Information

Government of Burundi - History


Government type:
presidential republic
Capital:
name: Bujumbura

Administrative divisions:
18 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rumonge, Rutana, Ruyigi
Independence:
1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
Constitution:
history: several previous; latest ratified by referendum 28 February 2005
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic after consultation with the government or by absolute majority support of the membership in both houses of Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Senate membership and at least four-fifths majority vote by the National Assembly; the president can opt to submit amendment bills to a referendum; constitutional articles including those on national unity, the secularity of Burundi, its democratic form of government, and its sovereignty cannot be amended; amended 2018 (2018)
Legal system:
mixed legal system of Belgian civil law and customary law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; withdrew from ICCt in October 2017
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Burundi
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Gaston SINDIMWO (since 20 August 2015); Second Vice President Joseph BUTORE (since 20 August 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Gaston SINDIMWO (since 20 August 2015); Second Vice President Joseph BUTORE (since 20 August 2015)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 July 2015 (next to be held in 2020); vice presidents nominated by the president, endorsed by Parliament; note - a 2018 constitutional referendum effective for the 2020 election, approved reinstatement of the prime minister position, reduced the number of vice presidents from 2 to 1, and increased the presidential term from 5 to 7 years with a 2-consecutive-term limit
election results: Pierre NKURUNZIZA reelected president; percent of vote - Pierre NKURUNZIZA (CNDD-FDD) 69.4%, Agathon RWASA (Hope of Burundians - Amizerio y'ABARUNDI) 19%, other 11.6%
Legislative branch:
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
Senate or Inama Nkenguzamateka (43 seats in the July 2015 election; 36 members indirectly elected by an electoral college of provincial councils using a three-round voting system, which requires a two-thirds majority vote in the first two rounds and simple majority vote for the two leading candidates in the final round; 4 seats reserved for former heads of state, 3 seats reserved for Twas, and 30% of all votes reserved for women; members serve 5-year terms)
National Assembly or Inama Nshingamateka (121 seats in the June 2015 election; 100 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 21 co-opted members; 60% of seats allocated to Hutu and 40% to Tutsi; 3 seats reserved for Twas; 30% of total seats reserved for women; members serve 5-year terms)
elections:
Senate - last held on 24 July 2015 (next to be held in 2019)
National Assembly - last held on 29 June 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 33, FRODEBU 2, CNDD 1, former heads of state 4, Twas 3, women 8
National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CNDD-FDD 60.3%, Independents of Hope 11.2%, UPRONA 2.5%, other 26%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 77, Independents of Hope 21, UPRONA 2, women 18, Twas 3
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 9 judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and cassation chambers); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission, a 15-member independent body of judicial and legal profession officials), appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate and serve 6-year nonrenewable terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; County Courts; Courts of Residence; Martial Court; Court Against Corruption; Commercial Court; Commerce Court
Political parties and leaders:
Front for Democracy in Burundi or FRODEBU [Keffa NIBIZI]
Hope of Burundians (Amizero y'Abarundi) [Agathon RWASA, Charles NDITIJE]
Movement for Solidarity and Development or MSD [Alexis SINDUHIJE]
National Council for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD [Leonard NYANGOMA]
National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Front for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD-FDD [Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE]
National Liberation Forces or FNL [Jacques BIGITIMANA]
Union for National Progress (Union pour le Progress Nationale) or UPRONA [Abel GASHATSI]


President: Evariste Ndayishimiye

Evariste Ndayishimiye took office in June 2020, a week after President Pierre Nkurunziza died suddenly in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Ndayishimiye had won the May presidential election, and was due to take office in August.

The opposition condemned the election, in which Mr Ndayishimiye had the backing of his fellow former Hutu rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza, as rigged. Mr Nkurunziza was the first president to be chosen in democratic elections since the start of Burundi's civil war in 1994.


1972 - About 120,000 Hutus are massacred by government forces and their supporters in the wake of a Hutu-led uprising in the south.

1976 - President Micombero is deposed in a military coup by Jean-Baptiste Bagaza.

1981 - A new constitution makes Burundi a one-party state under UPRONA.

1987 - President Bagaza is deposed in a coup led by Pierre Buyoya.

1988 - Thousands of Hutus are massacred by Tutsis, and thousands more flee to Rwanda.


