L. M. SADOVSKAYA
Candidate of Historical Sciences
Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences
Burundi Keywords: Tutsi, Hutu, ethnic conflict
The modern history of Burundi, like that of Rwanda, which borders it to the north, has been characterized until recently by sporadic conflicts between the two ethnic groups - Hutu and Tutsi-that inhabit both countries.
HOW THE CONFRONTATION IN BURUNDI BEGAN
According to experts, in particular Russian Africanists1, who have studied in detail the pre-colonial and colonial periods in the development of Burundi, these stages were crucial for understanding the full depth of the problem.
By the time the European colonialists arrived at the end of the 19th century, Burundi had long had a well-developed political structure - the Tutsi monarchy. The internecine wars that began within the state weakened the royal power and thereby facilitated the invasion of the German colonialists into the hinterlands of the state. The final capture took place in 1912.
This was followed by more than forty years of Belgian colonization, when Burundi and Rwanda were part of a single territory - Rwanda-Urundi*. The colonial system of government of the country did not shake the position of Tutsis, despite the fact that then, according to the population census conducted by the Belgians in the 1920s, 2 the quantitative ratio of Tutsis and Hutus was, respectively, 15 to 85 3. However, it should be noted that this ratio has not changed to this day.
Since Burundi's independence in 1962,4 periods of relative internal political stability have alternated with ethnic conflicts. Attempts by the changing Tutsi-led military regimes to ease ethnic tensions have failed to bring the resolution of this acute problem any closer. The largest collisions occurred in 1962, 1965, 1972, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995 - 1996 several hundred thousand people, most of them Hutu, were killed and about a million fled to neighboring countries.
In 1972, the so-called Tutsi monarchists attempted to bring back the deposed King Ntare V. It ended in mass murder. During the suppression of the uprising, the former king himself died. According to one estimate, 80,000 people were killed in armed clashes against Michombero's regime, while another estimated 200,000. 5 Most of the dead were Hutus who sided with King Ntare V. Many of the survivors fled the country. In 1978, up to 120,000 Hutu.6
For the first time in the history of independent development of Burundi, the regime established after the military coup of 1987 finally decided to settle inter-ethnic contradictions. Major Pierre Bouyoya (Tutsi), who succeeded President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (Tutsi), who had ruled since 1976 and then fled the country, brought up the issue of inter-ethnic relations and vigorously set about solving it. This step was prompted by the ethnic clashes that broke out in the north of the country in August 1988.
The carnage continued for a full week. Hundreds of Hutus, dissatisfied with the ruling Tutsi regime, were killed by the latter. Only after the intervention of the army**, which evacuated Tutsis from these areas, was order established. At least 50,000 Hutu peasants were killed, and about 60,000 were forced to flee the country.7 To ease tensions between the warring ethnic groups, Buyoya appointed Andrien Sibomana (Hutu) as the country's Prime Minister in October 1988. It involved the most active political figures, historians, and economists in the settlement process.
In an address to the people in August 1988, Buyoya announced the formation of a National Commission for the Study of National Unity, which was charged with conducting an in-depth study of the historical, social, cultural and other aspects of the national question in Burundi and making constructive recommendations to the Government: how to overcome ethnic contradictions 8.
In May 1989, the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences-
* In Swahili, Burundi is called Urundi.
** Until the early 2000s, about 80% of senior positions in the state apparatus and even more in the officer corps, approximately 99% in the courts, university teaching staff, and the highest levels of the Catholic clergy were held by Tutsis. (Compass, N 20. ITAR-TASS, 15.05.2003, p. 72.)
he expanded the competence of the commission, entrusting it with the development of the Charter of National Unity - in fact, a new version of the constitution, with its subsequent national discussion. This discussion resulted in the holding of a referendum in February 1991 to approve the Charter as a project for organizing society on a better basis.
