Burundian, adj., n.
/boo roon"dee/, n.
a republic in central Africa, E of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: formerly the S part of the Belgian trust territory of Ruanda-Urundi; gained independence on July 1, 1962. 6,052,614; 10,747 sq. mi. (27,834 sq. km). Cap.: Bujumbura.

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Introduction Burundi
Background: Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only four months in office. Since then, some 200,000 Burundians have perished in widespread, often intense ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. Hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced or have become refugees in neighboring countries. Burundian troops, seeking to secure their borders, intervened in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998. More recently, many of these troops have been redeployed back to Burundi to deal with periodic upsurges in rebel activity. A new transitional government, inaugurated on 1 November 2001, was to be the first step towards holding national elections in three years. However, the unwillingness of the Hutu rebels to enact a cease fire with Bujumbura continues to obstruct prospects for a sustainable peace. Geography Burundi -
Location: Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates: 3 30 S, 30 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 27,830 sq km water: 2,180 sq km land: 25,650 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries: total: 974 km border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 233 km, Rwanda 290 km, Tanzania 451 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; wet seasons from February to May and September to November, and dry seasons from June to August and December to January
Terrain: hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m highest point: Mount Heha 2,670 m
Natural resources: nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum (not yet exploited), vanadium, arable land, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 29.98% permanent crops: 12.85% other: 57.17% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 740 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: flooding, landslides, drought Environment - current issues: soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat loss threatens wildlife populations Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note: landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile People Burundi
Population: 6,373,002 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 46.5% (male 1,497,865; female 1,466,455) 15-64 years: 50.7% (male 1,592,253; female 1,640,254) 65 years and over: 2.8% (male 71,915; female 104,260) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.36% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 39.87 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 16.3 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/ female total population: 0.99 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 69.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 45.94 years female: 46.83 years (2002 est.) male: 45.08 years
Total fertility rate: 6.07 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 11.32% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 360,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 39,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Burundian(s) adjective: Burundi
Ethnic groups: Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
Religions: Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%
Languages: Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 35.3% male: 49.3% female: 22.5% (1995 est.) Government Burundi
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Burundi conventional short form: Burundi local short form: Burundi local long form: Republika y'u Burundi former: Urundi
Government type: republic
Capital: Bujumbura Administrative divisions: 16 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi
Independence: 1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
National holiday: Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
Constitution: 13 March 1992; provided for establishment of a plural political system; supplanted on 6 June 1998 by a Transitional Constitution which enlarged the National Assembly and created two vice presidents
Legal system: based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: NA years of age; universal adult
Executive branch: chief of state: President Pierre BUYOYA (a Tutsi, was sworn in as president of a transition government on 1 November 2001; he is scheduled to hold office for 18 months before transferring power to his vice president, a Hutu); Vice President Domitien NDAYIZEYE (since 1 November 2001) head of government: President Pierre BUYOYA (a Tutsi, was sworn in as president of a transition government on 1 November 2001; he is scheduled to hold office for 18 months before transferring power to his vice president, a Hutu); Vice President Domitien NDAYIZEYE (since 1 November 2001) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president elections: NA; current president assumed power following a coup on 25 July 1996 in which former President NTIBANTUNGANYA was overthrown
Legislative branch: bicameral, consists of a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (expanded from 121 to approximately 140 seats under the transitional government inaugurated 1 November 2001; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and a Senate (54 seats; term length is undefined, the current senators will likely serve out the three-year transition period) elections: last held 29 June 1993 (next was scheduled to be held in 1998, but were suspended by presidential decree in 1996; elections are planned to follow the completion of the three-year transitional government) election results: percent of vote by party - FRODEBU 71.04%, UPRONA 21.4%, other 7.56%; seats by party - FRODEBU 65, UPRONA 16, civilians 27, other parties 13
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court; Courts of Appeal (there are three in separate locations); Tribunals of First Instance (17 at the province level and 123 small local tribunals) Political parties and leaders: the two national, mainstream, governing parties are: Unity for National Progress or UPRONA [Luc RUKINGAMA, president]; Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Jean MINANI, president] note: a multiparty system was introduced after 1998, included are: Burundi African Alliance for the Salvation or ABASA [Terrence NSANZE]; Rally for Democracy and Economic and Social Development or RADDES [Joseph NZENZIMANA]; Party for National Redress or PARENA [Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA]; People's Reconciliation Party or PRP [Mathias HITIMANA] Political pressure groups and Loosely organized Hutu and Tutsi
leaders: militias, often affiliated with Hutu and Tutsi extremist parties or subordinate to government security forces International organization ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC, CEPGL,
participation: ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas NDIKUMANA chancery: Suite 212, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007 FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578 telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Mary
US: Carlin YATES embassy: Avenue des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura mailing address: B. P. 1720, Bujumbura telephone: [257] 223454 FAX: [257] 222926
Flag description: divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and outer side) with a white disk superimposed at the center bearing three red six- pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below) Economy Burundi -
Economy - overview: Burundi is a landlocked, resource- poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly agricultural with roughly 90% of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Its economic health depends on the coffee crop, which accounts for 80% of foreign exchange earnings. The ability to pay for imports therefore rests largely on the vagaries of the climate and the international coffee market. Since October 1993 the nation has suffered from massive ethnic-based violence which has resulted in the death of more than 200,000 persons and the displacement of about 800,000 others. Only one in four children go to school, and more than one in ten adults has HIV/AIDS. Foods, medicines, and electricity remain in short supply. Doubts regarding the sustainability of peace continue to impede development. A Geneva donors' conference in November 2001 brought $800 million in pledges, and an IMF- staff-monitored program could lead to a further agreement in 2002.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.7 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.4% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $600 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 50% industry: 18% services: 32% (2001 est.) Population below poverty line: 70% (2001 est.) Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 3.4%
percentage share: highest 10%: 26.6% (1992) Distribution of family income - Gini 33.3 (1992)
index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 14% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 1.9 million Labor force - by occupation: NA
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues: $125 million expenditures: $176 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries: light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (1999 est.) Electricity - production: 148 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 0.68% other: 0% (2000) hydro: 99.32% nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 166.64 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 29 million kWh note: supplied by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2000)
Agriculture - products: coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk, hides
Exports: $24 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Exports - partners: EU 52.5%, US 11.5%, Kenya 11.5%, Switzerland 4.9% (2000 est.)
Imports: $125 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: EU 37.6%, Tanzania 10.3%, Zambia 4.3%, India 3.4%, China 3.4% (2000 est.)
Debt - external: $1.12 billion (2001 est.) Economic aid - recipient: $74 million (1999)
Currency: Burundi franc (BIF)
Currency code: BIF
Exchange rates: Burundi francs per US dollar - 865.14 (January 2002), 830.35 (2001), 720.67 (2000), 563.56 (1999), 477.77 (1998), 352.35 (1997)
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Burundi Telephones - main lines in use: 20,000 (2000) Telephones - mobile cellular: 16,300 (2000)
Telephone system: general assessment: primitive system domestic: sparse system of open wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relay international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
Radios: 440,000 (2001) Television broadcast stations: 1 (2001)
Televisions: 25,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .bi Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 2,000 (2000) Transportation Burundi Railways: 0 km Highways: total: 14,480 km paved: 1,028 km unpaved: 13,452 km (1996) Waterways: Lake Tanganyika
Ports and harbors: Bujumbura Airports: 7 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1 over 3,047 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 6 914 to 1,523 m: 3 under 914 m: 3 (2001) Military Burundi
Military branches: Army (including naval and air units), Gendarmerie Military manpower - military age: 16 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,439,032 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 752,584 (2002 est.)
service: Military manpower - reaching males: 79,360 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $36.9 million (FY01)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 5.3% (FY01)
GDP: Transnational Issues Burundi Disputes - international: Tutsi, Hutu, and other conflicting ethnic groups, political rebels, and various government forces continue fighting in Great Lakes region, transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda

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officially Republic of Burundi

Country, central Africa.

Area: 10,759 sq mi (27,866 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 6,373,000. Capital: Bujumbura. The population is divided primarily between the approximately four-fifths who are Hutu and the approximately one-fifth who are Tutsi. Its first inhabitants, the Twa Pygmies, make up about 1% of the population. Languages: Rundi (Kirundi), French (both official), Swahili, English. Religions: Roman Catholicism, local traditional religions. Currency: Burundi franc. Burundi occupies a high plateau, straddling the divide of the Nile and Congo rivers. The divide runs north to south, rising to 9,055 ft (2,760 m) at its highest point. The plateau contains the Ruvubu River basin, the southernmost extension of the Nile basin. In the west the Rusizi River connects Lake Kivu in the north with Lake Tanganyika to the south. Burundi has a developing economy, based primarily on agriculture. It is governed by a military regime. Normally it has one legislative house, and its head of state and government is the president assisted by the prime minister. The presidency is shared alternately between a Hutu and a Tutsi. Original settlement by the Twa was followed by Hutu settlement, which occurred gradually and was completed by the 11th century. The Tutsi arrived 300–400 years later; though a minority, they established the kingdom of Burundi in the 16th century. In the 19th century the area came within the German sphere of influence, but the Tutsi remained in power. Following World War I, the Belgians took control of the area, then known as the mandate of Ruanda-Urundi. This was replaced by a UN trusteeship after World War II. Colonial conditions had intensified Hutu-Tutsi ethnic animosities, and, as independence neared, hostilities flared. Independence was granted in 1962 in the form of a kingdom ruled by the Tutsi. In 1965 the Hutu rebelled but were brutally repressed. The rest of the 20th century saw violent clashes between the two groups, although the number of deaths did not approach the nearly one million people killed in Rwanda. The very unstable government that existed in these surroundings was overthrown by the military in 1996. By the beginning of the 21st century a government that alternated between a Tutsi and a Hutu president was in place. Nonetheless, political instability continued in the region.

