The battle for Burundi: Is there a viable solution?

Pierre Nkurunziza's third-term bid triggered the most recent violent crisis in Burundi, but it is not the only factor behind the seething discontent.

President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for an unconstitutional third term triggered the most recent violent crisis in Burundi. But it is not the only factor behind the seething discontent and endemic fighting in this Great Lakes country. A history of government intransigence, a lack of will on the part of both government and the opposition to negotiate, a severely repressive regime and the apparent inability of international and regional agencies to intervene successfully all add up to an intractable situation.

About the authors

Yolande Bouka is a research associate for the ISS Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, specialising in the Great lakes Region. She is a scholar in comparative politics and brings expertise on comparative foreign policy and regional dimensions of conflicts. She completed her PhD at the School of International Service at the American University in Washington, DC, specialising in comparative and regional studies, and international peace and conflict resolution. In 2010, she was awarded a Dissertation Fellowship from the American Association of University Women and is a lecturer for the American University Study Abroad programme in Nairobi, Kenya.

Stephanie Wolters is the head of the ISS’ Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division. She has over 20 years of experience as a journalist, researcher and political analyst in Africa, and the Great lakes in particular. She specialises in political and economic research in Africa, focusing on conflict zones, post- conflict reconstruction, governance and electoral processes in conflict zones. Stephanie has extensive expertise on the Democratic Republic of Congo, and non-state armed groups in Eastern DRC and the region.

Development partners
This report has been made possible with funding from Humanity United and the government of The Netherlands. The ISS is also grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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