Facts about Burundian food

14. Protein and fat intake in the population of Burundi is very limited. As a result of it, a disease known as kwashiorkor is common. Learn more about kwashiorkor.

15. People in the region mainly eat diets consisting of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

16. Meat accounts for 2% or less of the average food intake.

17. Beer, which is an important part of social interactions, is drunk through straws.

18. Upon the death of a cow, its meat is eaten and horns are planted in the soil near the house. People in Burundi believe that this brings them good luck.


Burundi Government, History, Population & Geography

Current issues: in a number of waves since October 1993, hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled the ethnic violence between the Hutu and Tutsi factions in Burundi and crossed into Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zaire (now called Democratic Republic of the Congo) since October 1996, an estimated 92,000 Hutu refuguees have been forced to return to Burundi by Tutsi rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, leaving an estimated 35,000 still dispersed there in Burundi, the ethnic violence between the Hutus and the Tutsis continued in 1996, causing an additional 150,000 Hutus to flee to Tanzania, thus raising their numbers in that country to about 250,000

Location: Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates: 3 30 S, 30 00 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 27,830 sq km
land: 25,650 sq km
water: 2,180 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:
total: 974 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 233 km, Rwanda 290 km, Tanzania 451 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: equatorial high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,760 m) average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m average annual rainfall is about 150 cm wet seasons from February to May and September to November, and dry seasons from June to August and December to January

Terrain: hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m
highest point: Mount Heha 2,760 m

Natural resources: nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum (not yet exploited), vanadium

Land use:
arable land: 44%
permanent crops: 9%
permanent pastures: 36%
forests and woodland: 3%
other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 140 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: flooding, landslides

Environment—current issues: soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel) habitat loss threatens wildlife populations

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban

Geography—note: landlocked straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed

Population: 5,537,387 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 47% (male 1,313,112 female 1,309,600)
15-64 years: 50% (male 1,331,336 female 1,417,228)
65 years and over: 3% (male 69,718 female 96,393) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.51% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 41.61 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 17.38 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 10.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 101.19 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 45.56 years
male: 43.79 years
female: 47.38 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.4 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundi

Ethnic groups: Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000

Religions: Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 32%, Muslim 1%

Languages: Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 35.3%
male: 49.3%
female: 22.5% (1995 est.)

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Burundi
conventional short form: Burundi
local long form: Republika y'u Burundi
local short form: Burundi

Government type: republic

National capital: Bujumbura

Administrative divisions: 15 provinces Bubanza, Bujumbura, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi

Independence: 1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 July (1962)

Constitution: 13 March 1992 provides for establishment of a plural political system

Legal system: based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: NA years of age universal adult

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Pierre BUYOYA (interim president since 27 September 1996) note—former President NTIBANTUNGANYA was overthrown in a coup on 25 July 1996 and took refuge for 11 months in the US ambassador's residence in Bujumbura former Major (retired) Pierre BUYOYA has not been recognized as president of Burundi by the US or most other governments
head of government: Prime Minister Pascal-Firmin NDIMIRA (since 31 July 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by prime minister
elections: NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (81 seats members are popularly elected on a proportional basis to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 29 June 1993 (scheduled to be held in 1998, although no date has been set)
election results: percent of vote by party—FRODEBU 71%, UPRONA 21.4% seats by party - FRODEBU 65, UPRONA 16 other parties won too small shares of the vote to win seats in the assembly

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme

Political parties and leaders: Unity for National Progress or UPRONA [Charles MUKASI, president] Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Jean MINANI, president] Socialist Party of Burundi or PSB People's Reconciliation Party or PRP [Mathias HITIMANA, leader] opposition parties, legalized in March 1992, include Burundi African Alliance for the Salvation or ABASA Rally for Democracy and Economic and Social Development or RADDES [Cyrille SIGEJEJE, chairman] and Party for National Redress or PARENA [Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA, leader]

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC, CEPGL, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) Charge d'Affaires Henri SIMBAKWTRA
chancery: Suite 212, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Morris N. HUGHES, Jr. (27 June l996)
embassy: Avenue des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura
mailing address: B. P. 1720, Bujumbura
telephone: [257] (2) 223454
FAX: [257] (2) 222926

