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In early 1998 ICG took the first steps towards creating a field program centred on the Great Lakes region in Africa and has since published a series of policy reports detailing political, military and socio-economic developments in the region. In July 1999 a new regional office was established in Nairobi, providing a base for a team of five full-time policy analysts.

ICG has closely followed the Burundi peace process since its inception in June 1998, reporting on efforts to stimulate and sustain constructive internal dialogue between Burundi's various factions and regional peace talks in Arusha, Tanzania. A further focus of ICG's work on Burundi has been to provide a running analysis on the impact of international sanctions on the Burundian economy, the country's evolving role in the Congo war, and its reconstruction and development needs.

The peace process in war-ravaged Burundi is at a critical stage. ICG�s new briefing on Nelson Mandela�s negotiations, Unblocking Burundi�s Peace Process (22 June 2000), outlines the way forward on the three currently crucial sticking points of political parties, political prisoners and freedom of the press. The full report from which this briefing is drawn is scheduled for publication at the end of June

ICG�s most recent detailed analysis of the Burundi peace process is available in both English and French language versions:

The Mandela Effect: Prospects for Peace in Burundi (18 April 2000)

L'Effet Mandela: Evaluation et perspectives du processus de paix burundais (18 Avril 2000)

This report offers a candid assessment of the successes and failures of the Arusha-based peace talks for Burundi since June 1998 and examines the impact Nelson Mandela has had on negotiations since his appointment as mediator in December 1999.

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