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▪ 2009

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2008 est.): 8,691,000
Head of state and government:
President Pierre Nkurunziza

      Burundi's ongoing peace process progressed in fits and starts during much of 2008. As the country struggled to restore peace after a 14-year civil war, hostilities between government forces and the last active rebel group, the National Liberation Forces (FNL), were reignited in April. FNL forces launched several attacks in the hills and suburbs surrounding the capital of Bujumbura. The flare-up left more than 100 people dead, displaced close to 40,000, and led to the detention of more than 300 rebels. The untenable situation prompted the return in May of FNL leader Agathon Rwasa, who had lived in exile for nearly 20 years; he signed a peace agreement between the FNL and the Burundi government on June 11. The June cease-fire agreement established assembly areas for FNL soldiers to congregate and called for them to be integrated into the national security forces. Another meeting between Pres. Pierre Nkurunziza and Rwasa was held in August in an effort to finalize peace negotiations and to prepare for the 2010 elections. The release from government custody of suspected FNL fighters, a major impediment to the cease-fire accord, was agreed upon at the negotiations. Implementation of the September 2006 cease-fire pact had been stalled since the FNL pulled out of negotiations less than a year later.

      The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) repatriated 300,000 Burundians living in camps in Tanzania by early April. Nearly 800,000 Burundians had fled the country between 1972 and 2003, with more than 500,000 refugees flowing into Tanzania during the early 1990s when war broke out. Repatriation efforts had begun in 2002 following the end of hostilities. Nearly 369,000 Burundians, some without UN support, returned home from Tanzania; another 102,000 refugees remained in camps. UNHCR also worked with Tanzania to address the situation of the 218,000 refugees who had fled Burundi during the 1972 genocide. Some returnees from the 1972 exile, however, faced serious resettlement issues, since most no longer had claims to land or property that they owned prior to 1972.

Mary Ebeling

▪ 2008

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2007 est.): 8,391,000 (including fewer than 400,000 refugees in Tanzania)
Head of state and government:
President Pierre Nkurunziza

      The strides toward reconciliation made in 2006 between the power-sharing government of Burundi and the last remaining rebel group were reversed in 2007. Following the winding down at year's end 2006 of UN peacekeeping operations in Burundi, the National Liberation Forces (FNL), agreed to a cease-fire accord with the government in January 2007. Talks to iron out details of the pact continued until June, but in July the process was derailed when the FNL withdrew from negotiations for a second time. The original cease-fire deal, signed in September 2006 by Pres. Pierre Nkurunziza and FNL leader Agathon Rwasa, was never implemented owing to unresolved issues, namely the release of FNL prisoners. Violence in Bujumbura increased significantly during August 2007, forcing the army to beef up security throughout the city. The violence was attributed to alleged dissent within the FNL ranks and the stalled peace talks. In September the FNL turned down calls by the UN for a return to the negotiating table and an offer from South Africa to help in peace negotiations. The rebel group refused to resume talks with the government.

      A series of ousters, firings, and resignations within the highest ranks of the ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), splintered the party and threatened Burundi's political stability. Hussein Radjabu, chairman of the CNDD-FDD, was voted out of office on February 7. His ouster was followed by the firings of the second vice president, Marina Barampama, and several other governmental leaders. Following suit, several governors and 30 MPs, all supporters of Radjabu, resigned to protest his exit. In April Radjabu was arrested for having organized rebel forces to destabilize the country, and his trial began in December.

      Burundi's economy was bolstered following the country's acceptance in April into the East African Community, a regional trade and development bloc. A funding crunch in the UN's World Food Programme and its refugee agency, the UNHCR, threatened ongoing repatriation operations that by August had successfully repatriated 10,000 Burundian refugees from camps in Tanzania.

Mary Ebeling

▪ 2007

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2006 est.): 8,090,000 (including fewer than 400,000 refugees in Tanzania)
Head of state and government:
President Pierre Nkurunziza

      From January 2006 the Burundi government's external relations turned increasingly toward Muslim Africa, influenced by Radjabu Hussein, the Muslim head of Burundi's governing party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy. Diverse bilateral cooperation agreements covering the military, economic development, education, and the teaching of Arabic were made with The Sudan, Libya, and Morocco. Because 90% of the population was Christian, this represented a noticeable departure in diplomacy.

      The refugee problem persisted on two fronts. In February the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that about 20,000 Rwandan refugees, mostly ethnic Hutu, had taken refuge in the northern Ngozi and Kirundo provinces to avoid appearing before local genocide courts in Rwanda. Meanwhile, the government finalized a three-year plan to repatriate an estimated 200,000 Burundi refugees still in UN camps in Tanzania.

      Throughout the year earnest steps were made to restore normalcy. The government continued working toward the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission empowered to hear victim complaints and ascertain reparations. On April 14 the government lifted the curfew that had been in force for 34 years, since ethnic violence erupted in the early 1970s. On September 7 national war weariness and UN pressure finally culminated in a cease-fire agreement signed in Dar es Salaam, Tanz., between Burundi's Pres. Pierre Nkurunziza and Agathon Rwasa, the leader of the National Liberation Forces (FNL), the one remaining rebel group. According to the agreement, the FNL's estimated 3,000 fighters could either join the national army or demobilize under UN supervision within 30 days.

      Peace and stability, however, appeared tenuous as political crises overshadowed the truce. On August 21 Domitien Ndayizeye, Burundi's immediate past president, and other high-profile leaders were arrested on charges of a conspiracy in a coup plot. Their supporters claimed that the charges were spurious. On September 5 Second Vice Pres. Alice Nzomukunda resigned, declaring that corruption and human rights abuses impeded government business. Other problems arose concerning rebel disarmament as reports proliferated that the fighters continued to extort money and food from civilian farmers in their provincial strongholds. To ensure peace the UN Security Council extended its peacekeeping operation until December 31.

LaRay Denzer

▪ 2006

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2005 est.): 7,795,000 (including about 450,000 refugees in Tanzania)
Head of state and government:
Presidents Domitien Ndayizeye and, from August 26, Pierre Nkurunziza

      On Aug. 26, 2005, Pierre Nkurunziza (Nkurunziza, Pierre ) (see Biographies), the former leader of the rebel group Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD), was sworn in as Burundi's first democratically elected president following the 1993 genocide that sparked a 12-year civil war that killed more than 300,000 people. The election of Nkurunziza, who received amnesty for war crimes as part of the South African-sponsored peace accords, marked the end of the five-year peace deal and the transitional government of Pres. Domitien Ndayizeye. The presidential election, originally scheduled for November 2004, was postponed until April 2005 because of power-sharing disputes between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority in the drafting of the country's new constitution. A referendum on the constitution was to be held before the presidential election could take place. Ongoing violence by the Forces for National Liberation (FNL), a Hutu guerrilla group, led to another election postponement. A new schedule was drafted by Burundi's Independent National Electoral Commission, with an election date finalized for August 19. The new power-sharing constitution had been passed by a referendum vote in March, and July elections for a new parliament ushered in the FDD as the ruling party.

      Despite the steps taken toward peace and stability, much of the year in Burundi was marred by bouts of violence, threats to peace efforts, and severe food shortages. Following the failure of the 2004 harvest, the UN World Food Programme began a two-month food-distribution program in January to assist more than 520,000 people at risk of starvation in two of Burundi's northeastern provinces. Relations with neighbouring Rwanda were strained in April when some 2,000 Hutu being tried for crimes of genocide in the Rwandan gacacas (traditional courts) fled to Burundi, fearing that they would not receive fair treatment in these courts. After months of sporadic violence, the main rebel group outside the peace process, the FNL, signed a peace pact with the government in May only to break the truce with renewed attacks against the army a few days after signing the accords. In mid-September the FNL rejected President Nkurunziza's offer to renew peace talks.

Mary F.E. Ebeling

▪ 2005

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2004 est.): 6,231,000 (excluding about 500,000 refugees in Tanzania)
Head of state and government:
President Domitien Ndayizeye

      In late 2003 the oppositional Forces for Defense of Democracy (FDD) signed peace accords, but the Hutu rebel group, the National Liberation Front (FNL), single-handedly maintained the civil war in Burundi by continuing to attack government troops and civilians throughout most of 2004. The agreement brokered in November 2003 brought about peace to all of Burundi's 17 provinces except one, which suffered clashes between FNL forces and the country's army.

      As many as 27,000 people were displaced and 21 persons were killed in April 2004 when fighting erupted between FNL rebels and the army near the capital, Bujumbura. By May the FDD had pulled out of the coalition government. In June a flood of 30,000 refugees crossed into Burundi from Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to escape attacks. Many of the Congolese refugees were Tutsi. On August 13 the FNL launched a well-organized nighttime assault on Gatumba camp, a UN refugee centre near Burundi's western border, from an over-the-border base in the DRC. Rebels shot or hacked to death more than 160 refugees, most of them Tutsi women and children. The FNL claimed responsibility for the assault. The Burundi and Rwandan governments threatened to invade the DRC to disarm Hutu rebels sheltered there. A month after the assault on the camp, many of the refugees returned to the DRC amid concerns from the UN that their safety was still at stake.