Flag description: divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and outer side) with a white disk superimposed at the center bearing three red six-pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below)

Economy—overview: Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country in an early stage of economic development. The economy is predominately agricultural with roughly 90% of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Its economic health depends on the coffee crop, which accounts for 80% of foreign exchange earnings. The ability to pay for imports therefore rests largely on the vagaries of the climate and the international coffee market. As part of its economic reform agenda, launched in February 1991 with IMF and World Bank support, Burundi is trying to diversify its agricultural exports, attract foreign investment in industry, and modernize government budgetary practices. Since October 1993 the nation has suffered from massive ethnic-based violence which has resulted in the death of perhaps 100,000 persons and the displacement of a million others. Foods, medicines, and electricity remain in short supply. An impoverished and disorganized government can hardly implement the needed reform programs.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$4 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.4% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$660 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 56%
industry: 18%
services: 26% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 26% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.9 million
by occupation: agriculture 93.0%, government 4.0%, industry and commerce 1.5%, services 1.5% (1983 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $222 million
expenditures: $258 million, including capital expenditures of $92 million (1995 est.)

Industries: light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap assembly of imported components public works construction food processing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 43,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 158 million kWh (1995)
note: imports some electricity from Democratic Republic of the Congo

Electricity—consumption per capita: 32 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca) meat, milk, hides

Exports:
total value: $40 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: coffee 81%, tea, cotton, hides
partners: EU 60%, US 7%, Asia 1%

Imports:
total value: $127 million (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: capital goods 26%, petroleum products, foodstuffs, consumer goods
partners: EU 47%, Asia 25%, US 6%

Debt—external: $1.1 billion (1995 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Burundi franc (FBu) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Burundi francs (FBu) per US$1𤽴.59 (January 1998), 352.35 (1997), 302.75 (1996), 249.76 (1995), 252.66 (1994), 242.78 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Telephones: 7,200 (1987 est.)

Telephone system: primitive system
domestic: sparse system of open wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth stationק Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 2, shortwave 0

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: 4,500 (1993 est.)

Highways:
total: 14,480 km
paved: 1,028 km
unpaved: 13,452 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: Lake Tanganyika

Ports and harbors: Bujumbura

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Military branches: Army (includes naval and air units), paramilitary Gendarmerie

Military manpower—military age: 16 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,203,518 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 627,587 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 69,030 (1998 est.)


A history of Rwanda and Burundi, 1894-1990 - Tony Sullivan

A history of Rwanda and Burundi, two African nations run by Western Imperial powers until independence in 1961. Burundi became an independent state in 1962.

The genocide which occurred in Rwanda in 1994, in which majority-Hutu militias wiped out from 500,000 to a million of the minority-Tutsi population is well-known. The complicity and even help given the Hutu government by the UN and the French government is less well-known, however.

The prior history of Western Imperial intervention which led to the events culminating in the genocide are vital background knowledge for an understanding of those horrific events.

Hutus and Tutsis: a tribal war?
The 1994 genocide was targeted mainly at Rwanda's minority Tutsi population. The perpetrators came from the majority Hutus. In the western media the killings were widely portrayed as tribal hostilities.

But the Tutsis and Hutus are not "tribes". They belong to the same Banyarwanda nationality. They share the same language, religions, and kinship and clan systems.

Before white rule the Tutsis simply constituted a privileged social layer, about 15% of the population, with control of cattle and arms. The Hutus were farmers. Most of the land was ruled by a Tutsi king, though some Hutu areas were independent.

The legacy of European rule
The Germans arrived in what was to become Rwanda in 1894 and, like all western imperialists, at once began to intensify local divisions to strengthen their own control. They ruled through the Tutsi king and brought formerly independent Hutu areas under the central administration.

Rwanda's northern and western borders were basically decided among the colonial powers in 1910. The borders with Tanzania and Burundi began as internal administrative divisions in German East Africa.

Before their departure in 1916 the Germans had suppressed a rebellion and established coffee as a cash crop.

After World War One Rwanda fell under Belgian control. The Belgians continued to rule through the Tutsi king, though in the 1920s they deposed a king who obstructed their plans, and chose their own candidate to replace him, ignoring the line of succession.

