Disarmament: Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi

Protocol II, Chapter II: Article 22: Interim period

15. The participating parties shall do all in their power to ensure that their members observe the provisions of the Agreement, including, but not limited to, the prompt full and wide dissemination of the provisions of the Agreement relating to the ceasefire, disarmament, and reporting to quartering locations.

Protocol III, Chapter III: Article 26: General principles

1. The following principles are agreed upon:

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

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

Protocol III, Chapter III,

Article 27: Verification and supervision

1. Ceasefire Commission

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

(ix) Undertaking the disarmament of all illegally armed civilians;

4. Peace and security functions

(a) The peace and security functions of the Ceasefire Commission shall be:

(iii) To ensure the search for and recovery of all arms, the neutralization of militias throughout the country and the disarming of the civilian population;

The Pretoria Protocol on Outstanding Political, Defence and Security Power Sharing Issues in Burundi (2 November 2003)

Part II: Formation of the Burundi National Defence Force

1.0 The Process

1.1.2 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, namely Article 1.1.6 and 1.1.7 of Annexure 1.

Indicative Time-table for the Implemenation of the Global Ceasefire Agreement:

Disarming of the militia is a responsibility of the Transitional Government of Burundi AMIB Time-table D Day +18

Implementation History


No Implementation

After signing of an agreement with CNDD-FDD on 2 November 2003, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration process in Burundi was scheduled to begin within 30 days. No significant achievement was made except for the announcement of commencement of demobilization of child combatants in January 2004 in sponsorship of the UNICEF.1

  • 1. "Demobilization scheduled for January 2004 in northwest Burundi," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 23, 2003.

No Implementation

The disarmament process did not start in 2004 even after all institutional framework was in place.


Minimum Implementation

As reported in early October, 2,849 members of the Gardiens de la paix and 1,704 Combatants militants were disarmed.2 Exact number of weapons collected, however, is not available. So far as the disarming civilian is concerned, the government had established a National Commission for Civilian Disarmament. The civilian disarmament process, however, did not make significant progress in 2005.3

  • 2. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2005/728), November 21, 2005.
  • 3. Ibid.

Minimum Implementation

Civilian disarmament program received assistance from the UNDP for developing a national strategy to combat the proliferation of light weapons. Nevertheless, the success of this process was not very clear. Also, it was reported that ONBU continued to work with the government on collection and destruction of weapons through a program, which was expected to resume in December demobilized.4

  • 4. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2006/994), December 18, 2006.

Minimum Implementation

No significant achievement was made in terms of reducing light weapons or civilian disarmament.5

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

Intermediate Implementation

By November 2008, approximately 6,000 light weapons were destroyed. To stop the proliferation of light weapons, Commission on Civilian Disarmament and Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms was established by a presidential decree that included a provision on a general prohibition on arms.6

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

Intermediate Implementation

The Commission on Civilian Disarmament and Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms continued its effort to collect weapons. It launched a final program of voluntary civilian disarmament program.7

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

Intermediate Implementation

No further information available on disarmament of former combatants and civilian disarmament programs. However, before 2010 elections, it was suggested that the last rebel group to join the peace process the National Liberation Forces (FNL) was said disarmed in 2009.8 

  • 8. "Burundi; Ensure Zero Tolerance for Election Violence - Authorities Should Demonstrate That No Political Actors Are Above the Law," Africa News, May 14, 2010.

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.


Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.