Burundi. According to
countryaah, political turmoil and tensions in the country
continued in the wake of President Pierre Nkurunziza's
contentious 2015 decision to be reelected for a third term.
The unrest since April 2015 has, according to the UN,
demanded at least 500 dead and over 300,000 people had moved
to neighboring countries by the end of 2016. Other data
talked about over 1,000 dead.
According to independent UN experts and human rights
groups, security forces, militia groups and members of the
ruling party are suspected of CNDD-FND youth associations
for murder as well as torture, group rape and disappearance.
In April, the Chief Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court (ICC) announced that a preliminary
investigation into these suspected crimes has been
The government was very critical and announced in October
that the country would leave the ICC. Similarly, three UN
reporters who published a report on abuse in September and
pointed out several suspects for crimes against humanity
would not be admitted into the country.
Parliament's two chambers approved the proposal to leave
the ICC by a large majority. On 27 October, the UN was
notified of the decision. The formal exit process takes one
Burundi's Foreign Minister dismissed the criticism in a
speech before the UN General Assembly in September. The
country would also stop cooperating with the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) who decided to
review the violence.
Single shots and grenades continued. Some affected
people's collections, such as a market in February when two
people died and some 50 were injured. In July, female top
politician Hafsa Mossi, former minister and government
spokesman, was shot to death outside her residence in the
capital Bujumbura. It was unknown who was behind it.
The African Union (AU), which at the end of 2015
discussed sending a peacekeeping force of 5,000 soldiers,
could also not agree. In February, it was decided instead to
deploy 200 AU observers, half of them military. In
September, only about 50 had been admitted.
Burundi opposed a decision by the UN Security Council in
July to send just over 200 police officers to monitor human
rights. In November, talks were about breaking the deadlock.
UN chief Ban Ki Moon, who visited the country in
February, was one of many who tried to persuade the
government to start talks with the opposition without
In March, the East African Community (EAC) regional
cooperation organization appointed neighboring country
Tanzania's former president Benjamin Mkapa to mediate. The
Burundi government refused to meet the opposition coalition
CNARED, which Mkapa promised to take part. Burundi also
asked Mkapa to work for extradition of opposition
politicians in exile.
Burundi's relations with Rwanda remained strained after
allegations that Kigali provided support to armed opposition
Pressure against the opposition continued, as did
journalists and independent human rights groups. Several
militants were convicted in January for participating in the
failed coup attempt in 2015. Former Defense Minister Cyrille
Ndayirukiye and three other generals, for example, were
One of the few leading opposition politicians who
continued to operate in the country, Gervais Niyongabo of
the Fedes-Sangira party, was arrested in September on
charges of conspiring with an armed group.
The economy is estimated to have shrunk as a result of
the political crisis and the government is investing more in
the security forces. It hampers poverty reduction and
investment in infrastructure, healthcare and education. The
EU withdrew its budget support in February. The Capital City
Council introduced parking fees for cyclists, motorcyclists
and motorists to withdraw money.
The political crisis, combined with floods and droughts,
was also feared to cause food shortages for just over 2.7
million people in 2017, according to the UN Food Program
(WFP). In August, the government banned the export of fish,
beans and cassava, for example.