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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 19, 1996


Violence in Burundi

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the continuing violent attacks carried out by Hutu insurgents and by Tutsi radical groups in Burundi. Almost all of the victims of this ongoing violence have been innocent civilians, in many cases women and children. Such cowardly attacks by extremists on both sides serve only to widen Burundi's ethnic divide and risk plunging the country into catastrophe.

We urge all Burundians to reject violence as a means of addressing their country's problems. The United States repeats its warning that it will not support any government that comes to power by force in Burundi. Negotiations, reconciliation and cooperation are the only path forward. We urge all parties to turn away from extremism and work together for a better future for all Burundians.

The United States places great importance on the talks convening this weekend in Tanzania, organized by former President Julius Nyerere. All parties to the talks should commit themselves to peace, understanding that the fate of Burundi depends upon the successful reconciliation, that can begin through this process.

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