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Burundi officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked
Landlocked
A landlocked country is a country entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are 48 landlocked countries in the world, including partially recognized states...

 country in the Great Lakes
African Great Lakes
The African Great Lakes are a series of lakes and the Rift Valley lakes in and around the geographic Great Rift Valley formed by the action of the tectonic East African Rift on the continent of Africa...

 region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 to the north, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura
Bujumbura
-Education:The University of Burundi is located in Bujumbura.Hope Africa University is located in BujumburaUniversité du Lac Tanganyika is located in Bujumbura-External links:**...

. Although the country is landlocked, much of the southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia; it is also the world's longest freshwater lake...

.

The Twa
Great Lakes Twa
The Great Lakes Twa, also known as Abatwa or Ge-Sera, or in English Batwa, are a pygmy people who are generally assumed to be the oldest surviving population of the Great Lakes region of central Africa, though currently they live as a Bantu caste...

, Tutsi
Tutsi
The Tutsi , or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group in Central Africa. Historically they were often referred to as the Watussi or Watusi. They are the second largest caste in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu and the Twa ....

, and Hutu
Hutu
The Hutu , or Abahutu, are a Central African people, living mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DR Congo.-Population statistics:The Hutu are the largest of the three peoples in Burundi and Rwanda; according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency, 84% of Rwandans and 85% of Burundians...

 peoples have occupied Burundi since the country's formation five centuries ago. Burundi was ruled as a kingdom by the Tutsi for over two hundred years. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 occupied the region, and Burundi and Rwanda became a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi
Ruanda-Urundi
Ruanda-Urundi was a Belgian suzerainty from 1916 to 1924, a League of Nations Class B Mandate from 1924 to 1945 and then a United Nations trust territory until 1962, when it became the independent states of Rwanda and Burundi.- Overview :...

.

Political unrest occurred throughout the region, in part, because of social differences between the Tutsi and Hutu, provoking civil war in Burundi throughout the middle twentieth century. Presently, Burundi is governed as a presidential representative democratic republic.

Burundi is one of the five poorest countries in the world. It has one of the lowest per capita GDP of any nation in the world. Burundi has a low gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 largely due to civil wars, corruption, poor access to education, and the effects of HIV/AIDS. Burundi is densely populated, with substantial emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

. Cobalt
Cobalt
Cobalt is a chemical element with symbol Co and atomic number 27. It is found naturally only in chemically combined form. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal....

 and copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 are among Burundi's natural resources. Some of Burundi's main exports include coffee and sugar.

Belgian mandate


After its defeat in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 handed control of a section of the former German East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

 to Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

. On October 20, 1924, this land, which consisted of modern-day Rwanda and Burundi, became a Belgian League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 mandate territory, in practical terms part of the Belgian colonial empire
Belgian colonial empire
The Belgian colonial empire consisted of three colonies possessed by Belgium between 1901 and 1962: Belgian Congo , Rwanda and Burundi...

, known as Ruanda-Urundi
Ruanda-Urundi
Ruanda-Urundi was a Belgian suzerainty from 1916 to 1924, a League of Nations Class B Mandate from 1924 to 1945 and then a United Nations trust territory until 1962, when it became the independent states of Rwanda and Burundi.- Overview :...

. However, the Belgians allowed Ruanda-Urundi to continue its kingship dynasty.

Following World War II, Ruanda-Urundi was a United Nations Trust Territory under Belgian administrative authority. During the 1940s, a series of policies caused divisions throughout the country. On October 4, 1943, powers were split in the legislative division of Burundi's government between chiefdoms and lower chiefdoms. Chiefdoms were in charge of land, and lower sub-chiefdoms were established. Native authorities also had powers. In 1948, Belgium allowed the region to form political parties. These factions would be one of the main influences for Burundi's independence from Belgium.

Independence and civil war


On January 20, 1959, Burundi's ruler Mwami Mwambutsa IV
Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi
King Mwambutsa IV Bangiricenge was the king of Burundi from December 16, 1915 to July 8, 1966. He was given the title of Mwami,King. He succeeded Mutaga IV Mbikije. Like other Burundian kings, he was an ethnic Ganwa. During the early part of his reign, Burundi was transferred from Germany to...

 requested from the Belgian Minister of Colonies a separation of Burundi and Rwanda and a dissolution of Ruanda-Urundi. Six months later, political parties were formed to bring attention to Burundi's independence from Europe and to separate Rwanda from Burundi. The first of these political parties was the Union for National Progress
Union for National Progress
The Union for National Progress is a nationalist political party in Burundi, receiving most of its support from members of the Tutsi ethnic group. It is celebrated for its role in gaining Burundian independence. UPRONA's most famous prime minister and Burundi National Hero is Prince Louis Rwagasore...

 (UPRONA).

Burundi's push for independence was influenced to some extent by the instability and ethnic persecution that occurred in Rwanda. In November 1959, Rwandese Hutu attacked the Tutsi and massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

d them by the thousands. Many Tutsi escaped to Uganda and Burundi to find freedom from persecution. The Hutu took power in Rwanda by winning Belgian-run elections in 1960.

The UPRONA, a multi-ethnic unity party led by Prince Louis Rwagasore
Louis Rwagasore
Prince Louis Rwagasore is Burundi's national and independence hero. He was a Burundi nationalist and prime minister.- Biography :...

 and the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) became the most prominent organizations throughout Burundi-Urundi. After UPRONA's victory in legislative elections, Prince Rwagasore was assassinated on October 13 in 1961, allegedly with the help of the Belgian colonial administration.

