The defense encompasses (2009) 20,000 men enlisted and is organized into seven battalions and six fighter aircraft. Semi-military security forces amount to 30,000 men. The material is of varying origin. The fighting between the Tutsi and Hutu population groups was settled in 2003. A new constitution in 2005 and an elected government in 2006 are prerequisites for the ongoing coordination of both groups’ combat forces into a national force and it is expected to reduce this strength significantly still further.
Defense costs increased in 1985-2007 from 3.0% to 7.9% of GDP. The African Union has 1,700 men from Somalia and 1,000 men from South Africa (AUSTF) in Burundi. Observers (BINUB) are available from eight countries. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that BDI stands for Burundi.
The political and humanitarian situation deteriorated dramatically throughout 2016. An additional 100,000 fled the country, bringing the number of exiles to 327,000. The AU’s mediation efforts ran out in the sand, despite the organization’s appointment of Tanzania’s former President Benjamin Mkapa as a mediator. The National Commission on Inter-Burundian Dialogue reported that most members had called for constitutional amendments, including the removal of all restrictions on the re-election of the president. Most of the opposition had fled the country (or killed), and the Commission’s report therefore risked serious blows. The AU’s decision in December 2015 to send a protective force to Burundi, but this was later abandoned. Instead, in February 2016, the organization sent a delegation consisting of 5 heads of state. During the visit, it was agreed to increase the number of AU human rights and military experts in the country to 200, but by the end of the year only the regime had allowed only a third of these. In July, the Security Council decided that a police force of 228 officers could be deployed, but this was rejected by Burundi.
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In March 2016, the EU decided to suspend all financial support for Burundi. The decision was upheld again in October. The Union also put 4 Burundi nationals on its sanctions list. The US increased the number of sanctions on its list to 11. The fall in financial aid had catastrophic consequences in the form of drastic budget cuts. At the same time, the situation was further aggravated by natural disasters in the form of floods, landslides and storms. In August, a cholera epidemic broke out and the number of cases of malaria had doubled compared to 2015. The overall consequence was that DKK 3 million. people in October needed humanitarian assistance against 1.1 in February.
In May, the Supreme Court sentenced 21 soldiers and police officers to life imprisonment for their share of the coup in 2015. An increase in penalties according to previous convictions from January.
The security situation was marked by a retaliatory and revenge spiral in which bomb attacks and killings of the regime’s men triggered revenge actions by the regime. Hundreds of people were killed in targeted or arbitrary killings. Analyzes of satellite photos and video footage confirmed stories that in December 2015, security forces had killed dozens or hundreds of people and subsequently buried them in a mass grave on the outskirts of Bujumbura. In February, the capital’s mayor presented a mass grave to the media, claiming it was dug by opposition members, but he flatly rejected the UN’s offer to investigate and document the graves.