Prof. Nzomo Addresses High Commissioners of the Commonwealth

The Effectiveness of Conflict Resolution Methods by the Africa Union: A case study of Burundi’s conflict resolution process

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Conflict is defined as disagreement between two or more parties. It manifests itself as either structural or violent. According to Johan Galtung, he clearly states that structural conflict emanates from conditions in which structures of society deny people the full realization of their potential. Further highlighting, if structural conflict is not controlled it leads to overt violence, in which the highest apex of violence is war.


The transition of violence into war habitually results into an intervention. The intervention can either patent itself as peacekeeping missions, peacemaking mission, peace building, or peace enforcement missions. These interventions in peace studies are also known as conflict resolution.


Conflict resolution also referred to as reconciliation is theorized as means and practices involved in enabling the peaceful ending of conflict and reprisal. This process is actualized by group members involved in the conflict and are committed to resolve the conflict. It encourages group members to openly and clearly communicate their motives and ideologies in regards to the ensuing conflict including engaging in collective negotiations.


The Burundian civil war started in 1993 after the assassination of the then President Melchior Ndadaye, which led to an estimate of 50,000-100,000 mass death within a year. The assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye was succeeded by several others, which further propelled the civil war. The Burundi civil war lasted for 12 years with an estimated death of 300,000 amidst various peace processes.


Peace processes in Burundi involved ceasefire and peace agreements. In 2006, President Pierre


Nkurunzinza was elected by the Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) as the incoming


President. This was the beginning of Burundi’s peaceful co-existence until 2015 when the bid by the incumbent President Pierre Nkurunzinza for a third term as President caused an unrest in Burundi.


Thus, the study shall seek to answer the question, how effective are the conflict resolution methods by Africa Union in preventing a recurrence of conflict?  It shall examine the Burundi conflict and its journey towards reconciliation with specific interest in the Africa Union and its role in Burundi’s conflict resolution process. The Peace and Security Council’s mandate and the implementation of the Africa Peace and Security Architecture in conflict resolution. Africa Union’s conflict resolution strategy for Burundi’s reconciliation, and understanding the possible relapse of Burundi into conflict, of interest, analyzing the loophole in the peace process initiating a possible relapse of Burundi into conflict.

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