The Arusha Peace Agreement, also known as the Arusha Agreement, was signed in August 2000 after lengthy negotiations supported by former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela of South Africa. It ended 12 years of civil war and cycles of massacres, including genocide, dating back to Burundi`s independence in 1960. The war pitted Hutu rebels against successive Tutsi regimes. «For many Tutsis, control of the army was seen as crucial to their physical survival as a minority. While for the majority of Hutus, the Tutsi-dominated army was the main obstacle to the realization of their political rights,» notes Dr. Nicholas Haysom, an important member of President Mandela`s mediation team. «When President Nyerere began talks in 1998, we focused on the assassination of the first democratically elected Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye, by Tutsi officers in 1993,» said Joseph Butiku, a member of President Nyerere`s mediation team. «At first we tried to reach agreement on the restoration of democratic institutions that had been overthrown, but over time it became clear that we needed to go further to study the fundamental nature of the conflict, and then develop ways to restructure the Burundian state in a way that responds to the causes.» In May 1992, Robert Flaten, then U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, returned to Washington on the talks and strategies for peace negotiations between the Rwandan government and the RPF. The RPF calls for the United States to be present in the negotiations «due to doubts about the neutrality of the French.» The United States has stated that it is prepared to participate in interposed enterprises only if all parties, including the French, are «ready for the United States to participate.» The Arusha negotiations were compounded by the fact that the various divisions between the political parties occurred within the Rwandan government delegation. This is evident from various reports by American observers (document 8) and from the reports of the Rwandan delegation sent to President Habyarimana in Kigali (document 14).
The major differences of opinion were the same: how to integrate the military, the size of the entire force and the shares of the RPF and former government forces that would constitute the new Rwandan armed forces (Document 9). The RPF and the Rwandan government were also divided on how to choose, on the soldiers and officers to be demobilized, on how to successfully reintegrate them into society and on the security problems associated with the demobilization process (Document 7). «In 1992… In July, the government and the RPF agreed to a meeting in Arusha, and they… A ceasefire and a programme of peace negotiations… but at the same time, there has been an increase in violence within the party… I consider it also a perversion of political parties, because there, the parties [political groups] were used as a means of violence and not as a vehicle to get the messages out of political parties. December 1993 – UNAMIR escorts the RPF battalion to Kigali as part of the implementation of the peace accords 8 Date: 15 January 1993 By: Colonel BEMS Bagosora, et al. A: Juvénal Habyarimana, President of Rwanda Subj: Negotiations in Arusha from 22 November 1992 to 9 January 1993 Source: Evidence from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) The United States Embassy in Rwanda writes to the Secretary of State about concerns about the transition to peace, in particular tensions related to the demobilization process.
Ambassador Rawson writes that «at the registered level, many equate multiparty and transitional government with their imminent demobilization, as most of the demobilized soldiers come from the ranks of enlisted soldiers. Their biggest concerns are adequate training and compensation as soon as they leave the military. Document 35 – A Document 35 – Kinihira Agreement B Date: December 12, 1993.