CIGI on security sector reform in Burundi

Aug. 17, 2010, 9:19 a.m.

The Centre for International Governance Innovation has released a report on oversight and democratic control over Burundi's security sector.  The report explores recent advances made to the security service such as increased oversight, but notes that many provisions are going unenforced due to political incentives.

Burundi has recently introduced new mechanisms of internal and external oversight over the activities and performance of security sector institutions. This has helped to reduce impunity among their personnel and pushed their leaders to try to improve the security organizations’ public images; however, several of the new oversight mechanisms are not yet fully active or effective. Indeed, some of them are not operational at all. While the common explanation of this situation may be financial or material constraints, the real issue is often insufficient political will. In addition, support for security sector oversight mechanisms does not seem to be a donor priority for Burundi’s SSR process and, in fact, donor interventions are sometimes tinged with rivalry and underhanded practices

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