The United Nations and the Organization of African Unity decided, for fear that the conflict would spread to neighboring countries, to assume a peacemaking role. Buyoya, trying to avoid a joint African intervention, initiated a new and this time successful coup in July 1996, thus becoming the country’s new president. Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zaire imposed sanctions on Burundi following the coup. In mid-September, Hutu rebels announced that 10,000 civilians had been murdered by the army following the coup. At least 1,000 people were killed over the following year, though Amnesty International considered it difficult to determine whether the killings were committed by the government or by the rebels.
According to Countryaah, UN Special Envoy Sergio Pinheiro stated at the end of 1997 that international sanctions against Burundi had had a devastating effect on the conditions of the poorest of the population in particular, and requested that the embargo be revised. On the other hand, the peace talks, initiated on the initiative of Tanzania’s former President Julius Nyerere, had gone hard. The relationship between Burundi and Tanzania had significantly deteriorated and both countries accused each other of border violations. In September, Buyoya accused Tanzania of providing protection to more than 200,000 Hutu rebels and of plans to annex Burundi. Bujumbura claimed in October Tanzania’s army to stand behind the attacks against the Kubongas and Mugina’s in the southern part of the country. In February 1998, it was estimated that more than 200.
On July 16, 1998, the National Assembly was transformed into a “National Transitional Assembly” (AST) consisting of 40 new MPs, representatives of the political parties and civil society. It had until then consisted of Frodebu with 65 members and Uprona with 16.
Through 1999, a number of initiatives were taken to resume peace negotiations. Despite some opposition from a number of political leaders in Burundi, South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela was elected peace broker on December 1, and Tanzania was set to be the country where negotiations were to take place. But despite the negotiation process, the armed clashes between the parties continued.
In January 2000, US President Clinton gave personal support to Nelson Mandela in his mediation mission. A number of political observers noted that it was extremely unusual for a US political leader to be involved in resolving a war in Africa. On March 28, a Mandela spokesman in Arusha, Tanzania, announced that the peace talks in Burundi were “moving forward” and that the objectives of the peace “had been written in one coherent text” – for the first time since the theme of “peace talks” was was formulated in mid-1998. Nevertheless, the negotiations suffered a backlash in 2000, and Mandela accused the parties of running out of words and ignoring the “mass murder of innocent civilians” in Burundi.
In December 2001, international lending institutions granted loans to Burundi for DKK 764 million. US $ to be used for reconstruction tasks. In March 2002, 45,000 Burundian refugees agreed with the UN on a plan for return to their country. They had lived in refugee camps in Tanzania that had been compared to concentration camps because of the harsh living conditions.
In January 2002, Tanzania protested several bombings by the Burundian army targeting several Tanzanian villages. In an official letter, the government of Tanzania demanded that Burundi keep the conflict within its own borders. Buyoya visited Uganda and declared that a ceasefire had not yet been concluded and that the result of the Arusha negotiations could therefore not be used. He therefore appealed to President Museveni to assist in the peace process. The UN Security Council demanded immediate halt to the war, and urged the armed groups to begin negotiations immediately.
The same month, the FDD’s Nkurunziza declared that the party was ready to participate in the Burundi presidential election and that it would not accept a postponement of the election by the provisional government. Ndayizeye, on the other hand, stated that the election “necessarily” had to be postponed to guarantee that it could be carried out in peace and under the necessary security measures. The president stressed that the guerrilla groups had to be transformed into political parties. Only then would elections be possible. “Before elections can be held, partisans must necessarily be disarmed,” he continued.