre Nkurunziza, another former rebel leader, became president in 2005 following years of peace talks.

Both President Nkurunziza and Mr Rwasa led mainly Hutu rebel groups fighting against the army which was dominated by the Tutsi minority.

Reuters news agency reports that the party was not allowed to register using the name Palipehutu - party for the liberation of Hutus - as parties based on ethnic affiliations are banned.

After being chosen by FNL officials as their candidate, he promised to govern on behalf of all Burundians, if elected.

"The time of taking power by force is over. Now is the time for dialogue and democracy," Reuters quoted him as saying.



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