Once hailed as a peacebuilding success story, Burundi has recently experienced escalating political tensions that threaten the stability of country ahead of its 2015 general elections. Frictions between political actors stem partly from the closing of the political space by the government, which prevents the opposition and civil society from operating freely in the country. Moreover, attempts by the ruling party to allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third mandate, in violation of the current constitution, have raised concerns about the democratic future of the country. Additionally, UN reports alleging that the CNDD-FDD has taken steps to arm and train its youth wing, the Imbonerakure, and recent violent incidents attributed the youth chapter, have heightened fears of a relapse of political violence.
About the author:
Yolande Bouka is a researcher at the Nairobi office of the Institute of security studies in the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, and is also a lecturer for American University’s study-abroad programme in Nairobi, Kenya. Bouka’s areas of expertise include in conflict, politics and human rights and she has extensive field research experience in the great lakes region.