A republic in east central Africa.
Country in E central Africa, bounded N by Rwanda, W by Zaire, SW by Lake Tanganyika, and SE and E by Tanzania.
The 1992 constitution provides for a multiparty system. The president, elected by universal suffrage for a maximum of two five-year terms, shares power with the prime minister, who appoints and heads a council of ministers. There is a single-chamber, 81-member national assembly, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term.
Originally inhabited by the Twa pygmies, Burundi was taken over by Bantu Hutus in the 13th century, and overrun in the 15th century by the Tutsi. In 1890, ruled by a Tutsi king and known as Urundi, it became part of German East Africa and during World War I was occupied by Belgium. Later, as part of Ruanda-Urundi, it was administered by Belgium as a League of Nations (and then United Nations) trust territory.
The 1961 elections, supervised by the UN, were won by UPRONA, a party formed by Louis, one of the sons of the reigning king, Mwambutsa IV. Louis was assassinated after only two weeks as prime minister and was succeeded by his brother-in-law, André Muhirwa. In 1962 Urundi separated from Ruanda and, as Burundi, attained internal self-government and then full independence.
In 1966 King Mwambutsa IV, after a 50-year reign, was deposed by another son, Charles, with army help, and the constitution was suspended. Later that year Charles, now Ntare V, was deposed by his prime minister, Capt Michel Micombero, who declared Burundi a republic. Micombero was a Tutsi, whose main rivals were the numerically superior Hutu. In 1972 the deposed Ntare V was killed, allegedly by the Hutu, giving the Tutsi an excuse to massacre large numbers of Hutu, and causing many more to flee to Rwanda.
In 1973 amendments to the constitution made Micombero president and prime minister and in the following year UPRONA was declared the only political party. In 1976 Micombero was deposed in an army coup led by Col Jean-Baptiste Bagaza. 1977 saw a return to civilian rule, the implementation of a plan to eliminate corruption, and the promotion of Hutu to government positions.
In 1978 the post of prime minister was abolished and a new constitution, providing for a national assembly, was adopted 1981. Bagaza was reelected 1984 but was deposed in a military coup Sept 1987, his government being replaced by a Military Council for National Redemption headed by Maj Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi. In Aug 1988 the Tutsi-controlled Burundian army massacred thousands of Hutus and, despite Buyoya's pledges to end interethnic violence, this was seen by many as a continuation of the strife that began after an abortive Hutu rebellion 1972.
free elections, renewed violence
Following the adoption of a new constitution, Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu, defeated Buyoya in the first direct presidential elections, June 1993, and Ndadaye's supporters won a landslide victory in the assembly elections. Three months later Ndadaye was killed in a military coup and interethnic violence flared up across the country, again causing thousands of Hutu to flee to Rwanda. The coup collapsed as its leaders sought to distance themselves from the killings, and Prime Minister Sylvie Kiningi was able to retain control of government. After a period of uncertainty, Cyprien Ntaryamira was elected president Jan 1994. He was killed three months later when an aircraft he was flying in with the Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana, crashed near the Rwandan capital, Kigali, apparently shot down by opponents of the Rwandan president. The speaker of the national assembly, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, became acting president, and while talks were underway on finding a permanent head of state, violence spread, although
not on the same scale as in neighboring Rwanda. In Sept 1994 the leaders of all political factions signed a power-sharing agreement and the following month Ntibantunganya was formally elected president. The election of a Hutu to the post of parliamentary speaker in Dec provoked renewed outbreaks of ethnic violence and the withdrawal from the coalition of the Tutsi leader of UPRONA. An estimated 100,000 people were killed in interethnic conflict 1993–95. Violence flared up again March 1995 after a massacre of Hutu refugees by Tutsi militia, and there were fears that it might spread uncontrollably.
Država u Africi.