The adoption of the second Constitution of Burundi (the first in force since 1981) was preceded by a fierce political struggle between opposition parties, the main of which was the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU), representing Hutu interests, and the ruling National Progress Party (UPRONA), in which Tutsis played a predominant role. The struggle was conducted by illegal methods, sometimes not excluding armed attacks. By November-December 1991, there was an increase in Hutu protests against the ruling regime, which escalated into violent clashes between government forces and detachments of the Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People (Palipehutu)*. In total, about 20 thousand people died in Burundi at that time, and more than 50 thousand became refugees. 9 The problem of interethnic relations has once again escalated.
In March 1992, a new Constitution was adopted, and about 90% of the participants in the referendum voted for it. It legalized the multi-party system in Burundi for the first time in the country's history. In addition, a ban was imposed on the formation of parties based on ethnic and religious grounds.10
The democratization process in Burundi, initiated by President P. Buoya, entered a new phase with the adoption of the new Constitution - the preparation of the first free presidential elections, during which candidates were nominated both from parties (by this time the Buoya Government was recognized by 14) and from independent groups. The president also put forward his candidacy for re-election to this post, hoping for a landslide victory.
But the election results were unexpected. For the first time after 27 years of Tutsi rule, FRODEBU leader Melchior Ndadaye won the first presidential election in June 1993. His candidacy was supported by 64.79% of the 11 electoral votes.
In order to ease Tutsi concerns, M. Ndadaye appointed Sylvia Kinigi (Tutsi), a representative of the UPRONA Party, as Prime Minister when he took office. This party was in the minority in Parliament and won 10 of the 23 seats in the Government of National Unity. Moreover, the new head of state allowed former President Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza to return to the country.
THE ARMY IS RUNNING OUT...
But M. Ndadaye's reign lasted only four months. He was killed in an attempt by members of the Burundi Army's Tutsi paratrooper battalion to carry out a coup d'etat. The killing sparked a new wave of inter-ethnic unrest, particularly among Hutu peasants, and sparked a wave of bloody revenge and armed clashes that led to a civil war.
Despite the fact that these victims went unnoticed by the international community, however, they subsequently influenced the internal political processes in neighboring Rwanda.
Entire Hutu villages were razed to the ground in an inter-ethnic clash that turned into a civil war in Burundi in 1993. The military units not only killed civilians themselves, but also allowed the Tutsi civilian militia, armed with machetes, batons and hammers, to carry out "clean-up" actions after their actions, which amounted to killing even Hutu women and children.
In response, the Hutus organized guerrilla groups in the mountains of the northern provinces of the country, led by Leonard Nyangoma, a former interior Minister in the government of M. Ndadaye and a former member of the leadership of the FRODEBU party. It was supported by the Burundian People's Coalition, the People's and Liberal Parties.
The assassination of the first Hutu President elected in 30 years after Burundi's independence completely destroyed Hutu confidence in the army and provoked a spontaneous angry reaction from the peasants, which in turn turned on peaceful Tutsis and led to the death of 100,000 people and the emergence of 700,000 refugees. 12
Established by the United Nations in 2002
* The current name is the National Liberation Forces. The change is related to the ban on the use of ethnonyms by political parties in their names.
The International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi has called the 1993 Tutsi massacre a genocide.13
The massacre followed the same pattern as the Rwandan genocide a few months later. The removal of Ndadaye, who was considered a democrat, and the impunity of the military who carried out the coup, as well as the civilians responsible for the massacre, contributed to the radicalization of extremist groups.
Africa International magazine described the situation in Burundi as follows: "UPRONA extremists justify their rejection of democratic procedures by the likelihood of being completely ousted from power structures, since they may automatically be" demographically " in the minority in elections. UPRONA monopolized power from the first years of independence, and until the 1993 elections, Burundi had a 100% party government, although FRODEBU and other Hutu organizations already existed. The Tutsi elite constantly instilled fear in society of a democratic victory in the FRODEBU elections, claiming that this would be followed by reprisals against all Tutsis indiscriminately. " 14
On 17 September 1994, at the insistence of three opposition parties led by UPRONA (the Burundi African Salvation Alliance, the Union for Democracy and Economic and Social Development, and the People's Salvation Party), a Convention was signed providing for a collegial coalition government for a transitional period until the general elections scheduled for 1998.
