Lessons from Burundi's Security Sector Reform Process
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV FORT MCNAIR DC AFRICA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Burundi s 12-year civil war cost approximately 300,000 lives, devastated the nation s physical and institutional infrastructure, and tore at the social fabric of this ethnically divided population. Efforts to heal these wounds thus started from a polarized political environment and high levels of distrust. Compounding these challenges, Burundi would have to overcome a long legacy of military domination of politics. The Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, which inaugurated the transition process in 2000, called for significant reform of the security sector, including the integration of rebel factions into the armed forces. A power sharing agreement in 2004 coupled with the decision by the predominantly Hutu rebel group, Front de Liberation Nationale, to transform itself into a political party in 2008, ushered in a period of relative stability and peace in Burundi. The armed forces have subsequently made important strides in becoming ethnically integrated and professional.
- Government and Political Science
- Civil Defense