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Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a
landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign s ...
in the
Great Rift Valley The Great Rift Valley is a series of contiguous geographic trenches, approximately in total length, that runs from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon Lebanon (), officially known as the Lebanese Republic,''Republic of Lebanon'' is the most co ...

Great Rift Valley
where the
African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake Victoria, the List of lakes by area, second-largest fresh water lake in the wo ...

African Great Lakes
region and
East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including ...
converge. It is bordered by
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's bi ...

Rwanda
to the north,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
to the east and southeast, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
to the west;
Lake Tanganyika Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is the second-oldest freshwater lake in the world, the second-largest by volume, and the second-deepest, in all cases after Lake Baikal in Siberia. It is the world's longest freshwater lake. The la ...

Lake Tanganyika
lies along its southwestern border. The capital cities are
Gitega Gitega (), formerly Kitega, is the capital of Burundi. Located in the centre of the country, in the Burundian central plateau roughly east of Bujumbura (the largest city and former capital), Gitega (the second largest city) was the seat of the ...
and
Bujumbura Bujumbura (), formerly Usumbura, is the largest city and main port of Burundi. It ships most of the country's chief export, coffee, as well as cotton and tin ore. In late December 2018, Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza announced that he ...

Bujumbura
. The
Twa Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a major American airline An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines utilize aircraft to supply these services and may form partnerships or Airli ...
,
Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured ha ...

Hutu
and
Tutsi The Tutsi (; ), or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group of the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake ...
peoples have lived in Burundi for at least 500 years. For more than 200 of those years, Burundi was an independent
kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female monarch Taxonomy * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Arts an ...
, until the beginning of the 20th century, when
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
colonised the region. After the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
and Germany's defeat, it ceded the territory to
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
. Both Germans and Belgians ruled Burundi and Rwanda as a European colony known as
Ruanda-Urundi Ruanda-Urundi () was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium between 1922 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African Campaign (World War I), East African Campaign o ...
. Burundi and Rwanda had never been under common rule until the time of European colonisation. Burundi gained independence in 1962 and initially had a
monarchy A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a ...
, but a series of assassinations, coups and a general climate of regional instability culminated in the establishment of a republic and one-party state in 1966. Bouts of
ethnic cleansing Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic, racial, and religious groups from a given area, with the intent of making a region ethnically homogeneous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the Science, science ...
and ultimately two civil wars and genocides during the
1970s File:1970s decade montage.png, Clockwise from top left: U.S. President The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity ...
and again in the
1990s File:1990s decade montage.png, From left, clockwise: The orbits the Earth after it was launched in 1990; American s and s fly over burning oil fields in Operation Desert Storm, also known as the 1991 ; The signing of the on 13 September 1993; T ...
resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and left the economy undeveloped and the population as one of the world's poorest. Eggers, p. xlix. The presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, both Hutus, died together when their aeroplane was shot down in April 1994. 2015 witnessed large-scale political strife as President
Pierre Nkurunziza Pierre Nkurunziza (18 December 19648 June 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked ...

Pierre Nkurunziza
opted to run for a third term in office, a coup attempt failed and the country's
parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
and
presidential President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
elections were broadly criticised by members of the international community. The
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
of Burundi's political system is that of a
presidential President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
representative democratic republic based upon a multi-party state. The President of Burundi is the
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
and
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administrat ...
. There are currently 21 registered parties in Burundi. On 13 March 1992, Tutsi coup leader
Pierre Buyoya Pierre Buyoya (24 November 1949 – 17 December 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landloc ...
established a constitution, International Center for Transitional Justice. Retrieved on 27 July 2008. which provided for a multi-party political process and reflected multi-party competition. From "The Financial Times World Desk Reference". Dorling Kindersley. 2004. Prentice Hall. Retrieved on 30 June 2008. Six years later, on 6 June 1998, the constitution was changed, broadening
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
's seats and making provisions for two vice-presidents. Because of the Arusha Accord, Burundi enacted a transitional government in 2000. In October 2016, Burundi informed the UN of its intention to withdraw from the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
. Burundi remains primarily a rural society, with just 13.4% of the population living in urban areas in 2019. The population density of around 315 people per square kilometre (753 per sq mi) is the second highest in
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
. Roughly 85% of the population are of
Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured ha ...

Hutu
ethnic origin, 15% are
Tutsi The Tutsi (; ), or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group of the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake ...
, and fewer than 1% are indigenous
Twa The Twa (also Batwa or Cwa) are a group of indigenous African Pygmy (Central African foragers) tribes. Overview Twa, also called Batwa, one of the best-known of the many Pygmy groups scattered across equatorial Africa. Like all other Af ...
. Eggers, p. ix. The
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
s of Burundi are
Kirundi Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is a Bantu language The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically an ...
and , Kirundi being recognised officially as the sole national language. One of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi's land is used mostly for subsistence agricultural and grazing, which has led to
deforestation deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

deforestation
,
soil erosion Soil erosion is the displacement of the upper layer of soil File:Stagnogley.JPG, Surface-water-Gley soil, gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that togeth ...

soil erosion
and
habitat loss Habitat destruction (also termed habitat loss and habitat reduction) is the process by which a natural habitat Ibex in an alpine habitat In ecology, the term habitat summarises the array of resources, physical and biotic factors that are pr ...
.Bermingham, Eldredge, Dick, Christopher W. and Moritz, Craig (2005). ''Tropical Rainforests: Past, Present, and Future''. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, p. 146. As of 2005 the country was almost completely deforested, with less than 6% of its land covered by trees and over half of that being commercial plantations. In addition to poverty, Burundians often have to deal with corruption, weak infrastructure, poor access to health and education services, and hunger. Burundi is densely populated and many young people emigrate in search of opportunities elsewhere. The ranked Burundi as the world's least happy nation with a rank of 156. Burundi is a member of the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
,
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a free trade area with twenty-one member states stretching from Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in nort ...
,
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
and the
Non-Aligned Movement The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a forum of 120 developing world Image:Imf-advanced-un-least-developed-2008.svg, 450px, Example of Older Classifications by the International Monetary Fund, IMF and the United Nations, UN from 2008 A deve ...
.


Etymology

Modern Burundi is named after the
Kingdom of Burundi The Kingdom of Burundi (french: Royaume du Burundi) or Kingdom of Urundi (''Royaume d'Urundi'') was a Bantu kingdom in the modern-day Republic of Burundi. The Ganwa Ganwa is the name for the princely group that traditionally ruled Burundi. They ...
, which ruled the region starting in the 16th century. It may ultimately derive its name from the Ha people of the region, whose place of origin was known as Buha.


History

Burundi is one of the few countries in Africa, along with its neighbour Rwanda among others (such as Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini), to be a direct territorial continuation of a pre-colonial era African state. The early history of Burundi, and especially the role and nature of the country's three dominant ethnic groups; the Twa, Hutu and Tutsi, is highly debated amongst academics. However, it is important to note that the nature of culture and ethnic groups is always fluid and changing. While the groups might have migrated to the area at different times and as distinctly different ethnic groups, the current distinctions are contemporary socio-cultural constructs. Initially the different ethnic groups lived together in relative peace. The first conflicts between ethnic groups can be dated back to the 17th century, when land was becoming ever more scarce because of the continuous growth in population.


