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