EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Within the last two months, thanks to the active engagement
of the facilitation team, Burundi's
peace process has exceeded expectations. Momentum has never been so strong
since the civil war began ten years ago. On 3 December 2002, the transitional government led by
President Buyoya signed a landmark ceasefire agreement with the
Conseil national pour la défense de la
démocratie – Forces de défense de la démocratie (CNDD-FDD) of Jean-Pierre
Nkurunziza. This complemented the ceasefire reached two months earlier with two
minor rebel groups (the CNDD-FDD faction led by Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye and
the PALIPEHUTU-FNL faction led by Alain Mugabarabona). On 27 January 2003,
the government and the three
rebel groups signed an additional memorandum of understanding establishing a
Joint Ceasefire Commission and setting a date for the return of Mugarabona and
Ndayikengurukiye to Burundi.
An African Union force with South African, Ethiopian and Mozambican troops is
to be deployed in the next few weeks.
For months the absence of a ceasefire was used by the
international community as an excuse not to resume aid and by the transitional
government to justify not implementing the reforms demanded by the Arusha peace
accords signed in August 2000. Donors have also demanded progress in Arusha
implementation to release aid, while the government has claimed it needs money
to carry out the political reforms. Now that a ceasefire is in place, most
donors argue that they first want to see a complete stop of the violence and
the changeover from President Buyoya to Vice President Ndayizeye go as
scheduled on 1 May 2003 before they open their purses. This prudence, however,
has become counter-productive.
is not yet stable. The transitional government has not implemented the Arusha
reforms; the PALIPEHUTU-FNL of Agathon Rwasa still rejects the talks; a
comprehensive reform of the security sector remains to be agreed upon, and the
disarmament and cantonment process has not yet started. Marginal violence by
Hutu rebels and resistance to change among the Tutsi oligarchy will likely
remain strong even with a comprehensive ceasefire. But ICG believes that now is
the time for donors to play their essential role in building peace. The
delivery of peace dividends will signal their commitment to the process, give
the CNDD-FDD fighters an incentive to accept the disarmament and reintegration
process (DDRRR) and the PALIPEHUTU-FNL an incentive to negotiate. It will also
give donors the necessary leverage to pressure the transitional government on
reforms. Political support for the May presidential changeover and responsible,
well-controlled and coordinated aid can isolate spoilers, help consolidate the
credibility of the transitional government, and fuel positive change.
The Burundian people, economy, and state structures have
suffered heavily from a decade of fighting, a three-year embargo, drought, the
abandonment of much of the population by the state, and a 66 per cent decrease
in international aid. GDP fell by 20 per cent in this period and is third from
the bottom in the 2002 UN human development index; primary school enrolment
dropped in the same period from 70 per cent to 28 per cent, and infant
mortality is back to its 1960 level. The end of the war requires the
reintegration into a traumatised and disorganised society of 70,000
ex-combatants, the cost of which the World Bank estimates at U.S.$90 million,
as well as of 1.2 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
That more national donor cooperation is feasible at this
stage has been demonstrated by the success of substantial community development
and reconstruction programs (schools, health centres, homes, water sources) run
by UNDP, the World Bank, and the EU. The UN and the transitional government are
preparing plans for reconstruction and the reintegration of refugees, and some
early peacebuilding programs are expanding rapidly. The EU funded distribution
of food to the rebels in December 2002 so that they would stop preying on
civilians – a specific example of how the international community can directly
advance the peace process. Reform-minded individuals within the transitional
government need international support to push change forward. Burundians are
desperate for resources and are likely to accept the structural reforms
necessary to receive this assistance if it is tangible and at hand. In return
donors should demand a reduction in military expenditure and an immediate
cessation of speculation on coffee income and monetary exchange.
A donor coordination unit should be established in Burundi
to liaise with the transitional government in developing a joint strategy for
implementing Protocol IV of the Arusha Agreement, which provides a roadmap for
economic aspects of the post-conflict period.
Nelson Mandela said, at the first donors conference in
December 2000, that "It must be possible for the people of Burundi
to materially distinguish between the destructiveness of conflict and the
benefits of peace." It is time to pick up the leadership mantle that Mandela
passed to donors and the UN. As the facilitator
of the new ceasefire accord, Jacob Zuma, said in December 2002, "Regional
efforts had achieved much progress in Burundi,
but a complete peace could not be achieved without the full support of the
A. Priority Actions
1. Provide immediately the resources necessary for:
(a) the deployment of the
African Observer Mission, as requested by the UN Security Council on 30 January 2003;
(b) the work of the
ceasefire implementation commission; and
(c) the sustainability and
expansion of food distributions to rebel groups.