      The coalition government, which shared power between the majority Hutu and the minority Tutsi, was dealt a blow in August in Pretoria, S.Af., when the FDD and 10 Tutsi-led groups refused to sign the power-sharing agreement. During 2004 more than 52,000 refugees returned to Burundi as part of a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees effort to repatriate the 500,000 Burundians who had fled the country since 1993. Ahead of elections planned for October, the five-member Independent National Elections Commission was appointed in early September. The elections, later postponed until April 2005, were the final step in the three-year peace process to end the decade-long civil war that had claimed more than 300,000 lives.

Mary F.E. Ebeling

▪ 2004

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2003 est.): 6,096,000 (excluding more than 500,000 refugees in Tanzania)
Head of state and government:
Presidents Pierre Buyoya and, from April 30, Domitien Ndayizeye

      Stability in the ongoing peace process between the Burundi government and rebel forces spiraled downward during most of 2003. A cease-fire agreement signed in December 2002 by Pres. Pierre Buyoya and leaders of three insurgency groups, including the largest, the Forces for Defense of Democracy (FDD), was soon violated when government soldiers and FDD rebels engaged in combat in early January 2003. Fighting between the army, the FDD, and the second largest rebel force, the National Liberation Front (FNL), which had refused to sign any cease-fire agreements with the government, was sustained throughout the year, and the country's civil war entered its 10th year. In April the United Nations estimated that at least 440 people had been killed and more than 260,000 civilians had been displaced since the start of the year, many from the eastern province of Ruyigi. More than 800,000 people were displaced either within Burundi or in neighbouring countries.

      In February two army officers received suspended sentences for their roles in a massacre of 173 people by government forces in September 2002. Some 3,500 peacekeepers from African Union member states began to arrive in Burundi at the end of April. In accordance with the Arusha accords signed in August 2000, President Buyoya, a minority Tutsi, stepped down from the presidency of the power-sharing transitional government and handed power over to his vice president, Domitien Ndayizeye, a majority Hutu, on April 30.

      The progress that had been gained in the June peace meetings was rolled back on July 7 when FNL troops launched an assault on the capital, Bujumbura, killing more than 300 rebels and civilians. The weeklong attack was the fiercest battle since the war began in 1993, and foreign aid workers were evacuated from the capital. In an effort to revitalize the peace process, South African Deputy Pres. Jacob Zuma facilitated a three-day meeting in Pretoria between President Ndayizeye and the head of the FDD, Pierre Nkurunziza, in August. Heavy fighting resumed in early September between FDD and FNL forces. The FDD canceled a September 15 summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanz., but on October 8 the government signed a peace accord with the FDD that gave the rebels a greater power-sharing role. The FNL rejected the agreement, however, and fighting continued. On December 29 the papal envoy to Burundi was assassinated.

Mary F.E. Ebeling

▪ 2003

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2002 est.): 6,373,000 (including 350,000 refugees in Tanzania)
Head of state and government:
President Pierre Buyoya

      Heavy fighting between Burundi government forces and rebel groups continued throughout 2002 amid several attempts to broker cease-fire agreements. In November 2001, a transitional government headed by Pres. Pierre Buyoya, a minority Tutsi, was created to share power with the majority Hutu after 39 years of Tutsi political dominance. Two Hutu rebel groups, the National Liberation Front (FNL) and the Forces for Defense of Democracy (FDD), refused to participate in the power-sharing government, however, and entered into peace negotiations with the transitional government. Peace talks scheduled to begin on July 18 between the government and the three main Hutu-led rebel groups were stalled owing to heavy fighting between rebels and the army in Bujumbura. The Burundi defense minister accused Tanzania of aiding the rebels in the fighting that had broken out earlier that month. The Tanzanian government, which had hosted the peace negotiations, flatly denied the accusations.

      In the ongoing effort to end Burundi's nine-year civil war, South African Deputy Pres. Jacob Zuma chaired cease-fire negotiations in Tanzania between the Bujumbura government and the main rebel groups. Government officials and Col. Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye, the head of the FDD rebel group, signed a draft peace accord in late August, with a resumption of talks scheduled for September 16. Attempts to start peace talks between the FNL and the government failed. Thirty civilians were reportedly killed and 1,500 others displaced when fighting broke out on August 27 between government troops and rebels in the hills surrounding Bujumbura. Government officials denied the civilian casualties, but witnesses fleeing the violence said at least 17 women and 7 children had been killed. The September talks were suspended when the FDD walked out after the government admitted that its forces had killed 173 civilians in Gitega province during an intense firefight with FDD rebels earlier in the month.

      Repatriation of Burundi refugees living in Tanzania began in March. By the end of May, more than 12,000 refugees had returned home, and another 58,000 had signed up with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to return home.

Mary F.E. Ebeling

▪ 2002

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2001 est.): 6,224,000 (including 400,000 refugees in Tanzania)
Head of state and government:
President Pierre Buyoya

      Widespread fighting between the government and rebel groups continued throughout 2001 amid efforts to implement the Arusha, Tanz., peace plan brokered in 2000 by former South African president Nelson Mandela. The peace process foundered, however, when the parties failed to agree on the composition of a transitional government.

      On April 18 a group of junior army officers calling themselves the Patriotic Youth Front attempted to seize power in Bujumbura, but soldiers loyal to the government quickly suppressed the mutiny. Opposition leaders charged that Pres. Pierre Buyoya staged the uprising as a pretext for strengthening internal security measures.

      A breakthrough came in July when Mandela announced a transition plan. Under the arrangement, Buyoya (a Tutsi) would continue as president for the first 18 months of a three-year transition period. Domitien Ndayizeye (a Hutu) would serve alongside him as vice president. During the second half of the transition, a Hutu would occupy the presidency, and a Tutsi would serve as vice president. The plan also called for the transitional government to include all 19 parties that signed the Arusha accord. It also required that the transitional government accept international peacekeeping forces and lift restrictions on political activity. The transition plan was endorsed by regional leaders and Burundian parties at a July 23 meeting in Arusha.

      While Pres. Buyoya was attending a regional summit to endorse the transition, soldiers opposed to the Arusha process attempted a coup in Bujumbura. Though the uprising was quickly put down, many Burundians feared for the stability of the government. Armed rebel groups not party to the Arusha agreement vowed to continue fighting. Throughout the year government troops clashed with rebels of the National Forces of Liberation and the Forces for the Defense of the Democracy.

      As a result of attacks on aid workers, humanitarian agencies frequently suspended their operations in parts of the country. An estimated 400,000 Burundian refugees were in Tanzania, and approximately 800,000 persons were displaced internally. Though Burundi and Tanzania agreed to a plan for the return of refugees, few were repatriated.

      The transitional government was sworn in on November 1. The UN Security Council approved a 700-man international peacekeeping force to help protect the new government. The first contingent, 230 South African troops, was deployed just before the new government's inauguration.

Matthew A. Cenzer

▪ 2001

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(2000 est.): 6,055,000 (including 800,000 refugees in Tanzania)
Head of state and government:
President Pierre Buyoya

      Seven years of war between the nation's Tutsi-dominated army and

      Hutu rebels had by 2000 devastated Burundi; the fighting had claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. In September 1999 the government had forced an estimated 350,000 people, mostly Hutu civilians, into so-called regroupment camps, claiming that the relocation was to protect them from rebel attacks. Hutu organizations and international humanitarian groups condemned the camps. Many people in the camps were at risk from famine, and in March the World Food Programme began emergency relief operations.

      Efforts to end the conflict continued throughout the year. In February peace talks resumed in Arusha, Tanz., with former South African president Nelson Mandela serving as mediator. Nineteen groups, including the main Tutsi and Hutu political parties, participated, but the two major armed rebel forces did not. In June Pres. Pierre Buyoya agreed to key concessions, including the closing of the regroupment camps and ethnic integration of the army. Several Tutsi groups opposed the concessions, and Buyoya cautioned that Tutsi extremists in the army might attempt a coup. On August 28, 14 of the 19 groups that attended the Arusha talks signed a draft agreement. Although the holdout Tutsi parties eventually signed the agreement, some observers claimed that it had little chance of success. Several important provisions, such as the composition of a proposed transitional government, were not finalized.

      Despite the draft agreement, cease-fire talks collapsed in September when two rebel leaders refused to participate. As preconditions for a cease-fire, they demanded the release of political prisoners, accelerated closing of the regroupment camps, and assurances of a role in any transitional government. Later in September, fighting between the army and rebel forces escalated.

      The civil war had a devastating effect on the country's economy. In April the World Bank approved a $35 million emergency loan. International donors also promised extensive economic aid should the forces in Burundi peacefully settle the civil war.

Matthew A. Cenzer

▪ 2000

27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)
(1999 est.): 5,736,000
Head of state and government:
President Pierre Buyoya

      Talks aimed at ending Burundi's six-year-old civil war resumed in January 1999 in Arusha, Tanz. Late in the month African regional leaders suspended economic sanctions that had been in place since the 1996 coup that brought Pres. Pierre Buyoya to power, citing progress in the negotiations and steps that had been made toward a return of civilian rule. They warned that sanctions would be reimposed if the government failed to meet these obligations. Hutu opposition groups criticized the move as premature. Although widely flouted, the sanctions had had a devastating economic impact. By March, however, negotiations had bogged down, and they were broken off without agreement in June. One mediator, former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere (see Obituaries (Nyerere, Julius Kambarage )), blamed the failure on Burundi government obstruction. At the end of August, Buyoya traveled to Pretoria, where he asked South African Pres. Thabo Mbeki to play a greater role in mediating the conflict.

