The United Nations has been present in Burundi under mandate by the Security Council since 2004, in support of national reconciliation efforts following the Arusha Peace Accords of 2000. In response to violence sparked in 2015 by the ongoing political crisis, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Special Adviser for Conflict Prevention Jamal Benomar to play a good offices role in the country. On 29 July 2016, the Security Council authorized the deployment of a UN police contingent in Burundi to monitor human rights and the security situation.
Already one of the world’s poorest countries, the political crisis and ongoing violence in Burundi have seen the country plummet to the nation with the lowest GDP per inhabitant, according to figures released by the International Monetary Fund in May 2016. Mass migration, widespread insecurity, chronic food shortages, a breakdown of social services, as well as the reduction and suspension of external aid, are expected to result in a further deterioration of the main socioeconomic indicators.
Burundi is emerging from a long and painful ethnic conflict between the majority Hutus and minority Tutsis which, between 1972 and 2000, cost the lives of approximately 300,000 Burundians and left hundreds of thousands displaced. In line with the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Accords of August 2000, a new Constitution was elaborated and adopted by referendum in 2005, establishing the terms by which the two ethnic groups would share power and recognizing fundamental human rights for all Burundians. The Arusha Accords also provided for the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms. more »
The Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) has been engaged in Burundi since early 2007, following the holding of peaceful democratic elections in 2005, the country’s placement on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission in 2006, and the transition from a peacekeeping mission, ONUB, to an integrated mission, BINUB. The current phase of PBF support to Burundi was approved in early 2014 with a view to sustaining UN political accompaniment following the withdrawal of the UN political mission, BNUB and with a specific focus on supporting dialogue and stability in the pre-electoral period, electoral and post-electoral periods. more »