Military Reform: Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi

Protocol II, Chapter I: Article 11: Defence and security forces

1. The post-transition Constitution shall contain in full the principles relating to the defence and security forces and principles of organization of those forces set forth respectively in articles 10 and 11 of Protocol III to the Agreement.

2. An organic law shall determine the organization and functioning of the defence and security forces.

3. The military head of the defence force shall be appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

4.

(a) The defence and security forces shall be subordinate to the civil authority of the State, and shall uphold the Constitution and the law.

(b) The defence and security forces shall be professional and non-partisan, and shall not promote or disadvantage any political party or ethnic group.

(c) The defence and security forces shall be trained at all levels to respect international humanitarian law and the supremacy of the Constitution.

(d) For a period to be determined by the Senate, not more than 50% of the national defence force shall be drawn from any one ethnic group, in view of the need to achieve ethnic balance and to prevent acts of genocide and coups d'état.

(e) No civilian shall be subject to a military code of justice or tried by a military court.

5. Only the President may authorize the employment of the defence and security forces:

(a) In defence of the State;

(b) In the restoration of order and public safety;

(c) In the discharge of international obligations and commitments.

If the defence and security forces are employed in any of the capacities set forth above, the President shall promptly inform the National Assembly and the Senate of the nature, extent and reasons for this employment. If the National Assembly is not in session it shall be convened within seven days for the consideration of such matter, as specified in Protocol III to the Agreement.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 11: Principles of organization of the defence and security forces

1. The defence and security forces shall consist of a national defence force, a national police and an intelligence service, all established in conformity with the Constitution.

2. The defence and security forces shall be subordinate to civilian authority in respect for the Constitution, the law and the regulations.

3. The defence and security forces shall be open to all Burundian citizens without discrimination.

4. The defence and security forces shall promote within their services a non-discriminatory, non-ethnicist and non-sexist culture.

5. Organic laws shall determine the creation, organization, training, conditions of service and functioning of the defence and security forces.

6. Within the limits determined by the Constitution and the laws, only the President may authorize the use of armed military force:

(a) In defence of the State;

(b) In the restoration of order and public safety;

(c) In the discharge of international obligations and commitments.

7. When the national defence force is utilized in one of the cases referred to in paragraph 6 above, the President shall officially consult the authorized competent bodies and shall promptly inform the Legislature, in detail, of:

(a) The reason or reasons for the use of the national defence force;

(b) Any location where that force is deployed;

(c) The period for which that force is deployed.

8. If the Legislature is not in session, the President shall convene it in special session within seven days from the use of the national defence force.

9. The defence and security forces shall respect the rights and dignity of their members in the context of the normal constraints of discipline and training.

10. The members of the defence and security forces shall have the right to be informed of the socio-political life of the country and to receive civic education.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 12: Missions of the defence and security forces

1. Missions of the national defence force

The missions of the national defence force shall be:

(a) To ensure the integrity of the national territory and the sovereignty of the country;

(b) To combat any armed aggression against the institutions of the Republic;

(c) To intervene exceptionally in the maintenance of public order at the formal request of the authorized civilian authority;

(d) To participate in assistance activities in case of natural disasters;

(e) To contribute to the development of the country through major works, production and training;

(f) To defend the vital points.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 13: Structure of the defence and security forces

1. Structure of the national defence force

The transitional Government shall be responsible for deciding upon the structure of the national defence force.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 14: Composition of the defence and security forces

1. Composition of the national defence force

(a) There shall be a single defence force composed of all components of the Burundian nation irrespective of ethnic, regional, gender and/or social status.

(b) The national defence force shall include members of the Burundian armed forces and combatants of the political parties and movements in existence at the time of restructuring of the army, as well as other citizens who wish to enlist.

(c) After the signature of the Agreement, the combatants of the political parties and movements, as well as the existing national defence force, shall be placed under the authority of the transitional Government.

(d) A technical committee consisting of representatives of the Burundian armed forces and combatants of the political parties and movements, as well as of an external military advisory and training group, shall be established by decision of the transitional Government to implement the procedures for the establishment of the national defence force.

(e) Members of the Burundian armed forces found guilty of acts of genocide, coups d'etat, violation of the Constitution and human rights and war crimes shall be excluded from the national defence force. Combatants of the political parties and movements found guilty of the same offences shall also not be accepted into the national defence force.

(f) Recruitment into the national defence force shall be conducted in a transparent manner, individually, voluntarily and on the basis of personal merit, physical fitness, moral and professional qualifications and potential.

