Rwanda: Peace Deal Crashes and Burns


December 18, 2007: The peace process in Burundi may be stalling. The government there is saying that it intend to take "a tougher stance" against factions in the Forces for National Liberation (FNL) which have reneged on commitments to join the peace process. Burundi's defense ministry reports that in "outlaw" FNL factions have conducted ambushes on roads this Fall as well as taken hostages. No number of alleged attacks was given. The largest "rogue faction" is the FNL-PALIPEHUTU. The FNL-PALIPEHUTU did agree to join the peace process but some of its fighters have reportedly "returned to the bush."

December 14, 2007: The African Union said today that Burundi will send a battalion of peacekeepers to Somalia by the end of December

December 11, 2007: A spokesman for a Burundian NGO said that that in the first ten months of this year, 393 people in Burundi were either killed by "the police or armed bandits." Given the level of violence that plagued Burundi during its civil war (roughly 1995 to 2006), this bad news ought to be taken in context. The UN estimates that 300,000 people died during the civil war.

December 8, 2007: The Rwandan government has decided to hire eight commercial court judges from the island of Mauritius. Rwanda wants to improve its business courts and someone in the government has decided to hire Mauritian judges. Rwanda is trying to attract investment and investors want "honest courts" that enforce legal contracts.

December 6, 2007: East African leaders at a regional security conference in Ethiopia asked the UN to enforce legal and economic sanctions against Rwandan Hutu rebels operating in the Congo. The Rwandan government has been pressing for effective sanctions against the Hutu rebels for almost ten years. Rwanda contends that "several thousand" Rwandan Hutu rebels have bases inside the Congo.

November 30, 2007: A high-ranking group of Belgian defense officials and military officers visited Rwanda to discuss bi-lateral military cooperation. Rwanda was at one time a Belgian colony.

November 29, 2007: The Burundian government said that Burundian Army and police units fought with elements of the FNL-PALIPEHUTU faction north of the capital of Bujumbura. The government statement followed reports of a "gang attack" on November 28 that killed three people and a hostage taking incident earlier in the week in which two Burundian police officers were seized.




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