Burundi is a small landlocked nation located in the African Great Lakes region. With a population of over 11 million people, it is the 32nd most populous country in Africa. Burundi is a presidential republic and its military consists of four branches: the Burundi National Defense Force, Police Force, Intelligence Service, and Gendarmerie. The Burundian armed forces are responsible for defending the country’s borders and sovereignty, as well as providing security to its citizens. In terms of defense spending, Burundi spends approximately $120 million annually on its military, making it one of the lowest defense spending nations per capita in Africa. The country also participates in several regional peacekeeping missions such as those in Congo and South Sudan. Burundi is also a member of the East African Community (EAC) and has close ties with other EAC members such as Kenya and Tanzania through joint military exercises and training opportunities. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Burundi.
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.
The precarious equilibrium reached was however again disturbed, in April 1994, by the deaths of Ntaryamira and the Rwandan President J. Habyarinama in an attack of an obscure origin. While not plunging into the chaos of the civil war and genocide (as it did in Rwanda), an escalation of violence occurred in Burundi that ended up affecting mainly the civilian population and creating a state of mutual segregation of the two communities.
At the rapid militarization of the country contributed, over the entry of Rwandan refugees (more than 200. 000) of Hutu origin who gathered in part in armed movements, the creation of the Forces pour la Défense de la démocratie, a real ‘Hutu army ‘as opposed to the regular army. The continuous armed clashes, mainly concentrated in Bujumbura and in the North-East, led the humanitarian organizations to cease all intervention in May 1994, essentially in order to attract the attention of international public opinion and to induce the government to find a political solution. to put an end to the massacres.