      In May Burundi's Supreme Court convicted 28 people for their part in the 1993 assassination of Pres. Melchior Ndadaye, the event that plunged the country into its civil war. The defendants, most of whom were Tutsi and members of the army, had all pleaded not guilty. Five were sentenced to death, whereas others received prison terms ranging from one to 20 years. Hutu rebel leaders criticized the verdicts because the highest-ranking officials charged were all acquitted.

      Throughout the year government troops clashed with rebel forces. In one August incident, reports indicated more than 475 civilian casualties, although the government disputed that figure. By late August rebel forces were striking targets in and around Bujumbura, including one location only a few kilometres from the presidential palace. Intensified fighting in November led to the displacement of an estimated 300,000 people in addition to the more than 500,000 already forced from their homes.

      Burundi's civil war was part of wider insecurity in the region. In April Defense Minister Col. Alfred Nkurunziza charged that Tanzania had willingly allowed rebel forces to operate from its territory. On several occasions the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo threatened to attack Burundi, alleging that it supported rebels attempting to overthrow Congolese Pres. Laurent Kabila.

Matthew A. Cenzer

▪ 1999

      Area: 27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 5,537,000

      Capital: Bujumbura

      Head of state and government: President Pierre Buyoya, assisted by Prime Minister Pascal-Firmin Ndimira

      In the early-morning hours of Jan. 1, 1998, approximately 2,000 Hutu rebels attacked the army barracks at Bujumbura Airport and a nearby village, killing at least 150 people before government forces repulsed them. Burundian Pres. Pierre Buyoya claimed that Tanzania had supported the rebels, a charge Tanzanian Pres. Benjamin Mkapa denied. Both countries amassed troops on their common border. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) condemned the attack and dispatched a delegation to urge all parties to join talks mediated by former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere. Buyoya's government refused to participate, charging that Nyerere favoured the Hutu.

      On June 15, however, OAU-sponsored peace talks, mediated by Nyerere and with Burundi in attendance, opened in Arusha, Tanz. The participants agreed to begin a cease-fire on July 20, the beginning of a second round of talks. The second round began as scheduled, but procedural disputes hampered the talks, and no substantial progress was made; the participants, however, agreed to reconvene for a third round of negotiations on October 13. Insecurity returned to the north of the country shortly after the July talks ended when at least 6,000 refugees fled rebel attacks.

      Regional leaders meeting in Kampala, Uganda, announced on February 21 that economic sanctions against Burundi would continue until the government negotiated with the rebels and moved toward civilian rule. The sanctions had begun after Buyoya's 1996 coup and included an arms embargo as well as bans on commercial flights and all exports. Citing hardship, the Burundian government repeatedly called for the lifting of sanctions. In March the World Food Programme began a humanitarian airlift to the country, the first since the sanctions started.

      On June 11 Buyoya was sworn in as head of state under the Transitional Constitutional Act passed five days earlier. This resolved the impasse between the president, who favoured transitional legislation, and members of the National Assembly who preferred the 1992 constitution (suspended when Buyoya took power).


▪ 1998

      Area: 27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 6,053,000

      Capital: Bujumbura

      Head of state and government: President Pierre Buyoya, assisted by Prime Minister Pascal-Firmin Ndimira

      A number of violent clashes between Burundi's Tutsi-dominated army and Hutu rebels were reported in the first few months of 1997. On January 5, it was alleged, Tutsi civilians led by army troops slaughtered some 400 people in Muramvya province. Five days later, at a detention centre in Muyinga province, troops shot dead 126 Hutu refugees who had been expelled from Tanzania, an incident the army acknowledged. Hutu rebels retaliated in March in a succession of attacks across the country, and by early April the army was reportedly using aircraft to bombard rebel positions. On April 3 the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs described "dangerously unsanitary conditions" in refugee camps used to hold some 500,000 Burundians whom the army had forcibly removed from their homes in order to undermine Hutu support in the countryside.

      On April 16, at a regional summit in Arusha, Tanz., Pres. Pierre Buyoya met with the heads of state of Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia to discuss the situation in Burundi. The leaders of those nations agreed that they would ease some sanctions imposed against Burundi following the military coup in July 1996 that put Buyoya in office. The Hutu-led National Council for the Defense of Democracy denounced the summit and criticized regional leaders for treating Buyoya as a legitimate head of government. One week prior to the summit, Jean Minami, the exiled leader of the opposition Front for Democracy in Burundi, alleged that the Buyoya regime had been responsible for killing 50,000 people since it came to power.

      In June former president Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, who had been ousted in the 1996 coup, left the sanctuary of the U.S. embassy in Bujumbura, where he had spent nearly a year; although it was unclear what political role, if any, Ntibantunganya would play in the future, he immediately called for negotiations between the government and Hutu rebels. At a meeting with foreign diplomats in Bujumbura on June 26, Buyoya appealed to the international community for help in bringing peace to Burundi. In late August, however, the government pulled out of peace talks with rebels that took place in Tanzania, claiming that Hutu were receiving military training and weapons in refugee camps in Tanzania in preparation for renewed attacks. Reports of attacks by rebels against civilians continued throughout the year.

      This article updates Burundi, history of (Burundi).

▪ 1997

      Burundi is a landlocked republic of central Africa. Area: 27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 5,943,000. Cap.: Bujumbura. Monetary unit: Burundi franc, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of FBu 220.46 to U.S. $1 (FBu 347.29 = £ 1 sterling). Presidents in 1996, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya and, from July 25, Pierre Buyoya; prime ministers, Antoine Nduwayo and, from July 31, Pascal-Firmin Ndimira.

      During the last months of 1995, increasing numbers of signs were pointing to a new wave of ethnic violence in Burundi. In his review of 1995, Pres. Sylvestre Ntibantunganya warned that the fanaticism of both Hutu and Tutsi could lead to the disintegration of the nation. In February 1996 the UN reported that civil war was taking place in many parts of Burundi and recommended that the world take action rather than wait for genocide to occur. Prime Minister Antoine Nduwayo, however, rejected suggestions for intervention. In April both the United States and the European Union suspended their aid to Burundi on reports that the government lacked the will to end the violence.

      On April 26, after an estimated 500 people had already been killed during the month, 235 villagers were killed in Buhoro in clashes between government forces and rebel Hutu. Fears of massacres on the same scale as earlier had been seen in Rwanda grew through May, and at the end of the month, France suspended military cooperation with the government. On June 25 a regional summit was held at Arusha, Tanz., between Burundi and Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to discuss the deteriorating situation, and Burundi reluctantly accepted the principle of intervention. Subsequently, however, Nduwayo's Unity for National Progress party condemned the agreement as a betrayal, and both the president and prime minister were accused of treason. In July the prime minister reversed his earlier stand and said he was opposed to an international peacekeeping force.

      A massacre of more than 300 Tutsi by militant Hutu at Bugendena in mid-July provided the spark that led to a coup. When the president arrived at a memorial service for the victims, angry demonstrators forced him to withdraw (he took refuge in the U.S. embassy), and on July 25 the military seized power and installed Pierre Buyoya as president. Buyoya said, "We have done this [the coup] to avoid genocide. We want to restore peace and protect the population." He ruled out intervention from outside. Reacting to the coup, the leaders of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Zaire imposed sanctions on Burundi. By mid-September the Hutu rebels were claiming that 10,000 people had been killed by the army since the coup, and they called upon the country's neighbours to maintain their embargo. (GUY ARNOLD)

      This article updates Burundi, history of (Burundi).

▪ 1996

      Burundi is a landlocked republic of central Africa. Area: 27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 5,936,000. Cap.: Bujumbura. Monetary unit: Burundi franc, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of FBu 247.40 to U.S. $1 (FBu 391.12 = £ 1 sterling). President in 1995, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya; prime ministers, Anatole Kanyenkiko until February 15 and, from February 22, Antoine Nduwayo.

      The year 1995 was dominated by fears that Burundi would descend into ethnic violence. In January the Unity for National Progress (UPRONA) withdrew from the government and called for the dismissal of the prime minister, Anatole Kanyenkiko, who was expelled from UPRONA. Pressures continued through February to force Kanyenkiko to resign, with UPRONA disowning him for "disloyalty" and calling an indefinite general strike; he finally stepped down on February 15, when activity in Bujumbura had come to a standstill as a result of the strike. Antoine Nduwayo, a Tutsi member of UPRONA, was nominated as prime minister and, after obtaining the support of the majority Burundi Democratic Front, assumed the office on February 22. These political uncertainties resulted in a new exodus of refugees; on February 21 Tanzania reported that 25,000 had arrived there since the beginning of the month.

      Growing international fears that Burundi might collapse into chaos prompted the UN to send a mission to assess the situation. During March fighting between dissident Tutsi from the army and Hutu extremists led to 500 deaths, and on March 26 the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that 24,000 people had fled to Zaire over two days. At the end of March more than 300 European expatriates left the country, most by airlift, following the murder of three Belgians.

