Burundi: Peace Sacrificed?

Crisis Group Briefing | Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser

Crisis Group

Protesters run after police fired tear gas during a protest against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza and his bid for a third term in Bujumbura, Burundi, 19 May 2015. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic


Burundi: Peace Sacrificed?

Nairobi/Brussels: Despite the failed coup attempt on 13 May, popular mobilisation against outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term has not abated, and confrontation between the government and the “Halte au troisième mandat” (Stop the Third Mandate) street movement is intensifying. Over 90,000 Burundians have fled and a cholera outbreak has been declared in the most populous place of refuge in western Tanzania. As international pressure on the president continues to fall on deaf ears and the government reiterates its intent to hold municipal and legislative polls on 5 June, and the presidential election on 26 June, all elements of an open conflict have fallen into place. Delayed elections are not sufficient to avoid a rapid escalation of violence, a political and security climate conducive to free and peaceful elections must be restored. The East African Community (EAC) summit on 31 May in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is the perfect opportunity to reflect on, and react to, this reality.

Continue reading....

The regime in Burundi is becoming rapidly more authoritarian as President Pierre Nkurunziza continues to push for a third mandate. Rhetoric and frictions that led to war and massacres in the past are returning. Only a few weeks may remain to try to make sure that the last ten years of peace do not become a mere interlude between two wars.
Thierry Vircoulon, Central Africa Project Director

Thierry Vircoulon
Comfort Ero

Heads of state attending Sunday’s East African Summit should demand that the risky June elections be immediately postponed. No elections should be held until the government has freed imprisoned protesters, restored the freedoms of speech and information, conceded the right of the opposition to convene, and made sure that a human rights observation mission by the African Union is in place.
Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director @EroComfort

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

The international community, and particularly Burundi’s major donors, must step up efforts to tackle this crisis. They should follow Belgium’s example and direct their development aid toward civil society. The EU should withdraw budgetary support to the current government and reallocate part of this budget to humanitarian aid for Burundian refugees.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President & CEO @JGuehenno








Nadja Nolting (Brussels): +32 (0) 2 536 00 71

Michael Zumot (Brussels): +32 (0) 2 290 57 62

Contact Crisis Group’s Media Unit: