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Talking or Fighting

Political Evolution in Rwanda and Burundi, 1998-1999. Current African Issues 21

By (author) Filip Reyntjens
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden
Published: 10th Apr 2000
Dimensions: w 203mm h 292mm d 20mm
Weight: 91g
ISBN-10: 9171064540
ISBN-13: 9789171064547
Barcode No: 9789171064547
Synopsis
There has been a great deal of continuity in the political evolution of Rwanda and Burundi since 1997. Its regional impact has been felt even more, especially in Rwanda. Although civil war is still ravaging that country, in Burundi the search for a political solution is moving at a snail's pace, through the dual process of political partnership within the country and the Arusha negotiations. The regime in Rwanda continues to favor the military option, which, has met with some success following the second intervention in the Congo and the regroupment of an important section of the population in the Northwest. In Burundi, the political landscape remains divided, even fragmented, but in Rwanda the RPF has reinforced its grasp on a tightly controlled system, notably through the destruction of the MDR. Cohesion within the RPF, however, is by no means guaranteed.

At the political level, the system in Burundi is undoubtedly more inclusive than that of Rwandan regime, whose base continues to shrink. While Rwanda has opted for the path of almost absolute control, Burundi continues its quest for political solutions in Burundi, is fragile and success is far from guaranteed. In August 1998, Rwanda reaffirmed its ambitions as a regional military power. Even more than in 1996-1997, the Congolese operation opens up access to resources that not only help finance the war, but also enrich scertain political and military actors in Kigali. Although the Burundian army has also become involved in the Congo, its ambitions seem more limited. Furthermore, the regional alliances have become clearer and more visible, which does not necessarily mean that they are stable.

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