On 20 May, Burundians will elect a new president, future members of parliament and municipal councillors, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Q&A, Crisis Group looks at the various scenarios for the polls and the challenges that will face whoever prevails.
Central African RepublicDemocratic Republic of Congo
In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, our President Robert Malley reflects on the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the outbreak is exacerbating conflict across the globe.
As May elections approach, Burundi’s ruling party says it has stopped demanding payments from citizens to finance the polls. But the confiscatory practice persists. Bujumbura should move decisively to halt it as a prelude to wider-ranging improvement of governance in the country.
Three Great Lakes states – Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda – are trading charges of subversion, each accusing another of sponsoring rebels based in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. Outside powers should help the Congolese president resolve these tensions, lest a lethal multi-sided melee ensue.
Des violences intercommunautaires opposant principalement des communautés arabes et non arabes ont ravagé l’Est du Tchad en 2019, et pourraient menacer la stabilité du pays. Le gouvernement devrait ouvrir un large débat sur la gestion des mobilités pastorales et soutenir l’organisation d’une conférence inclusive à l’Est.
The Security Council has an opening to rethink its approach to DR Congo with this month’s mandate renewal of the UN peacekeeping mission. The council should prioritise local conflict resolution and bolstering President Tshisekedi’s efforts to improve regional relations to combat over 100 armed groups ravaging the east.
The UN General Assembly kicks off on 17 September amid general scepticism about the world body’s effectiveness in an era of rising great-power competition. But the UN is far from paralysed. Here are seven crisis spots where it can make a positive difference for peace.
Talks about ending Burundi’s crisis – sparked by the president’s decision to seek a third term – have fizzled out. With elections nearing in 2020, tensions could flare. Strong regional pressure is needed to begin opening up the country’s political space before the balloting.
Chad is an essential component of Western countries’ strategy in the Sahel and in the fight against terrorism.
[Chadian president Déby] has a pretty fractious inner circle, and he knows that any local conflict could quickly escalate into a national one.
[The Allied Democratic Forces in DR Congo] have a very brutal way of killing the civilians and they don’t differentiate. They kill women, children, men.
[In Burundi] the government is pushing back on international pressure, trying to convince international actors that everything is alright. Meanwhile, its population is suffering in silence.
[President of DR Congo] Tshisekedi's swearing-in is often sold as selling out democracy in favor of stability. But it’s pragmatic and based on developments on the ground.
Seeking the leadership of the Francophonie is clearly part of Rwanda's goal for a greater continental and global role.
With a boycotting opposition and low expected turnout in conflict-affected Anglophone regions, Cameroon’s ruling party should win big in forthcoming elections. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Arrey Ntui explains why that result means dialogue about the country’s crises will have to happen outside parliament.
President Tshisekedi’s plans for joint operations with DR Congo’s belligerent eastern neighbours against its rebels risks regional proxy warfare. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to encourage diplomatic efforts in the region and Tshisekedi to shelve his plan for the joint operations.