The off-again-on-again civil war in Burundi that killed more than 200,000 people officially came to an end on Wednesday as the last of its rebel groups formally became a political party. According to the African Union, which has led peace efforts, 3,500 members of the rebel group, the National Liberation Forces, also have started integration into the national police and army. Animosity between Hutu and Tutsi set off the war, which lasted 16 years and became a free-for-all involving warring militias, rival politicians, criminal gangs and child soldiers. Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in 2010.
Imagine: a civil war actually ends. Hallelujah!