      In early April 400 Hutu were massacred by Tutsi in the Gasorwe region, fueling fears of ever-higher levels of killing; in mid-April the extreme Hutu group, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy, announced that it was forming an army, and by late April hundreds were reported to be fleeing from Hutu in the Gasorwe region. The secretary-general of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), Salim Ahmed Salim, visited Burundi, and the OAU observer mission was increased from 47 to 67.

      The violence escalated throughout the rest of the year. In July Amnesty International accused the Burundi Security Forces of having collaborated with Tutsi extremists to kill thousands of Hutu since 1993, and by late summer both the OAU and the UN were discussing the possibility of military intervention if the violence worsened. (GUY ARNOLD)

      This updates the article Burundi, history of (Burundi).

▪ 1995

      Burundi is a landlocked republic of central Africa. Area: 27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 5,799,000 (including 800,000 Burundian refugees living mostly in Tanzania and Zaire). Cap.: Bujumbura. Monetary unit: Burundi franc, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of FBu 248.44 to U.S. $1 (FBu 395.15 = £ 1 sterling). Presidents in 1994, Cyprien Ntaryamira from February 7 to April 6 and, acting from April 8 and official from October 1, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya; prime ministers, Sylvie Kinigi and, from February 7, Anatole Kanyenkiko.

      On Jan. 13, 1994, the National Assembly elected Cyprien Ntaryamira as president to succeed Melchior Ndadaye, who had been assassinated in October 1993. During the month, refugees who had fled the 1993 disturbances began to return. On February 3 the main political parties signed an agreement to allow the inauguration of Ntaryamira (a Hutu). In forming a government, Ntaryamira appointed a Tutsi, Anatole Kanyenkiko, as prime minister, while 60% of the Cabinet posts went to the Burundi Democratic Front (Frodebu) and 40% went to the Unity for National Progress and other parties. A report on the 1993 coup attempt revealed that the armed forces had been involved and that between 25,000 and 50,000 people had died.

      On April 6 President Ntaryamira, along with Pres. Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda, was killed in an airplane crash near Kigali, Rwanda, setting off a major ethnic crisis. Two days later the speaker of the National Assembly, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya (a Hutu), became acting president. On April 19 violence erupted when members of the Tutsi-dominated army attacked Hutus, and six days later a number of Tutsis tried unsuccessfully to stage a coup. The violence continued in Bujumbura through May and increased during June; the resulting displacement of large numbers of people led to overcrowding and the outbreak of disease. As the slaughter escalated in neighbouring Rwanda, there were growing fears of copycat killings in Burundi. A power-sharing agreement was reached on July 12 under which Frodebu was to have control of nine provinces and the opposition parties would control seven. On that same day, the constitutional court extended for three months the mandate for the interim president while a search continued for a new president.

      At the end of the year, the country was precariously poised on the edge of possible ethnic breakdown. Armed factions were killing hundreds of people every month, and the justice system had collapsed. The mainly Tutsi Unity for National Progress walked out of the parliament on December 2, after a Hutu was elected speaker, and left the government entirely on December 24. (GUY ARNOLD)

      See also Sidebar (Rwanda's Complex Ethnic History ).

      This updates the article Burundi, history of (Burundi).

▪ 1994

      Burundi is a landlocked republic of central Africa. Area: 27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 5,665,000. Cap.: Bujumbura. Monetary unit: Burundi franc, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of FBu 244.49 to U.S. $1 (FBu 370.40 = £ 1 sterling). Presidents in 1993, Maj. Pierre Buyoya and, from June 2 to October 21, Melchior Ndadaye; prime ministers, Adrien Sibomana and, from July 10, Sylvie Kinigi.

      On April 17, 1993, Pres. Pierre Buyoya signed decrees setting June for Burundi's first democratic elections under its new multiparty constitution. Buyoya was expected to win easily but was defeated by the leader of the opposition Democratic Front in Burundi (Frodebu), Melchior Ndadaye (see OBITUARIES (Ndadaye, Melchior )), the first Hutu to become head of state. Although the presidential elections passed without violence, they were followed by demonstrations in Bujumbura by disgruntled Tutsi (who constituted some 14% of the population but had always dominated the government). Frodebu won a large majority in the June 29 legislative elections, and Ndadaye created a carefully balanced government of 8 Tutsi and 14 Hutu, with a woman, Sylvie Kinigi (a Tutsi), as prime minister. All was for naught, however: Ndadaye was killed in an attempted coup by Tutsi on October 21; Kinigi sought refuge in the French embassy; and waves of ethnic violence followed, first against the Tutsi, then against the Hutu. Thousands were killed and entire villages were burned; the UN said that some 800,000 refugees had fled. Constitutionally, presidential power passed to the National Assembly leader pending new elections, but by year's end the situation remained unclear. Silvestre Ntibantunganya, the new Frodebu leader, seemed most likely to succeed Ndadaye as president. (GUY ARNOLD)

      This updates the article Burundi, history of (Burundi).

* * *

Burundi, flag of  country in east-central Africa, south of the Equator. The landlocked country, a historic kingdom, is one of the few countries in Africa whose borders were not determined by colonial rulers.

 The vast majority of Burundi's population is Hutu, traditionally a farming people. Power, however, has long rested with the Tutsi minority, which historically has controlled the army and most of the economy, particularly the lucrative international export of coffee. Few real cultural differences are distinguishable between the two peoples, and both speak Rundi (Kirundi). Such linguistic homogeneity is rare in sub-Saharan Africa and emphasizes the historically close cultural and ethnic ties among the peoples in Burundi. Even so, ethnic conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi has plagued the country since it gained independence from Belgium in 1962, at a great cost in human life and property. Few Burundians escaped the ensuing anarchy into which the country was plunged when this interethnic violence flared anew in the 1990s, a bloody conflagration that well illustrated the Rundi proverb “Do not call for lightning to strike down your enemies, for it also may strike down your friends.” Neither the presence of an international peacekeeping force beginning in the late 1990s nor the ratification of an agreement to share power between Hutu and Tutsi were immediately effective in curbing interethnic violence, which also spilled into the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo). Burundians are now faced with the task of quelling ethnic dissent, promoting unity, and rebuilding the country.

      Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, lies at the northeastern end of Lake Tanganyika (Tanganyika, Lake). The old section of the city comprises buildings from the German and Belgian colonial periods, as well as a central market filled with hundreds of vendors' booths. The country's second city, Gitega, is also its cultural capital, containing the national museum and several schools. Gitega lies near the southernmost source of the Nile River and a spectacular waterfall, Chutes de la Kagera.

Land (Burundi)
 Burundi is bounded by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, Lake Tanganyika (Tanganyika, Lake) to the southwest, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo) to the west.

Relief and drainage
 Burundi's topography includes the eastern flank of the Western Rift Valley (Rift Valley). A chain of mountains and high plateaus formed from ancient Precambrian rock rises to 9,055 feet (2,760 metres) at Mount Heha, the country's highest point. In the northwest the narrow Imbo valley extends southward from Rwanda to Lake Tanganyika and includes the Rusizi River, which separates Burundi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Farther south and west, along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the land rises steeply to form part of the Congo-Nile divide, which reaches elevations of 8,500 feet (2,600 metres). East of the divide, plateaus slope gently to elevations of 5,000–6,000 feet (1,500–1,800 metres) to the southeast; the Ruvyironza River flows northeast, cutting through the plateaus. A few valleys and shallow lakes occupy the northern frontier near Rwanda.

      Light, forest-derived soils predominate, forming a thin layer of humus over lateritic (iron-rich) subsoils. The best soils are formed from alluvium, but they are confined primarily to the lower portions of larger river valleys. Soil erosion, caused by a combination of steep slopes and frequent rainfall, is a serious problem and creates a major constraint on agriculture; ironically, erosion is further exacerbated by the clearing of land for agricultural purposes.

      Elevation is a major factor in Burundi's climate, greatly moderating its tropical character. The country's generally high elevation produces relatively cool temperatures, which average only about 70 °F (21 °C) throughout the year in the central plateau area and usually drop to below 60 °F (15 °C) at night. At lower elevations the annual average is only slightly higher—for example, at Bujumbura in the Imbo valley. Annual precipitation, which averages 60 to 70 inches (1,500 to 1,800 mm) in the highest-lying areas, is only about 40 inches (1,000 mm) on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. There is a short dry season from May to August..

Plant and animal life
      The natural forest vegetation has almost entirely disappeared from the landscape and is limited now primarily to higher mountain slopes. On the plateau, wooded savanna is found at higher elevations, giving way to more-open savanna on the lower slopes. poaching has dealt a severe blow to the country's wildlife. The elephant population has virtually disappeared, leaving only warthogs, baboons, and antelope as the less endangered species.

People (Burundi)

Ethnic groups
      As in Rwanda, Tutsi and Hutu are the principal ethnic communities, with the Hutu constituting the overwhelming majority and the Tutsi a significant minority. Other groups include the Twa Pygmies and a sprinkling of Swahili-speaking peoples from Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Common perceptions of Tutsi as uniformly tall and graceful and of Hutu as short and stocky do not fit the reality of physical variations because the two groups have frequently intermarried over the centuries.