The country claimed independence on July 1, 1962, and legally changed its name from Ruanda-Urundi to Burundi. Mwami Mwambutsa IV was named king. On September 18, 1962, just over two months after declaring independence from Belgium, Burundi joined the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

.

Upon Burundi’s independence, a constitutional monarchy was established and both Hutus and Tutsis were represented in parliament. When King Mwambutsa appointed a Tutsi prime minister, the Hutus, who were the majority in parliament, felt cheated. An ensuing attempted coup by the Hutu-dominated police was ruthlessly suppressed by the Army, then led by a Tutsi officer, Captain Michel Micombero
Michel Micombero
Michel Micombero was the first President of Burundi from November 28, 1966 to November 1, 1976. He was member of the Tutsi ethnicity....

. When the next Hutu Prime Minister, Pierre Ngendandumwe, was assassinated in 1965, Hutus engaged in a series of attacks on Tutsi, which the government repressed ruthlessly, fearing the killings of Tutsis by Hutus, who wanted to follow the "Model Rwanda". The Burundi police and military were now brought under the control of the Tutsi.

Mwambutsa was deposed in 1966 by his son, Prince Ntare V, who claimed the throne. That same year, Tutsi Prime Minister Captain Michel Micombero deposed Ntare, abolished the monarchy, and declared the nation a republic, though it was in effect a military regime.

In 1972, an all Hutu organization known as Umugambwe w'Abakozi b'Uburundi or Burundi Workers' Party (UBU) organized and carried out systematic attacks on ethnic Tutsi with the declared intent of annihilating the whole group. The military regime responded with large-scale reprisals targeting Hutus. The total number of casualties was never established, but estimates for the Tutsi genocide and the reprisals on the Hutus
Burundi genocide
Since Burundi's independence in 1962, there have been two events called genocides in the country. The 1972 mass killings of Hutus by the Tutsi-dominated army, and the 1993 mass killings of Tutsis by the Hutu populace are both described as genocide in the final report of the International...

 together are said to exceed 100,000 at the very least, with a similar number of asylum-seekers in Tanzania and Rwanda. In 1976, another Tutsi, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza
Jean-Baptiste Bagaza
Jean-Baptiste Bagaza is a Burundian politician who was Chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Council in Burundi until November 10, 1976, and President from November 10, 1976 to September 3, 1987. While travelling abroad, Bagaza was deposed in a military coup d'état. He was replaced as president by...

, led a bloodless coup and promoted various reforms. A new constitution was promulgated in 1981, keeping Burundi a one-party state. In August 1984, Bagaza was elected head of state. During his tenure, Bagaza suppressed political opponents and religious freedoms.

Major Pierre Buyoya
Pierre Buyoya
Major Pierre Buyoya is a Burundian politician who has ruled Burundi twice, from 1987 to 1993 and from 1996 to 2003...

, a Tutsi, overthrew Bagaza in 1987 and suspended the constitution, dissolved the political parties, and reinstated military rule under the Military Committee for National Salvation (CSMN). Anti-Tutsi ethnic propaganda disseminated by the remnants of the 1972 UBU, which had re-organized as PALIPEHUTU in 1981, led to killings of Tutsi peasants in the northern communes of Ntega and Marangara in August 1988. The death toll was put at 5,000 by the government, though some international NGOs believe this understates the losses.

The new regime did not unleash harsh reprisals (as in 1972), but the trust it gained was soon eroded when it decreed an amnesty for those who had called for, carried out, and taken credit for the killings on ethnic grounds, which amounts to genocide in international law. Many analysts consider this period as the beginning of the "culture of impunity." But other analysts consider the "culture of impunity" to have had started from 1965 and 1972, when the revolt of a small and identifiable number of Hutus unleashed massive killings of Tutsis on the whole territory.

In the aftermath of the killings, a group of Hutu intellectuals wrote an open letter to Pierre Buyoya, asking for more representation of the Hutus in the administration. The signatories were sent to prison. Nevertheless, only few weeks later, Buyoya appointed a new government with an equal number of Hutu and Tutsi, and a Hutu, Adrien Sibomana, as Prime Minister. Buyoya also created a commission in charge of addressing the issue of national unity. In 1992, a new constitution that provided for multi-party system was promulgated, and a civil war sprang up from Burundi's core.

An estimated 250,000 people died between 1962 and 1993. Since Burundi's independence in 1962, there have been two events called genocide
Burundi genocide
Since Burundi's independence in 1962, there have been two events called genocides in the country. The 1972 mass killings of Hutus by the Tutsi-dominated army, and the 1993 mass killings of Tutsis by the Hutu populace are both described as genocide in the final report of the International...

s in the country. The 1972 mass killings of Hutus by the Tutsi-dominated army, and the 1993 mass killings of Tutsis by the Hutu populace are both described as genocide in the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi presented to the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 in 2002.

First attempt at democracy


In June 1993, Melchior Ndadaye
Melchior Ndadaye
Melchior Ndadaye was a Burundian intellectual and politician. He was the first democratically elected and first Hutu president of Burundi after winning the landmark 1993 election...

, leader of the Hutu-dominated Front for Democracy in Burundi
Front for Democracy in Burundi
The Front for Democracy in Burundi is a progressive political party in Burundi.It was formed by followers of Melchior Ndadaye from the disbanded Burundi Workers' Party in 1986...