FRODEBU's majority Parliament elected a new Hutu president, one of FRODEBU's founders and leaders, Cyprien Ntaryamira. In accordance with the terms of a political compromise, a representative of the previously ruling UPRONA party, A. Kanyenkiko (Tutsi), was appointed Prime Minister.
In early April 1994, Ntaryamira participated in a meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that focused on an attempt to resolve the Hutu-Tutsi armed conflicts in Burundi and neighboring Rwanda. And on April 6, 1994, a plane carrying S. Ntaryamira and the President of Rwanda, J. R. R. Tolkien, was returning from Tanzania. Habyarimana (Hutu), crashed on approach to Kigali airfield; both presidents were killed. The result of this tragedy was the genocide of the Tutsi people in Rwanda and a new sharp aggravation of the inter-ethnic conflict in Burundi.
THE MILITARY REGIME IS POWERFUL, BUT NOT OMNIPOTENT
It was not until September 1994 that the National Assembly of Burundi confirmed a Hutu representative, Sylvester Ntibantunganya, as Acting President. However, he was virtually unable to control the country's armed forces and resist pressure in the government from extremists from his own FRODEBU party.
In fact, the real power was in the hands of the army, which saw its task in protecting the Tutsi minority, which was facing the threat of losing its privileged positions. For the military (most of them Tutsis), the new president was a figure who could not influence the situation: he was allowed to remain in power only until the army decided to remove him-the armed forces tended to obey only the orders of their commanders, and not the president. As a result, the country's political life was increasingly dominated by extremists from both camps.
Since mid - 1995 and throughout 1996, there has been a steady increase in violence that has spread to virtually all provinces, involving Hutu rebel groups and army forces (Tutsis). The violence culminated in mid-1996, when two cases of mass killing of civilians occurred in July. For example, on 3 July 1996, a Hutu rebel attack on a tea factory in Teze, Muramwya province, killed about 100 displaced Tutsi people, and on 20 July, a large number of displaced Tutsi people were killed.-
More than 300 displaced Tutsi people were killed in the Bugendan massacre in Gitega Province15.
Retaliatory military retaliation inevitably threatened to lead to a series of atrocities. It became clear that the authorities were losing control of the situation. All this led in July 1996 to another coup d'etat organized by Major P. Buyoya, who lost the 1993 presidential election initiated by him.
Thus, the country once again found itself in a military regime. The Constitution was suspended, the National Assembly, whose majority of deputies were Hutu representatives, was dissolved, and the activities of political parties were banned.
Later, under pressure from international organizations, Buyoe had to lift the ban on political parties, but he upheld the ban on publishing opposition newspapers and rallies. Buyoya also restored Parliament, where the Hutu-backed Front for Democracy in Burundi had a majority. By the way, out of 81 members of Parliament, 22 were killed in various incidents, and all of them were from FRODEBU. Only in 1998 did the President and the Hutu-dominated Parliament agree on a transitional constitution for the country, and Buyoya was able to officially become President.
Further developments showed that the Buyoi military regime was not able to stop the civil war in Burundi, which lasted from 1993 to 2005. During this period, more than 300,000 people were killed in armed clashes between Tutsi soldiers and Hutu rebels.16
A way out of this situation was found in 2000 thanks to the armistice agreement concluded by parties and organizations representing the two nationalities. This event took place in Arusha (Tanzania). The treaty provided for a transitional period in order to create ethnically balanced State authorities. In November 2001, as stipulated in the Arusha Agreement, a transitional Government was formed on a relatively equal basis: Tutsis (15% of the population) won 40% of the seats, Hutus (over 80% of the population) -60% 17.
