|Vol.7, No.38, 18.10.01, p1
Nelson Mandela won a pledge for further EU backing for the peace process in war-torn Burundi after a flying visit to the European Commission. The 83-year-old former South African President, pictured in Brussels on Tuesday, came to seek funding for a multi-ethnic security force in the troubled state.
Commission President Romano Prodi described his meeting with Mandela as "very warm and friendly" and said the EU would continue to support the peace process with humanitarian and development aid. Since 1993, the EU has given 204 million in aid and almost another 150 million to help rebuild Burundi's infrastructure, devastated in the ethnic war which has resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people.
Mandela said it was "imperative" that Hutu leaders who had fled to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo returned to Burundi to achieve "a real breakthrough" before a new government is formed on 1 November.
After thanking Prodi for his support, the man who defeated apartheid was cheered on his way by a small group of onlookers who broke into spontaneous applause. Earlier Mandela met Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who said that his country would provide 5.5 million of the 22 million funding promised by the EU for the planned security force.
Nelson Mandela won a pledge for further EU backing for the peace process in war-torn Burundi after a flying visit to the European Commission on 16 October 2001. The former South African president came to seek funding for a multi-ethnic security force in the troubled state.
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