Involved in a civil war since the assassination in 1993 of Melchior Ndadaye, the first elected president, Burundi is now at a crossroads. Since 1998 the government of Major Pierre Buyoya (who returned to power in July 1996) has been engaged in a negotiation process with FRODEBU, winner of the 1993 elections, as well as with most of the Burundian political groups.
There has been a considerable Burundian refugee population, almost entirely Hutu, in countries neighbouring Burundi, and especially Tanzania, since the 1972 mass slaughter of Hutus when 300,000 are reported to have fled.
After a year of failed attempts by Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Organisation for African Unity (OAU), South Africa and other regional powerbrokers, the six countries involved in Africa’s seven-nation war in the Democratic Republic of Congo signed the Agreement for a Cease-fire in the DRC in Lusaka on 10 July 1999.
What seems to be turning into a continental war first broke out on the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 2 August 1998. So far, it has involved a dozen African countries, either directly as combatants in the fighting, or indirectly as mediators in various peace initiatives.
A continental war has begun in Africa. It reaches almost without interruption from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Whereas some of the conflicts along this path started decades ago, a new phase involving more than a dozen states has now begun.
On 23 January 1999, the countries of the Great Lakes region suspended sanctions against Burundi.
Since the suspension of sanctions against Burundi on 23 January 1999, Burundian diplomacy has been directed towards a single objective: the resumption of international co-operation, which was suspended a few weeks before the coup d’état led by Major Buyoya in 1996.
Five years after the beginning of the genocide, it is now time to review the progress made in administering justice to those implicated in its planning and implementation.
On 2 August 1998, barely 14 months after the end of the war initiated by the anti-Mobutu coalition, the emergence of a new armed movement announced the beginning of a further "war of liberation" in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this time against the regime of Laurent Désiré Kabila.
On 2 August 1998, barely 14 months after the fall of the late Zairian President Mobutu, a new armed movement in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced the beginning of another “war of liberation”, this time against the regime of Laurent Désiré Kabila.