Dr. Markus Weilenmann,
Head of the Office
In many crisis countries, international development agencies are urged to devise new programmes of emergency aid. Top priority have provisions who ease tensions and serve the social relief. Adequate strategies include poverty reduction measures, the improvement of dialogue and mediation capacities, the set-up of so-called "islands of peace", and therapy oriented conflict intervention programmes for addressing the traumatic past. Direct goal of all these interventions is to drop the general disposition for violence in order to widen the scope for better living conditions.
To settle actually rising conflicts and to open ways for a more peaceful and viable coexistence is one thing; the political history teaches however that the temporal impact of such measures is much too limited, if the societal rifts, who directly or indirectly are linked to such critical events are not simultaneously - and permanently - addressed.
Yet, the logic of conflict mediation stategies do not always fit well with an originator driven approach. Their focus relies rather on the timely sequences of a conflict process where one distinguishes between the beginning phase, the phase of negotiations - sometimes still interrupted by the outbreak of brute violence - and the implementation phase. Structural issues such as cultural alienation, the lack of state legitimacy, intrasocial gaps of communication, missing vertical coherence or the societal fragility of governance comply rarely with the timely sequences of a distinct conflict process, though an originator driven temporality is often attributed ex post to such events.
The question therefore, how international development agencies position themselves and what bundle of intervention measures they choose, has far reaching consequences not only for their own field of interaction and their own target system. Success or failure may also rub off on all the other participant organisations and herewith imperil or strengthen the degree of collaboration. Crisis intervention programmes therefore are not only important cross-cutting issues within a given country programme of a distinct organization but issues that encompass all development political actors of a country in crisis.
Towards the end of President Nkurunziza's 2nd Term of the Republic of Burundi, the German Embassy together with GIZ's country office required a study on the structural problems of the anticipated political and social crisis, which encompasses all areas of life since Burundi's president violated Burundi's constititution and the Arusha Peace Agreement in April 2015 and continued remaining in power.
Burundi politics - an overview of the most burning rifts and their connection to daily politics
After the military occupation of the South Kivu (DRC) by the Rwandan Army Forces, the German GIZ/GTZ required an evaluation of the influence of the political basic conditions on the course of their running development projects, which aimed at improving the rural living conditions.
"Notre projet - c'est la survie!"