Burundi’s crisis and the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement: which way forward?

The Arusha Agreement is an important stake of the ongoing crisis in Burundi. This
paper analyses the Arusha based achievements and suggests how they may be better protected
through existing but strengthened institutional mechanisms. A political agreement of a hybrid
nature, the Arusha Agreement contains a set of constitutional principles that have strongly inspired
the current Constitution of 18 March 2005. The legal status of Protocol II of the Arusha
Agreement has been recognized by the Constitutional Court, but its precise constitutional or
supra-constitutional status needs to be further clarified. The enforcement of this text should
not merely depend on a conjunctural political support. Two protection mechanisms, one political
the other judicial, can ensure its respect. The senate as well the Constitutional Court
should be studied in more detail in order to reinforce their role as guardian angels of the Arusha
Agreement. This paper intends to offer inspiration for that study and suggests some amendments
of the powers of the Constitutional Court.


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