- Burundi's army has announced the arrest of more than 100 members of the Forces for National Liberation (FNL), a group of Hutu rebels engaged in an ongoing conflict with the Burundian government.
FNL, which this week gathered some 3,500 combatants at three different sites as a first phase before demobilisation and disarmament, saw their base raided some 40 kilometres south of the capital, Bujumbura, leading to the arrest of more than 100 young fighters.
The insurgents were arrested for breaking a truce to put arms down and recruiting new young fighters following an announcement of a ceasefire agreement with the Burundi government in May this year, which was regarded as a bold step leading towards final peace and stability in troubled Burundi.
The May signing was the result of 10 days of talks between the two sides in the capital Bujumbura. The agreement was expected to boost Burundi's efforts to implement the 2006 Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement, which had collapsed after the government refused rebel demands for power-sharing.
Army spokesman colonel Adoplhe Manirakiza said FNL has been recruiting scores of young combatants, adding that such recruitment was a breach of the ceasefire agreement and would also frustrate peace efforts in the country.
FNL denied accusation that the arrests were a government response to the alleged recruitment of new fighters, saying those arrested were members of the rebel group who were moving to assembly and disarmament areas established with international help.
Rebel spokesman Pasteur Habimana thus called for "the immediate release" of the detainees.
Last month, Burundians in Bujumbura and its outskirts were engulfed in yet another bloody fight between government troops and FNL, resulting in the killing of more than 100 people and displacement of some 40,000 others.
Burundi is still recovering from a civil war between different armed groups of the Hutu majority and the dominant Tutsi minority, a conflict which began in 1993 and claimed more than 300,000 victims.
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