Securing Peace in Burundi: Book Chapter by Josiah Marineau

Joshiah Marineau has published a chapter, “Securing Peace in Burundi: External Interventions to End the Civil War, 1993-2006,” in the book, Securing Africa: Local Crises and Foreign Intervention.

Abstract: Despite extensive research into the effects of external intervention on civil wars, relatively little work has been done on why and when external actors choose to intervene in a conflict. This chapter argues that the timing of the external intervention in Burundi was primarily contingent upon the acquiescence of the Burundian military, even if the externalities of the conflict initially drew the attention of neighboring countries. More specifically, Tanzania intervened in the civil war to stem the flow of refugees into the country, while South Africa became involved as part of its geostrategic goal of ending the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Yet the military intervention in Burundi only occurs following the signing of a peace agreement, which called for an external military force to oversee the implementation of the agreement. The chapter thus situates the Burundian civil war within the broader developments in the wars of the Great Lakes region, and analyzes the civil war interventions in four stages: 1993-1996, during which external intervention was marginal; between 1997-2000, in which regional actors and Tanzania step up regional pressure on Burundi; 2000-2004, in which South Africa and the African Union play the dominate role in intervening in the conflict; and finally 2004-2006, during which South Africa, with UN backing, oversaw the conclusion of the civil war.