Under the terms of the Arusha Agreement, P. Buyoya and D. Ndayizeye (Hutus) were to hold the Presidency in turn until November 2004, but later, due to disagreements over the creation of an ethnic balance in the power structures, D. Ndayizeye's powers were extended.18
In 2001, the National Assembly decided to create a second chamber, the Senate, whose seats were to be divided equally between Hutus and Tutsis. The National Assembly itself was 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi. In the new army and police, the seats were divided equally: 50% Hutu, 50% Tutsi. In administrative institutions, judicial bodies, and the management of national companies, seats are distributed in the ratio of 60: 40 19.
However, an influential part of the Tutsi elite did not agree with this. She felt that the president had made too many concessions. They were particularly confused by the clause in the peace treaty, according to which the representation of Tutsis and Hutus in the army should be equal. The Hutu rebels wanted just the opposite. They were satisfied only with full and unconditional control over the armed forces and the police. Otherwise, they saw the decision as a screen masking the tenacious and inclusive Tutsi rule. Therefore, there was still a lack of trust in the country between the two ethnic groups, who were irresistibly eager to get their hands on power.
THE RECONCILIATION PROCESS HAS BEGUN
Gradually, the policy of careful "balancing" between the two nationalities in Burundi, which has been implemented since 2000, led to the fact that in 2003 the largest Hutu rebel group - Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD)** - signed a peace agreement with the government. In the same year, the final stage of the national reconciliation process began.
On April 30, 2003, Pierre Bouyoya, who had been in power since 1996, handed over the reins to Domitien Ndayizeya. The ceremony was held as part of the peaceful settlement of the conflict between Hutus and Tutsis.
The new head of state's function was to try to defuse tensions and prepare the country for general elections. According to the peace treaty, they were supposed to take place in a year and a half, i.e. in 2005. In preparation for them, a referendum was held in February 2005, which approved the country's Constitution. It has secured an equal representation of-
* The Senate only started functioning in February 2005.
** Another rebel group, the Hutu National Liberation Forces (FNL), refused to engage in dialogue with the authorities at all.
Hutu and Tutsi representation in the army and police, as well as in the upper house of Parliament. In the rest of the government bodies, Hutus were expected to take 60% of the seats, and Tutsis-40%.
The Burundian authorities have abandoned the principle of one - person-one-vote voting. They believed that reintroducing this principle meant continuing the war, and they tried to create a system of alternating Hutu and Tutsi power, removing extremists from both ethnic groups from active roles, which, of course, did not suit the latter, and they continued their armed attacks, destabilizing the situation in the country. This is despite the fact that in May 2005, after talks between D. Ndayizeye and Agathon Rwasa, the leader of one of the major Hutu rebel groups, the National Liberation Forces (Palipehutu - FNL), a ceasefire agreement was signed, which, however, was repeatedly violated.20
Immediately after the adoption of the new Constitution, general elections to the Parliament were held in 2005, which elected a new President of the country. The candidate is 47-year - old Jean-Pierre Nkurunziza, a former Hutu rebel who led the People's Council for Defense of Democracy-Forces for Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party.
Since becoming President, J.-P. Nkurunziza has said that he is open to dialogue with the leadership of the National Liberation Forces (FNL), the most active extremist Hutu rebel group that refused to lay down its arms during the peace process in Burundi. He also said that he is ready to consider options for the participation of representatives of this group in government and law enforcement agencies. However, the rebels rejected the proposal to resume negotiations and declared their intention to intensify the fighting. They put forward a demand to provide them with a certain quota for places in the government and the army. But this demand did not suit the political elite of Burundi, which did not want to share power with the ex-partisans.
Thus, it is noteworthy that unruly national elites have formed in this country, and the situation in the entire Great Lakes region of Africa largely depends on whether they can be reconciled. Hutu rebels are seeping through Burundi into Rwandan territory, destabilizing the situation in neighboring areas.
