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Rebels in Burundi Said To Kill 40

April 5, 1999

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) _ Hutu rebels have killed at least 40 people in three days in southern Burundi, an army spokesman said Monday.

Most of the victims were slashed to death with machetes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Makamba province, 50 miles south of the capital, Bujumbura, said Lt. Col. Mammert Sinarinzi.

He said he suspected the rebels infiltrated the Central African nation from neighboring Tanzania.

The killings were revealed the same day Howard Wolpe, the U.S. special envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region, began a visit to Bujumbura. Wolpe discussed international efforts to end five years of violence with Burundi President Pierre Buyoya, a presidential aide said.

Wolpe was to travel Tuesday to Tanzania, where former President Julius Nyerere has been mediating peace talks among 19 Burundian parties and factions.

Tutsis have traditionally dominated in Burundi, despite that fact that Hutus form the majority of Burundi’s 6.2 million population.

More than 200,000 people have been killed since October 1993 when Tutsi paratroopers killed Melchior Ndadaye, Burundi’s first Hutu president, plunging this nation into a bloodbath.

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