Kingdom of Burundi

The first evidence of the Burundian state dates back to the late 16th century where it emerged on the eastern foothills. Over the following centuries it expanded, annexing smaller neighbours. The Kingdom of Burundi, or Urundi, in the Great Lakes region was a polity ruled by a traditional monarch with several princes beneath him; succession struggles were common."Kingdom of Burundi". Encyclopædia Britannica (Online ed.). Retrieved 15 October 2016. The king, known as the ''mwami'' (translated as ruler) headed a princely aristocracy (''ganwa'') which owned most of the land and required a tribute, or tax, from local farmers (mainly Hutu) and herders (mainly Tutsi). The Kingdom of Burundi was characterised by a hierarchical political authority and tributary economic exchange. In the mid-18th century, the Tutsi royalty consolidated authority over land, production, and distribution with the development of the ubugabire—a patron-client relationship in which the populace received royal protection in exchange for tribute and land tenure. By this time, the royal court was made up of the Tutsi-Banyaruguru, they had higher social status than other pastoralists such as the Tutsi-Hima. In the lower levels of this society were generally Hutu people, and at the very bottom of the pyramid were the Twa. The system had some fluidity however, some Hutu people belonged to the nobility and in this way also had a say in the functioning of the state. The classification of Hutu or Tutsi was not merely based on ethnic criteria alone. Hutu farmers that managed to acquire wealth and livestock were regularly granted the higher social status of Tutsi, some even made it to become close advisors of the ''Ganwa''. On the other hand, there are also reports of Tutsi that lost all their cattle and subsequently lost their higher status and were called Hutu. Thus, the distinction between Hutu and Tutsi was also a socio-cultural concept, instead of a purely ethnic one.WEISSMAN, S., Preventing genocide in Burundi: lessons from international diplomacy, Washington D.C., United States Institute of Peace Press, 1998, p5. There were also many reports of marriages between Hutu and Tutsi people. In general, regional ties and tribal power struggles played a far more determining role in Burundi's politics than ethnicity. Burundi ceased to be a monarchy when king Ntare V Ndizeye was deposed by his Prime Minister and Chief of Staff, Capt. Michel Micombero, who abolished the monarchy and declared a republic following the November 1966 coup d'état.


Colonisation

From 1884, the
German East Africa Company The German East Africa Company (german: Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, abbreviated DOAG) was a Chartered company, chartered colonial organization which brought about the establishment of German East Africa, a territory which eventually com ...
was active in the African Great Lakes region. As a result of heightened tensions and border disputes between the German East Africa Company, the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
and the
Sultanate of Zanzibar The Sultanate of Zanzibar ( sw, Usultani wa Zanzibar, ar, سلطنة زنجبار , translit=Sulṭanat Zanjībār), also known as the Zanzibar Sultanate, was a state controlled by the Sultan of Zanzibar, in place between 1856 and 1964. The Sul ...
, the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
was called upon to put down the Abushiri revolts and protect the empire's interests in the region. The German East Africa Company transferred its rights to the German Empire in 1891, in this way establishing the German colony of
German East Africa German East Africa (german: Deutsch-Ostafrika) (GEA) was a German colonial empire, German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, the Tanzania mainland, and the Kionga Triangle, a small region later ...

German East Africa
, which included Burundi (Urundi), Rwanda (Ruanda), and the mainland part of
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
(formerly known as
Tanganyika Tanganyika may refer to: * Tanganyika (territory) Tanganyika was a territory located on the continent of Africa, and administered by the United Kingdom from 1916 until 1961. The UK initially administered the territory as an occupying power with ...
). The German Empire stationed armed forces in Rwanda and Burundi during the late 1880s. The location of the present-day city of
Gitega Gitega (), formerly Kitega, is the capital of Burundi. Located in the centre of the country, in the Burundian central plateau roughly east of Bujumbura (the largest city and former capital), Gitega (the second largest city) was the seat of the ...
served as an administrative centre for the Ruanda-Urundi region. During the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...

First World War
, the East African Campaign greatly affected the African Great Lakes region. The allied powers, the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
and
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
launched a coordinated attack on the German colony. The German army stationed in Burundi was forced to retreat by the numerical superiority of the Belgian army and by 17 June 1916, Burundi and Rwanda were occupied. The Force Publique and the British
Lake Force Lake Force (or Lakeforce) was a unit of the British Army stationed in the Uganda Protectorate on the west coast of Lake Victoria under the command of Brigadier-General Charles Crewe, Sir Charles Crewe in 1916, during the East African Campaign (World ...
then started a thrust to capture
Tabora Tabora is the capital of Tanzania Tanzania (;This approximates the Kiswahili pronunciation. However, is also heard in English. ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa ...
, an administrative centre of central German East Africa. After the war, as outlined in the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government ...
, Germany was forced to cede "control" of the Western section of the former German East Africa to
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
. On 20 October 1924,
Ruanda-Urundi Ruanda-Urundi () was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium between 1922 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African Campaign (World War I), East African Campaign o ...
, which consisted of modern-day Rwanda and Burundi, became a Belgian
League of Nations The League of Nations (french: Société des Nations ), was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member state ...
mandate territory, with as its capital. In practical terms it was considered part of the
Belgian colonial empire Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large lan ...

Belgian colonial empire
. Burundi, as part of Ruanda-Urundi, continued its kingship
dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the larges ...
despite the invasion of Europeans. The Belgians, however, preserved many of the kingdom's institutions; the Burundian monarchy succeeded in surviving into the post-colonial period. Following the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Ruanda-Urundi was classified as a
United Nations Trust Territory United Nations trust territories were the successors of the remaining League of Nations mandates and came into being when the League of Nations ceased to exist in 1946. All of the trust territories were administered through the United Nations T ...
under Belgian administrative authority. During the 1940s, a series of policies caused divisions throughout the country. On 4 October 1943, powers were split in the legislative division of Burundi's government between chiefdoms and lower chiefdoms. Chiefdoms were in charge of land, and lower sub-chiefdoms were established. Native authorities also had powers. In 1948, Belgium allowed the region to form
political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
. These factions contributed to Burundi gaining its independence from Belgium, on 1 July 1962.


