The tribal conflicts in Burundi have been intense over a long time. In July 1996 the Tusi army launched a coup, in which the Hutu President was dismissed and the former Tusi President Buyoya was put in power. The neighboring countries headed by Tanzania imposed sanctions against Burundi promptly. A number of Hutu parties organized anti-government armed forces and harassed the Buyoya regime constantly from the bases in Tanzania and Congo(Kinshasa). The Buyoya Government made its efforts in promoting national reconciliation and started the peace process. From June 1998 the Burunidan Government held 4 rounds of peace talks at Arusha in Tanzania with 16 parties in and out of the country, and some progress was achieved. In January 1999 some countries involved held a summit at Arusha and decided to suspend the sanctions against Burundi. For the present, the various parties in Burundi still have major differences over some substantive problems, such as future power distribution. In June 1999 the Burundian Government put forward a 10-year, 2-phase transition plan, for which different political groups still differ a lot. Anti-government forces continue to attack Burundi from time to time.
The Chinese Government's Position on the Situation of Burundi
The Chinese Government has always followed closely the development of the Burundian situation. We are happy about the positive developments in the Burundian peace process and welcome the African countries' decision to suspend the economic sanctions against Burundi. We hope that the parties in Burundi will iron out their differences and achieve substantive progress in peace negotiations at early time, so that the peace process can be carried on, the national reconciliation can be enhanced and the country can enjoy long-term peace and stability. Meanwhile we also hope that other countries involved, taking into full consideration of the positive efforts by the Burundian Government in promoting national reconciliation and proceeding from the overall interests of safeguarding African unity and good-neighborly relations among the regional countries, will provide active support and assistance to the Burundian peace process.