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News Briefs, part 2

Hutu-Tutsi Strains Raise New Fears Of Violence in Burundi

The Washington Post
BUJUMBURA, Burundi

Strains in a power-sharing agreement between Tutsis and Hutus have led to fears that Burundi is on the brink of following Rwanda, its northern neighbor, into ethnic massacres.

Opposition leader Charles Mukasi, a Tutsi, had threatened to topple the fragile coalition government but backed off Saturday, saying he never intended to use violence to achieve his aims.

For months, his mix of truculence and political cunning has helped destabilize a power-sharing agreement that was laboriously negotiated last September between the majority Hutus, who now govern, and the minority Tutsis, who ruled Burundi for 400 years.

The Tutsis represent an estimated 15 percent of the 6 million citizens of this poor and densely populated country, but they control the military.

"Things are worse here in Burundi than they were in Rwanda in April last year just before the plane crash," said Pierre Buyoya, the former Tutsi president who introduced parliamentary democracy here in 1993. The crash killed both countries' presidents and precipitated the slaughter of as many as a million Rwandan Tutsis and their moderate Hutu allies.

Only five months earlier Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu who became Burundi's president in 1993, was killed in a extremist Tutsi putsch along with his principal lieutenants. International condemnation helped prevent the civilian and military putsch leaders from taking power.

But those assassinations set off mass murder with Hutus helping organize the deaths of thousands of Tutsis before the Tutsi army wreaked its own vengeance on the Hutus.

Clinton Beefs Up Arizona Border Patrol

Los Angeles Times

President Clinton has directed the Border Patrol to rush 62 agents to the agency's overwhelmed forces in Nogales, Ariz., where arrests of illegal immigrants jumped more than 50 percent last year, officials said Monday.

The additional agents are being reassigned from the Canadian border and inland stations in Arizona and California and will report to Nogales Tuesday. (The president's unusual order is in response to an increase in illegal immigration in Arizona attributed to Border Patrol crackdowns in San Diego and El Paso, Texas, and, more recently, to a Mexican economic crisis caused by the devaluation of the peso, according to a statement issued by the White House press office Sunday.

"The administration anticipated increases in illegal entries in Arizona this year and is already training 100 new patrol agents to reinforce the Nogales border," the White House statement said. "But illegal crossings increased so dramatically in January in the wake of the peso devaluation that more agents are needed now."