Independence

On 20 January 1959, Burundi's ruler Mwami Mwambutsa IV requested Burundi's independence from Belgium and dissolution of the Ruanda-Urundi union. In the following months, Burundian political parties began to advocate for the end of Belgian colonial rule and the separation of Rwanda and Burundi. The first and largest of these political parties was the
Union for National Progress The Union for National Progress (french: Union pour le Progrès national, UPRONA) is a African nationalism, nationalist political party in Burundi. It initially emerged as a nationalist united front in opposition to Ruanda-Urundi, Belgian colonial ...
(UPRONA). Burundi's push for independence was influenced by the
Rwandan Revolution The Rwandan Revolution, also known as the Social Revolution or Wind of Destruction ( rw, muyaga), was a period of ethnic violence in Rwanda from 1959 to 1961 between the Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu peoples, Ban ...
and the accompanying instability and ethnic conflict that occurred there. As a result of the Rwandan Revolution, many Rwandan Tutsi refugees arrived in Burundi during the period from 1959 to 1961. Burundi's first
elections An election is a formal group decision-makingGroup decision-making (also known as collaborative decision-making or collective decision-making) is a situation faced when individuals An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity. Indi ...
took place on 8 September 1961 and UPRONA, a multi-ethnic unity party led by
Prince Louis Rwagasore Louis Rwagasore (10 January 1932 – 13 October 1961) was a Burundian prince and politician who served as Prime Minister of Burundi from 28 September 1961 until his assassination on 13 October 1961. Biography Political career Louis Rwagasore was t ...
won just over 80% of the electorate's votes. In the wake of the elections, on 13 October, the 29-year-old Prince Rwagasore was assassinated, robbing Burundi of its most popular and well-known nationalists. The country claimed independence on 1 July 1962, and legally changed its name from Ruanda-Urundi to Burundi. Burundi became a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
with Mwami Mwambutsa IV, Prince Rwagasore's father, serving as the country's king. On 18 September 1962 Burundi joined the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
. In 1963, King Mwambutsa appointed a Hutu prime minister,
Pierre Ngendandumwe Pierre Ngendandumwe (1930 – 15 January 1965) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked coun ...
, but he was assassinated on 15 January 1965 by a Rwandan Tutsi employed by the US Embassy. The assassination occurred in the broader context of the
Congo Crisis The Congo Crisis (french: Crise congolaise, link=no) was a period of Crisis, political upheaval and war, conflict in the Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville), Republic of the Congo (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) between 1960 a ...
during which
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

Western
anti-communist countries were confronting the communist
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
as it attempted to make Burundi a logistics base for communist insurgents battling in Congo. Parliamentary elections in May 1965 brought a majority of Hutu into the parliament, but when King Mwambutsa appointed a Tutsi prime minister, some Hutu felt this was unjust and ethnic tensions were further increased. In October 1965, an attempted
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for "blow of state"), often shortened to coup in English, (also known as an overthrow) is a seizure and removal of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a politic ...
led by the Hutu-dominated police was carried out but failed. The Tutsi dominated army, then led by Tutsi officer Captain
Michel Micombero Michel Micombero (26 August 194016 July 1983) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked cou ...
purged Hutu from their ranks and carried out reprisal attacks which ultimately claimed the lives of up to 5,000 people in a precursor to the 1972 Burundian Genocide. King Mwambutsa, who had fled the country during the October coup of 1965, was deposed by a coup in July 1966 and his teenage son, , claimed the throne. In November that same year, the Tutsi Prime Minister, then-Captain Michel Micombero, carried out another coup, this time deposing Ntare, abolishing the monarchy and declaring the nation a
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
, though his one-party government was effectively a
military dictatorship A military dictatorship is a dictatorship in which the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and the dictator is often a high-ranked military officer. The reverse situation is to have civilian control of the m ...
. As president, Micombero became an advocate of
African socialism African socialism is a belief in sharing economic resources in a traditional Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by ...
and received support from the People's Republic of China. He imposed a staunch regime of law and order and sharply repressed Hutu militarism.


Civil war and genocides

In late April 1972, two events led to the outbreak of the busu famine First Burundian Genocide. On 27 April 1972, a rebellion led by
Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured ha ...

Hutu
members of the
gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A vedette of the French ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle harbour A gendarmerie () is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily ...

gendarmerie
broke out in the lakeside towns of Rumonge and Nyanza-Lac and the rebels declared the short-lived Martyazo Republic. The rebels attacked both Tutsi and any Hutu who refused to join their rebellion. During this initial Hutu outbreak, anywhere from 800 to 1200 people were killed. At the same time, King
Ntare V of Burundi Ntare V of Burundi (born Charles Ndizeye; 2 December 1947 – 29 April 1972) was the last List of kings of Burundi, king of Burundi (or ''King of Burundi, mwami''), reigning from July to November 1966. Until his accession, he was known as Crown ...

Ntare V of Burundi
returned from exile, heightening political tension in the country. On 29 April 1972, the 24-year-old Ntare V was murdered. In subsequent months, the Tutsi-dominated government of
Michel Micombero Michel Micombero (26 August 194016 July 1983) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked cou ...
used the army to combat Hutu rebels and commit genocide, murdering targeted members of the Hutu majority. The total number of casualties was never established, but contemporary estimates put the number of people killed between 80,000 and 210,000.White, Matthew
Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century: C. Burundi (1972–73, primarily Hutu killed by Tutsi) 120,000
International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi (2002). Paragraph 85. "The Micombero regime responded with a genocidal repression that is estimated to have caused over a hundred thousand victims and forced several hundred thousand Hutus into exile" In addition, several hundred thousand Hutu were estimated to have fled the killings into
Zaïre Zaire (), officially the Republic of Zaire (french: République du Zaïre ), was the name of a sovereign state between 1971 and 1997 in Central Africa that is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was, by area, the largest c ...
,
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's bi ...

Rwanda
and
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
. Following the civil war and genocide, Micombero became mentally distraught and withdrawn. In 1976, Colonel
Jean-Baptiste Bagaza Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (29 August 19464 May 2016) was a Burundian army officer and politician who ruled Burundi as President of Burundi, president and ''de facto'' military dictator from November 1976 to September 1987. Born into the Tutsi, Tutsi ...
, a Tutsi, led a
bloodless coup A nonviolent revolution is a revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms ...
to topple Micombero and set about promoting reform. His administration drafted a new constitution in 1981, which maintained Burundi's status as a
one-party state A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. ...
. In August 1984, Bagaza was elected head of state. During his tenure, Bagaza suppressed political opponents and religious freedoms. Major
Pierre Buyoya Pierre Buyoya (24 November 1949 – 17 December 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landloc ...
(Tutsi) overthrew Bagaza in 1987, suspended the constitution and dissolved political parties. He reinstated military rule by a Military Committee for National Salvation (CSMN). Anti-Tutsi ethnic propaganda disseminated by the remnants of the 1972 UBU, which had re-organized as PALIPEHUTU in 1981, led to killings of Tutsi peasants in the northern communes of Ntega and Marangara in August 1988. The government put the death toll at 5,000; some international NGOs believed this understated the deaths. The new regime did not unleash the harsh reprisals of 1972. Its effort to gain public trust was eroded when it decreed an
amnesty Amnesty (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
for those who had called for, carried out, and taken credit for the killings. Analysts have called this period the beginning of the "culture of impunity." Other analysts put the origins of the "culture of impunity" earlier, in 1965 and 1972, when a small number of identifiable Hutus unleashed massive killings of Tutsis. In the aftermath of the killings, a group of Hutu intellectuals wrote an open letter to
Pierre Buyoya Pierre Buyoya (24 November 1949 – 17 December 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landloc ...
, asking for more representation of the Hutu in the administration. They were arrested and jailed. A few weeks later, Buyoya appointed a new government, with an equal number of Hutu and Tutsi ministers. He appointed
Adrien SibomanaAdrien Sibomana (born 4 September 1953, in Bukeye, Muramvya) was the Heads of Government of Burundi, prime minister of Burundi from 19 October 1988 until 10 July 1993. He was a member of UPRONA. He is an ethnic Hutu and was appointed by the Tutsi Pre ...
(Hutu) as Prime Minister. Buyoya also created a commission to address issues of national unity. In 1992, the government created a new constitution that provided for a multi-party system, but a
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
broke out. An estimated total of 250,000 people died in Burundi from the various conflicts between 1962 and 1993. Since Burundi's independence in 1962, two
genocides Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic group, ethnic, nationality, national, race (classification of humans), racial, or religion, religious group—in whole or in part. A term coined by Raphael L ...
have taken place in the country: the 1972 mass killings of Hutus by the Tutsi-dominated army, and the mass killings of Tutsis in 1993 by the Hutu majority. Both were described as genocides in the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi presented in 2002 to the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the Organs of the United Nations, six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international security, international peace and security, recommending the admission ...

