Burundi: Missed opportunities for South African post-conflict development and peacebuilding?


This policy brief analyses South Africa’s post-conflict development and peacebuilding engagements in Burundi and identifies lessons that could inform the policy and programming development of the envisaged South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA).

Burundi is often heralded as a success for South African intervention in African conflict situations and might be expected to provide valuable insights for South Africa’s future engagement.

South Africa, however, has maintained only a limited presence inthe country since the withdrawal of its troops in 2009. Burundi’s peace remains fragile as it is one of the poorest states on the continent.

It is therefore still in dire need of post-conflict development and peacebuilding. South Africa, the policy brief contends, has missed opportunities to follow up on its earlier involvement and consolidate the gains made through peacemaking and peacekeeping.

This marginal post-conflict presence has diminished its overall impact. Its Burundian engagement clearly illustrates the need for a longer-term post-conflict development and peacebuilding vision and strategy.

About the authors

Cheryl Hendricks is a professor in the Politics Department at the University of Johannesburg. She is also the lead of the ISS project ‘Enhancing South Africa’s Postconflict Development and Peacebuilding Engagement in Africa’.

Amanda Lucey is a researcher in the Conflict Management and Peacebuilding division at ISS Pretoria. The authors would like to thank Ms N Masiko and Mr T Tjemolane, two interns at the ISS, for compiling the background material for this policy brief.

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