 (FRODEBU), won the first democratic election and became the first Hutu head of the state, leading a pro-Hutu government. However, in October 1993, Tutsi soldiers assassinated Ndadaye, which started further years of violence between Hutus and Tutsis. It is estimated that some 300,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the years following the assassination.

In early 1994, the parliament elected Cyprien Ntaryamira
Cyprien Ntaryamira
Cyprien Ntaryamira , was President of Burundi from 5 February 1994 until his death when his plane was shot down on 6 April 1994.-Biography:...

, also a Hutu, to the office of president. He and the president of Rwanda were killed together when their airplane was shot down
Assassination of Habyarimana and Ntaryamira
The assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on the evening of April 6, 1994, was the catalyst for the Rwandan Genocide. The airplane carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali, Rwanda....

. More refugees started fleeing to Rwanda. Another Hutu, parliament speaker Sylvestre Ntibantunganya was appointed as president in October 1994. Within months, a wave of ethnic violence began, starting with the massacre of Hutu refugees in the capital, Bujumbura, and the withdrawal of the mainly Tutsi Union for National Progress from the government and parliament.

In 1996, Pierre Buyoya
Pierre Buyoya
Major Pierre Buyoya is a Burundian politician who has ruled Burundi twice, from 1987 to 1993 and from 1996 to 2003...

, a Tutsi, took power through a coup d’état
1996 Burundian coup d'état
The 1996 Burundian coup d'état was a military coup d'état that took place in Burundi on 25 July 1996. In the midst of the Burundi Civil War, former president Pierre Buyoya deposed Hutu President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya. According to Amnesty International, in the weeks following the coup, more...

. He suspended the constitution and was sworn in as president in 1998. In response to the rebel attacks, the population was forced by the government to relocate to refugee camps. Under his rule, long peace talks started, mediated by South Africa. Both parties signed agreements in Arusha
Arusha
Arusha is a city in northern Tanzania. It is the capital of the Arusha Region, which claims a population of 1,288,088, including 281,608 for the Arusha District . Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 and Pretoria
Pretoria
Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.Pretoria is...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, to share power in Burundi. The agreements took four years to plan, and on August 28, 2000, a transitional government for Burundi was planned as a part of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. The transitional government was placed on a trial basis for five years. After several aborted cease-fires, a 2001 peace plan and power sharing agreement has been relatively successful. A cease-fire was signed in 2003 between the Tutsi-controlled Burundian government and the largest Hutu rebel group, CNDD-FDD (National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy).

In 2003, FRODEBU Hutu leader Domitien Ndayizeye
Domitien Ndayizeye
Domitien Ndayizeye is a Burundian politician who was President of Burundi from 2003 to 2005. Of Hutu descent, he succeeded Pierre Buyoya—a Tutsi—as national president on April 30, 2003, after serving as Buyoya's vice-president for 18 months...

 was elected president. In early 2005, ethnic quotas were formed for determining positions in Burundi's government. Throughout the year, elections for parliamentary and president occurred. To this day, conflicts between the Hutu and the Tutsi continue. As of 2008, the Burundian government is talking with the Hutu-led Palipehutu-National Liberation Forces (NLF) to bring peace to the country. In 2005, Pierre Nkurunziza
Pierre Nkurunziza
Pierre Nkurunziza is a Burundian politician who has been President of Burundi since 2005. He is the Chairman of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy , the ruling party in Burundi, and also the current Chairman of the East African...

, once a leader of a Hutu rebel group, was elected to president.

Peace agreements


Following the request of the United Nation Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Boutros Boutros-Ghali is an Egyptian politician and diplomat who was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996...

 to intervene in the humanitarian crisis, African leaders began a series of peace talks between the warring factions. Talks were initiated under the aegis of former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere
Julius Nyerere
Julius Kambarage Nyerere was a Tanzanian politician who served as the first President of Tanzania and previously Tanganyika, from the country's founding in 1961 until his retirement in 1985....

 in 1995; following his death, South African President Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 took the helm. As the talks progressed, South African President Thabo Mbeki
Thabo Mbeki
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki is a South African politician who served two terms as the second post-apartheid President of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. He is also the brother of Moeletsi Mbeki...

 and United States President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 would also lend their respective weight.

The peace talks took the form of Track I mediations. This method of negotiation can be defined as a form of diplomacy involving governmental or intergovernmental representatives, who may use their positive reputations, mediation or the “carrot and stick” method as a means of obtaining or forcing an outcome, frequently along the lines of “bargaining” or “win-lose”.

The main objective framing the talks was a structural transformation of the Burundian government and military as a way to bridge the ethnic gap between the Tutsis and Hutus. This would be accomplished in two ways. First, a transitional power sharing government would be established, with the president holding office for three year terms. The second objective involved a restructuring of the military, where the two groups would be represented equally.

As the protracted nature of the peace talks demonstrated, there were several obstacles facing the mediators and negotiating parties. First, the Burundian officials perceived the goals as “unrealistic” and viewed the treaty as ambiguous, contradictory and confusing. Second, and perhaps most importantly, the Burundians believed the treaty would be irrelevant without an accompanying cease fire. This would require separate and direct talks with the rebel groups. The main Hutu party was skeptical of the offer of a power-sharing government; they alleged that they were deceived by the Tutsis in past agreements.