      Traditionally, the Hutu have been farmers, while the Tutsi have been pastoralists. Some regional status differences exist among the Tutsi, with the Tutsi-Banyaruguru clan found primarily in the north of the country and the Tutsi-Bahima primarily in the south. Historically, the Tutsi-Banyaruguru generally dominated precolonial Burundi, while the Tutsi-Bahima have generally dominated Burundi since independence. Society was originally organized around family and clan loyalties. Beginning in the 16th century, these ties were adapted to include a Tutsi monarchy. Intervening between the king (mwani) and the masses was a princely class (ganwa) that kept the ordinary Tutsi and Hutu on equal footing. The relationship between the two groups began to change during the colonial period, when the German and Belgian colonial administrators favoured the Tutsi over the Hutu.

      Burundi's official languages are Rundi (Kirundi), a Bantu (Bantu languages) language that is the standard medium of communication throughout the country, and French. Swahili (Swahili language), the language of trade, is widely spoken in Bujumbura, as is French. It is notable that Rundi is spoken by both the Hutu and Tutsi, who together form the overwhelming majority of the country's population; such linguistic homogeneity is rare in sub-Saharan Africa.

      The country has a relatively large Christian population, of which about three-fifths are Roman Catholic. A large minority and even some Roman Catholics also practice traditional religion. Muslims constitute about one-tenth of the population. Church-state relations have been a focal point of ethnic tension since the 1970s. The government of the Second Republic (1976–87) attempted to curtail the social and educational activities of the Roman Catholic Church because its policies were thought to favour the Hutu over the Tutsi. After a military coup in 1987, the issue was temporarily defused, yet the church continues to be seen by many Tutsi as a dangerously subversive institution.

Settlement patterns
 The hilly geography of the country discourages village formation, and traditional family compounds tend to be dispersed rather than concentrated—a key settlement characteristic of the area. This pattern has encouraged isolation rather than community and has contributed to the ongoing ethnic conflict between the Hutu and the Tutsi. Nonetheless, Burundi is heavily populated, with one of the highest densities in Africa. Urban centres are rare, the exceptions including Gitega in the central part of the country, Muyinga and Ngozi in the north, and Bujumbura, the largest city, sprawled along the northern tip of Lake Tanganyika. Civil unrest that began in the early to mid-1990s forced thousands of Hutu to settle in refugee camps spread throughout the countryside and in neighbouring countries. Around the same time, Burundi received an influx of refugees from Rwanda, fleeing from the genocide and subsequent political strife in their country. Rwandans also sought refuge in Burundi in the early 21st century. A large portion of the refugee population consists of women and children.

Demographic trends
      Although infant and child mortality rates are high, Burundi's birth rate is above average for central Africa, yet its population is not growing at the same high rate as other countries in Africa, in part because of the mass killings associated with the civil conflict there. About half of the population is under age 15, which assures a continued high growth rate. Only a small proportion of the population is considered urban, the majority of which live in Bujumbura. Life expectancy in Burundi, although low by world standards, is about the average for Africa.

      Agriculture is the economic mainstay of the country, with industrial activities accounting for less than one-fourth of the gross domestic product. Coffee, chiefly arabica, is the principal export crop and source of foreign exchange. Cash crops of lesser importance include cotton and tea. By the late 1990s, more than three-fifths of the country's population were living in poverty—a result of civil strife and the ravages of war, the predominance of traditional subsistence agriculture, the persistence of low income levels, chronic deficits in the balance of trade, and heavy dependence on foreign aid. Western countries and surrounding African countries imposed economic sanctions against Burundi following a Tutsi-led military coup in 1996, which affected all of Burundi's exports and its oil imports. Sanctions were eased beginning in 1997, a regional embargo was lifted in 1999, and much of the country's foreign debt was forgiven in 2005, but the process of economic recovery has been slow.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
 Approximately half of Burundi's land area is considered cultivable, and about one-third is suitable for pasture. Staple food crops include beans, corn (maize), cassava (manioc), and sorghum. Arabica coffee traditionally has been a major commodity for Burundi. The production of coffee dropped by about half in the 1990s because of civil strife but has since rebounded. Tea and sugar are also major export crops. Large areas of cotton are cultivated, mainly in the Imbo valley; however, cotton output has decreased to less than half the production levels of the early 1990s. Although the density of livestock results in overgrazing, the commercial value of livestock production is virtually nil. By the early 21st century, Burundi's forested area had shrunk to less than 3 percent of the total land area in spite of reforestation efforts. Lake Tanganyika and the smaller lakes and rivers of the interior are rich sources of tilapia and other fish.

Resources and power
      Unexploited mineral resources include considerable nickel deposits in the eastern part of the country, as well as significant reserves of vanadium, uranium, and phosphates. Geologic assessments also indicate possible major petroleum reserves beneath Lake Tanganyika and in the Rusizi valley. Mineral production, however, is generally limited and includes niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, and wolframite (a source of tungsten). Peat and firewood are the two major local sources of fuel. Electrical production is mostly hydro-generated, a portion of which is imported.

      Industrial activity is limited to small-scale processing and manufacturing plants, concentrated mostly in Bujumbura. Among the largest industrial enterprises are a brewery and a textile company. Agricultural products such as cotton, coffee, tea, and sugar are also processed in the country. Despite an environment long characterized by civil unrest, the government has remained committed to protecting the industrial sector.

Finance, trade, and services
      Banque de la République du Burundi is the country's central bank; it issues the Burundi franc, the national currency, and regulates the operation of national and foreign banks.

      Beginning in the 1980s, Burundi experienced a growing trade deficit and increasingly heavy dependence on foreign aid that continued into the 21st century. In 2005, however, Burundi benefited from international debt forgiveness.

      On average, export earnings are small (less than half the cost of imports), which reflects a steady growth of consumption and investment coupled with a sharp decline in the international price of coffee (coffee production) and rising import prices. About three-fifths of Burundi's export earnings come from coffee, with tea accounting for much of the remaining value. Chief trading partners include Switzerland, Belgium-Luxembourg, and Kenya and other nearby African countries.

      Tourism in Burundi has great potential, but the country's conflicts have severely limited visitors to the region.

Labour and taxation
      About nine-tenths of the labour force of Burundi is engaged in agricultural activity. The workers' right to form unions is protected by the Labor Code of Burundi, but there has long been a fragile relationship between unions and the government; union leaders have sometimes been detained, and their records have been confiscated by the police. Since the promulgation of the 2005 constitution, which mandated an increased role for women in government, more Burundian women have entered the workforce, rapidly increasing women's presence not only in government but in development programs and civil service as well.

      Revenue sources include taxes on domestic goods and services, international trade, import duties, and social security contributions.

Transportation and telecommunications
      In the absence of railroads, only three major routes are available across the country: the northern route by road from Bujumbura to Mombasa (Kenya) via Rwanda; the central route by barge down the Rusizi River to Lake Tanganyika, then to Kigoma (Tanzania); and the southern route across Lake Tanganyika to Kalemie (Democratic Republic of the Congo). A secondary road network connects Bujumbura to various provincial capitals. In 1992 the Bridge of Concord, the country's longest bridge, was opened; it traverses the Rusizi River. An international airport is located in Bujumbura.

      By the early 21st century, telephone services had increased, as had the number of mobile cellular phones in use. Internet access is also expanding in Burundi.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
 Under the 2005 constitution, power is to be shared by the Hutus and Tutsis. Executive power is vested in the president, who is ordinarily elected directly to a five-year term, renewable once. The president appoints the Council of Ministers. There is a bicameral legislature, with power exercised by the National Assembly, which is mandated to comprise 60 percent Hutu and 40 percent Tutsi, and by the Senate, which includes one Hutu and one Tutsi representative from each province, with three seats reserved for former presidents. In addition, three seats in each house are reserved for the Twa, and at least 30 percent of the seats in both houses are to be held by women. Members of both houses, most of whom are elected by universal suffrage, serve five-year terms.

Local government
      Burundi is divided into 17 provinces, which are further divided into communes. Power at the local level rests in the hands of centrally appointed authorities.

      Burundi's legal system is based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law. The country's highest court is the Supreme Court. Courts of appeal, administrative courts, a constitutional court, and tribunals of first instance, trade, and labour also exist in Burundi.

      In 2005 the United Nations Security Council (United Nations) adopted a resolution to create a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as a special court to prosecute war crimes and human rights violations.

Political process
      Political parties are legally recognized only if they show a national rather than a regional or ethnic membership. Unity for National Progress (Unité pour le Progrès National; UPRONA) was founded in 1958 and dissolved in 1976 after a coup, later reemerging as the country's only recognized political party for a period of time. Many parties have since been created, including Front for Democracy in Burundi (Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi; FRODEBU), which only emerged in 1992 after the constitution promulgated that year provided for multiparty politics; the National Council for the Defense of Democracy (Conseil National pour la Défense de la Democratie; CNDD), established in 1994; and the offshoot National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (Conseil National pour la Défense de la Democratie–Forces pour la Défense de la Democratie; CNDD-FDD), which formally registered as a party in 2005, although it existed prior to that year.

      Women have had the right to vote since 1961, but few have held political positions of power; a notable exception was Sylvie Kinigi (Kinigi, Sylvie), Burundi's first female prime minister, who held the office for almost seven months beginning in July 1993. Female representation in Burundi government increased following the 2005 constitutional mandate that at least 30 percent of the seats in both houses be held by women. Indeed, in the post-transition government installed in 2005, women constituted about one-third of both the National Assembly and the Senate. Burundi's constitution has become a model for other countries in Africa.