(g) For a period to be determined by the Senate, not more than 50% of the national defence force shall be drawn from any one ethnic group, in view of the need to achieve ethnic balance and to prevent acts of genocide and coups d'etat.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 15: Size of the defence and security forces

1. Size of the national defence force

(a) The following criteria shall be used to determine the strength of the national defence force:

i. Potential internal and external threats;

ii. The economic and financial resources of the country;

iii. The budget allocated to the defence and security forces;

iv. The defence policy of the country.

(b) The transitional Government, in consultation with the technical committee, shall determine the size of the national defence force.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 16: Balances within the defence and security forces

1. The following criteria shall be used to determine the imbalances in the defence and security forces:

(a) Political;

(b) Ethnic;

(c) Regional;

(d) Gender.

2. Correction of the imbalances in the defence and security forces shall be approached progressively in the spirit of reconciliation and trust in order to reassure all Burundians.

3. Correction of the imbalances shall be achieved during the transition period through the integration into the current defence and security forces of the combatants of the political parties and movements and through the recruitment of other Burundian citizens.

4. For purposes of rapid reduction of the command-level imbalances, accelerated training of commissioned and non-commissioned officers from among the combatants of the political parties and movements shall be conducted in Burundi and abroad as soon as the transition period commences.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 17: Recruitment

1. Recruitment shall be conducted in accordance with the following criteria:

(a) Transparency;

(b) Voluntary service;

(c) Age;

(d) Personal record and level of training;

(e) Medical tests of physical and intellectual aptitude.

2. Recruitment criteria based on educational level shall be determined by the transitional Government.

3. A national commission shall be assigned responsibility for selecting candidates for all levels of the national defence force and national police, taking care to ensure the necessary ethnic balance.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 18: Training

1. The defence and security forces shall have technical, moral and civic training. This training shall include the culture of peace, aspects of conduct relating to the democratic multi-party political system, human rights and humanitarian law.

2. Decentralization of the centres for training police constables, rank and file troops and noncommissioned officers shall be undertaken.

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 19: Organic laws, regulatory texts and disciplinary system

For the defence and security forces, organic laws, regulatory texts and disciplinary rules in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Agreement shall be adopted

Protocol III, Chapter II,

Article 20: Names of the defence and security forces

1. The name of the defence force shall be decided upon by the transitional Government.

Pretoria Protocol on Political, Defence and Security Power Sharing in Burundi (8 October 2003)

I. The Burundi National Defence Force

1.3 Formation of the Burundi National Defence Force (BNDF)

1.3.1 The integrated General Staff and the Officer Corps, shall be composed of 60% officers selected from the governmental army and 40% officers from the FDD.

1.3.2 The composition of the non commissioned officers and the rank and file shall be determined by the integrated General Staff according to the size of each party and of the agreed balance.

1.3.3 On proposal of the integrated General Staff, the government shall determine;

- The structure of the Burundi National Defence Force

- The size of the army and

- Composition of the officer corps.

1.3.4 The allocation of command posts shall be on the basis of ethnic balance (50-50) as stipulated in the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement.

1.3.5 The President of the Republic of Burundi undertakes to give expression to this arrangement through a Presidential decree.

Pretoria Protocol on Outstanding Political, Defence and Security Power Sharing Issues in Burundi, Part I:

2.0 Burundi National Defence Force (BNDF)

2.1 The Name

The new-armed force shall be called The Burundi National Defence Force (BNDF)

2.2 Roles and Principles:

a. Roles

(1) To defend the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Burundi.

(2) To repulse any armed aggression directed against the institutions of the Republic.

(3) To intervene in exceptional circumstances in the maintenance of public order, on the formal request of the competent civil authority.

(4) To participate in rescue and assistance missions in the event of national disasters.

(5) To contribute towards the development of the country with regard to major production and training activities.

(6) To protect strategic and vital national installations.

(7) To participate in peace support operations under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) or the Regional Organisations when the Government is ready to participate.

b. Principles

(1) The BNDF shall be:

-Governed by the laws and regulations of the country

-At the disposal of the government, subordinate to its authority and accountable to the legislature.

(2) The BNDF shall be non-partisan.

(3) Members of the BNDF shall not be affiliated to political parties or any other organisation of a Political nature. They shall neither take part in activities nor demonstrations of political parties or organisations.

(4) Members of the BNDF may exercise their civil right to vote in elections.

2.3 Command, Control and Supervision

(a) The BNDF shall be placed under the control and supervision of competent civil authority.

(b) The President of the Republic shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the BNDF.

(c) The National Defence Forces shall be placed under the Ministry of National Defence.

(d) The BNDF shall be under the direct command and control of the Chief of General Staff (CGS).

2.4.0 Size, Composition, Structure and Organization

Upon a proposal of the Integrated chief of staff, the Government will determine the structure of the NDF, the total size and composition of the officer corps.