In 2000, the Burundian President signed the treaty, as well as 13 of the 19 warring Hutu and Tutsi factions. However, disagreements persisted over which group would preside over the nascent government and when the ceasefire would commence. The spoilers of the peace talks were the hardliner Tutsi and Hutu groups who refused to sign the accord; as a result, violence intensified. Three years later at a summit of African leaders in Tanzania, the Burundian president and the main opposition Hutu group signed an accord to end the conflict; the signatory members were granted ministerial posts within the government. However, smaller militant Hutu groups – such as the Forces for National Liberation – remained active.

UN involvement


Between 1993 and 2003, many rounds of peace talks, overseen by regional leaders in Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, and Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, gradually established power-sharing agreements to satisfy the majority of the contending groups. African Union (AU) peacekeepers were deployed to help oversee the installation of a transitional government. In June 2004, the UN stepped in and took over peacekeeping responsibilities as a signal of growing international support for the already markedly advanced peace process in Burundi.

The mission’s mandate, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, has been to monitor cease-fire; carry out disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants; support humanitarian assistance and refugee and IDP return; assist with elections; protect international staff and Burundian civilians; monitor Burundi’s troublesome borders including halting illicit arms flows; and assist in carrying out institutional reforms including those of the Constitution, judiciary, armed forces, and police. The mission has been allotted 5,650 military personnel, 120 civilian police, and about 1,000 international and local civilian personnel. The mission has been functioning well and has greatly benefited from the existence of a fairly functional transitional government, which is in the process of transitioning into a more legitimate, elected entity.

The main difficulty the operation faced at first was the continued resistance to the peace process by the last Tutsi nationalist rebel group. This organization continued its violent conflict on the outskirts of the capital despite the UN’s presence. By June 2005, the group had stopped fighting and was brought back into the political process. All political parties have accepted a formula for inter-ethnic power-sharing, which means no political party can gain access to government offices unless it is ethnically integrated.

The focus of the UN’s mission had been to enshrine the power-sharing arrangements in a popularly voted constitution, so that elections may be held and a new government installed. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration were done in tandem with elections preparations. In February 2005, the Constitution was approved with over 90% of the popular vote. In May, June, and August 2005, three separate elections were also held at the local level for the Parliament and the presidency.

While there are still some difficulties with refugee returns and securing adequate food supplies for the war-weary population, the mission has overall managed to win the trust and confidence of a majority of the formerly warring leaders as well as the population at large. It has also been involved with several “quick impact” projects including rehabilitating and building schools, orphanages, health clinics, and rebuilding infrastructure such as water lines.

2006 to present



Reconstruction efforts in Burundi started to practically take effect after 2006. The UN shut down its peacekeeping mission and re-focused on helping with reconstruction. Toward achieving economic reconstruction
Economic reconstruction
Economic Reconstruction refers to a process for creating a proactive vision of economic change. The most basic idea is that problems in the economy such as deindustrialization, environmental decay, outsourcing, industrial incompetence, poverty and addiction to a permanent war economy are based on...

, Rwanda, D.R.Congo and Burundi relaunched the regional economic bloc: The Great Lakes Countries Economic Community. In addition, Burundi, along with Rwanda, joined the East African Community
East African Community
The East African Community is an intergovernmental organisation comprising the five east African countries Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of the Republic of Burundi, is the current Chairman of the East African Community. The EAC was originally...

 in 2007.

However, the terms of the September 2006 Ceasefire between the government and the last remaining armed opposition group, the FLN
National Liberation Front (Burundi)
The National Liberation Front is an ethnically Hutu rebel group that sometimes functions as a political party in Burundi. The FLN has been considered a minor group in the Burundian Civil War compared to the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy, and to...

 (Forces for National Liberation, also called NLF or FROLINA), were not totally implemented, and senior FLN members subsequently left the truce monitoring team, claiming that their security was threatened. In September 2007, rival FLN factions clashed in the capital, killing 20 fighters and causing residents to begin fleeing. Rebel raids were reported in other parts of the country. The rebel factions disagreed with the government over disarmament and the release of political prisoners. In late 2007 and early 2008, FLN combatants attacked government-protected camps where former combatants were living. The homes of rural residents were also pillaged.

The 2007 report of Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 mentions many areas where improvement is required. Civilians are victims of repeated acts of violence done by the FLN. The latter also recruits child soldiers. The rate of violence against women is high. Perpetrators regularly escape prosecution and punishment by the state. There is an urgent need for reform of the judicial system. Genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

, war crimes and crimes against humanity remain unpunished. The establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected...

 and a Special Tribunal
Tribunal
A tribunal in the general sense is any person or institution with the authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title....

 for investigation and prosecution has not yet been implemented. The freedom of expression is limited, journalists are frequently arrested for carrying out legitimate professional activities. A total of 38,087 Burundian refugees have been repatriated between January and November 2007.

In late March 2008, the FLN sought for the parliament to adopt a law guaranteeing them ‘provisional immunity’ from arrest. This would cover ordinary crimes, but not grave violations of international humanitarian law like war crimes or crimes against humanity . Even though the government has granted this in the past to people, the FLN is unable to obtain the provisional immunity.

On April 17, 2008, the FLN bombarded Bujumbura. The Burundian army fought back and the FLN suffered heavy losses. A new ceasefire was signed on May 26, 2008. In August 2008, President Nkurunziza met with the FLN leader Agathon Rwasa
Agathon Rwasa
Agathon Rwasa is a Burundian politician and the leader of the National Liberation Forces . He was a Hutu militia leader during the Burundi Civil War.Rwasa was reported to be a Born-again Christian....

