Burundi

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Background: Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only one hundred days in office. Since then, some 200,000 Burundians have perished in widespread, often intense ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. Hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced or have become refugees in neighboring countries. Burundi troops, seeking to secure their borders, briefly intervened in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998. A new transitional government, inaugurated on 1 November 2001, signed a power-sharing agreement with the largest rebel faction in December 2003 and set in place a provisional constitution in October 2004. Implementation of the agreement has been problematic, however, as one remaining rebel group refuses to sign on and elections have been repeatedly delayed, clouding prospects for a sustainable peace.



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