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Burundi

CrisisWatch Burundi

Unchanged Situation

Authorities and ruling party’s youth wing continued to repress opposition and relations between Burundi and Rwanda frayed further. Authorities in Mabayi, Cibitoke province in north west near Rwandan border night of 1-2 Dec arrested five members of main opposition party National Congress for Freedom (CNL) for collaborating with Rwandan army in alleged attack on military outposts in Mabayi mid-Nov. Youth wing of ruling party CNDD-FDD Imbonerakure 1-3 Dec assaulted five CNL members in Makamba and Mwaro provinces. Authorities 2-11 Dec arrested eighteen CNL members. Suspected Imbonerakure 12 Dec shot dead CNL member in Nyabiraba, Bujumbura province. Authorities 12-27 Dec arrested at least 26 CNL members including several who denounced irregularities in voter registration. National Intelligence Service (SNR) agents in Cibitoke province 22 Dec abducted two people and later reportedly executed both. At parliamentary meeting of regional bloc International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Bujumbura, Nkurunziza 6 Dec accused Rwanda of mid-Nov attack in Mabayi. At Burundi’s request, ICGLR deployed fact-finding mission to Burundi and Rwanda to verify attack, findings not yet released. Coalition of opposition parties in exile CNARED announced it would take part in May 2020 elections; sixteen opposition politicians who have lived in exile since 2015 poll returned to country 11 Dec. President Nkurunziza 20 Dec reiterated he would not stand for re-election. Govt mid-Dec temporarily blocked access to online video platform YouTube. Public prosecutor 30 Dec asked for fifteen-year sentence for four journalists and their driver arrested in Oct en route to report on clashes between military and rebels.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

20 Aug 2019
[In Burundi] the government is pushing back on international pressure, trying to convince international actors that everything is alright. Meanwhile, its population is suffering in silence. The New Humanitarian

Nelleke van de Walle

Deputy Project Director, Central Africa
7 Nov 2016
Mobile phones and social media maintain a link between many of Burundi’s constituent parts that appear steadily more remote and disconnected: the diaspora and the refugee camps, capital city and rural areas, Burundi and the rest of the world. The Guardian

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa
11 Oct 2016
The only thing that's important now, the only card to play at the moment, is to try and convince the neighbouring countries to put pressure on Burundi [to end the escalating violence]. RFI

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa
23 Sep 2016
Le discours de Bujumbura est un piège qui se referme sur lui. Iwacu

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa
23 Sep 2016
C’est toujours la même rhétorique que le régime utilise comme réponse quand il est mis en cause à Genève, New York ou Addis-Abeba Iwacu

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa
18 Aug 2016
Le régime burundais est en grande difficulté. Et le problème des gouvernements qui arrivent à bout d’arguments, c’est que ça mène à de plus en plus de violence. La Presse

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa

Latest Updates

Op-Ed / Africa

AU Heads of State Summit needs to whip Nkurunziza back into line

African heads of state should press Burundi to open the political space, in particular letting opposition politicians campaign freely and safely and allowing in international observers, in order to prevent a reprise of past violence or worse.

Originally published in The East African

Op-Ed / Africa

AU Must Re-engage in Burundi to Push for Inclusivity as a Way out of Violence

The constitutional changes, if passed, could reset the clock on term limits for President Pierre Nkurunziza — potentially giving him an additional 14 years in power — and paving the way for the dismantling of ethnic balances embedded in the 2000 Arusha Agreement, which brought an end to Burundi’s protracted civil war. 

Originally published in The East African

Also available in Français

Watch List 2018 – First Update

Crisis Group’s first update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on Burundi’s dangerous referendum, militant Buddhists and anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka, the impact of the Venezuelan crisis on the region, and the situation in Yemen. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.

Op-Ed / Africa

The Burundian Army’s Dangerous Over-Reliance on Peacekeeping

Burundi needs international peacekeeping missions to keep its troops paid and happy. Peacekeeping missions need Burundian troops. But for how long?

Originally published in African Arguments

Commentary / Africa

Au cœur de la crise burundaise IV : la rente du maintien de la paix en question

La question du financement du contingent burundais de l’Amisom illustre l’effet de rente des missions de maintien de la paix pour les armées pauvres. Ce financement, à long terme, peut avoir des conséquences politiques et socio-économiques qui dépassent le maintien de la paix et des effets pervers qui se font rapidement sentir en temps de crise.