Rwanda: January 10, 2004


Burundi has begun integrating FDD rebels into the Army. The first FDD troops and officers joined on January 7. Initial reports are the integration went smoothly. The rebels are also joining the ranks of senior officers. The Burundian Joint Military High Command now includes 20 officers from the Burundian Army and 13 from the FDD. This meets the requirements of the Technical Forces Agreement signed on November 2, 2003 as part of the overall peace deal. This is going to be a real test of the peace agreement. A number of the FDD rebels were fighting the Burundian Army as late as September 2003. Integrating new troops into a military is a tough task to begin with, even for modern armies. Putting former enemies into the same army in the middle of a peace process makes for an even riskier dynamic. However, this may be precisely what the situation in Burundi requires. The Burundian Army has been the source of much suffering among Burundian Hutus. Integrating the Army will inspire political confidence. The presence of former Hutu fighters and Hutu leaders will also allow for some degree of internal policing. The integration may have already had positive political effects. Two days before the formal integration, the FNL rebel faction announced that it is interested in discussing a peace agreement with the new transitional government. It is no coincidence that this offer comes as the military integration is occurring. (Austin Bay)




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close