2.4.1 Size

The size of the BNDF shall be determined by:

-Potential internal and external threats.

-Financial and economic means of the country.

-Defence Doctrine/Policy

2.4.2 Composition

During the integration phase the BNDF shall be composed of selected member of:

-The current Burundi Armed Forces (FAB).

-Combatants of the CNDD-FDD Movement.

-The combatants of other armed political parties.

-After integration volunteer Burundian citizens could be recruited.

-The BNDF shall not consist of more than 50% of any of the ethnic groups as per Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement (protocol III chapter 2 article 14. 1g).

2.4.3 Structure

The structure of the NDF is determined by the Government upon a proposal of the Integrated Chief of Staff

2.4.4 Organization

The National Defence Force

a. Force Employing

The Supreme Commander (SC) shall be responsible for force employment

b. Functions of the CGS

(1) The CGS shall have the following functions;

-Implement decisions of the government.

-Command, control and administration of the National Defence Force.

-Co-ordiante the activities of the services and lower echelons.

-Liaison at the administrative level, between the BNDF as an institution and the Government through the Minister of National Defence.

c. Force Preparation

The Chief of General Staff assisted by his deputy and service heads shall be in charge of force preparation in accordance with requirements of specified missions.

2.4.5 Military Career

a. Principle

Military career shall be exercised either under contract or permanent terms. Details of terms and conditions of Service to be determined according to the rules and regulations.

b. Rank Structure

FAB rank structure shall be used in the New National Defence Force. In the interim the ranks of members of all signatories shall be recognized until a sub commission of the JCC responsible for the evaluating the ranks of the individuals makes a ruling.

c. Service

The service history of all members from FAB, CNDD-FDD and armed political parties shall be verified.

2.5.0 Training of the BNDF

2.5.1 Policy

-The general training policy aimed at upgrading the professional level of the National Defence Force shall be done according to the doctrine that will be adopted.

-The integrated National Defence Force shall undergo training for the purpose of standardizing skills, techniques, procedures and regulations.

-Leadership and specialist training may be conducted in or outside Burundi.

2.5.2 Training of Immediate Concern

-Training of immediate need to the selected members, will be the ˜Bridging Training". This will take into account the experience and training already received by individuals from the integrating forces. The training will be carried out in selected training institutions.

-Special emphasis shall be placed on civic and moral education.

Part II: Formation of the Burundi National Defence Force

1.0 The Process

1.1.1 The Burundi National Defence Force shall be formed under the supervision of IMC, AMIB and JCC.

1.1.2 The following steps will be carried out in the formation of the BNDF:

a. Disengagement and separation of forces

This shall be conducted under the supervision of the AMIB and JCC in accordance with the provisions of the CFA of 02 December 2002 in conjunction with the parties concerned (Transitional Government of Burundi and CNDD-FDD).

b. Cantonment and DDRR Process

(1) The cantonment and DDRR processes shall be conducted under the supervision of the AMIB and the JCC in conjunction with all the parties concerned and supporting international organizations. Cantonment should not be an end in itself, but rather a function of verification, military integration and demobilization activities, i.e. a place where these activities are completed as quickly as possible so that the peace process can be consolidated and demobilised soldiers can get back to civilian life.

(2) All necessary data for planning and conducting programmes concerning cantonment and DDRR shall be immediately provided by all the parties to relevant bodies.

(3) All concerned stakeholders shall establish a joint Operational Plan to implement the DDRR programmes according to agreed time frame.

(4) The Movement of forces of all the parties shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the 02 December 2002 CFA, names Article 1.1.6 and 1.1.7 of Annexure 1.

c. Integration Process

(1) Criteria for the selection of Servicemen in the BNDF.

The Selection of servicemen to constitute the BNDF by each party and those to be demobilized shall be carried out in the cantonment sites. Service to constitute the National Defence force should meet the following criteria:

Officers shall:

-Be volunteers

-Service as offices

-Be Burundian Nationals

-Be physically fit

-Have a degree or experience as officer

(2) The war wounded and handicapped shall, however, remain eligible for Army service, according to their specializations, unlike the disable servicemen who shall be demobilized but assisted. This shall apply to all categories of servicemen.

Non-Commissioned officers shall:

-Be volunteers.

-Service as Non-commissioned officers.

-Burundian National

-Physically fit

-Have a high school qualification or experience as non-commissioned officer.

-Soldiers

-Be volunteers.

-Be servicing as Servicemen or combatants.

- Be Burundian National

-Be Physically fit

-Have a primary school qualification or experience as a soldier.

