Cease Fire: Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi

Protocol III, Chapter III: Article 25: Definitions

1. Ceasefire means the cessation of:

1) All attacks by air, land and lake, as well as all acts of sabotage;

2) Attempts to occupy new ground positions and movements of troops and resources from one location to another;

3) All acts of violence against the civilian population - summary executions, torture, harassment, detention and persecution of civilians on the basis of ethnic origin, religious, beliefs and political affiliations, incitement of ethnic hatred, arming of civilians, use of child soldiers, sexual violence, training of terrorists, genocide and bombing of the civilian population;

4) Supply of ammunitions and weaponry and other war-related stores to the field;

5) All hostile propaganda between the Parties, both within and outside the country;

6) Any other actions that may impede the normal evolution of the ceasefire process.

2. The cessation of hostilities shall involve:

1) Announcement of a cessation of hostilities 48 hours after the signing of the ceasefire agreement, through command channels and print and electronic media;

2) Cessation of hostilities shall be regulated and monitored through the committee to follow up, supervise, monitor and implement the Agreement (Implementation Monitoring Committee);

3) Release of all the political prisoners, closure of all the forced regroupment camps and respect for civil and political rights and freedoms shall take place from the date of signature of the Agreement;

4) Cessation of hostilities brought about by emergency laws, political imprisonment and arbitrary arrests shall take effect from the date of signature of the Agreement;

5) Cessation of defamatory, untruthful or ethnicist statements by the media and publications shall take place from the date of signature of the Agreement.

3. The different types of hostilities are:

1) Political hostilities:

1. Verbal aggression and denigration;

2. Political imprisonment;

3. Forced regroupment camps;

4. Violation of political rights and freedoms;

2) Military hostilities:

1. Armed clashes between the belligerents;

2. Infiltration of armed groups from neighbouring countries;

3. Attacks on the population by the belligerents.

4. The belligerents are:

1) The Government forces;

2) The combatants of the political parties and movements which signed the Declaration of 21 June 1998;

3) The combatants of political parties and movements operating within the country which did not sign the Declaration of 21 June 1998;

4) The political and ethnic militias operating within the country.

Article 26: General principles

1. The following principles are agreed upon:

1) The provisions of article 25.1 (d) above shall not preclude the supply of food, clothing and medical support to forces in the field;

2) Freedom of movement of persons and goods throughout the country shall be guaranteed;

3) All persons detained or taken hostage on account of political belief or activities shall be released and given the latitude to relocate to anywhere within the country;

4) Humanitarian assistance shall be facilitated through humanitarian corridors in order to render assistance to displaced persons, refugees and other sinistrés;

5) The parties shall establish a Joint Commission for Peace and Security, hereinafter referred to as the Ceasefire Commission, which shall be responsible for peace and security functions and shall work in close conjunction with a peacekeeping force following the entry into force of the Agreement;

6) The laying of mines of any type shall be prohibited, and all parties shall be required to undertake to mark and signpost any danger areas to be identified to peacekeeping forces;

7) The forces in areas of direct contact shall proceed to an immediate disengagement;

8) Illicit trafficking of arms and the infiltration of armed groups shall be controlled with the collaboration of neighbouring countries;

9) The parties shall undertake to locate, identify, disarm, and assemble all armed groups in the country;

10) The parties shall ensure that armed groups operating under their command comply with the process;

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

12) Amnesty shall be granted to all combatants of the political parties and movements for crimes committed as a result of their involvement in the conflict, but not for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, or for their participation in coups d'état.

2. Disengagement

1) Disengagement shall mean the immediate breaking of contact between the opposing military forces of the Parties to the Agreement at places where they are in direct contact by the effective date and time of the ceasefire.

2) Immediate disengagement at the initiative of all military units shall be limited to the effective range of all weapons. Disengagement to put all weapons out of range shall be conducted under the guidance of the Ceasefire Commission established pursuant to article 27 below.

3) Where disengagement by a party is impossible or impractical, the Ceasefire Commission shall find an alternative solution to render the weapons safe.

Article 27: Verification and supervision

1. Ceasefire Commission

1) The Ceasefire Commission shall consist of representatives of the Government, the combatants of the political parties and movements, the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity and the Regional Peace Initiative for Burundi.

2) The Ceasefire Commission shall be a decision-making body.

3) The Ceasefire Commission shall take its decisions by consensus.

4) The Ceasefire Commission shall be responsible, among other things, for:

1. Establishing the location of units at the time of the ceasefire;

2. Establishing liaison between the parties for the purpose of the ceasefire;

3. Finding appropriate solutions in the event of difficulty in disengagement;

4. Conducting investigations of any ceasefire violations;

5. Verifying all information, data and activities relating to military forces of the parties;

6. Verifying the disengagement of the military forces of the Parties where they are in direct contact;

7. Monitoring the storage of arms, munitions equipment;

8. Monitoring the quartering of troops and police;

9. Undertaking the disarmament of all illegally armed civilians;

10. Undertaking mine clearance throughout the country.

5) The parties undertake to provide the Ceasefire Commission immediately with all relevant information on the organization, equipment and positions of their forces, on the understanding that such information shall be held in strict confidence.

