burundi monitor


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The situation in Burundi remains
fragile amidst deteriorating security where fighting between government and
rebel troops has spread to 16 out of Burundi’s 17 provinces.  These areas
are facing looting, banditry, and armed fighting and hundreds of thousands have
been internally displaced and others have sought refuge in neighboring
countries. Inside Burundi, the civilian population remains at risk with aid
agencies unable to provide assistance to civilians in the conflict zones. Both
rebel and government troops have deliberately attacked civilians, rape has
begun to emerge as a weapon of war, and child soldiers are used by both rebel
and government troops.

 The civil war in Burundi has
claimed over 300,000 lives since it started in 1993. The war was sparked by the
assassination of the nation’s first democratically elected president, Melchior
Ndadaye. It was hoped that a ceasefire signed in December 2002, which brought
together 19 Hutu and Tusti parties would bring the conflict to an end. Fighting
however continues between rebels and government troops.  The rebels
rejected a ceasefire that ushered in a new Hutu-led administration that took
over from President Pierre Buyoya in May this year.


The capital Bujumbura has since the 7th of July, been subject to
mortar attacks by two rebel groups- the CNDD-FDD and the FNL-Rwasa faction. To
date, over 174 people have been killed in the mortar attacks and over 40,000
civilians displaced in the latest fighting in Bujumbura.

Recently, President Domitien Ndayizeye declared the
government’s intention to bolster the army in its efforts to defend Burundians.
This is seen as a response to the lack of implementation of the ceasefire
agreement where three out of four rebel groups currently fighting are
signatories to the agreement. The FNL (a non-signatory to the Arusha accords)
shows no signs of coming to the negotiating table, with statements issued
stating their refusal to negotiate with the current government regardless of
concessions or conditions. 

Burundi has a history of ethnically based massacres.
While the current government has begun to introduce ethnically equitable power
sharing, the situation warrants close monitoring to ensure that there are no
renewed genocidal type massacres.

of Abuse and Danger
  • Rape as a weapon (UN IRIN, HRW)

  • Forcible recruitment of children under 18 years (UN IRIN, Reuters, Coalition
    to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

  • Deliberate targeting of civilians (UN IRIN, Amnesty International)

  • Extra-judicial killings (Amnesty International, Reuters)
Field contacts Verification
  1. International Press/Media

  2. Embassies

  3. International Human Rights NGOs

  4. International Relief NGOs

International Contacts:

UN High Commission
for Refugees (UNHCR)

The Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

World Food Program

Secretary-General’s Office

Food and
Agriculture Organization


US Contacts:

State Department

State emergency
task force

Congress and Senate

Sub-Committee and
caucus-committee for human rights

Sub Committee on

Foreign Ministries:

US Embassy

Embassy of Burundi

Embassy of France

Embassy of Denmark

Embassy of Iceland

Embassy of Norway

Embassy of Sweden

Embassy of Finland

Embassy of European

Embassy of United


International Crisis Group

Int. Committee for Red Cross

Save the Children Fund

International Rescue Committee


Missions to the UN Security Council:

French Embassy

US Embassy

UK Embassy

Rwanda Embassy

Uganda Embassy

Embassy of Chile

Embassy of China

Embassy of Cameroon

Embassy of Bulgaria

Embassy of Angola

Embassy of the
United Kingdom

Embassy of SyrianArab Republic

Embassy of Spain

Embassy of the
Russian Federation

Embassy of Pakistan

Embassy of Guinea

Embassy of Mexico

Embassy of Germany



Washington Post

Washington Times

LA Times

Chicago Tribune




The East African

The Monitor, Uganda


Latest News Links


Rebel Leaders Set
Conditions for Cantonment

June 4, 2003


Halfway Through
Transitional Period, Peace Remains Elusive

May 30, 2003



Burundi Rebels Threaten to Attack African Peacekeepers

May 26, 2003



Transition in Burundi: Time to deliver

April 30, 2003


Fighting Intensifies Amid Power Shift

April 30, 2003



Three killed in Burundi rebel attacks

March 19, 2003


Unwilling Burundi parties not peace
, says Zuma

Feburary 12, 2003


The Devil is in the Details/

February 9, 2003



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