In Burundi, one-time combatants who razed forests now raise seedlings

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In 1993, the democratically elected president of Burundi, Melchior Ndadaye was assassinated in a coup. At the time, the country’s democratic institutions were still only three months old. The incident set off long-simmering ethnic tensions, leading to what would become a decade-long civil war. “We ate whatever we found on our path. We knocked down trees here and there for cooking. The forest hid us and fed us during the civil war,” said Ndayuwundi Joseph, a war veteran and now a member of a local reforestation committee in central Burundi. During the war, much of the country’s forests were des…

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