United Nations Security Council
. International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi (2002). Paragraphs 85,496.


First attempt at democracy and war between Tutsi National Army and Hutu population

In June 1993,
Melchior Ndadaye Melchior Ndadaye (March 28, 1953 – October 21, 1993) was a Burundian intellectual and politician. He was the first democratically elected and first Hutu president of Burundi after winning the landmark 1993 Burundi presidential election, 1993 elec ...

Melchior Ndadaye
, leader of the Hutu-dominated
Front for Democracy in Burundi The Front for Democracy in Burundi (french: link=no, Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi, FRODEBU) is a Hutu progressive political party in Burundi. History It was formed by followers of Melchior Ndadaye from the disbanded Burundi Workers' ...
(FRODEBU), won the first democratic election. He became the first Hutu head of state, leading a pro-Hutu government. Though he moved to attempt to smooth the country's bitter ethnic divide, his reforms antagonised soldiers in the Tutsi-dominated army, and he was assassinated amidst a failed military coup in October 1993, after only three months in office. The ensuing
Burundian Civil War The Burundian Civil War was a civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political ...
(1993–2005) saw persistent violence between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi majority army. It is estimated that some 300,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the years following the assassination. In early 1994, the parliament elected
Cyprien Ntaryamira Cyprien Ntaryamira (6 March 1955 – 6 April 1994) was the Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu peoples, Bantu ethnic or social group native to the African Great Lakes region of Africa, an area now primarily in Burundi ...
(Hutu) to the office of president. He and
Juvénal Habyarimana Juvénal Habyarimana (; ; 8 March 19376 April 1994) served as the second president of Rwanda, from 1973 until 1994. He was nicknamed "Kinani", a Kinyarwanda word meaning "invincible". Habyarimana was a dictator, and electoral fraud was suspecte ...
, the president of Rwanda, both Hutus, died together when their aeroplane was shot down in April 1994. More refugees started fleeing to Rwanda. Speaker of Parliament,
Sylvestre Ntibantunganya Sylvestre Ntibantunganya (born 8 May 1956) is a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country i ...
(Hutu), was appointed as president in October 1994. A coalition government involving 12 of the 13 parties was formed. A feared general massacre was averted, but violence broke out. A number of Hutu refugees in Bujumbura, the then-capital, were killed. The mainly Tutsi Union for National Progress withdrew from the government and parliament. In 1996,
Pierre Buyoya Pierre Buyoya (24 November 1949 – 17 December 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landloc ...
(Tutsi) again took power through a
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for "blow of state"), often shortened to coup in English, (also known as an overthrow) is a seizure and removal of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a politic ...
. He suspended the constitution and was sworn in as president in 1998. This was the start of his second term as president, after his first term from 1987 to 1993. In response to rebel attacks, the government forced much of the population to move to
refugee camp , Palestinian refugee Palestinian refugees are citizens of Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine ( ar, فلسطين '; he, פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א"י) ', where "E.Y." indicates ''Eretz Yīśrā'ēl'', the Land of Israel) ...

refugee camp
s. Under Buyoya's rule, long peace talks started, mediated by
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
. Both parties signed agreements in
Arusha Arusha is a city in north eastern Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the ...
,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
and
Pretoria Pretoria is one of South Africa’s three Capital city, capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government, and as the host to all foreign embassies to South Africa. Cape Town is the legislature, legislative capital wher ...

Pretoria
, South Africa, to share power in Burundi. The agreements took four years to plan. On 28 August 2000, a transitional government for Burundi was planned as a part of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. The transitional government was placed on a trial basis for five years. After several aborted cease-fires, a 2001 peace plan and power-sharing agreement has been relatively successful. A cease-fire was signed in 2003 between the Tutsi-controlled Burundian government and the largest Hutu rebel group, CNDD-FDD (National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy). In 2003, FRODEBU leader
Domitien Ndayizeye Domitien Ndayizeye (born 2 May 1951) is a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country in the ...
(Hutu) was elected president. In early 2005, ethnic quotas were formed for determining positions in Burundi's government. Throughout the year, elections for parliament and president occurred.
Pierre Nkurunziza Pierre Nkurunziza (18 December 19648 June 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked ...

Pierre Nkurunziza
(Hutu), once a leader of a rebel group, was elected president in 2005. , the Burundian government was talking with the Hutu-led Palipehutu-National Liberation Forces (NLF) to bring peace to the country.


Peace agreements

African leaders began a series of peace talks between the warring factions following a request by the United Nations Secretary General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali Boutros Boutros-Ghali (; , ar, بطرس بطرس غالي ', ; 14 November 1922 – 16 February 2016) was an Egyptian politician and diplomat who was the List of Secretaries-General of the United Nations, sixth Secretary-General of the United ...
for them to intervene in the humanitarian crisis. Talks were initiated under the aegis of former Tanzanian President in 1995; following his death, South African President
Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (born Rolihlahla Mandela ; ; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as the first president of South Africa Th ...

Nelson Mandela
took the helm. As the talks progressed, South African President and United States President
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton ('' né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and ...

Bill Clinton
also lent their respective weight. The peace talks took the form of Track I mediations. This method of negotiation can be defined as a form of diplomacy involving governmental or intergovernmental representatives, who may use their positive reputations, mediation or the "carrot and stick" method as a means of obtaining or forcing an outcome, frequently along the lines of "bargaining" or "win-lose". The main objective was to transform the Burundian government and military structurally in order to bridge the ethnic gap between the Tutsi and Hutu. It was to take place in two major steps. First, a transitional power-sharing government would be established, with the presidents holding office for three-year terms. The second objective involved a restructuring of the armed forces, where the two groups would be represented equally. As the protracted nature of the peace talks demonstrated, the mediators and negotiating parties confronted several obstacles. First, the Burundian officials perceived the goals as "unrealistic" and viewed the treaty as ambiguous, contradictory and confusing. Second, and perhaps most importantly, the Burundians believed the treaty would be irrelevant without an accompanying cease fire. This would require separate and direct talks with the rebel groups. The main Hutu party was sceptical of the offer of a power-sharing government; they alleged that they had been deceived by the Tutsi in past agreements. In 2000, the Burundian President signed the treaty, as well as 13 of the 19 warring Hutu and Tutsi factions. Disagreements persisted over which group would preside over the nascent government, and when the ceasefire would begin. The spoilers of the peace talks were the hardliner Tutsi and Hutu groups who refused to sign the accord; as a result, violence intensified. Three years later at a summit of African leaders in Tanzania, the Burundian president and the main opposition Hutu group signed an accord to end the conflict; the signatory members were granted ministerial posts within the government. However, smaller militant Hutu groups – such as the Forces for National Liberation – remained active.


