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Burundi Issues Warrant of Arrest for Ex President Pierre Buyoya

Burundi’s chief prosecutor has issued an international warrant of arrest for former president, Pierre Buyoya, saying he was part of the plot to assassinate ex Hutu leader Melchior Ndadaye.

Buyoya, who is currently serving as African Union’s High Representative to Mali and Sahel, is wanted alongside 19 other ex army and civilian officials over the assassination.

They include Pascal Simbanduku, Alfred Nkurunziza, Bernard Busokoza, Jean Paul Kamana, Charles Mukasi and Mamert Sinarinzi among others.

The prosecutor Sylvester Nyandwi said the suspects were found culpable and urged host governments to “immediately repatriate these individuals” to face the courts of law.

Buyoya, a Tutsi, took power with support of the army in 1987.

He, however, stepped down after Ndadaye was elected president in 1993.

Ndadaye, the first democratically elected president in Burundi, was killed four months later.

This plunged the nation into a war that left 300,000 dead and invaluable property destroyed.

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The Arusha Peace Agreement provided that crimes committed between 1962 (independence) and 2008 be handled by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and a Special International Tribunal.

However, the Burundi government set up its own Tribunal to handle the matter.

It remains unclear who will execute the arrest warrant and the development’s impact on the internal politics in the country.

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