Burundi's Electoral Crisis: In Brief [May 14, 2015]   [open pdf - 525KB]

"This report provides context surrounding the ongoing political crisis in Burundi and analysis of U.S. policy and related issues for Congress. President Pierre Nkurunziza's efforts to run for a third term in office have sparked large domestic protests, a refugee influx into neighboring states, international condemnation, and--as of May 13--a military coup attempt. How the situation evolves may have implications for U.S. efforts to promote democracy and good governance in Africa, and for whether Burundian troops will continue to participate in U.S.-supported regional military operations in Somalia, which are aimed at countering the Al Qaeda-linked group Al Shabaab. The events of May 13 raise the question of whether the State Department will apply a provision in FY2015 foreign aid appropriations legislation (Division J of P.L. 113-235) prohibiting certain types of aid to any country in which the military has overthrown an elected government. Additional issues for Congress may include the authorization, appropriation, and/or oversight of any new U.S. funding in support of humanitarian aid or regional stabilization efforts. Burundi, a small country in Central Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. As in neighboring Rwanda, its population includes a majority Hutu community (estimated at 85%) and minority Tutsi (14%) and Twa (1%) communities. Much of Burundi's post-colonial history has been characterized by political instability, military interference in politics, and ethnic violence. In the early 2000s, Burundi emerged from a decade-long, multi-faction civil war, fought largely along ethnic lines, in which as many as 300,000 people were killed. In the wake of a landmark peace accord signed in 2000, Burundi has seen relative stability."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R44018
Public Domain
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