UN involvement

Between 1993 and 2003, many rounds of peace talks, overseen by regional leaders in Tanzania, South Africa and
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic bas ...

Uganda
, gradually established power-sharing agreements to satisfy the majority of the contending groups. Initially the South African Protection Support Detachment was deployed to protect Burundian leaders returning from exile. These forces became part of the African Union Mission to Burundi, deployed to help oversee the installation of a transitional government. In June 2004, the UN stepped in and took over peacekeeping responsibilities as a signal of growing international support for the already markedly advanced peace process in Burundi.Howard, Lise Morje (2008). UN Peacekeeping in Civil Wars. New York: Cambridge University Press. The mission's mandate, under
Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter Chapter VII of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co ...
, has been to monitor cease-fire; carry out disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants; support humanitarian assistance and refugee and IDP return; assist with elections; protect international staff and Burundian civilians; monitor Burundi's troublesome borders, including halting illicit arms flows; and assist in carrying out institutional reforms including those of the Constitution, judiciary, armed forces and police. The mission has been allotted 5,650 military personnel, 120 civilian police and about 1,000 international and local civilian personnel. The mission has been functioning well. It has greatly benefited from the transitional government, which has functioned and is in the process of transitioning to one that will be popularly elected. The main difficulty in the early stages was continued resistance to the peace process by the last Hutu nationalist rebel group. This organisation continued its violent conflict on the outskirts of the capital despite the UN's presence. By June 2005, the group had stopped fighting and its representatives were brought back into the political process. All political parties have accepted a formula for inter-ethnic power-sharing: no political party can gain access to government offices unless it is ethnically integrated. The focus of the UN's mission had been to enshrine the power-sharing arrangements in a popularly voted constitution, so that elections may be held and a new government installed. Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration were done in tandem with elections preparations. In February 2005, the
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
was approved with over 90% of the popular vote. In May, June and August 2005, three separate elections were also held at the local level for the Parliament and the presidency. While there are still some difficulties with refugee returns and securing adequate food supplies for the war-weary population, the mission managed to win the trust and confidence of a majority of the formerly warring leaders, as well as the population at large. It was involved with several "quick effect" projects, including rehabilitating and building schools, orphanages, health clinics and rebuilding infrastructure such as water lines.


2006 to 2018

Reconstruction efforts in Burundi started to practically take effect after 2006. The UN shut down its peacekeeping mission and re-focused on helping with reconstruction.Timeline Burundi
BBC. . (accessed on 29 October 2008)
Toward achieving
economic reconstructionEconomic reconstruction refers to a process for creating a proactive vision of economic change. The most basic idea is that problems in the economy such as deindustrialization, environmental decay, outsourcing Outsourcing is an agreement in which ...
, Rwanda, and Burundi relaunched the regional
Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries The Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (ECGLC) (in French language, French CEPGL - ''Communauté Économique des Pays des Grand Lacs'') is a sub-regional organization with multiple purposes created by the signing of the Agreement of Gis ...
. In addition, Burundi, along with Rwanda, joined the
East African Community The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in an ...

East African Community
in 2007. However, the terms of the September 2006 Ceasefire between the government and the last remaining armed opposition group, the FLN (Forces for National Liberation, also called NLF or FROLINA), were not totally implemented, and senior FLN members subsequently left the truce monitoring team, claiming that their security was threatened. In September 2007, rival FLN factions clashed in the capital, killing 20 fighters and causing residents to begin fleeing. Rebel raids were reported in other parts of the country. The rebel factions disagreed with the government over disarmament and the release of political prisoners.Burundi: Release Civilians Detained Without Charge , Human Rights Watch
. Hrw.org (29 May 2008). Retrieved on 24 November 2012.
In late 2007 and early 2008, FLN combatants attacked government-protected camps where former combatants were living. The homes of rural residents were also pillaged. The 2007 report of
Amnesty International Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at th ...

Amnesty International
mentions many areas where improvement is required. Civilians are victims of repeated acts of violence done by the FLN. The latter also recruits child soldiers. The rate of violence against women is high. Perpetrators regularly escape prosecution and punishment by the state. There is an urgent need for reform of the judicial system.
Genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
,
war crimes A war crime is a violation of the laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war de ...
and
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A g ...
remain unpunished. The establishment of a
Truth and Reconciliation Commission A is an official body tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government or other actors, in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past. Truth and Reconciliation Commission may also refer to: By country * * *Nation ...
and a Special
Tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent ...

Tribunal
for investigation and prosecution has not yet been implemented. The freedom of expression is limited; journalists are frequently arrested for carrying out legitimate professional activities. A total of 38,087 Burundian refugees have been repatriated between January and November 2007. In late March 2008, the FLN sought for the parliament to adopt a law guaranteeing them 'provisional immunity' from arrest. This would cover ordinary crimes, but not grave violations of international humanitarian law like war crimes or crimes against humanity . Even though the government has granted this in the past to people, the FLN has been unable to obtain the provisional immunity. On 17 April 2008, the FLN bombarded Bujumbura. The Burundian army fought back and the FLN suffered heavy losses. A new ceasefire was signed on 26 May 2008. In August 2008, President Nkurunziza met with the FLN leader
Agathon Rwasa Agathon Rwasa (born 10 January 1964) is a Burundian politician and the leader of the National Liberation Forces (''Forces pour la Libération Nationale'', FNL). He was a Hutu militia leader during the Burundi Civil War. Rwasa was reported to be a ...

Agathon Rwasa
, with the mediation of
Charles Nqakula Charles Nqakula (born 13 September 1942) is a South African politician who served as Minister of Defence (South Africa), Minister of Defence from September 2008 to 2009. He also served as Minister of Police (South Africa), Minister for Safety and ...
, South Africa's Minister for Safety and Security. This was the first direct meeting since June 2007. Both agreed to meet twice a week to establish a commission to resolve any disputes that might arise during the peace negotiations. Refugee camps are now closing down and 450,000 refugees have returned. The economy of the country is shattered – Burundi has one of the lowest per capita gross incomes in the world. With the return of refugees, amongst others, property conflicts have started. Burundi now participates in African Union peacekeeping missions, including the mission to Somalia against Al-Shabaab militants.


2015 unrest

In April 2015 protests broke out after the ruling party announced President
Pierre Nkurunziza Pierre Nkurunziza (18 December 19648 June 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked ...

