Development of the security sector

Projec description

Title: Development of the security sector
Commissioned by: Dutch Embassy in Burundi
Country: Burundi
Overall term: 2011 to 2017


Even after the end of the 12-year-long civil war in Burundi, the security situation remains unstable. In 2004, the Burundian Government founded a new army and police force, into which many demobilised combatants from former armed groups were integrated. Today, Burundi has a distinctly oversized army and police force alongside weak government institutions. The government faces the challenge of carrying out important reforms, while providing security as a service to its citizens so that social tensions are resolved without recourse to violence.


The legitimacy, efficiency and professionalism of the Burundian armed forces and the Burundian police have improved.


The security sector in Burundi includes not only the military and police, but also institutions of good governance such as the audit office, constitutional court and ombudsman. These all benefit from strategic and administrative support as part of Burundian-Dutch development cooperation. Only professionally trained security forces, under the control of parliament and civil society, can regain the trust of citizens and provide them with reliable protection.

This programme for the development of the security sector consists of three integrated components: military reform, police reform and strengthening of good governance. A ministerial management unit has been set up for each of the components, and GIZ advises the units on planning and implementing projects. This involves the joint development of strategic plans and identification of implementation measures. The project also supports the military and police in opening up to the media and the general public.

On behalf of the Dutch Government, GIZ administers a fund for the planned measures, which should underpin the development of the Burundian security sector. GIZ is responsible for the overall financial management of the fund and for all procurements made through it. It is also assisting its partners with construction projects for the military and police, including new training centres and improved accommodation.

In the course of the programme, the financial and procurement processes will be gradually transferred to the Burundian authorities to ensure their sustainability.


The programme has contributed to the reform of the core institutions of Burundi’s security sector – the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Public Security – by improving the conditions for their work. It has also strengthened the democratic structures, such as the ombudsman, parliament, senate, constitutional court and audit office, as well as the National Independent Commission on Human Rights, the media and non-governmental organisations.

In this way, in cooperation with the army, the police and civil society organisations, the project has developed transparent financial and procurement processes for use by the institutions of the security sector. At the same time, GIZ has established bookkeeping systems within the management units, and has provided training in bookkeeping and budget monitoring for the administrative staff. As a result of the measures taken, the security institutions are becoming increasingly capable of planning and implementing their own policy, strategic and infrastructure projects, independently, transparently and efficiently; and they are able to monitor the success of those projects. Thus, the project is contributing to the greater institutional professionalism of the security forces in Burundi, thereby guaranteeing security as a service to citizens.