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The inter-burundian negotiations

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President Buyoya's book is not only a lively and well-documented personal account; it also constitutes an in depth analysis of Burundi's tragic history and draws lessons that could be applied in other countries facing similar crisis. President Buyoya initiated, negotiated and concluded the peace agreements with the rebellion in August 2000 in Arusha.

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Publié par
Date de parution 01 janvier 2012
Nombre de lectures 51
EAN13 9782296479197
Langue Français

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0005€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.







THE INTER-BURUNDIAN
NEGOTIATIONS
A long walk towards peace






















Études Africaines
Collection dirigée par Denis Pryen et François Manga Akoa


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Entre la force de la palabre et la primauté du droit,2011.















Pierre Buyoya







THE INTER-BURUNDIAN
NEGOTIATIONS
A long walk towards peace


Foreword by Louis Michel





































© L’Harmattan, 2011
5-7, rue de l’Ecole-Polytechnique, 75005 Paris

http://www.librairieharmattan.com
diffusion.harmattan@wanadoo.fr
harmattan1@wanadoo.fr

ISBN : 978-2-296-55603-4
EAN : 9782296556034

DEDICATION

I dedicate this work on the Burundian peace process to my
family,
To my wife, Sophie
To my children, Olivier, Floriane, Clémentine and Linda
he peace process in Burundi has been both sensitive and
dangerous. Personally, I was threatened physically and this diicult
situation emotionally afected my family.
May they ind here the expression of my deepest gratitude for
their lawless support throughout this process, which did not spare
them anxiety and emotions.

FOREWORD

It is always interesting to read the stories of the actors who
shaped history and gave it a moral meaning. Of all the leading
politicians I had the privilege to meet and with whom I was
assigned to discuss and negotiate, Pierre Buyoya is one of the
igures that impressed me most favorably.
He is exceptionally acute intellectually, pragmatic and
welcoming, and always induces an impression of calm
determination. He was discreet and reserved, yet could hardly
hide the painful anxiety he felt for the future of his country, for
his people… for his entire people, without any distinctions.
his elegant person, who held the material and military means
to extend his presidential legacy, instead scrupulously respected
the commitments he took in Arusha in front of Nelson Mandela
and Bill Clinton. I was there. I witnessed those moments when
history vacillates between nightmare and genius.hanks to
the loyalty of Pierre Buyoya and to his propensity to respect his
promises, he always gave peace a chance.
Pierre Buyoya has been a decisive actor in the Burundian
reconciliation process. His role cannot be ignored when
addressing Burundi’s recent political transition and its long peace
process.
And yet, this book is not simply a testimony or memoire of
the recent history of Burundi. Rather, it presents an essential
questioning, so as to move forward on the path of peace and
democracy in Burundi.
he author claims that this book is not historical, and I agree
with him. It is pedagogical, if I may say so. It consists of a personal
take on this fundamental moment of the Burundian history, and
it is open to criticism and dialogue.

7

While Pierre Buyoya returns to Burundi’s history, the actual
transition in Burundi seems to face new evolutions. It is thus all
the more important to have access to this book, for past processes
are necessary to analyze the present and the future.
Burundi can and must continue to be a model of democratic
transition. I dare to believe that Burundi already is a textbook
case and I sincerely hope that events to come will prove me right.
As the author says it himself, the long-term sustainability of peace
nonetheless remains in the hands of Burundians.
In this respect, I would like to highlight a topic that matters a
great deal to me: the importance given by the author to dialogue
and a sincere political commitment to pursue discussion. his is
an essential heritage that must be passed on to new generations.
Dialogue - the openness to a respectful exchange - may well be
the strongest message that came out of the Arusha negotiations.
Indeed, political dialogue, within democratic institutions and
within the living forces of the Burundian nation, is the keystone
for a sustainable peace.
It is important to preserve “Arusha’s spirit”. Even if everything
is not perfect, this spirit, which is perfectly embodied by the
Constitution of the country, is the tangible result of the “lesson of
democracy” symbolized by the Arusha negotiations.
Given my personal implication in the Burundian process as
Belgium’s Minister of Foreign Afairs and later as a European
Commissioner, I would also like to add something on the
implication of the International Community in this process.
he role of the international community has been essential to
thrust the Burundian case into the forefront of the international
agenda. International support was not solely inancial; it was also
political and diplomatic.
he international community continues this work both inside
the country, within the Political Directory of the peace process,
and at the international level, for instance through the United
Nations Peace-building Commission. However, these institutions