Pierre Nkurunziza
would seek a third term in office. Protestors claimed Nkurunziza could not run for a third term in office but the country's constitutional court agreed with the President (although some of its members had fled the country at the time of its vote). An attempted coup d'état on 13 May failed to depose Nkurunziza. He returned to Burundi, began purging his government, and arrested several of the coup leaders.Burundi arrests leaders of attempted coup
. CNN.com (15 May 2015). Retrieved on 29 June 2015.
Following the attempted coup, protests however continued and over 100,000 people had fled the country by 20 May causing a humanitarian emergency. There are reports of continued and widespread abuses of human rights, including unlawful killings, torture, disappearances, and restrictions on freedom of expression. Despite calls by the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
, the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
, the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
, and various other governments, the ruling party held parliamentary elections on 29 June, but these were boycotted by the opposition. On 30 September 2016, the
United Nations Human Rights Council The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), CDH is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. The Council has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a United Nations Region ...
established the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi through resolution 33/24. Its mandate is to "conduct a thorough investigation into human rights violations and abuses committed in Burundi since April 2015, to identify alleged perpetrators and to formulate recommendations." On 29 September 2017 the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi called on Burundian government to put an end to serious
human rights violations Human rights are Morality, moral principles or Norm (social), normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for c ...
. It further stressed that, "The Burundian government has so far refused to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry, despite the Commission's repeated requests and initiatives." The violations the Commission documented include arbitrary arrests and detentions, acts of
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
and cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment Inhuman or degrading treatment is treatment of persons which is contrary to their dignity, but does not rise to the level of torture Torture (from Latin language, Latin ''tortus'': to twist, to torment) is the act of deliberately inflicting sev ...
,
extrajudicial execution An extrajudicial killing (also known as extrajudicial execution or extralegal killing) is the killing Killing or Killings may refer to: Types of killing *-cide, a suffix that refers to types of killing (see List of types of killing), such as: ** ...
s,
enforced disappearances A forced disappearance (or enforced disappearance) occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S ...
, rape and other forms of sexual violence."


2018 to present

In a 2018 Burundian constitutional referendum, constitutional referendum in May 2018, Burundians voted by 79.08% to approve an amended constitution that ensured that Nkurunziza could remain in power until 2034. However, much to the surprise of most observers, Nkurunziza later announced that he did not intend to serve another term, paving the way for a new President to be elected in the 2020 Burundian general election, 2020 General Election. On 20 May 2020, Évariste Ndayishimiye, Evariste Ndayishimiye, a candidate who was hand-picked as Nkurunziza's successor by the CNDD-FDD, won the election with 71.45% of the vote. Shortly after, on 9 June 2020, Nkurunziza died of a cardiac arrest, at the age of 55. There was some speculation that his death was Covid-19 related, though this is unconfirmed. As per the constitution, Pascal Nyabenda, the president of the national assembly, led the government until Ndayishimiye's inauguration on 18 June 2020.


Government

Burundi's political system is that of a presidential system, presidential representative democracy, representative democratic republic based upon a multi-party state. The President of Burundi is the
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
and
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administrat ...
. There are currently 21 registered parties in Burundi. On 13 March 1992, Tutsi coup leader
Pierre Buyoya Pierre Buyoya (24 November 1949 – 17 December 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landloc ...
established a constitution, which provided for a multi-party political process and reflected multi-party competition. Six years later, on 6 June 1998, the constitution was changed, broadening
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
's seats and making provisions for two vice-presidents. Because of the Arusha Accord, Burundi enacted a transitional government in 2000. Burundi's legislative branch is a bicameral assembly, consisting of the Transitional National Assembly and the Senate of Burundi, Transitional Senate. , the Transitional National Assembly consisted of 170 members, with the Front for Democracy in Burundi holding 38% of seats, and 10% of the assembly controlled by UPRONA. Fifty-two seats were controlled by other parties. Burundi's constitution mandates representation in the Transitional National Assembly to be consistent with 60% Hutu, 40% Tutsi, and 30% female members, as well as three Batwa members. Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote and serve five-year terms. The Transitional Senate has fifty-one members, and three seats are reserved for former presidents. Due to stipulations in Burundi's constitution, 30% of Senate members must be female. Members of the Senate are elected by electoral colleges, which consist of members from each of Burundi's provinces and communes.Background Note: Burundi
United States Department of State. February 2008. Retrieved on 28 June 2008.
For each of Burundi's eighteen provinces, one Hutu and one Tutsi senator are chosen. One term for the Transitional Senate is five years. Together, Burundi's legislative branch elect the President to a five-year term. Burundi's president appoints officials to his Council of Ministers, which is also part of the executive branch. The president can also pick fourteen members of the Transitional Senate to serve on the Council of Ministers. Members of the Council of Ministers must be approved by two-thirds of Burundi's legislature. The president also chooses two vice-presidents. Following the 2015 election, the President of Burundi was
Pierre Nkurunziza Pierre Nkurunziza (18 December 19648 June 2020) was a Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked ...

Pierre Nkurunziza
. The First Vice-President was Therence Sinunguruza, and the Second Vice-President was Gervais Rufyikiri. On 20 May 2020, Evariste Ndayishimiye, a candidate who was hand-picked as Nkurunziza's successor by the CNDD-FDD, won 2020 Burundian general election, the election with 71.45% of the vote. Shortly after, on 9 June 2020, Nkurunziza died of a cardiac arrest, at the age of 55.As per the constitution, Pascal Nyabenda, the president of the national assembly, led the government until Ndayishimiye's inauguration on 18 June 2020. The ''Cour Suprême'' (Supreme Court) is Burundi's highest court. There are three Courts of Appeals directly below the Supreme Court. Tribunals of First Instance are used as judicial courts in each of Burundi's provinces as well as 123 local tribunals.


Human rights

Burundi's government has been repeatedly criticised by human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch for the multiple arrests and trials of journalist Jean-Claude Kavumbagu for issues related to his reporting.
Amnesty International Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization File:Europe in a suitcase - UK.jpg, upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at th ...

Amnesty International
(AI) named him a prisoner of conscience and called for his "immediate and unconditional release." In April 2009, the government of Burundi changed the law to criminalise homosexuality. Persons found guilty of consensual same-sex relations risk two to three years in prison and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 Burundian francs. Amnesty International has condemned the action, calling it a violation of Burundi's obligations under international and regional human rights law, and against the constitution, which guarantees the right to privacy. Burundi officially left the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
(ICC) on 27 October 2017, the first country in the world to do so. The move came after the UN accused the country of various crimes and human rights violations, such as extrajudicial killings, torture and sexual violence, in a September 2017 report. The ICC announced on 9 November 2017 that human rights violations from the time Burundi was a member would still be prosecuted.


Subdivisions

Burundi is divided into 18 Provinces of Burundi, provinces, 117 Communes of Burundi, communes, and 2,638 Collines of Burundi, collines (hills). Provincial governments are structured upon these boundaries. In 2000, the province encompassing Bujumbura was separated into two provinces, Bujumbura Rural and Bujumbura Mairie. The newest province, Rumonge Province, Rumonge, was created on 26 March 2015 from portions of Bujumbura Rural and Bururi.