Belgian policy was openly racist. Early in its mandate, the Belgian Government declared: "The government should endeavour to maintain and consolidate traditional cadres composed of the Tutsi ruling class, because of its important qualities, its undeniable intellectual superiority and its ruling potential." Belgium educated only male Tutsi. (Frank Smyth, The Australian 10.6.94)

In the 1930s Belgium instituted apartheid-like identity cards, which marked the bearer as Tutsi, Hutu or Twa (pygmy). Their efforts to establish a racial basis for the Hutu-Tutsi division through qualities such as skin colour, nose and head size came to nothing: they fell back on the reality of economic division and defined a Tutsi as owner of ten or more cattle. However the division was now rigidly enforced: it was no longer possible to rise from the status of Hutu to Tutsi.

After the Second World War the Belgians continued to run the economy to their own advantage. Goods were exported via Belgian colonies on the Atlantic seaboard, although the route to Indian Ocean ports was far shorter and made much more sense in terms of future economic development. But neither Belgium nor other Western nations planned to develop Rwanda.

Repression and revolt
Hutu resistance was brutally suppressed. Amputations and other mutilation were standard punishments decreed by the the Belgians authorities, and administered by Tutsis. By the 1940s thousands of Hutus had fled to Uganda. But in the 1950s a powerful Hutu opposition movement grew out of a land crisis, caused primarily by the spread of coffee as a cash crop and the King's cancellation of the traditional custom of exchanging labour for land that had given Hutus a small chance of land acquisition.

The Belgian authorities were meanwhile becoming concerned at the rise of radical nationalist sentiments amoung the Tutsi urban middle class.

A rebellion of Hutu farmworkers broke out the late 1950s. The colonialists decided to come to terms with it by granting independence in 1961, and allowed free elections.

At the same time, with staggering hypocrisy, the colonialists encouraged a violently anti-Tutsi atmosphere to divert the fury of the Hutus from themselves.

The elections were won by the Party for Hutu Emancipation, or PARMEHUTU. It began at once to persecute the Tutsis.

The nation of Burundi separated from Rwanda in 1962 and remained under Tutsi control. The following year Tutsi refugees in Burundi invaded Rwanda and tried to take the capital, Kigali.

The PARMEHUTU government defeated them and unleashed a wave of murderous reprisals against Tutsi civilians in Rwanda, described by the philosopher Bertrand Russell as "the most horrible and systematic massacre we have had occasion to witness since the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis." (Smyth, The Australian 10.6.94)

In 1973 General Juvenal Habyarimana seized power and became President and set up a highly centralised, authoritarian regime. He formed the MRND, which was to become the only legal political party. It created cooperative groups in the countryside run by MRND loyalists. It coopted the Catholic Church and tightly controlled the tiny trade union movement.

At the same time the racist policies of the past were intensified: Tutsis were banned from the armed forces and marriage between Tutsis and Hutus was forbidden.

Despite these policies growing numbers of Hutus actively opposed the regime.

The free market cripples Rwanda
The proportion of Rwanda's labour force involved in agriculture was the highest in the world. In 1994 Agriculture employed 93% of the labour force (compared to 94% in 1965). Industry contributed only about 20% of Gross Domestic Product and this was largely limited to processing agricultural goods.

Dependence on inefficient agriculture left Rwanda prey to drought in 1989. Environmental damage also played its part. Originally well wooded, less than 3% of Rwanda is now forest. Erosion is rampant and is wiping out both natural vegetation as well as food and cash crops, despite tree-planting programs. In these conditions disease and famine spread.

Thanks to its colonial heritage Rwanda relied on coffee exports for anywhere between 60% and 85% of its foreign earnings. But in 1989 world coffee prices collapsed after the International Coffee Organisation suspended export quotas, allowing market forces free play.

The result was a foreign debt of $90 per person, in a nation where total wealth per person was only $320. Calorie consumption was only 81% of the required intake. Under 10% of children reached secondary school and one in five babies were dying before the age of one.

In 1990 the desperate Habyarimana Government adopted the International Monetary Fund's Structural Adjustment Programme in return for credit and foreign aid. Massive cutbacks in the already meagre public spending followed.

The regime prepared for resistance by stepping up the repression of political opponents, whether Hutu or Tutsi. But it also embarked on a huge new campaign to scapegoat Tutsis for the economic crisis. Government radio relentlessly spread hate propaganda, and in the background the regime began to organise militia death squads.