, with the mediation of Charles Nqakula
Charles Nqakula
Charles Nqakula is a South African politician who has been Minister of Defence since September 2008. He was Minister of Safety and Security from May 2002 to September 2008. Tipped as a contender for the future presidency of South Africa, he is concurrently national chairperson of the South African...

, South Africa’s Minister for Safety and Security. This was the first direct meeting since June 2007. Both agree to meet twice a week to establish a commission to resolve any disputes that might arise during the peace negotiations.

Refugee camps are now closing down, and 450,000 refugees have returned. The economy of the country is shattered – Burundi has the lowest per capita gross income in the world. With the return of refugees, amongst others, property conflicts have started.

Politics




Burundi's political system is presidential
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

 representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 based upon a multi-party state. The President of Burundi is the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

. There are currently 21 registered parties in Burundi. On March 13, 1992, Tutsi coup leader Pierre Buyoya
Pierre Buyoya
Major Pierre Buyoya is a Burundian politician who has ruled Burundi twice, from 1987 to 1993 and from 1996 to 2003...

  established a constitution, which provided for a multi-party political process and reflected multi-party competition. Six years later, on June 6, 1998, the constitution was changed, broadening National Assembly
National Assembly of Burundi
The National Assembly is the lower chamber of Parliament in Burundi. It consists of 100 directly elected members and between 18 to 21 co-opted members who serve five-year terms....

's seats and making provisions for two vice presidents. Because of the Arusha Accord, Burundi enacted a transitional government in 2000.

Burundi's legislative branch is a bicameral assembly, consisting of the Transitional National Assembly and the Transitional Senate
Senate of Burundi
The Senate is the upper chamber of Parliament in Burundi. It consists of no fewer than 37 and no more than 54 members who serve 5-year terms....

. As of 2004, the Transitional National Assembly consists of 170 members, with the Front for Democracy in Burundi holding 38% of seats, and 10% of the assembly is controlled by UPRONA. Fifty-two seats are controlled by other parties. Burundi's constitution mandates representation in the Transitional National Assembly to be consistent with 60% Hutu, 40% Tutsi, and 30% female members, as well as three Batwa members. Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote and serve for five year terms.

The Transitional Senate has fifty-one members, and three seats are reserved for former presidents. Due to stipulations in Burundi's constitution, 30% of Senate members must be female. Members of the Senate are elected by electoral colleges, which consist of members from each of Burundi's provinces and communes. For each of Burundi's seventeen provinces, one Hutu and one Tutsi senator are chosen. One term for the Transitional Senate is five years.

Together, Burundi's legislative branch elect the President to a five-year term. Burundi's president appoints officials to his Council of Ministers, which is also part of the executive branch. The president can also pick fourteen members of the Transitional Senate to serve on the Council of Ministers. Members of the Council of Ministers must be approved by two-thirds of Burundi's legislature. The president also chooses two vice-presidents. As of 2010, the President of Burundi is Pierre Nkurunziza
Pierre Nkurunziza
Pierre Nkurunziza is a Burundian politician who has been President of Burundi since 2005. He is the Chairman of the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy , the ruling party in Burundi, and also the current Chairman of the East African...

. The First Vice President is Therence Sinunguruza, and the Second Vice President is Gervais Rufyikiri.

The Court Supreme (Supreme Court) is Burundi's highest court. There are three Courts of Appeals directly below the Supreme Court. Tribunals of First Instance are used as judicial courts in each of Burundi's provinces as well as 123 local tribunals.

Provinces, communes and collines


Burundi is divided into 17 provinces
Provinces of Burundi
||Burundi is divided into seventeen provinces, each named after their respective capital.-See also:*Communes of Burundi*Collines of Burundi*Geography of Burundi*List of Burundian provinces by area*List of Burundian provinces by population...

, 117 communes
Communes of Burundi
||The provinces of Burundi are subdivided into 117 communes. The communes are further subdivided into collines. The communes are listed below, by province:- Bubanza :* Commune of Bubanza* Commune of Gihanga* Commune of Musigati* Commune of Mpanda...

, and 2,638 collines
Collines of Burundi
The Communes of Burundi are divided into 2,639 collines. Colline means "hill" in French, one of the two official languages of the country. The collines are listed below, by commune:-Bisoro:* Buburu* Buhabwa* Gitaramuka* Kanka* Kariba* Kiganda* Kirika...

 (hills). Provincial governments are structured upon these boundaries. In 2000, the province encompassing Bujumbura was separated into two provinces, Bujumbura Rural and Bunjumbura Mairie.

The provinces are:
  • Bubanza
    Bubanza Province
    -Communes:It is divided administratively into 5 communes:* Commune of Bubanza * Commune of Gihanga * Commune of Musigati * Commune of Mpanda * Commune of Rugazi...

  • Bujumbura Mairie
    Bujumbura
    -Education:The University of Burundi is located in Bujumbura.Hope Africa University is located in BujumburaUniversité du Lac Tanganyika is located in Bujumbura-External links:**...

  • Bujumbura Rural
    Bujumbura Rural Province
    Bujumbura Rural is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi. Former President of Burundi Cyprien Ntaryamira was born here.Bujumbura Rural Province is made up of the following communes: Mugongo-Manga, Isale, Mutimbuzi, Kanyosha, Kabezi, Muhuta, Nyabiraba, Mukike, and Mubimbi.The province surrounds the...

  • Bururi
    Bururi Province
    Bururi is one of the seventeen provinces of Burundi. It is also the largest. It includes the city of Bururi, the provincial capital, and the city of Rumonge which sits on the shores of Lake Tanganyika...

