Burundi's defence minister declared the army's neutrality Saturday in the political crisis gripping the central African country, and called for an end to attacks on citizens' rights.
General Pontien Gaciyubwenge made the call only hours after the security minister, General Gabriel Nizigama, announced a major crackdown after a week of protests by opposition and civil society groups.
General Gaciyubwenge called on all sides to "avoid any kind of undignified behaviour which could plunge the country back into the dark past that it has lived through," a reference to the 13-year civil war between the Tutsi-controlled army and Hutu rebels that ended in 2006.
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