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Research Report

Local Justice and Security Development in Burundi:: Workplace Associations as a Pathway Ahead

Eric Scheye
Copyright Date: Oct. 1, 2011
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 31

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. (pp. [iii]-[iv])
  3. (pp. 1-2)
  4. (pp. 3-6)

    This report, based upon research carried out in Burundi in February 2011,¹ is the second phase of a larger, three-step research project into the role of local justice and security providers and non-state actors in fragile states.² Among the principal objectives of the overall research project has been to expand the agenda of justice and security development and offer examples of how to incorporate local providers and non-state actors into donor supported programming in order to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of donor assistance.³

    The Burundian research examines how local justice and security networks deliver services to citizens when a...

  5. (pp. 7-10)

    Burundi is an overwhelmingly rural and agricultural country with severe population, land tenure and land scarcity pressures. According to the World Food Program, food insecurity is rampant, with approximately 50% of the population chronically malnourished.⁵ Political and physical security have also been problematic since independence, as Burundi has experienced repeated cycles of civil unrest and violence, characterized by tensions and rivalries between its two main ethnic groups, the majority Hutu and the minority Tutsi. The election in 1993 and subsequent assassination of the Hutu President Ndadaye unleashed a civil war between the Tutsi-dominated military and Hutu militias, in which one...

  6. (pp. 11-20)

    In Burundi, research suggests that few viable, legally authorized local justice and security providers exist. Furthermore, paralegal associations appear to be largely absent23 and neighborhood watch groups, based in specific neighborhoods and communities, who are not allied directly to the police, have been established by them, or operate under their control, are few in number.24 The “community” efforts the GoB officially undertakes appear to be mainly one-directional: information flows from neighborhoods to the police and civil authorities.25

    Burundi appears to be a highly organized and regimented society, much of it state controlled. Organizations and associations proliferate and the reach of...

  7. (pp. 21-27)

    It is evident that the workplace associations for the cyclists and the palm oil guards provide justice and security for their workers, customers (those who transport goods by bicycle), and the owners of capital (bicycle owners; palm oil plot owners and renters). Consequently, donor support to workplace associations could directly increase justice and security delivery to selected beneficiaries in Burundi. In the case of the Taxi-cyclist Association, the number of beneficiaries is potentially large because the cyclists provide transport for the country’s poor, each of whom would benefit from greater safety for their person and goods. For the Palm Oil...