South Africa has been mediating peace in Burundi for more than a decade. Since 2006. Pretoria is trying to involve the FNL leadership in the negotiation process, which at one time refused to sign the peace agreements in Arusha.
Now the peace process in Burundi needs a new impetus - some FNL fighters, estimated at about 1.5 thousand people, 21 are ready to end their guerrilla life, demobilize and disarm. Others intend to continue the armed struggle and attack supporters of the"peaceful settlement". Therefore, those fighters who are sent to specially created demobilization centers have to be taken under the armed protection of South African peacekeepers who remain in Burundi to maintain order and calm.
A FRAGILE PEACE IS BETTER THAN A TOUGH CONFRONTATION
At present, the Burundian authorities continue to face serious challenges in coping with the devastating consequences of the civil war. The sources of instability in the country are numerous violations of the ceasefire agreements, as well as the problem of Tutsi refugees from neighboring DRC. The situation is compounded by a deep economic crisis, with 70% of the country's population living below the poverty line.22 The World Bank estimates that Burundi, whose economy has been ravaged by civil war, is among the top three poorest countries in the world23.
The European Union, the main donor to Burundi, stated back in 2007 " ... with deep concern, the stagnation in the current institutions of power that ... It leads to a delay in the country's economic and social development. " 24 The Burundian analyst W. Nindorera noted at the same time that "...The executive branch in Burundi no longer has the capacity to govern, as the opposition is able to block government actions. " 25 Hence , the possibility of various "emergency" situations appearing in the country, for which the head of state must have sufficient political will to prevent. J.-P. Nkurunziza definitely has it.
In June 2010, he received support at an extraordinary congress of the CNDD-FDD party. Delegates of the congress noted its role in the development and strengthening of the system of free primary education, free medical care for women in the prenatal period and children under the age of five, in the construction of schools, health centers, roads, etc. 26
Following the 2010 presidential election, J.-P. Nkurunziza won a landslide victory with 91.62% of the vote. 27 The President of Burundi noted the importance of "... for the first time in Burundian history, democratically elected institutions of government served a full term and were re-elected by the free expression of the will of citizens. " 28 He also noted that the composition of the National Assembly would be It is formed on the basis of the multiparty principle.
Since late 2004, a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been operating in Burundi to resolve the ongoing ethnic conflicts, which aims to determine the true cause of the violence. It is planned to create a special chamber that will be responsible for prosecuting those most responsible for the genocide.29
Following the election of P. Nkurunziza as President of the Republic of Burundi, the country is experiencing positive trends in stabilizing the political climate. There is less pressure from the state on
press, television 30. At the same time, the Burundian authorities are forced to maintain certain restrictions on political freedom. Thus, in April 2011, the Parliament of Burundi passed a law establishing new, more stringent rules for the registration of political parties, which by that time already numbered 44,31. Under the new law, a party must have at least 1,700 members when registering, instead of the 102 previously allowed members. The law prohibits the formation of party coalitions, except for the period before the presidential and parliamentary elections.32 The adoption of such a law was influenced by cases of violence that occurred during the last presidential and parliamentary elections, as well as their boycott by the opposition. The authorities are also concerned about the incessant attacks of FNL militants, whose bases are located in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Nevertheless, we can say with a certain degree of optimism that the country is gradually returning to normal life. This is confirmed by the fact that in 2007 Burundi became a full member of the East African Community, which existed from 1967 to 1997 and was re-established in July 2000. In 2009, the armed forces of Burundi participated in a joint military exercise of the countries of this community, held in the Arusha region under the code name "Mount Kilimanjaro-2009". The purpose of these exercises was to practice coordinated actions of military personnel to perform tasks related to peacekeeping, countering extremism and eliminating the consequences of natural disasters in order to strengthen mutual understanding in the process of resolving problems typical of East Africa.33
Recently, the world community has not ignored this small African country with a population of 8.5 million people, which has no valuable minerals, and only coffee is important for export crops. The fact is that the civil war in Burundi has led to a humanitarian catastrophe. In Tanzania alone, hundreds of thousands of refugees were living in camps at the end of the war, and many found shelter in the DRC, especially in its eastern regions, where thousands of Hutu rebels are still based.
