The Burundian-Dutch Security Sector Development (SSD) programme works with the Burundian army and police, as well as on the broader governance of the country’s security sector. The initiative is supported by the Dutch ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense as well as Security and Justice for the period 2009-2017 with the aim of reducing the role that the Burundian army and police have historically played in the violence that the country’s elites use(d) to acquire and maintain power.
On the one hand, the programme was not able to develop an adequate strategy of political engagement with key Burundian political and security elites and power politics do continue to dominate the country. On the other hand, the initiative garnered international praise for its innovative approach and delivered some solid successes. This brief case study extracts lessons for future initiatives in the area of Security Sector Reform that are grounded in this juxtaposition.
The article (written in Dutch) appeared in the Dutch journal 'Militaire Spectator' (Jaargang 185/ nummer 17/18- 2016).