  • Cankuzo
    Cankuzo Province
    Cankuzo is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi. Located in the eastern part of the country, the province covers an area of 1,965 km². The provincial capital is Cankuzo.-Communes:...

  • Cibitoke
    Cibitoke Province
    Cibitoke is one of the 17 provinces of Republic of Burundi....

  • Gitega
    Gitega Province
    Gitega is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi. Its capital is Gitega. It has a population of about 675,000 and an area of 1,979 km²....

  • Karuzi
    Karuzi Province
    Karuzi is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi....

  • Kayanza
    Kayanza Province
    Kayanza is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi. Its capital city is also called Kayanza....


  • Kirundo
    Kirundo Province
    Kirundo is one of the seventeen provinces of Burundi with seven communes . Kirundo has three big lakes: Cohoha, Rweru, and Rwihinda. Lakes Cohoha and Rweru are located in commune Busone, and Lake Rwihinda is in commune Kirundo...

  • Makamba
    Makamba Province
    Makamba is the southernmost province of Burundi. The province has a population of 357,492 and covers an area of 1,960 km². The provincial capital is Makamba.makamba has six communes. Many refugees have returned from Tanzania to this province, especially to the communes of Kayogoro, Nyanza lac,...

  • Muramvya
    Muramvya Province
    Muramvya is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi. The capital is Muramvya.It is also known as "Iwabo W'Imana". It has a unique cultural landscape .- Culture :...

  • Muyinga
    Muyinga Province
    Muyinga is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi....

  • Mwaro
    Mwaro Province
    Mwaro is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi. Its capital is Mwaro.Mwaro one of two provinces that were created in 2002 as a result of splitting the Muramvya province; the other province retained the name of Muramvya....

  • Ngozi
    Ngozi Province
    Ngozi is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi.The name Ngozi stands for blessing....

  • Rutana
    Rutana Province
    Rutana is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi.The communes of Rutana are:* Bukemba* Giharo* Gitanga* Mpinga-Kavoye* Musongati* Rutana...

  • Ruyigi
    Ruyigi Province
    Ruyigi is one of the 17 provinces of Burundi....



Geography




One of the smallest countries in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Burundi is landlocked
Landlocked
A landlocked country is a country entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are 48 landlocked countries in the world, including partially recognized states...

 and has an equatorial climate. Burundi is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western extension of the Great Rift Valley
Great Rift Valley
The Great Rift Valley is a name given in the late 19th century by British explorer John Walter Gregory to the continuous geographic trench, approximately in length, that runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in South East Africa...

. The country lies on a rolling plateau
Plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

 in the center of Africa. The average elevation of the central plateau is 5600 feet (1,707 m), with lower elevations at the borders. The highest peak, Mount Heha
Mount Heha
Mount Heha is the highest mountain in Burundi and the highest point in the Burundi Highlands mountain range. It is located in the Bujumbura Rural province of Burundi and it lies approximately 20 km to the east of Lake Tanganyika and about 30 km to the southeast of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi....

 at 8810 feet (2,685 m), lies to the southeast of the capital, Bujumbura. The source of the Nile River is in Burundi province, and is linked from Lake Victoria to its headwaters via the Ruvyironza River
Ruvyironza River
The Ruvyironza River is a river in Africa which is the most remote source of the Nile, the world's longest river. It rises in Burundi, and flows into the Kagera River in Tanzania, and from there into Lake Victoria.- References :...

Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named for Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, by John Hanning Speke, the first European to discover this lake....

 is also an important water source, which serves as a fork to the Kagera River
Kagera River
The Kagera River, also Akagera River, is an East African river, forming part of the upper headwaters of the Nile and carrying water from its most distant source....

. Another major lake is Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia; it is also the world's longest freshwater lake...

, located in much of Burundi's southwestern corner.

Burundi's lands are mostly agricultural or pasture
Pasture
Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs...

. Settlement by rural populations has led to deforestation
Deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

, soil erosion and habitat loss. Deforestation of the entire country is almost completely due to overpopulation
Overpopulation
Overpopulation is a condition where an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth...

, with a mere 230 mi2 remaining and an ongoing loss of about 9% per annum. There are two national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

s, Kibira National Park
Kibira National Park
The Kibira National Park is a national park in northwestern Burundi. Overlapping four provinces and covering 400 km². Kibira National Park lies atop the mountains of the Congo-Nile divide. It extends north from the provincial town of Muramvya to the border of Rwanda where it is contiguous with...

 to the northwest (a small region of rain forest, adjacent to Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda), Ruvubu National Park to the northeast (along the Rurubu River
Rurubu River
The Ruvubu River is a river in central Africa whose waters gather from the most distant portion of the Nile basin. It is about 300 km long. It rises in the north of Burundi, near the town of Kayanza and then does a southward arc through Burundi, being joined by the Ruvyironza River near Gitega...

, also known as Ruvubu or Ruvuvu). Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations.

Economy



Burundi is one of the world's poorest countries, owing in part to its landlocked geography, poor legal system, lack of economic freedom, lack of access to education, and the proliferation of HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

/AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

. Approximately 80% of Burundi's population lives in poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

. Famines and food shortages have occurred throughout Burundi, most notably in the 20th century, and according to the World Food Programme
World Food Programme
The World Food Programme is the food aid branch of the United Nations, and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger worldwide. WFP provides food, on average, to 90 million people per year, 58 million of whom are children...

