The official name is the Republic of Burundi (Ripublique du Burundi, Republic of Burundi).
Located in Central Africa. The area is 27.8 thousand km2, the population is 6.8 million people. (2002). The official languages are Kirundi and French. The capital is the city of Bujumbura (300 thousand people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day July 1 (since 1962). The monetary unit is the Burundian franc (equal to 100 centimes).
Member of the UN (since 1962), AU (since 1963), associate member of the EU.
Geography of Burundi
It is located between 28°50 and 30°53 east longitude and 2°45 and 4°28 south latitude. It borders Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the southeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the west. Most of the country’s territory is occupied by a plateau with a height of 1500-2000 m, in the west to Lake Tanganyika turning into a mountain range with a height of 2600 m.
Minerals – bastnäsite, cassiterite, vanadium (14 million tons), uranium, nickel ore (300 million tons), oil, phosphates (15 million tons), carbonatite (7.3 million tons), tungsten, columbo-tantalite. The climate is subequatorial, hot in the lowlands, moderately warm on the plateau. Average daily temperatures are +23-25°C. Precipitation falls from 800 to 1600 mm per year. The main river of Burundi is the Ruzizi, which connects the Kivu and Tanganyika lakes. The soil cover is represented by mountainous red humus-ferralitic and black tropical soils. Secondary forests and secondary savannas predominate. There are large mammals – elephants, buffaloes, hippos, antelopes, lions, leopards, monkeys. Lots of birds and reptiles.
Population of Burundi
According to Countryaah, the average annual growth rate in 2000–02 was 2.05%. Population density – 245 people. per 1 km2. Birth rate 40%, mortality 16.3%, infant mortality 70 people. per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy is 46 years (men – 45; women – 47). Sex and age structure: 0-14 years – 46.8% (ratio of men and women – 1.02); 15-64 years old – 50.4% (0.97); 65 years and older – 2.8% (0.69). The ratio of men and women in the entire population is 0.99. Illiterate 64.5% of the adult population (men – 51%, women – 78%).
Ethnic composition: Hutus (85%), Tutsi (14%), Pygmies Tua (1%). Languages: Kirundi, French, Swahili.
Christians make up 67% of the population (Catholics – 62%, Protestants – 5%), adherents of traditional beliefs – 23%, Muslims – 10%.
History of Burundi
Unlike most African states, Burundi does not belong to the artificial formations of the colonial era. The feudal kingdom of Burundi took shape in the 18th century. In con. 19th century the penetration of the German colonialists begins, culminating in the annexation of the territory of Burundi to German East Africa and the formation of the territory of Ruanda-Urundi united with Rwanda. During the First World War in 1916, Ruanda-Urundi was occupied by Belgium and in 1923, by decision of the League of Nations, it was transferred to its mandate. Since 1946, Ruanda-Urundi has been a trust territory of Belgium, and since July 1962, the independent Kingdom of Burundi.
After gaining independence on July 1, 1962, the Party of Unity and National Progress – UPRONA (since 1981 the Union for National Progress), the only and ruling party in the country, managed to contain ethnic tension for a certain time. The monarchy was the only political institution that synthesized the interests of Tutsis and Hutus. In order to strengthen his position as Muami, Muambutsa IV sought to balance the representation of both nationalities in the government. Between 1963 and 1965, four governments were replaced in power, consisting of Tutsis and Hutus in almost equal numbers. In November 1966, as a result of a military coup, the monarchy was replaced by a republican system. M. Michombero became the first president of the country.
In November 1976, as a result of a bloodless coup, Colonel J.-B. Bagaza. The new regime tried to achieve national reconciliation and integration. In October 1982 (after the adoption of a new Constitution in 1981), the first parliamentary elections were held on the basis of universal suffrage, and in August 1984 Bagaza was elected head of state.
In 1984-87, the situation with the observance of human rights in the country deteriorated sharply, especially with respect to freedom of religion. After the coup d’état in September 1987, Bagaza was removed from power. Power passed to the Military Committee of National Salvation, headed by Major P. Buyoya, who became president and head of government. The 1981 Constitution was suspended.
In March 1992, a new constitution was approved by referendum, which established a multi-party system in the country. In June, the first presidential and parliamentary elections were held on a multi-party basis. M. Ndadaye, a candidate from the Front for Democracy in Burundi – FRODEBU, supported by the Coalition of the Burundian People, the People’s Party and the Liberal Party, became president. In the parliamentary elections to the Legislative Assembly (81 deputies), FRODEBU received 65 seats, UPRONA – 16 seats.
During 1993-96, two military coups took place in the country and 3 presidents were replaced. On July 25, 1996, as a result of a military coup, the former president of Burundi, Major Buyoya, came to power, declared interim president and head of the transitional government of the republic.
Since August 1996, military clashes have been going on in eastern Zaire, as a result of which at least 30 thousand refugees from Burundi were forced to return to their homeland. Most of the militants of the so-called. The Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) moved into Tanzania and regularly invaded Burundi, attacking military installations and civilians.
In September 1996, Buyoya announced the legalization of political parties that “made a positive contribution” to the life of the country, and the powers of the National Assembly were also restored.
In con. 1998 Burundian security forces became actively involved in hostilities in the DRC. Their main goal was to destroy the FDD camps.
On August 28, 2000, an agreement was signed in Arusha on the peaceful settlement of the conflict and the establishment of a three-year transitional period to achieve national reconciliation. The agreement was signed by almost all representatives of 19 political groups and rebel movements.
In October 2003, a peace treaty was signed with the FDD group, according to which the FDD stopped hostilities and strengthened their position in the army, receiving 40% of army command posts.
On November 1, 2001, a transitional government of national unity was formed. Of the 26 ministerial posts, 14 were held by Hutus and 12 by Tutsis. Buyoya remained in office for 18 months. until May 1, 2003, and D. Ndayizeye, who served as vice president, succeeded him in this post for the next 18 months, Buyoya took over as vice president.