Article 28: Ceasefire implementation timetable

The ceasefire implementation timetable shall be determined by the Ceasefire Commission.

Pretoria Protocol on Outstanding Political, Defence and Security Power Sharing Issues

Ceasefire Agreement between the Transitional Government of Burundi and the CNDD-FDD (2 December 2002)

1. The questions originally mentioned in the first part of the preamble have been transferred to the annex, with a view to their negotiation at a later stage. However, the negotiations on those questions will not create preconditions for the implementation of the ceasefire.

2. The discussions and clarifications which have been transferred to the annex were provided for under the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi.

Article I

1. This ceasefire shall apply throughout the territory of Burundi, between the belligerents as defined. The ceasefire shall take effect on 30 December 2002. The first 14 days from the date of signature should enable the belligerents to communicate to their troops, throughout thechain of command, their decision to cease hostilities. By 30 December 2002, combatants must have completed their movement to assembly areas.

2. This truce or cessation of hostilities shall enter into force within 72 hours after the signing of a Ceasefire Agreement.

3. This Ceasefire Agreement is the final stage of the peace process, itself the culmination of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi, signed on 28 August 2002 after a process of political negotiations.

Implementation History


Full Implementation

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

No serious violations were reported between the Government and the 16 armed movement or political parties that signed the accord in August 2000.1 Three Tutsi political parties - Independent Workers' Party, National Alliance for Rights and Development, and Rally for Democracy and Economic and Social Development- became part of the agreement on 20 September 2000.2 CNDD-FDD and Palipehutu-FNL did not sign the accord. On 2 December 2002, CNDD-FDD the largest Hutu party signed a ceasefire agreement with the transitional government.  

In 2003, no serious violations were reported between the Government and the 16 armed movement or political parties that signed the accord.

  • 1. "Burundi; Burundi Peace Accord Signatories Gather In Arusha," Africa News, September 25, 2000.
  • 2. "Burundi; Three Tutsi Parties To Sign Arusha Accord On 20 September," Africa News, September 15, 2000.

Full Implementation

No violations of the ceasefire reported in 2004. Military operations had ceased throughout the country aside from some violence between the government and the FNL.3 There was an allegation from Palipehutu-FNL, who did not sign ceasefire accord of ceasefire, of the violation of ceasefire from Forces for the Defense of Burundi and former Hutu rebels.4 On 21 May 2004, the Security Council adopted recommendations of the Secretary General by adopting a resolution 1545 (2004). In its resolution, the Security Council established the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONBU) and authorized 5,650 military personnel, 200 military observers, 125 headquarters and staff officers. And as of 1 June 2004, the African Mission in Burundi troops from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa, and 29 military observers from Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali, Togo and Tunisia became ONBU troops. As of November 2004, there were 5,259 ONBU troops deployed in Burundi.5

  • 3. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council  (S/2004/210), March 16, 2004.
  • 4. "Last Burundi rebels accuse army of breaking UN ceasefire accord," Agence France Presse, August 2, 2004.
  • 5. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2004/902), November 15, 2004; "Burundi; UN Mission Replaces Sections of South African Peacekeepers," Africa News, October 25, 2004.

Full Implementation

No ceasefire violations occurred in 2005 among the signatories to the accord. On 15 May 2005, National Liberation Forces (FNL) leader Agathon Rwasa and Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye signed an agreement and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. The FNL was one of two remaining factions that did not sign the accord. 


Full Implementation

On 7 September 2006, the last rebel group, Paliphehutu-FNL, signed a ceasefire agreement with the government.6 After the signing of a ceasefire agreement, the FNL was asked to attend the joint mechanism for verification and control of the ceasefire.7 

  • 6. "Burundi; Nqakula Seeks to Implement Ceasefire Agreement," Africa News, September 18, 2006.
  • 7. "Burundi: Ambassador calls on rebels to attend cease-fire body's meetings," BBC Monitoring Africa, October 12, 2006.

Full Implementation

No serious violations were reported between the Government and the 18 groups that signed the accord.


Full Implementation

The ceasefire generally held among the signatories to the accord. Violations did take place with the FNL in 2008, but negotiations between the FNL and the government were successfull. The ceasefire was restored and an agreement was signed on December 4 in which the Burundian government agreed to give 33 positions to FNL leaders in the government.8

  • 8. "Burundi government, rebels agree on cease-fire implementation," BBC Monitoring Africa, December 4, 2008.

Full Implementation

No serious violations were reported. 


Full Implementation

No serious violations were reported. 


Full Implementation

No serious violations were reported. 


Full Implementation

No serious violations were reported.