, 56.8% of children under age five suffer from chronic malnutrition
Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

. One scientific study of 178 nations rated Burundi's population as having the lowest satisfaction with life
Satisfaction with Life Index
The Satisfaction with Life Index was created by Adrian G. White, an Analytic Social Psychologist at the University of Leicester, using data from a metastudy. It is an attempt to show life satisfaction in different nations....

 in the world. As a result of poverty, Burundi is dependent on foreign aid.

Burundi's largest industry is agriculture, which accounted for 58% of the GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 in 1997. Subsistence agriculture
Subsistence agriculture
Subsistence agriculture is self-sufficiency farming in which the farmers focus on growing enough food to feed their families. The typical subsistence farm has a range of crops and animals needed by the family to eat and clothe themselves during the year. Planting decisions are made with an eye...

 accounts for 90% of agriculture. The nation's largest source of revenue is coffee, which makes up 93% of Burundi's exports. Other agriculture products include cotton, tea, maize, sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk, and hides. Some of Burundi's natural resources include uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

, nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

, cobalt
Cobalt
Cobalt is a chemical element with symbol Co and atomic number 27. It is found naturally only in chemically combined form. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal....

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, and platinum
Platinum
Platinum is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina del Pinto, which is literally translated into "little silver of the Pinto River." It is a dense, malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal...

. Besides agriculture, other industries include: assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing, and light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, and soap. Burundi's currency is the Burundian franc
Burundian franc
The franc is the currency of Burundi. It is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes, although coins have never been issued in centimes since Burundi began issuing its own currency...

 (BIF); as of January 27, 2011, 1,234.56 Burundian franc were equivalent to one United States dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

.

Lack of access to financial services is a severe problem for the majority of the population, particularly in the densely populated rural areas: only 2 percent of the total population holds bank accounts, and less than 0.5 percent use bank lending services. Microfinance
Microfinance
Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low-income clients or solidarity lending groups including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services....

, however, plays a larger role, with 4 percent of Burundians being members of microfinance institutions – a larger share of the population than that reached by banking and postal services combined. 26 licensed microfinance institutions (MFIs) offer savings, deposits, and short- to medium-term credit. Dependence on the sector on donor assistance is limited.

Burundi is part of the East African Community
East African Community
The East African Community is an intergovernmental organisation comprising the five east African countries Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of the Republic of Burundi, is the current Chairman of the East African Community. The EAC was originally...

 and a potential member of the planned East African Federation
East African Federation
East African Federation is the name of the proposed political union of the member nations of the East African Community, such that the five member states would federate into a single sovereign state....

.

Demographics




As of 2008, Burundi was projected to have an estimated population of 8,691,005 people. This estimate explicitly takes into account the effects of AIDS, which has a significant effect on the demographics of the country. Over 500,000 have been displaced due to the disease. Many Burundians have migrated to other countries as a result of the civil war. In 2006, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 accepted approximately 10,000 Burundian refugees.

Most Burundians live in rural areas, and about six percent of the population live in urban areas. The population density of around 315 people per square kilometer (753 per sq mi) is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

. Roughly 85% of the population
Population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

 are of Hutu
Hutu
The Hutu , or Abahutu, are a Central African people, living mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DR Congo.-Population statistics:The Hutu are the largest of the three peoples in Burundi and Rwanda; according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency, 84% of Rwandans and 85% of Burundians...

 ethnic origin, 15% are Tutsi
Tutsi
The Tutsi , or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group in Central Africa. Historically they were often referred to as the Watussi or Watusi. They are the second largest caste in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu and the Twa ....

, and fewer than one percent are indigenous Twa
Twa
The Twa are any of several hunting peoples of Africa who live interdependently with agricultural Bantu populations, and generally hold a socially subordinate position: They provide the farming population with game in exchange for agricultural products....

/Pygmies.

Religion


Sources estimate the Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 population to be 75 percent, with Roman Catholics representing the largest group at 60 percent. Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 and Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 practitioners constitute the remaining 15 percent. An estimated 20 percent of the population adheres to traditional indigenous religious beliefs. The Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 population is estimated to be at 5 percent, the majority of whom live in urban areas. Sunnis
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 make up the majority of the Muslim population, and the remainder is Shi'a.

Health



There is less health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 in Burundi than in most other countries. Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 48.5 years. (2005)
A large proportion of the population is undernourished. There were 3 physicians per 100,000 persons in the early 2000s. The HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

/AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

  prevalence has been about 4.2 % in 2007. Demographic and Health Surveys
Demographic and Health Surveys
The MEASURE Demographic and Health Surveys Project is responsible for collecting and disseminating accurate, nationally representative data on health and population in developing countries. The project is implemented by Macro International, Inc...

 completed a survey in Burundi in 1987 and is currently in the process of performing another.

Culture




Burundi's culture is based on local tradition and the influence of neighboring countries, though cultural prominence has been hindered by civil unrest. Since farming is the main industry in Burundi, a typical Burundian meal consists of sweet potatoes, corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, and peas
PEAS
P.E.A.S. is an acronym in artificial intelligence that stands for Performance, Environment, Actuators, Sensors.-Performance:Performance is a function that measures the quality of the actions the agent did....

. Due to the expense, meat is only eaten a few times per month. When several Burundians of close acquaintance meet for a gathering they drink impeke, a beer, together from a large container to symbolize unity. Notable Burundians include the footballer Mohammed Tchité
Mohammed Tchité
Mohammed 'Meme' Tchité is a Belgian-Burundian footballer who plays for Standard Liège in the Belgian First Division, as a striker....

