The Role of Informal Justice Systems in Fostering the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Situations: The Case of Burundi
"Burundi, a tiny country in Central Africa, is slowly emerging from more than forty years of cyclical violence. The worst episodes, widely recognised as genocide, took place in 1972 with the massacre of tens of thousands of the Hutu ethnic group by the Tutsi-dominated regime, and in 1993 with tens of thousands of Tutsi wiped out by certain Hutu who were motivated by an ideology of extermination. The 1993 episode was followed by civil war between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi-dominated army. In August 2000, after years of negotiation and intensive diplomatic efforts, the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement (APRA) was signed by 19 political parties and the Burundi government. Major Hutu armed rebel groups had not participated in the peace process and did not lay down their arms at that time. An accord was reached with the largest group, CNDD-FDD in November 2003, which led to a comprehensive ceasefire and power-sharing agreement. The FNL remains the only rebel group outside the peace process."