Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

David H. Carwell


The civil wars that have occurred in Africa have had destabilizing effects on the political and social structure of African countries. The massacres and genocide of 1993 and 1994 in Rwanda and Burundi shocked the whole world into experiencing the horror of the news that more than one million people had been slaughtered in cold blood. The causes of the conflict in Rwanda and Burundi are many and complex. In this paper, my major focus will be on the role the armed forces have played in the conflict and how demilitarization should be the alternative solution in bringing permanent peace to the war torn region. I have used a demilitarization model created by African delegates in an effort to bring about sustainable peace in the African region. The main components of the model include, building consensus, redefining the role of the military, improving civil military relations and analyzing the role that external actors have played. My findings indicate that the demilitarization process has not been a success in both Rwanda and Burundi because despite the signing of numerous peace accords the resolutions of the accords have not been fully achieved. The demilitarization of rebel groups has been partially implemented.