The US$2 billion pledged by donors on 30 October to support Burundi’s development sounds like a ringing endorsement of the central African country’s progress from civil war to peace and democracy. But memories are still fresh of the 1993-2005 conflict that killed more than 200,000 people, and analysts, human rights experts, and civil society and political opposition members - while they agree significant gains have been made - worry about a range of security and governance issues that could d...read more

While tens of thousands of Congolese refugees have fled to Uganda and Rwanda since April, a smaller but significant number of frightened civilians have been fleeing from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and seeking shelter in Burundi. Some 6,000 Congolese - mainly from South Kivu province - have crossed the border since January and sought asylum in Burundi, with 4,334 of them arriving between April and September.

The imminent return of more than 35,000 Burundians from Tanzania poses major logistical challenges to aid agencies and the densely populated country they fled amid civil war almost 20 years ago. The return could degenerate into a 'humanitarian disaster' if they ignore a 31 December deadline to leave willingly and end up being deported en masse. While Burundi has absorbed more than half a million refugees since 2002, never before has it had to contend with such a large number of returnees in s...read more

Offering free education, making it compulsory and supporting it politically has been the winning strategy behind Burundi's successful bid to ensure that virtually all children get a primary school education. In this interview from the Africa Report website, UNICEF's representative in Burundi, Johannes Wedenig, expatiates on government's positive role in this development. There have been some major drawbacks to such an avalanche of new students, Wedenig admits. Not enough of qualified teachers...read more

With a couple of clicks, a photo appeared on the Burundian human rights activist’s computer screen: a hillside; a prone, male body, its severed head lying next to it; another man, naked, sitting, ankles and wrists bound, still alive when the photo was taken but since deceased; the uniformed legs of several other men, allegedly police, standing over the scene; the back of a jeep-type vehicle. 'This is reality,' said Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, chairman of the Association for the Protection of Huma...read more