Zambia has gone from a country where people engaged freely in open political debate to one where most people now look over their shoulders to see who’s listening.
The prospects for reconciliation are bleak. Formal gestures by the government to nudge the opposition parties to join an intra-Burundi dialogue have consistently failed.
The competition between the two authoritarian regimes has become a fact that, given the regional context, is here to last. It justifies repression and indefinitely postpones democratic expression.
Fears over violence in the African nation bring its leader to a crossroads.
The “quick fix” nature of the Arusha Peace Agreement seems to have come back to haunt Burundi. Ethnic protests threaten to tear the country apart, leading it to the path of a failed state.
Whenever the crisis in Burundi is discussed, the economy is often overlooked, even though it is central to understanding the backdrop to the most severe crisis since the end of the civil war.
Rwanda and Burundi, once the conjoined twins of East Africa, marked over five decades of going separate ways since independence. Today, the difference in their fortunes couldn't be more stark.