2. Give the Burundi
chapter of the Great Lakes Multi-country Demobilisation and Reintegration
Program (MDRP) the resources needed for the demobilisation and reintegration of
over 70,000 former combatants.
3. Provide resources for reintegrating 1.2 million refugees and
IDPs and increase the capacity of the transitional government, UN, and NGO to
monitor the integration.
4. Monitor military expenditures, speculation on coffee revenue
and on monetary exchange.
5. Establish a taskforce of Burundian and international
economists to outline steps for restructuring and opening the economy, including:
(a) privatisation of state assets;
(b) jobs creation through
micro-credit programs, high-intensity manual labour, and reconstruction
(c) new accountability
structures in the state through fiscal reform; and
(d) support for the role of
private business and entrepreneurs in national reconstruction.
6. Support immediate reconstruction in all areas where security
permits, making critical use of the transitional government’s National
7. Develop a realistic decentralisation plan that integrates
all efforts underway.
8. Harmonise World Bank, EU and UNDP community-based
reconstruction programs to reinforce decentralisation mechanisms and insist on
true community involvement in identifying priorities.
9. Support immediate reconstruction of the education system,
including correction of imbalances in access to primary, secondary and higher
education, and provide support for the education costs of disadvantaged
10. Develop training programs and schools for professionals such
as public servants, teachers, medical staff, and accountants.
11. Support comprehensive reform of the judicial system.
12. Ensure equal ethnic opportunities for local subcontractors
and positions in NGOs and UN agencies.
B. Actions to Create a Framework for Improving Assistance Cooperation with Burundi
13. Develop a donor coordination unit, with a secretariat to:
(a) create a joint strategy
for the transition period based on the objectives of Protocol IV of the Arusha
(b) integrate the existing
donor programs (World Bank, IMF, EU, UN, national) and strategies under this
(c) work with the
government to revise its interim Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan (IPRSP) in
accordance with the overall donor strategy and Protocol IV;
(d) analyse jointly with
the transitional government the capacity of UN agencies, NGOs, and communities
to implement the strategy;
(e) monitor implementation
of the joint strategy and the Arusha Agreement;
(f) act as interlocutor for
the Inter-Ministerial Monitoring Commission for Economic and Social Policy
(CIPES) that the government has created to replace the Reconstruction and
Development Unit outlined in Protocol IV.
(g) develop and monitor
"aid-for-peace bargains" with the transitional government based on specific
objectives of the Arusha Agreement;
(h) institute a regular
conflict impact assessment mechanism as part of the program monitoring system;
(i) keep the transitional
government informed of what money will be available, when, and what it must do
to receive it; and
(j) evaluate the
transitional government's capacity to carry out the National Reconstruction
Program, and the Interim Strategy for Economic Expansion and Poverty Reduction,
presented at the Donor Roundtable 27-28 November 2002 and support their
implementation in all possible areas.
To the Transitional Government:
14. Strengthen the Inter-Ministerial Monitoring Commission for
Economic and Social Policy so that it can be an effective interlocutor for the
donor coordination unit and the UN Reintegration Unit.
15. Develop all plans listed in Protocol IV, including reintegration
of IDPs and economic and political reconstruction during the transitional,
medium and long-term periods.
16. Establish immediately the National Commission for the
Reintegration of Sinistrés (IDPs) and the sub-commission on land, clarify the
terms of the Ministry for Reconstruction, Reintegration and Repatriation's
supervision, entrench good governance and transparency mechanisms in its
operational structures and clarify the division in responsibilities between it
and the Inter-Ministerial Commission for the Monitoring and Economic and Social
17. Develop a reintegration policy to protect the rights of all
Burundians, both refugees and internally displaced, as well as of the
communities that will receive them.
To the Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC) and UN Agencies:
18. Develop a joint UN strategy to support implementation of the
19. Request technical support from donors and other UN agencies
to strengthen the IMC's capacity to fulfil its mandate to "follow up, monitor,
supervise, coordinate and ensure the effective implementation of all the
provisions of the Agreement".
Nairobi/Brussels, 21 February 2003