8

can only play a supporting role, and can never take the place of
the will of the Burundian people.
As the author mentions in the title, the country has been
through a great deal, and the long walk is not over yet.
his book will nevertheless provide Burundian lectors with
the necessary material to appropriate their own history, as well
as to relect upon a sustainable solution for the future, in order to
overcome the path yet to be covered.
I am therefore convinced that this book will impassion a
wide audience interested in understanding the history of such a
touching and captivating country in the heart of Africa, through
the eyes of one of its protagonists.
I was in Arusha.
I saw a Head of State fully acknowledging his responsibility.
I saw a noble man, driven by the demanding opinion of his
role, writing one of the most diicult pages in the history of his
country and people.
Perspective, insight, abnegation, humility, and sense of duty:
all of these virtues were summoned by Pierre Buyoya so as to give
a chance to the hopes of a beautiful and great people, to whom I
feel closer than ever.
Louis Michel
European Commissioner
to Development and Humanitarian Aid

9

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

his book was written within the Watson Institute for
International Studies (Providence, Rhode-Island, USA). I thus
wish to thank the University of Brown that hosted me while I was
undertaking my research. I speciically think of the Director of
the Watson Institute, homas Biersteker and my assistant, Terra
Dejong. I am grateful to the Burundians who helped me in shaping
up this book: Professors Joseph Ndayisaba, Elias Sentamba,
Melchior Mukuri and the journalist Antoine Kaburahe.
My feelings of gratitude also go to the United States Institute
for Peace (USIP), which allowed me to undertake my research at
Brown University.
Last, I owe a special thought to all the collaborators who
accompanied me along the peace process, those who are still
alive and those who are not here anymore. hey are numerous;
I could not name them all. But it is important to stress that the
peace process has been a collective work.he results obtained
cannot be ascribed to a single person but rather, to many actors
that could be classiied into several teams. I will only name the
leaders of these teams for reasons of convenience.
As I will show later on, the peace process would not have
been possible if the government or more rightly the successive
governments of transition, had not played a proactive role in the
promotion of political dialogue. I would like to ofer my thanks
to my close collaborators, the executives of the transition period:
the Prime Minister Pascal-Firmin Ndimira, the Vice-Presidents
Frédéric Bamvuginyumvira, Mathias Sinamenye, Domitien
Ndayizeye.
Despite the diicult context in my country, the transition
government has always looked forward to collaborating with
the Parliament, which was dominated by the political group

11

FRODEBU. I would like to use these acknowledgements as an
opportunity to thank once again the Presidents of the National
Assembly of the time Léonce Ngendakumana and Jean Minani,
and from 1992, the President of the Senate Libère Bararunyeretse
for the steps we overcame together along the peace process.
In wartime, the peace process cannot progress if a minimum
of security is not insured. In this respect, my collaborators
in the sector of security deserve a special mention: Colonel
Firmin Sinzoyiheba, who died in mission as part of the peace
process, Colonel Alfred Nkurunziza, Generals Majors Cyrille
Ndayirukiye and Vincent Niyungeko, the High-Commanders in
chief of the Army and the Gendarmerie, Colonels Jean Bikomagu,
Pascal Simbanduku and Georges Mukorako,
LieutenantGeneral Germain Niyoyankana, and Brigadier General Salvator
Ndaryiyumvire.
In order for any peace process to succeed, the support of
political forces is necessary. Ater some moments of hesitation
for some, the majority of political parties have subscribed to the
negotiation process. In particular, I beneited from the support
of my party, UPRONA. I am grateful to its leadership, Nicolas
Mayugi, who alas passed away during the battle, Luc Rukingama,
Alphonse Kadege, Jean-Baptiste Manwangari. hrough them, I
thank the whole team which directed this political party.
Finally, the internal and external peace process has been
supervised by a team coordinated by Minister Ambroise
Niyonsaba. he formation of the team has varied, but the most
regular members have been Bernard Barandereka, Térence
Sinunguruza, Eugène Nindorera, Sébastien Ntahuga, Colonels
Léonidas Nijimbere and Bernard Bandonkeye. I am deeply
thankful to Ambroise Niyonsaba and his colleagues. hey
courageously endured many insults and blames that were mostly
aimed at me. heir contribution to the peace process is absolutely
huge. I am grateful to all those inside and outside of Burundi,
who have supported the Burundian peace process. hey are too
numerous to be named here.

12

ABASA

ABEC

ACEAC

AC-Génocide

AMIB

ANAC

ANADDE

ANC

art.

