Paramilitary Groups: Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi

Protocol II: Article 19: Democracy and Good Governance

Defence and security forces

1. Associations having the character of militias shall be prohibited.

Protocol III: Article 26: Peace and Security for All

General principles

1. The following principles are agreed upon:

(k) Mechanisms for dismantling and disarming all militias and disarming civilians holding arms illegally shall be established;

Implementation History

2003

No Implementation

Arusha Accord prohibits militia groups or organization and requires such groups to be dismantled and disarmed. In the Pretoria Protocol (2 November 2003), parties agreed to begin disarmament of such militia groups within 18 days. There was no report of disarmament of militia groups in 2003.

2004

Minimum Implementation

It was reported that the demobilization of government’s civilian militia was stared in January 20041 but no further information is available.

  • 1. "First demobilization of child soldiers in Burundi," Agence France Presse, February 13, 2004.
2005

Minimum Implementation

It was reported that the civilian militia groups, the Gardiens de la paix and the Combattants militants, were scheduled to be disarmed starting 6 July.2

  • 2. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nation Security Council  (S/2005/586), September 14, 2005.
2006

Intermediate Implementation

Notwithstanding initial delays in dismantling and disarming militia groups, significant progress was made in 2005. As reported in the United Nations Secretary General’s report, civilian militia groups were dismantled and disarmed. According to the report, 28,379 militias belonging to the Gardiens de la paix and the Combatants militants were disarmed and demobilized.3

Disarmament of civilians, however, moved very slowly

  • 3. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council  (S/2006/842), October 25, 2006.
2007

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2008

Intermediate Implementation

Militia groups were disbanded and disarmed in 2006. For civilian disarmament, the Commission on Civilian Disarmament and Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms was established by a presidential decree that included a provision of a general prohibition on arms.4 

  • 4. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2008/745), November 28, 2008.
2009

Intermediate Implementation

The commission continued its work and in 2009, it launched a final program of voluntary civilian disarmament.5

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

Intermediate Implementation

Militia groups were disarmed back in 2006. A final program on civilian disarmament was initiated in 2009. No further developments occurred this year.

2011

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2012

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.