Although the institutions are functioning and the government has been priding itself on its development and security achievements, Burundi is regressing. Due to the 2010 electoral impasse, the Arusha agreement has been replaced by a de facto one-party system characterised by the end of dialogue between the opposition and the ruling party, the government’s authoritarian drift and the resumption of political violence. Respect for the political minorities and rule of law has been largely ignored since 2010. To ensure lasting stability, the political actors should resume dialogue, guarantee pluralism for the 2015 elections and support a consensual transitional justice process. Given that they sponsor peacebuilding efforts, provide a significant amount of aid to Burundi and in the absence of other donors, the current international partners should focus on these issues while discussing with the government.
The dust has not yet settled since the 2010 elections. After boycotting the electoral process, the opposition parties formed a coalition (the Democratic Alliance for Change, ADC-Ikibiri) and several opposition leaders went into exile. A wave of mutual violence by the opposition and the ruling party (the National Council for the Defence of Democracy and the Forces for the Defence of Democracy, CNDD-FDD) ensued. Challenged by armed groups and criticised by civil society, the government has resorted to repression and intimidation.