Case Study of Burundi: Ad Hoc Expert Group meeting on the economics of civil conflicts in Africa
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)Nkurunziza, Janvier-Désiré;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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Burundi's conflicts are complex. They are combination of economic factors, political, governance and governance opposing groups whose common identities are not clearly defined. The numerous conflicts that have rocked the country since its independence in 1962 were moulded by the political contexts within which they occurred. However, clear pattern of all of them is that they started as Hutu rebels, probably driven by some kinds of frustrations, attacked and massacred innocent and defenceless Tutsi civilians. This has called for brutal army repression, killing thousands of Hutu and sending masses of them in exile. In this light, the paper argued that three elements explain conflicts in Burundi: predation by "closed" government eventually leads to rebellion of those excluded; rebellions target innocent civilians since they are not strong enough to confront the army (except the 1993 conflict). As result, the army moves in and carries out horrendous repression, that sends signals to future rebellions, hence acting as deterrent. Helping Burundians deal with the problem of impunity will be good service to the country and will increase the chances of long-lasting peace.