AV-Intwari

AWEPA

BBC

INDEX

13

Burundo-African
Alliance for Salvation

Burundian Association
of CoffeeExporters
Association of
Episcopal Conferences
of CentralAfrica
Action Against
Genocide
African Mission in
Burundi
National Alliance for
Change
National Alliance for
Development and
Democracy
African National
Congress
Article

Alliance ofthe Valiant
Intwari
Association
of European
Parliamentarians with
Africa
British Broadcasting
Corporation

BINUB

BRARUDI

CAFOB

CECAB

CENAP

CNDD

CNDD-FDD

CODIES

dir.
DPAE

éd.
EU
FAO

FAR

14

United Nations
Integrated2fÀce in
Burundi
Burundian Breweries
and soft-drinks
Manufacturer
Collective ofWomen’s
Associations and
NGOS in Burundi
Conference ofCatholic
Bishops ofBurundi

ConÁict and Alert
Prevention Center
National Council
for the Defense of
Democracy
National Council
for the Defense of
Democracy – Forces
for the Defense of
Democracy
Economic and Social
Interests’ Defense
Group
Editor
Provincial Direction
of Agricultureand
Farming
Publisher
European Union
Food and Agriculture
Organization ofthe
United Nations
Rwandan Armed
Forces

FBu
FNL

FPR

FRELIMO

FRODEBU

FROLINA

FTB

G

6

G7

G10

GAPS

15

Burundian Franc
National Liberation
Front
Rwandan Patriotic
Front
Liberation Front of
Mozambique
Front for Democracy
in Burundi
National Liberation
Front
Union ofBurundian
Workers
Group ofthe political
parties ANADDE,
AV-INTWARI,
MSPINKINZO, PIT, PRP,
RADDES
Group ofthe political
parties FRODEBU,
PL, PP, RPB and
the armed groups
CNDD, FROLINA,
PALIPEHUTU
Group ofthe political
parties ABASA,
ANADDE,
AVINTWARI,
MSPINKINZO, PARENA,
PIT, PRP, PSD,
UPRONA
Group ofthe
Associations for Peace
and Relief

GEDEBU

ICG

ICRC

IGAD

INSS

ISCAM

LDGL

MCVS

MEPROBA

MIOB

MIPROBU

MRC

16

Democratic Burundian
Generation
International Crisis
Group
International
Committee ofthe Red
Cross
Intergovernmental
Authority for
Development
National Institute of
Social Security
Advanced Institute for
Senior Military OfÀcers
League for Human
Rights in the Great
Lakes Region
-oint VeriÀcation and
Monitoring Mechanism
for the cease-Àre
Movement of
Burundian Progressive
Students
International
Observation Mission in
Burundi
Protection and
Observation African
Union Mission to
Re-establish Trust in
Burundi
Movement for the
Rehabilitation of
Citizens

MSP

NGO

OAG

OCIBU
ONATEL

UN
ONUB

op.cit
OAU

PAFE
PALIPEHUTU

PAM (WFP)
PARENA

PIT

PL
PP
PRP

PSD

RADDES

DRC

17

Socialist Pan-African
Movement
Non Governmental
Organization
Observatory ofthe
Governmental Action
Burundi’s Coffee Board
OfÀce ofNational
Telecommunications
United Nations
United Nations
Operations in Burundi
Quoted previously
Organization of
African Unity
Border Police
Party for the Liberation
of HutuPeople
World Food Program
Party for National
Redress
Independent Workers’
Party
Liberal Party
Party ofthe People
People’s Reconciliation
Party
Social Democratic
Party
Rally for Democracy,
and Economic and
Social Development
Democratic Republic
of Congo

RFI

RPB

RTLM

SODECO

SOJEDEM

SOSUMO
UBU (Umugambwe w’ Abakozi
b’Abarundi)
UNAMIR

UNEBA

UNESCO

UNITA

UPRONA

WHO

18

Radio France
Internationale
Rally for the People of
Burundi
Radio Télévision Libre
des Mille Collines
Burundi’s Deparching
and Processing
Company
Solidarity Youth
for the Defense of
Minorities Rights
Moso Sugar Company
Burundian Workers’
Party
United Nations
Assistance Mission for
Rwanda
Union ofBurundian
Students
United Nations
Educational,
ScientiÀc and Cultural
Organization
National Union for the
Total Independence of
Angola
Union for National
Progress
World Health
Organization

