Since independence in 1961, Burundi has experienced successive violent conflicts, in 1965, 1969, 1972, 1988 and 1993 – 2004. These political conflicts with ethnic undertones claimed more than 300,000 lives and displaced over 1 million people. They disrupted the social fabric and trust among Burundians, ruined the economy, and perpetuated a culture of violence and impunity in society. After a period of relative political stability and economic growth, the 2015 political crisis undermined the progress achieved since the signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in 2000 and the elections of 2005 and 2010. The political crisis had a heavy impact on the population, as the socioeconomic situation in Burundi continued to deteriorate.
Until 2014, PBF has supported the return to peace after civil war through strengthening governance and rule of law. Security sector reform was also a key component of the peace process, along with reintegration of militias, support to the judicial system and safeguarding of human rights. PBF support also concentrated on reconciliation and the reintegration of populations affected by the conflict, such as internally displaced persons and repatriated refugees. In response to the issues directly affecting the population, the third 2014-2018 Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP), revised to take into account the 2015 events, focuses on three priority areas that complement each other: political dialogue and social cohesion; positive youth participation in political and social life; democratic exercise of human rights.
PBF Investments in Kyrgyzstan:
Total allocation: $74.9 million invested since 2007
Current portfolio: $22.6 million
Rule of law
Security sector reform
Reconciliation and social cohesion
Partners: UNWOMEN, UNDP, UNFPA,
UNICEF, UNOPS (OSESG),
UNHCR, UNV, FAO, IOM, Great Lakes Cross-Border MPTF, Search for Common Ground, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy
The most notable progress was made in the engagement of youth, who were at the center of clashes between political factions in 2015. National dialogue initiatives as well as the establishment of a network of women mediators were equally successful and a noteworthy example of PBF impact. PBF partners trained 516 women mediators coordinated by 18 focal points at the provincial level. This network extends all the way to the local level, with more than 14,000 members in 2950 networks at the hill level (Noyaux de base Collinaires).
The mediators held 12,000 dialogue sessions, addressing close to 5000 conflicts, with a successful resolution in more than 60% of cases.
Building on the success of this initiative, the PBF has recently approved a cost-extension of USD $600,000 that will add another 100 women mediators to the existing network. To ensure alignment with Security Council and international partners’ decisions, the project also supports dialogue activities around the Action Plan 2017-2021 and the implementation of Resolution 1325 at the local, national, regional (African Union), and sub-regional (East African Community) levels.