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Zuma Dismisses Burundi Rebel War Talk

Deputy president Jacob Zuma has dismissed threats by rebels in Burundi to attack South African peacekeeping soldiers, blaming “self-serving leaders” for the ongoing conflict in the tiny central African country. Zuma, along with regional negotiator, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and African Union ambassador Mamadou Bah, are trying to implement a shaky peace deal in Burundi. South African troops constitute more than half of a 3 200-strong African Union force charged under the ceasefire agreement to disarm and guard rebels in cantonment areas throughout the country. The largest rebel group, the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD), recently threatened to act against SA soldiers who form an advance party which has arrived in the country to establish cantonment camps. Zuma said the FDD had previously threatened SA troops when they arrived at the end of 2001 to act as VIP protectors, but nothing had come of it. “So there is nothing serious in this one,” said Zuma at a press briefing on Friday. “In war people make war utterances.” Full Story

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