, singer Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidumu (who is based in Nairobi, Kenya).

Crafts are an important art form in Burundi and are attractive gifts to many tourists. Basket weaving is a popular craft for Burundian artisans. Other crafts such as masks, shields, statues and pottery are made in Burundi.

Drumming is an important part of Burundian cultural heritage. The world-famous Royal Drummers of Burundi, who have performed for over forty years, are noted for traditional drumming using the karyenda
Karyenda
The karyenda is a traditional African drum. It was the main symbol of Burundi and its mwami and had semidivine status. The mwami was said to interpret the beatings of the karyenda into rules for the kingdom.- History :...

, amashako, ibishikiso, and ikiranya drums. Dance often accompanies drumming performance, which is frequently seen in celebrations and family gatherings. The abatimbo, which is performed at official ceremonies and rituals, and the fast-paced abanyagasimbo are some famous Burundian dances. Some musical instruments of note are the flute, zither
Zither
The zither is a musical string instrument, most commonly found in Slovenia, Austria, Hungary citera, northwestern Croatia, the southern regions of Germany, alpine Europe and East Asian cultures, including China...

, ikembe
Ikembe
Ikembe, Chisanji, Kisanji and Eleke all refer to a type of lamellaphone common amongst the Bahutu of Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo.In Swahili the word imba means song. Kuimba means to sing, as in the phrase . Mama means mother...

, indonongo, umuduri
Umuduri
The umuduri is a Rwandan stringed instrument.It bears similarity to the berimbau of Brazil.-See also:*Music of Rwanda...

, inanga, and the inyagara.

Kirundi
Kirundi
Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi language spoken by some 8.7 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. It is the official language of Burundi...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, and Swahili
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

 are spoken throughout Burundi. Burundi's literacy rate is low, due to low school attendance. Ten percent of Burundian boys are allowed a secondary education. Burundi's oral tradition
Oral tradition
Oral tradition and oral lore is cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants...

 is strong and relays history and life lessons through storytelling, poetry, and song. Imigani, indirimbo, amazina, and ivyivugo are types of literary genres existing in Burundi.

Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 and track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

 are noted sports in Burundi. Football(soccer) is a popular pastime throughout the country, as are mancala
Mancala
Mancala is a family of board games played around the world, sometimes called "sowing" games, or "count-and-capture" games, which describes the game-play. Mancala games play a role in many African and some Asian societies comparable to that of chess in the West, or the game of Go in Eastern Asia...

 games. In Burundi most Christian holidays are celebrated, with Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 being the largest. Burundian Independence Day is celebrated annually on July 1. In 2005, the Burundian government declared Eid al-Fitr, an Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic holiday, to be a public holiday.

In April 2009 the government of Burundi passed changes in law, criminalising homosexuality. Persons found guilty of consensual same-sex relations risk two to three years in prison and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 Burundian francs. Amnesty International has condemned the action, calling it a violation of Burundi’s obligations under international and regional human rights law, and against Burundi’s constitution, which guarantees the right to privacy.

Education


In 2000, the literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate in Burundi was estimated to be 59.3% (67.3% male and 52.2% female).
Burundi has the University of Burundi. There are several museums in the cities, such as the Burundi Geological Museum
Burundi Geological Museum
The Burundi Geological Museum is a museum of Burundi. It is located in the capital, Bujumbura.-External links:*...

 in Bujumbura
Bujumbura
-Education:The University of Burundi is located in Bujumbura.Hope Africa University is located in BujumburaUniversité du Lac Tanganyika is located in Bujumbura-External links:**...

 and the Burundi National Museum
Burundi National Museum
The Burundi National Museum is the national museum of Burundi. It is located in Gitega.-External links:*...

 and the Burundi Museum of Life
Burundi Museum of Life
The Burundi Museum of Life is a museum of Burundi. It is located in the city of Gitega.-External links:*...

 in Gitega
Gitega
Gitega is the second largest city in Burundi, lying east of Bujumbura. It is the capital of Gitega Province, one of the 17 provinces of Burundi. It is the home of the Burundi National Museum and the Archdiocese of Gitega...

. Adult literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

is at about half among men and about a quarter among women.

See also


Further reading

  • Abdallah, Ahmedou Ould Burundi on the Brink, 1993-95: A UN Special Envoy Reflects on Preventive Diplomacy
  • Bentley, Kristina and Southall, Roger An African Peace Process: Mandela, South Africa, and Burundi
  • Chrétien, Jean-Pierre The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History
  • Daley, Patricia Gender and Genocide in Burundi: The Search for Spaces of Peace in the Great Lakes Region
  • Ewusi, Kale and Akwanga, Ebenezer Burundi's Negative Peace: The Shadow of a Broken Continent in the Era of Nepad
  • Jennings, Christian Across the Red River: Rwanda, Burundi and the Heart of Darkness
  • Kidder, Tracy, Strength in What Remains (A biography of a Burundian immigrant to the U.S.)
  • Krueger, Robert and Krueger, Kathleen From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi: Our Embassy Years during Genocide
  • Lemarchand, Rene Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide
  • Melady, Thomas Patrick Burundi: The Tragic Years
  • Nivonzima, David and Fendell, Len Unlocking Horns: Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Burundi
  • Uvin, Peter Life After Violence: A People's Story of Burundi
  • Watt, Nigel Burundi: The Biography of a Small African Country

External links


Official Burundi government website Books4burundi