Geography

One of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi is landlocked and has an Tropical rainforest climate, equatorial climate. Burundi is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western extension of the East African Rift. The country lies on a rolling plateau in the centre of Africa. Burundi is bordered by
Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's bi ...

Rwanda
to the north,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
to the east and southeast, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
to the west. It lies within the Albertine Rift montane forests, Central Zambezian miombo woodlands, and Victoria Basin forest-savanna mosaic ecoregions. The average elevation of the central plateau is , with lower elevations at the borders. The highest peak, Mount Heha at ,O'Mara, Michael (1999). ''Facts about the World's Nations''. Bronx, New York: H.W. Wilson, p. 150, lies to the southeast of the largest city and economic capital, Bujumbura. The source of the Nile River is in Bururi province, and is linked from Lake Victoria to its headwaters via the Ruvyironza River.Ash, Russell (2006). ''The Top 10 of Everything''. New York City: Sterling Publishing Company. Lake Victoria is also an important water source, which serves as a fork to the Kagera River. Another major lake is
Lake Tanganyika Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is the second-oldest freshwater lake in the world, the second-largest by volume, and the second-deepest, in all cases after Lake Baikal in Siberia. It is the world's longest freshwater lake. The la ...

Lake Tanganyika
, located in much of Burundi's southwestern corner. There are two national parks, Kibira National Park to the northwest (a small region of rainforest, adjacent to Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda), Ruvubu National Park to the northeast (along the Rurubu River, also known as Ruvubu or Ruvuvu). Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations.East, Rob (1999). ''African Antelope Database 1998''. Gland, Switzerland: International Union for Conservation of Nature, p. 74. .


Economy

Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly agricultural, accounting for 50% of GDP in 2017 and employing more than 90% of the population. Subsistence agriculture accounts for 90% of agriculture. Eggers, p. xlvii. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings, though exports are a relatively small share of GDP. Other agricultural products include cotton, tea, maize, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk and hides. Even though Subsistence agriculture, subsistence farming is highly relied upon, many people do not have the resources to sustain themselves. This is due to large population growth and no coherent policies governing land ownership. In 2014, the average farm size was about one acre. Burundi is one of the world's poorest countries, owing in part to its landlocked geography, poor legal system, lack of economic freedom, lack of access to education and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS. Approximately 80% of Burundi's population lives in poverty. Famines and food shortages have occurred throughout Burundi, most notably in the 20th century, and according to the World Food Programme, 56.8% of children under age five suffer from chronic malnutrition. Burundi's export earnings – and its ability to pay for imports – rests primarily on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices. The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept up with inflation. As a result of deepening poverty, Burundi will remain heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors. Foreign aid represents 42% of Burundis national income, the second highest rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Burundi joined the East African Community in 2009, which should boost its regional trade ties, and also in 2009 received $700 million in debt relief. Government corruption is hindering the development of a healthy private sector as companies seek to navigate an environment with ever-changing rules. Studies since 2007 have shown Burundians to have extremely poor levels of Satisfaction with Life Index, satisfaction with life; the rated them the world's least happy in 2018. Some of Burundi's natural resources include uranium, nickel, cobalt, copper and platinum. Besides agriculture, other industries include: assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing and light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes and soap. In regards to telecommunications infrastructure, Burundi is ranked 2nd to last in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index (NRI) – an indicator for determining the development level of a country's information and communication technologies. Burundi ranked number 147 overall in the 2014 NRI ranking, down from 144 in 2013. Lack of access to financial services is a serious problem for the majority of the population, particularly in the densely populated rural areas: only 2% of the total population holds bank accounts, and fewer than 0.5% use bank lending services. Microfinance, however, plays a larger role, with 4% of Burundians being members of microfinance institutions – a larger share of the population than that reached by banking and postal services combined. 26 licensed microfinance institutions (MFIs) offer savings, deposits and short- to medium-term credit. Dependence of the sector on donor assistance is limited. Burundi is part of the
East African Community The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in an ...

East African Community
and a potential member of the planned East African Federation. Economic growth in Burundi is relatively steady but Burundi is still behind neighbouring countries.


Currency

Burundi's currency is the Burundian franc (ISO 4217 code BIF). It is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes, though coins have never been issued in centimes in independent Burundi; centime coins were circulated only when Burundi used the congolese franc, Belgian Congo franc. Monetary Policy is controlled by the central bank, Bank of the Republic of Burundi.


Transport

Burundi's transport network is limited and underdeveloped. According to a 2012 ''DHL Global Connectedness Index'', Burundi is the least globalised of 140 surveyed countries. Bujumbura International Airport is the only airport with a paved runway and as of May 2017 it was serviced by four airlines (Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and RwandAir). Kigali International Airport, Kigali is the city with the most daily flight connections to Bujumbura. The country has a road network but less than 10% of the country's roads were paved and private bus companies were the main operators of buses on the international route to Kigali; however, there were no bus connections to the other neighbouring countries (Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo). Bujumbura is connected by a passenger and cargo ferry (the MV Mwongozo) to Kigoma in Tanzania. There is a East African Railway Master Plan, long-term plan to link the country via rail to Kigali and then onward to Kampala and Kenya.


Demographics

As of July , Burundi was estimated by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs#Divisions, United Nations to have a population of people, compared to only 2,456,000 in 1950. The population growth rate is 2.5 percent per year, more than double the average global pace, and a Burundian woman has on average 6.3 children, nearly triple the international fertility rate. Burundi had the fifth highest total fertility rate in the world in 2012. Many Burundians have migrated to other countries as a result of the civil war. In 2006, the United States accepted approximately 10,000 Burundian refugees. Burundi remains an overwhelmingly rural society, with just 13% of the population living in urban areas in 2013. The population density of around 315 people per square kilometre (753 per sq mi) is the second highest in
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
. Roughly 85% of the population are of
Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured ha ...

Hutu
ethnic origin, 15% are
Tutsi The Tutsi (; ), or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group of the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake ...
and fewer than 1% are indigenous
Twa The Twa (also Batwa or Cwa) are a group of indigenous African Pygmy (Central African foragers) tribes. Overview Twa, also called Batwa, one of the best-known of the many Pygmy groups scattered across equatorial Africa. Like all other Af ...
. The
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
s of Burundi are
Kirundi Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is a Bantu language The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically an ...
and .


Religion

Sources estimate the Christian population at 80–90%, with Roman Catholics representing the largest group at 60–65%. Protestantism, Protestant and Anglicanism, Anglican practitioners constitute the remaining 15–25%. An estimated 5% of the population adheres to traditional indigenous religious beliefs. Muslims constitute 2–5%, the majority of whom are Sunni Islam, Sunnis and live in urban areas.Burundi
. U.S. Department of State. State.gov (17 November 2010). Retrieved on 24 November 2012.