      Burundi's military consists primarily of an army, with a small air force contingent. Historically, the bulk of the armed forces were Tutsi-Banyaruguru. A new armed forces, mandated to comprise equal numbers of Hutu and Tutsi, was created in December 2004 and absorbed more than 20,000 former rebels. Burundi troops have participated in international peacekeeping missions in Africa.

Health and welfare
      The most common health problems stem from communicable diseases and nutritional deficiencies, which account for most infant and child mortality. Those suffering from malnutrition receive some relief from feeding centres set up by international aid workers. Malaria, cholera, measles, influenza, and diarrhea are the major causes of death. Sleeping sickness is widespread in the lakeshore areas, and pulmonary diseases (tuberculosis) are common in the central highlands. HIV/ AIDS is also a serious health concern. At the beginning of the 21st century, the number of reported cases appeared to stabilize in urban locales but had escalated at an alarming rate in rural areas. Burundi has limited hospital facilities and an insufficient number of medical personnel; these resources have been further strained by civil strife.

 The traditional settlement pattern is one of family compounds (rugo), with circular one-room houses—often hidden by banana trees—rising above the hedges of individual enclosures. Urban areas contain colonial-style buildings as well as more-modern housing. Homes that utilized local resources were being built at the beginning of the 21st century. The new dwellings were intended to help relieve a chronic housing shortage, caused in part by the high population density in urban areas and exacerbated by the return of refugees who fled the country during the late 20th-century civil strife.

      About one-half of the country is literate, a rate that is lower than neighbouring countries and well below the world average. Primary education begins at age seven and is compulsory for six years; secondary education, divided into programs of four and then three years, is not mandatory. Education is free, and instruction is in Rundi at the primary level and in French at the secondary level. The distribution of the school-age population shows a striking disproportion in enrollment figures between primary and secondary schools, the former accounting for more than four-fifths of total enrollments. Only a small fraction of primary-school students are admitted to the secondary level, and fewer still are able to gain admission to the University of Burundi at Bujumbura or one of the few colleges in the country.

      Ethnic discrimination in schools remains a politically sensitive issue. The overrepresentation of Tutsi at the secondary and university levels translates into the absence of significant avenues of upward mobility for the Hutu majority and the Twa, which means that Tutsi enjoy a virtual monopoly on civil-service positions. Despite outbreaks of ethnic strife, most schools have continued to function amid the unrest.

Cultural life

Daily life, social customs, and the arts
 Much of Burundi's rich cultural heritage, most notably folk songs and dances, was intended to extol the virtues of kingship; however, since the fall of the monarchy in 1966 (and particularly after a massacre of Hutu in 1972), such cultural expression has waned. Burundian daily life has since been conditioned by the exigencies of survival in a time of civil strife and ethnic hatred, and many important social institutions, such as the family and the village council, have lost their force, weakened by political chaos and the wholesale displacement of populations. Once widely celebrated events include the annual sorghum festival (umuganuro), the occasion for a magnificent display of traditional dances by court dancers (intore). Also participating in the festival are drummers beating the Karyenda (“sacred drum”), an emblem of the monarchy—their performance is intended to give both musical and symbolic resonance to this festival and to other ceremonial occasions. Government efforts to promote interethnic harmony through displays of a shared cultural heritage have been sporadic and only modestly successful. Burundian museums that celebrate the country's heritage include the National Museum in Gitega and the Living Museum in Bujumbura, which also includes botanical gardens and animal exhibits.

      Throughout history, Burundians have enjoyed a tradition of expression in the visual arts. Decorated papyrus panels, which feature geometric patterns and often depict themes from Burundian legend, are prized by collectors of ethnic arts, as are Burundian-made swords and drums. Ceramic manufacture, introduced by Italian missionaries in the 1960s, has also been an important form of artistic expression, and Burundian potters have added indigenous elements to this imported medium. Other arts and crafts include basketry and beadwork. The dye usually used to colour Burundian handicrafts is derived from natural plant extracts.

      Burundian conversations and social gatherings often feature recitations, singing, and the exchange of jokes, proverbs, and tall tales. Only a few books have been written to date in Rundi, most of them collections of contemporary poetry and folklore. The few writers to have emerged since independence—notably the novelists Séraphin Sésé, Louis Katamari, and Richard Ndayizigamiye, along with the memoirist Michel Kakoya—are little known outside the country. Founded in 1989, the National Library in Bujumbura is a repository for Burundian literature.

 Traditional activities such as drumming and dancing contain aspects of both culture and competition: the Intore Dancers, a group that celebrates national folklore, has won numerous international folk dance competitions, and drummers compete with the traditional Karyenda drums. Burundi's best-known cultural export is a troupe of traveling musicians called Les Maîtres-Tambours du Burundi (Drummers of Burundi). This group, made up of as many as 30 percussionists and dancers, produces an energetic, polyrhythmic sound organized around the inkiranya drum. The addition of the amashako drum, which provides a continuous beat, and the complimentary rhythm of the ibishikiso drum complete the impressive sound. The group has been widely influential and has made many recordings. Burundian singer Khadja Nin has also released several recordings, with lyrics in Swahili, Rundi, and French.

Sports and recreation
      Since the 1990s Burundi has tried to use sports to bring together the country's warring factions. Football (soccer) is popular, and Burundi has competed in several African Cup of Nations championships. Burundians have also excelled in athletics (track and field), none more than Vénuste Niyongabo, who won a gold medal (Burundi's first medal) in the 5,000-metre race at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Media and publishing
      Access to radio and television is limited. Although the 2005 constitution provides for freedom of the press, the government still imposes restrictions. In addition, journalists have engaged in self- censorship. Le Renouveau du Burundi, a daily newspaper published in French, is owned by the government. Other periodicals are published on a weekly basis or less frequently.

René Lemarchand Ellen Kahan Eggers

      This discussion focuses on Burundi from the 16th century. For a treatment of earlier periods and of the country in its regional context, see Central Africa, history of (Central Africa).

Precolonial Burundi
      Unlike most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the boundaries of Burundi were not drawn by European powers. Rather, they reflect a state that was developed by the Burundian monarchy. The country was originally populated by the Twa, a Pygmy hunter-gatherer population. Beginning around AD 1000, Hutu farmers, who now constitute the largest proportion of the population, arrived in the region. Sometime later the Tutsi entered the country, and a Tutsi monarchy developed in the 16th century, founded by Ntare Rushatsi (Ntare I). According to one tradition, Ntare I came from Rwanda; according to other sources, he came from Buha in the southeast, from which he laid the foundation of the original kingdom in the neighbouring Nkoma region. The relationship between the different groups in the state was complex. The king (mwami) was Tutsi, but a princely class (ganwa), which consisted of the potential heirs to the throne, interceded between the king and the Tutsi and Hutu masses.

      Identification as either a Tutsi or Hutu was fluid. While physical appearance did correspond somewhat to one's identification (the Tutsi were generally presumed to be light-skinned and tall; the Hutu, dark-skinned and short), the difference between the two groups was not always immediately apparent, owing to intermarriage and the use of a common language (Rundi) by both groups. Tutsis were traditionally cattle owners (cattle were a symbol of wealth in precolonial Burundi), while the Hutu were agriculturalists. However, by societal standards a rich Hutu could be identified as a Tutsi, and a poor Tutsi could be identified as a Hutu.

Burundi under colonial rule
 Europeans did not enter Burundi until the second half of the 19th century. The terrain that had made it difficult for slave traders to exploit the country also created problems for European colonizers. English explorers Richard Burton (Burton, Richard) and John Hanning Speke (Speke, John Hanning), generally credited as the first Europeans to visit Burundi, entered the country in 1858. They explored Lake Tanganyika (Tanganyika, Lake) as they searched for the source of the Nile (Nile River). In 1871 two more Britons, Henry Morton Stanley (Stanley, Sir Henry Morton) and David Livingstone (Livingstone, David), also explored the lake.

 Burundi, along with Rwanda and Tanganyika, became part of the German Protectorate of East Africa in 1890 (see German East Africa). Burundi and Rwanda (as the mandate of Ruanda-Urundi) were awarded to Belgium after World War I, when Germany lost its colonies. Under the Belgian colonial administrators, Burundi was reorganized in the late 1920s, with the result that most chiefs and subchiefs were eliminated.

      It would be overly simplistic to blame all of Burundi's postcolonial ethnic troubles on European ignorance of African culture, but such ignorance did contribute significantly to these problems. Assuming that ethnicity could be clearly distinguished by physical characteristics and then using the ethnic differences found in their own countries as models, Germany and especially Belgium created a system whereby the categories of Hutu and Tutsi were no longer fluid. The Tutsi—because of their generally lighter skin and greater height and as a result of European bias toward those physical characteristics—were considered superior to Hutu and given preference in local administration. Thus, power continued to be concentrated in the Tutsi minority.

      After World War II, Burundians began to press for independence. Although the traditional leaders of Burundi and Rwanda were denied legal status for a political party they formed in 1955, three years later Unity for National Progress (Unité pour le Progrès National; UPRONA) was established in Burundi. In 1959 the mwami was made a constitutional monarch in Burundi.