It is against the backdrop of this economic crisis that the genocide of Tutis took place.

Edited by libcom from an article The UN in Rwanda By Tony Sullivan

Sources
Other sources not already cited:
Economist Intelligence Unit, Zaire/Rwanda/Burundi, 1991-2 Europa Year Book 1993 Socialist Worker 10 June 1994 Rwanda, Randall Fegley Socialist Review 178, September 1994


A troubled history

A Burundian kingdom emerged as early as the 1500s. It was later colonised by Germany and then Belgium.

1960s Burundi declares independence, under King Mwanbutsa IV. When Hutus win a majority in parliamentary elections three years later, he refuses to appoint a Hutu prime minister. In 1966 army chief Michel Micombero seizes power.

1970s Government troops massacre more than 100,000 people in the south after a Hutu-led uprising in 1972. Micombero is ousted in a military coup.

1980s Another military coup brings Pierre Buyoya to power in 1987. A year later thousands of Hutus are massacred by Tutsis. Many more flee to Rwanda.

1993 A pro-Hutu government is installed in June after multi-party polls. In October, Tutsi soldiers assassinate the president, sparking revenge killings of Tutsis and then army reprisals. It is the start of an ethnic conflict that will claim more than 300,000 lives.

1994 A Hutu president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, is appointed in February but dies two months later when the plane carrying him and his Rwandan counterpart, Juvénal Habyarimana, is shot down, setting off Rwanda’s genocide.

2000 Arusha peace deal is agreed, which lays the basis for a power-sharing rule in Burundi, though the war rages on for several years.

2005 Pierre Nkurunziza is elected president. He wins a nationwide poll in 2010 after opposition parties boycott it, and in 2015 argues that his unusual route to office allows him to defy the constitution and stand for one more term.

2015 After a failed coup attempt, Nkurunziza wins a third term with 70% of the vote. A campaign of violence, murder and intimidation sparks a regional refugee crisis, destroys the economy and isolates Burundi.

2016 International efforts to halt the crisis are stepped up, but to little effect. UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon visits Burundi, the EU halts aid payments, and UK, European and US governments impose sanctions on several senior figures. The African Union considers sending in peacekeeping troops.


The United Nations has been a presence since the country gained independence in 1962, especially through the World Health Organization, which has provided money and training to combat smallpox, tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition, and AIDS. Catholic and Protestant churches have a long history of sending missionaries and aid workers to the region.

Division of Labor by Gender. Women's primary duties are childbearing and child care. They are also responsible for household chores, including cleaning and food preparation. In rural regions, women also work in agriculture and do most of the work of planting, as their fertility is believed to be transferred to the seeds. Women are almost entirely unrepresented in business and at all levels of government.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Women are respected, particularly for their power as life bearers. The role of the mother is highly honored, but in practice, women have little decision-making authority in the family or in society as a whole. Fatherhood is considered an important responsibility, and it is the man who is in charge of the family. Women's status is little higher than that of children, and like them, women are expected to defer to the wishes of any adult male.


Burundi Watch Monthly Update – November 2018

Summary The month of October was regarded as a decisive month as Burundian invested in peace were invited to the 5th and concluding session of the inter-Burundian dialogue. Despite the massive participation of the opposition, the government of Burundi, the ruling CNDD-FDD party and their allies boycotted the session, claiming October is month mourning in… View Article

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Genocide

On April 6, 1994, the Hutu president of Rwanda, Juvénal Habyarimana, was assassinated when his plane was shot down near Kigali International Airport. The Hutu president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was also killed in the attack. This sparked the chillingly well-organized extermination of Tutsis by Hutu militias, even though blame for the plane attack has never been established. Sexual violence against Tutsi women was also widespread, and the United Nations only conceded that "acts of genocide" had occurred two months after the killing began.  

After the genocide and the Tutsis' regaining control, about 1.3 million Hutus fled to Burundi, Tanzania   (from where more than 10,000 were later expelled by the government), Uganda, and the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the great focus of Tutsi-Hutu conflict is today.   Tutsi rebels in the DRC accuse the government of providing cover for the Hutu militias.


Watch the video: History of Burundi (January 2022).