2.0 Power sharing in the Defence and Security Forces

2.1 National Defence Force

2.1.1 The Integrated Chief of Staff and the officer corps will consist of 60% of officers from the government army and 40% of officers from the CNDD-FDD

The sharing of posts will take place on the level of the incumbents and deputies.

The post of Deputy Chief of Staff General will be created.

The sharing of posts take place on the base of the current structure of the Burundi Armed Forces in accordance with the proportions agreed on.

2.1.2 The Integrated Chief of Staff determines the composition of the non-commissioned ranks, taking into account members of each party and the balances agreed on.

2.1.3 The allocation of command posts will also take place on the basis of the principle of ethnic balance (50/50) as stipulated in the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi.

2.1.4 The President of the Republic will confirm and officalise the stipulations of this FTA through a presidential decree.

Implementation History

2003

Minimum Implementation

Not all major parties to the conflict signed the agreement until 2003. During this three year gap, implementation of the military reform provision did begin.

Arusha accord and the Pretoria Protocol on Political, Defense and Security Power Sharing in Burundi provided for extensive reform in Burundi’s armed force. Among other significant reforms, the accord brings the military under civilian control. The accord reorganizes the armed forces by including members of the Burundian armed forces and combatants of the political parties and movements. In doing so, however, the accord excludes those members who were found guilty of acts of genocide, coups d'état, violation of the Constitution and human rights and war crimes.

The accord provided for the establishment of a technical committee consisting representatives from Burundian armed forces, combatants of the political parties and movements and external military advisors. The transitional government was given responsibility to determine the size of the national defense force in consultation with the technical committee. According to the agreement, political, ethnic, regional and gender criteria would be used to determine the imbalances in the defense force but the new force would consist 60% officers from the government army and 40% from the FDD. But, the new force would not consist more than 50% of any of the ethnic groups.1 

The national defense force was said to be formed under the supervision of Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC), Joint Ceasefire Commission (JCC) and African Mission in Burundi (AIMB). By the end of 2003, AIMB forces were deployed along with the establishment of IMC and JCC.2 As of December 2003, reforms sought through integration of combatants from political parties and movements did not take place.

  • 1. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council  (S/2003/1146), December 4, 2003.
  • 2. Ibid.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

For the formation of a new National Defense Forces, the president in consultation with a Technical Forces Agreement signed on 2 November 2003 appointed 33 members of the Joint Military High Command, 20 of which were from the current military and 13 from the rebel movement CNDD-FDD. This decision was made on 6 January 2004 by signing a decree.3 The current chief of staff retained his position and the rebel chief of staff was appointed as deputy chief of staff.

Government also announced the target of an army of 20,000, which would be achieved first by the integration of all combatants from political parties and movements in the initial phase and subsequent demobilization (Source: Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council, S/2004/682, 25 August 2004). Initially, it was estimated the Burundian Armed Forces had 45,000 troops, and total number of combatants from political parties and movement were estimated to be about 35,000 (Source: Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council, S/2004/210, 16 March 2004). But a revised estimated suggested a total of 70,000 combatants of which 13,000 would be transferred to the police force. Estimated 10-15000 combatants were child soldiers or pensioners or wounded and therefore would be demobilized immediately.4

As a way to establish a new National Defense Force, a unit of 1,200 soldiers, 800 from the government and 400 from the CNDD-FDD started their training.5 By the end of 2004, 1,800 soldiers from the army and former rebel combatants went through the training program. On 31 December 2002, president promulgated laws on creation, organization, function and composition of the new National Defense Force and New Police Service.

  • 3. "Burundi; Ndayizeye Appoints Members of Joint Military Command," Africa News, January 7, 2004.
  • 4. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council  (S/2004/682), August 25, 2004.
  • 5. "Burundi; New National Army Takes Shape," Africa News, March 17, 2004.
2005

Full Implementation

As of April 2005, 6,000 personnel were deployed for two brigades and one special protection unit. These personnel were directly integrated (Source: Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council, S/2005/328, 19 May 2005). By December 2005, National Defense Force had some 33000 personnel, which was expected to be downsized to 25,000 by 2007.6

  • 6. Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council, United Nations Security Council (S/2005/728), November 21, 2005.
2006

Full Implementation

As provided in the accord, military reform provisions were implemented by 2005.

2007

Full Implementation

The target of reducing the defense force to 25,000 was not met in 2007 as Burundi had 27,000 personnel in its defense force.7 

  • 7. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council  (S/2007/682), November 23, 2007.
2008

Full Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2009

Full Implementation

By end of 2009, estimated 25,000 army personnel in the defense force completed human rights, gender and HIV aids.8 

  • 8. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council  (S/2009/611), November 30, 2009.
2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2011

Full Implementation

No further developments observed. 

2012

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.