      Legislative elections were held in 1961 and resulted in victory for UPRONA. Of the 64 legislative seats, the ethnically mixed party won 58, of which 22 were held by Hutu members of UPRONA. The party leader was Prince Rwagasore, a Tutsi and the eldest son of Mwami Mwambutsa. Rwagasore represented populist aspirations and was the strongest supporter of the monarchy. He became prime minister and formed a new government. His assassination on Oct. 13, 1961, ushered in a crisis from which the country has struggled to recover ever since. Despite this crisis, Burundi became independent on July 1, 1962.

The First and Second republics
      Discord and violence have marked Burundi since independence. Although bloodshed has not occurred on the scale seen in Rwanda, ethnic conflict has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of people being displaced from their homes. The first incident did not occur until January 1965, when Pierre Ngendandumwe, a Hutu, took office as prime minister for the second time, at the request of the constitutional monarch, Mwami Mwambutsa. Ngendandumwe was assassinated by a Tutsi gunman on January 15, before he had a chance to establish a government. Joseph Bamina, another Hutu, then served as prime minister until elections could be held later that year. Although elections gave the Hutu a clear majority of seats in the National Assembly, Mwambutsa ignored the results and appointed a Tutsi—Léopold Biha, his private secretary—prime minister. Mwambutsa insisted that power would continue to rest with the crown, even when he chose to leave the country after an unsuccessful coup led by a group of Hutu officers in October; he decreed that his son, Prince Charles Ndizeyeto, was to rule in his absence.

      Control of Burundi fell completely into the hands of the Tutsi before the end of the next year. After the abortive coup, some 34 Hutu officers were executed, and Tutsi control was further strengthened when Michel Micombero was appointed prime minister in July 1966. A Tutsi-Bahima from Bururi province, Micombero had played a key role in thwarting the 1965 coup and in organizing anti-Hutu riots in the countryside. Also in July 1966, Mwambutsa was deposed by his son, who began what was to be an extremely short reign, as he himself was deposed by Tutsi politicians in November. With the formal overthrow of the monarchy and the formal proclamation of the First Republic (with Micombero as president), the last obstacle in the path of Tutsi domination was removed.

      No other event cast greater discredit on the First Republic than the genocidal killings (genocide) perpetrated against the Hutu community in April and May 1972. Although Hutu initially killed some 2,000 Tutsi, ultimately an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 Hutu were killed, as well as another 10,000 Tutsi. The carnage took the lives of approximately 5 percent of the population and virtually eliminated all educated Hutu, as well as causing more than 100,000 Hutu to flee the country. Besides creating deep and lasting hatred on both sides of the ethnic divide, the events of 1972 became the source of considerable tension within the Tutsi minority, thus paving the way for the overthrow of Micombero in 1976 and the advent of the Second Republic under the presidency of Jean-Baptiste Bagaza. Though himself a Tutsi-Bahima from Bururi (like Micombero), Bagaza set out to reinvigorate the UPRONA on an unprecedented scale. At the same time, every effort was made to bring the Roman Catholic Church firmly under the control of the state, as the Tutsi-controlled government thought the church's policies favoured the Hutu. As a result of the government's efforts, the activities of the church were repressed.

The Third Republic
      The crisis in church-state relations was the critical factor behind Maj. Pierre Buyoya's decision to overthrow the Second Republic in September 1987 and proclaim a Third Republic. Buyoya, also a Tutsi-Bahima from Bururi, took the title of president and presided over a country that was ruled by a 30-member military junta, the Military Committee for National Salvation.

      The 1987 coup signaled an important shift of policy on the issue of church-state relations, and, by implication, on the Hutu-Tutsi problem. Buyoya repealed many of the restrictions placed upon the church and released political prisoners he felt had been improperly detained by the previous administration. Ironically, Buyoya's call for liberalization, while significantly raising the expectations of the Hutu masses, did little to alter the rigidly discriminatory practices of Tutsi civil servants in the provinces. The gap between Hutu expectations and the realities of Tutsi control lay at the root of the killings that erupted again in August 1988.

      More than 20,000 people were killed in the northern parts of Burundi, the overwhelming majority of Hutu origin. As in 1972, the initial outburst of violence—in the wake of countless provocations by local Tutsi officials—came from Hutu elements. Unlike his predecessor in 1972, however, President Buyoya's response to the crisis was surprisingly conciliatory. For one thing, the existence of a Hutu-Tutsi problem was explicitly recognized by the government, along with the need for appropriate solutions. Moreover, a conscious effort was made to achieve parity of ethnic representation within the government, as evidenced by the cabinet Buyoya formed in October 1988, which contained a Hutu majority. Finally, and most importantly, a national commission was established to make specific recommendations to the government to “protect and strengthen the unity of the people of Burundi.”

      Buyoya's apparent progressive leadership led to the adoption of a new constitution in March 1992, which prohibited political organizations that adhered to “tribalism, divisionalism, or violence” and stipulated that all political parties must include both Hutu and Tutsi representatives. There followed the country's first free, democratic election in June 1993, in which Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu who ran against Buyoya, was elected president. Ndadaye announced amnesty for many political prisoners and created a carefully balanced government of Hutu and Tutsi, including Sylvie Kinigi (Kinigi, Sylvie), a Tutsi woman, as prime minister.

Civil war
      Ndadaye was assassinated during an attempted military coup on Oct. 21, 1993, and the wave of violence that followed sparked the country's descent into civil war. As many as 150,000 Tutsi were killed in retribution, and perhaps 50,000 additional people were killed in smaller outbreaks. Amid the violence, leaders of the attempted coup and members of Ndadaye's government vied for power. The main political parties finally chose Cyprien Ntaryamira, a Hutu, as president. Ntaryamira took office in February 1994, but two months later he and Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana were killed when the plane they were on crashed near the airport in Kigali, Rwanda. Fighting intensified, hundreds more were killed, and calls from the United Nations to halt the violence initiated nighttime curfews. In September 1994 a commission agreed to a power-sharing coalition government headed by Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, a Hutu. Fighting continued throughout the country during the nearly two years of coalition government.

      The Tutsi-led army staged yet another coup against the government in July 1996 and reinstalled Buyoya as president. He faced considerable internal and international protest, including economic sanctions against the country, and many countries throughout the world had not recognized Buyoya's government by the end of the decade. Economic sanctions were eased in 1997, and an embargo was lifted in 1999.

The path toward peace
      Peace talks that began in 1995 among the rival factions were initiated and moderated by Julius Nyerere (Nyerere, Julius), former president of Tanzania. The talks were successfully concluded in 2001 under the leadership of former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela (Mandela, Nelson), who had assumed the role of mediator after Nyerere's death in 1999. Under the terms of the Arusha Agreement, a multinational, interim security contingent would enforce the peace in Burundi. A new government was installed on Nov. 1, 2001. The country was to be led by a Tutsi president (Buyoya) for 18 months and a Hutu president (Domitien Ndayizeye) for the next 18 months. Sporadic fighting continued between Hutu rebel groups and the government, however.

      In April 2003 Ndayizeye succeeded Buyoya as president under the terms of the 2001 agreement, and later that year Ndayizeye and rebel leaders signed peace accords that largely ended the civil war. A new power-sharing constitution was promulgated in 2005, and Pierre Nkurunziza, a Hutu, was elected president. Under the terms of the constitution, as the first post-transition president, he was elected by a two-thirds majority of the legislature, rather than by universal suffrage. The following year, the last remaining Hutu rebel group signed a peace agreement with the Burundi government, and there was hope that Burundians would be able to focus on promoting unity and rebuilding the country.

René Lemarchand Ellen Kahan Eggers

Additional Reading
An introduction to the country's geography can be found in Françoise Cazenave-Piarrot, Alain Cazenave-Piarrot, and Albert Lopez, Géographie du Burundi: le pays et les hommes (1979); and Atlas du Burundi (1979). Useful sources on language, literature, and arts include Ethel M. Albert, “‘Rhetoric,' ‘Logic,' and ‘Poetics' in Burundi: Culture Patterning of Speech Behavior,” American Anthropologist, special issue, pp. 35–54 (winter 1964–65); Alexandre Kimenyi, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi Names: A Semiolinguistic Analysis of Bantu Onomastics (1989); F.M. Rodegem, Précis de grammaire rundi (1967) and Sagesse kirundi (1961); R.P. Bagein, Grammaire kirundi à l'usage des commençants (1951); and the classic Jan Vansina, De la tradition orale: essai de méthode historique (1961).The classic source for precolonial ethnography and history is Hans Mayer, Die Barundi (1916), also available in a French edition excellently annotated by Jean-Pierre Chrétien, Les Barundi (1984). Also useful for this period of history is Emile Mworoha (ed.), Histoire du Burundi: des origines à la fin du XIXe siècle (1987). For colonial history, some useful sources are Michel Lechat, Le Burundi politique; and Joseph Gahama, Le Burundi sous administration Belge (1983), which also includes an English-language summary. Postindependence developments and politics are dealt with at length in René Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi (1970); René Lemarchand and David Martin, Selective Genocide in Burundi (1974); René Lemarchand, Burundi: Ethnocide as Discourse and Practice (1994, also published as Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide, 1996); and Marc Manirakiza, La Fin de la monarchie burundaise (1990); and a shorter pamphlet and article are provided by Reginald Kay, Burundi Since the Genocide (1987); and Allison Boyer, “Unity at Last?,” Africa Report, 37:37–40 (March/April 1992). Ellen K. Eggers, Historical Dictionary of Burundi, 2nd ed. (1997), includes an extensive bibliography and a chronology of Burundi's history.Ellen Kahan Eggers

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