Health

Burundi has the severest hunger and malnourishment rates of all 120 countries ranked in the Global Hunger Index.Jillian Keenan
The Blood Cries Out
. "In one of Africa's most densely populated countries, brothers are killing brothers over the right to farm mere acres of earth. There's just not enough land to go around in Burundi — and it could push the country into civil war." ''Foreign Policy (FP)''
The civil war in 1962 put a stop on the medical advancements in the country. Burundi, again, went into a violent cycle in 2015, jeopardising the citizens of Burundi's medical care. Like many Sub-Saharan Africa countries, Burundi uses indigenous medicine in addition to biomedicine. In the 1980s Burundi's health authorities asked the United Nations Development Program for support to develop quality control and begin new research on pharmaceuticals from medicinal plants. At the same time, the Burundi Association of Traditional Practitioners (ATRADIBU) was founded, which teamed up with the governments agency to set up the Centre for Research and Promotion of Traditional Medicine in Burundi (CRPMT). The recent influx of international aid has supported the work of biomedical health systems in Burundi. However, international aid workers have traditionally stayed away from indigenous medicine in Burundi. As of 2015, roughly 1 out of 10 children in Burundi die before the age of 5 from preventable and treatable illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, and malaria. The current violence in Burundi has limited the country's access to medication and hospital equipment. Burundi's life expectancy, as of 2015, was 60.1 years. In 2013, Burundi spent 8% of their GDP on healthcare. While Burundi's fertility rate is 6.1 children per women, the country's mortality rate is 61.9 deaths for every 1,000 live births. According to the WHO, the average life expectancy in the country is 58/62 years. Common diseases in Burundi include malaria and typhoid fever.


Culture

Burundi's culture is based on local tradition and the influence of neighbouring countries, though cultural prominence has been hindered by civil unrest. Since farming is the main industry, a typical Burundian meal consists of sweet potatoes, maize, corn and peas. Due to the expense, meat is eaten only a few times per month. When several Burundians of close acquaintance meet for a gathering they drink ''impeke'', a beer, together from a large container to symbolise unity. Notable Burundians include the footballer Mohammed Tchité and singer Jean-Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidumu (who is based in Nairobi, Kenya). Crafts are an important art form in Burundi and are attractive gifts to many tourists. Basket weaving is a popular craft for local artisans. Other crafts such as masks, shields, statues and pottery are made in Burundi. Cultural Profiles Project. Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Retrieved 30 June 2008. Drumming is an important part of the cultural heritage. The world-famous Royal Drummers of Burundi, who have performed for over 40 years, are noted for traditional drumming using the karyenda, amashako, ibishikiso and ikiranya drums. Dance often accompanies drumming performance, which is frequently seen in celebrations and family gatherings. The abatimbo, which is performed at official ceremonies and rituals and the fast-paced abanyagasimbo are some famous Burundian dances. Some musical instruments of note are the flute, zither, ikembe, indonongo, umuduri, inanga and the inyagara. The country's oral tradition is strong, relaying history and life lessons through storytelling, poetry and song. Imigani, indirimbo, amazina and ivyivugo are literary genres in Burundi. Basketball and track and field are noted sports. Martial arts are popular, as well. There are five major judo clubs: Club Judo de l'Entente Sportive, in Downtown, and four others throughout the city. Association football is a popular pastime throughout the country, as are mancala games. Most Christian holidays are celebrated, with Christmas being the largest. Burundian Independence Day is celebrated annually on 1 July. In 2005, the Burundian government declared Eid al-Fitr, an Islamic holiday, to be a public holiday.Burundi celebrates Muslim holiday
. BBC. 3 November 2005. Retrieved on 30 June 2008.


Media


Education

In 2009, the adult literacy rate in Burundi was estimated to be 67% (73% male and 61% female), with a literacy rate of 77% and 76%, respectively, for men and women between the ages of 15 to 24. By 2015, this had increased to 85.6% (88.2% male and 83.1% female). Literacy among adult women has increased by 17% since 2002. Burundi's literacy rate is relatively low due to low school attendance and because literacy in Kirundi only provides access to materials printed in that language, though it is higher than many other African countries. Ten percent of Burundian boys are allowed a secondary education. Burundi has one public university, University of Burundi. There are museums in the cities, such as the Burundi Geological Museum in
Bujumbura Bujumbura (), formerly Usumbura, is the largest city and main port of Burundi. It ships most of the country's chief export, coffee, as well as cotton and tin ore. In late December 2018, Burundian president Pierre Nkurunziza announced that he ...

Bujumbura
and the Burundi National Museum and the Burundi Museum of Life in
Gitega Gitega (), formerly Kitega, is the capital of Burundi. Located in the centre of the country, in the Burundian central plateau roughly east of Bujumbura (the largest city and former capital), Gitega (the second largest city) was the seat of the ...
. There will be a new school opening in one of the poorest regions, Rusaga, funded by an English charity, the Burundi Education Foundation. The Burundi Education Foundation was hoping to open the school in the summer of 2014. In 2010 a new elementary school was opened in the small village of Rwoga that is funded by the pupils of Westwood High School, Quebec, Canada.Westwood Bridge to Burundi
. Facebook. Retrieved on 4 April 2014.


See also

* Outline of Burundi * Index of Burundi-related articles * *


Notes


References


Bibliography

* *


Further reading

* Abdallah, Ahmedou Ould ''Burundi on the Brink, 1993–95: A UN Special Envoy Reflects on Preventive Diplomacy'' * * Bentley, Kristina and Southall, Roger ''An African Peace Process: Mandela, South Africa, and Burundi'' * Chrétien, Jean-Pierre ''The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History'' * Patricia Daley, Daley, Patricia ''Gender and Genocide in Burundi: The Search for Spaces of Peace in the Great Lakes Region'' * * Ewusi, Kale and Akwanga, Ebenezer ''Burundi's Negative Peace: The Shadow of a Broken Continent in the Era of Nepad'' * Jennings, Christian ''Across the Red River: Rwanda, Burundi and the Heart of Darkness'' * Kayoya, Michel ''My Father's Footsteps'' (''Sur les traces de mon père'') East African Publishing House, 1973 * Kayoya, Michel ''Entre deux mondes'' (Between two worlds) Lavigerie Éditeurs, Bujumbura: 1971. Kayoya was murdered during the 1972 genocide. * Kidder, Tracy, ''Strength in What Remains'' (A biography of a Burundian immigrant to the US) * * Melady, Thomas Patrick ''Burundi: The Tragic Years'' * Nivonzima, David and Fendell, Len ''Unlocking Horns: Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Burundi'' * Uvin, Peter ''Life After Violence: A People's Story of Burundi'' * Watt, Nigel '' Burundi: The Biography of a Small African Country'' * 1st. edition.


External links

* Records o
the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi (UNICIB) (1995-1996)
at the United Nations Archives
Official Burundi government website

Official Website of the Ministry of Justice of Burundi



Burundi
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency.
Burundi
from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs'' *
Burundi
from the BBC News *
Key Development Forecasts for Burundi
from International Futures {{Authority control Burundi, Central African countries East African countries French-speaking countries and territories Landlocked countries Least developed countries Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Member states of the African Union Member states of the United Nations Republics States and territories established in 1962 Swahili-speaking countries and territories 1962 establishments in Burundi Countries in Africa