CHAPTER 4 The African Union Mission in Burundi
The African Union Mission in Burundi
Monograph No 125, August 2006
A Technical Analysis of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration
A Case Study from Burundi
Henri Boshoff and Waldemar Vrey
Establishment of AMIB
AMIB was established with a desired outcome of facilitating "the implementation
of the Ceasefire Agreements" and creating a stable "defence and security situation
in Burundi" that is "well-managed by newly created national defence and
Pursuant to this aim, the main objectives of the deployment of AMIB were to:
supervise the implementation of the ceasefire agreements;
support the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants;
create favourable conditions for the presence of a UN peacekeeping
contribute to political and economic stability in Burundi.
The following dates are pertinent to the stages leading up to the granting of the
mandate of the African Mission in Burundi:
In February 2003: the deployment of AMIB was approved by the Central
Organ of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, at its
7th Ordinary Session, at the level of Heads of State and Government in Addis
Ababa on 3 February 2003.
In April 2003: AMIB`s deployment was mandated by the Central Organ at its
91st Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa,19 for an initial period of one year, subject
to renewal by the Organ, and pending the deployment of the UN
Peacekeeping Force to be mandated by the Security Council.
In May 2003: AMIB`s was give a mandate to conduct operations in Burundi
in accordance with the Agreement Between the African Mission and the
Government of Burundi on the Status of Force of the African Mission in Burundi
(SOFA), which was signed on 26 March 2003. Among other things, the SOFA
guaranteed AMIB`s freedom of movement, which was crucial to the successful
accomplishment of its mandate.
AMIB`s mandate consisted of the following tasks:
to establish and maintain liaison between the parties;
to monitor and verify the implementation of the ceasefire agreements;
to facilitate the activities of the JCC and technical committees for the
establishment and restructuring of the National Defence and Police forces;
to secure identified assembly and disengagement areas;
to provide safe passage for the parties during planned movement to
designated assembly areas;
to assist with and provide technical assistance to the DDR process;
to help with the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including aid to
refugees and IDPs;
to co-ordinate mission activities with those of the UN in Burundi; and
to provide VIP protection for designated leaders returning to Burundi.
Regarding composition and size, AMIB was an integrated mission comprising both
a civilian component and military contingents from South Africa, Ethiopia
and Mozambique, and AU observers. Ambassador Mamadou Bah, the AMIB`s Head
of Mission (HoM) and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU
Commission, was assisted by three deputies, from South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The
Force Commander of AMIB`s military component was Major General Sipho Binda from
South Africa. Altogether, AMIB had a total approved strength of up to some 3,335.
After being guaranteed its mandate on 2 April 2003, AMIB`s deployment progressed
in the following timeline:
9_17 April 2003: arrival of advance elements in Bujumbura.
27 April 2003: Establishment of mission headquarters.
1 May 2003: Transition from SAPSD to AMIB.
18 May 2003: Arrival of 11 advance element personnel from Ethiopia.
25 May 2003: Establishment of the Muyange ex-combatant assembly area
in Bubanza Province.20
26 May 2003: Arrival of 11 advance element personnel from
1 June 2003: Establishment of integrated headquarters.
The deployment of the main bodies of the Ethiopian and Mozambican
contingents, which started on 27 September 2003, was completed by 7 October 2003. Until
this deployment, the AMIB had been predominantly composed of 1,550 South
African troops, in addition to 43 observer members from Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali, Togo