Mozambique sent another 91 troops to Bujumbura, bringing the African peacekeeping mission in Burundi to full strength. Joining 139 of their countrymen, along with Ethiopians and South Africans already in Burundi, the African Mission in Burundi (AMIB) now musters 3,128 peacekeepers.
The AMIB's mission is to help disarm, demobilize and reintegrate into society all of the rebel troops, as well as monitor the country's transition to democracy. However, little progress has been made. So far, only one demobilization center has been set up at Muyange (30 km northwest of Bujumbura). Designed to hold up to 3,000 combatants, it now houses only 191 former CNDD-FDD and FNL fighters.
Their deployment has had a string of financial and logistical problems. The United States wound up financing the Ethiopian contingent's deployment. Britain, France and the United States paid for the deployment of the Mozambicans. The Mozambican Ministry of Defense announced on 15 October that it would spend at least US $14 million to support their contingent over the next 12 months.
Life for the South African troops hasn't been pleasant. One young corporal stationed at Bujumbura committed suicide on September 30, unable to cope with the scandal of being charged with misconduct and a lack of discipline. Seven other South Africans have died in Burundi under strange circumstances: four soldiers drowned after being lowered into a river by helicopter, a senior officer shot another dead, another drowned after falling into a swimming pool at the base and the first (in 2002) was found bound and hanging in a house. - Adam Geibel