With the end of the civil war in Burundi, the government began a transitional justice process to consolidate peace and deal with the legacies of past violations. Part of the transitional justice work in the country has been restitution of land and other property – a process that has provoked further violence and, to some extent, threatened national unity. Political elites have hijacked the land restitution process in a way that has shaped land conflicts on the ground and affected national politics. Based on action research carried out in Nyanza-lac Commune, Makamba Province, between May and December 2017, this article discusses return-related land conflicts and dialogue as a means of settling such conflicts. The research findings indicate that dialogue can help affected communities resolve and transform complex conflicts in a context where the law has failed to address them.
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