Burundi’s Transition: A Beacon for Central Africa

Issue Date January 2006
Volume 17
Issue 1
Page Numbers 125-131
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On 19 August 2005, more than nine-tenths of the members of both houses of Burundi’s legislature capped a free electoral process by choosing Pierre Nkurunziza to serve as the country’s next president. The implications of this event in this small, conflict-ridden state on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika could reverberate positively throughout the Great Lakes region of central Africa and beyond. While Burundi’s democratic reconstruction is far from complete, the election suggests that even the most violent and sorely divided societies can be restored, given sufficient political will and generous resources to support the process of negotiation and change.

About the Author

Dave Peterson is director of the Africa program at the National Endowment for Democracy. He has traveled to more than forty African countries, including a visit to Burundi in 2004, and has published numerous articles on African politics.

View all work by Dave Peterson