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Buyoya attends Senate session

Former Burundian President Pierre Buyoya attended on Monday a session of the transition Senate in his new capacity as senator, the Burundian news agency ABP reported.

Senate President Libere Barunyeretse welcomed Buyoya into the Senate's second ordinary session held in the capital, Bujumbura. Buyoya qualifies for a seat in the legislature as a former head of state.

ABP quoted Buyoya as saying that he was honoured to be a senator as it gave him the opportunity to use his experience to contribute effectively to political debate.

On 30 April, Buyoya, a Tutsi, handed over power to Domitien Ndayizeye, a Hutu, in accordance with the requirements of a three-year transition agreement, brokered under South African mediation, to bring peace and democracy to the civil war-torn Burundi.

Under the agreement, Buyoya led the first 18-month phase and Ndayizeye is scheduled to lead the second phase, after which elections will be held.

Civil war in Burundi began in 1993 following the assassination of the first democratically elected president, Melchior Ndadaye, pitting the mainly Tutsi army against several Hutu rebel groups.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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