INTRODUCTION

his publication is an account given by one of the main actors
of the Burundian peace process. I do not pretend to be writing as
a historian. I simply want to share my thoughts with those who
take interest in the complicated process of the long walk towards
peace in Burundi. I have been Burundi’s President for over ten
years. I have witnessed all the diferent steps of the negotiations
process and I feel like I have a duty to deliver my ideas on this
important moment of contemporary Burundi. In this way, I will
have contributed to the knowledge of my country’s recent history.
My account is divided into three parts. he irst part addresses
the socio-political context of the Burundian conlict. Based on
a mistaken reading of the Burundian society, the colonizer
classiied the Burundian people into three categories grounded
on physical and intellectual features that in fact did not match the
actual society at all. he colonial government unfortunately ran
the country based on these prejudices and, for over forty years,
advantaged Tutsi, using them as governing subalterns.
At the end of the ities, when Burundi came closer to
independence, the colonial government completely changed
stance and systematically supported Hutu political parties so as to
facilitate their take-over ater the end of colonization. his attitude
has reinforced ethnic tensions and divisions. he Burundian
elites proceeded towards independence totally divided, and then
themselves built on these divisions and ethnic tensions. Ater
independence, their responsibility for the exclusive emphasis
on ethnicity has constantly increased. hese same oicials
have developed regionalism and clanship, thus reinforcing and
deepening the ethnic divide. Violent events soon appeared:
fratricidal killings took place in 1965, 1969, 1972, 1988, 1991 and
1993. Violence became the structural feature of ethnicity, which

19

eventually became an actual social and political phenomenon, in
a society that was not ethnically divided a few decades before.
he second Republic elaborated solutions in order to solve the
ethnic conlict, via economic development, and so did the third
Republic, through several political reforms. However, the setting
up of the multi-party democracy prevented these solutions to
establish themselves and brought the process back to square one.
he murder of President Melchior Ndadaye and the massacres
that followed plunged Burundi into an indeinable chaos. he
various attempts to restore peace and social harmony have failed.
he situation continued to worsen. In July 1996, steps needed to
1
be taken to save the country from going downhill.
In the second part of this book, I focus on the role played
by the actors of the peace process such as the political parties,
the armed groups, the governmental and the parliamentary
institutions, the national and international civil society. I point out
their positioning, the internal problems each side encountered,
and their individual contributions to move the collective process
forward. he international community has played a critical role
in the process. he contributions of the United Nations, the
European Union, and the African Union have beneited the
interBurundian peace process. he involvement of other countries,
in particular in the Great Lakes Region, in spite of their own
diicult national situations, has also helped Burundians take a
step forward in the search for solutions to their problems.
In the third part of this volume, I identify the successive steps
Burundians took to reach the Arusha negotiations. Burundians
undertook the negotiations as part of the governmental
Convention and followed through this pace in Sant’Egidio,
Mwanza and Arusha, irst under the mediation of Julius Nyerere,

1 In July 1996, the Convention of Government regime had completely failed to
restore security. An ongoing insurrection in the capital city Bujumbura forced
President Ntibantunganya to take refuge in the US Embassy. hese speciic
circumstances led me to seize power. My mission was to restore security and
kick-of the negotiation process.

20

and then of Nelson Mandela. On August 28, 2000, these talks
produced the Arusha Agreement for reconciliation in Burundi.
his agreement was then supplemented by the negotiations with
the armed groups that had not signed the cease ire yet.
he internal peace process has enabled such actions to take
place by preparing the population to accept the negotiations. It
also played an important role in facilitating the handling of the
economic and security environment of the country, which was
not at all viable at the time.
his experience conducted by the Burundians can be used
by other countries facing similar issues or problems of the same
nature. his way, Burundians will have contributed on a larger
scale to the enhancement of knowledge in terms of conlicts
between communities.

21

PART ONE

THE BURUNDIAN CONFLICT

I. THE BURUNDIAN SOCIETY
TRAPPED BY ETHNICISM

If an observer looked too quickly at the tragedy Burundi
has sufered from, for over a decade, he or she would never
know that this same society had once lived in social harmony.
hey would never think that Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups,
confronting each other with a ferocious violence, had in fact
been purely constructed by the colonial administration. Ethnic
groups resulted from a mistaken ideological interpretation on the
one hand, and fromterrible politico-administrative post-colonial
governance on the other. he conlict Burundi is trying to escape
is grounded in the colonial and post-colonial manipulations of
social groups.

A. A homogeneous pre-colonial society
Before Europeans arrived in the Burundian land, all social
2
groups,Batutsi and Batwa, lived in the same hills and Bahutu,
shared the same history. hey spoke the same language (Kirundi),
shared the same religious cult (kubandwa), and adored the same
Supreme BeingImana. Only the Batwa “caste” was, and is still,
despised by the other groups. Hutu and Tutsi were distributed in
over two hundred clans among which several belonged to both
social groups. Hence, the reality is far from “ethnic” in the way
other African countries are; where diferent ethnic groups have
each a distinct territory, language, culture, etc.
Likewise, the Burundian people were together in agriculture
and farming. hese two activities were not in any way reserved
to one group. Land owning was supposed to belong to the King
(mwami) who could expel individuals and constrain them to

2 Iuse the term “social groups” since in this context we cannot talk about ethnic
groups.
25