With this in mind, donors from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund held a conference in Geneva in November 2012 on development assistance and poverty reduction in Burundi for 2012-2015. Delegates from these international organizations who attended the conference announced $2.6 billion in aid to the country. The representative of the High Commissioner for Refugees of Burundi, Catherine Hook, noted that by the end of 2012, 38,000 refugees should return from Tanzania to their homeland.34
* * *
It is likely that the continuation of peace in Burundi, as well as in the Great Lakes region as a whole, will primarily depend on addressing socio-economic problems and implementing a balanced ethnic policy. Its main goal should be to maintain peace, overcome trends towards ethnic isolation, create a climate of tolerance in the country, and build a civil society. These challenges are equally important for Rwanda, whose national makeup closely resembles that of Burundi.
The methods of managing ethnic and national conflicts in these two countries can also serve as an instructive lesson for other States.
1 See: Karpushina V. Ya. Burundi, Moscow, 1965; Kukushkin P. V., Pelikanov D. V. Crisis in the Great Lakes region: Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire, Moscow, 1997; Sokolova R. B. Evolution of the ethnic conflict in Burundi, Moscow, 1998.
2 Germany's defeat in World War I led to the elimination of the German colonial Empire in Africa. In 1916, Belgian troops occupied the territory of Rwanda-Urundi, which in 1922 was declared a mandatory territory under Belgian administration by the League of Nations. This status remained with it until 1946, when, by a decision of the UN, it received the status of a trust territory under the administration of Belgium. In June 1962, the Belgian trusteeship was abolished, and on July 1, 1962, the independence of two States - Burundi and Rwanda-was declared.
3 Cit. by: Sokolova R. B. Edict. op. P. 5.
4 The State became known as the Kingdom of Burundi. It received the status of a constitutional monarchy headed by King Mwabutsu IV. Following a military coup in November 1966, Burundi was declared a Republic. Colonel Michel Michombero (Tutsi), who led the coup, became president (1966-1976). In 1976, as a result of a military coup, power passed to Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (1976-1987). In 1987, he was overthrown by an officer of the General Staff of the armed forces, Paul Buyoya, who was in power until 1993.
5 http://dic.academic.rU/dic.nsf/enc_geo/l057/%DO% 6 Ibid.
Kukushkin P. V., Polikapov D. V. 9 Decree. soch. P. 49.
11 http://Ronexinfo.wordpress.com.2008/ll/24 les origines-de-la-guerre-en-rdc-dans-la region-du-civu/25.03.2010.
Kukushkin P. V., Pelikanov D. V. 12 Decree. soch. P. 50.
Lemaire and Renee. 13 Burundi: ethnic conflict and genocide. New York, University of Cambridge's Woodrow Wilson Center. 1996. p. 232.
14 Africa International. N 298. October, 1996. P. 20 - 25.
15 See: Sokolova R. B. Decree, op. p. 11.
17 See Jean-MarcBalencie et Arnand de la Grange. Les nouveaux mondes rebelles. Paris, 2005. P. 219 - 220.
19 Cit. by: Pulse of the planet. November 2, 2005, AF-6.
21 At the end of 2006, the UN peacekeeping operation in Burundi, which was launched in 2004, ended its activities. In its place, the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) was established, with an Afro-Union military contingent (mainly South African soldiers). BINYUB's mandate ended on December 31, 2010, but the UN Security Council extended it until February 15, 2013.
23 IMF. Report for Selected countriers and Subjects. October 2009.
24 Pulse of the planet. August 6, 2007, AF-6.
26 Pulse of the planet. April 29, 2010, AF-6.
28 ITAR-TASS, June 29, 2010.
31 Planet Pulse, April 27, 2011, AF-16.
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