Republika y'Uburundi (Kirundi)
République du Burundi (French)
Republic of Burundi (English)
|Republic of Burundi|
Motto : Ubumwe, Ibikorwa, Iterambere
( Kirundi for "Unity, Work, Progress")
|Official language||Kirundi , French and English|
|Form of government||republic|
|Government system||Presidential system|
|Head of state||President Évariste Ndayishimiye|
|Head of government||Prime Minister Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni|
|population||11,466,756 (Source: CIA March 2018)|
|Population density||399 ( 21st ) inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 3.26% (2016 estimate)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.404 ( 184th ) (2016)|
|currency||Burundi Franc (BIF)|
|independence||July 1, 1962 (from Belgium )|
|National anthem||Burundi bwacu|
|National holiday||July 1|
|Time zone||UTC + 2|
|ISO 3166||BI , BDI, 108|
Burundi ( German [ buˈʁʊndi ], French [ buʁʊnˈdi ], Rundisch Republika y'Uburundi ) is a landlocked country in East Africa . It borders on Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west . Most of the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in Lake Tanganyika . In the 2019 Human Development Index , Burundi was ranked 185th out of 189. The country had the world's lowest GDP per capita in 2018.
Burundi is one of the smallest states in Africa, but - just like the neighboring state of Rwanda to the north - it is densely populated. Located between Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika , the country is traversed by a high plateau (1400–1800 meters) that rises gradually and reaches the highest elevation in Mont Heha at 2684 meters. This outskirts of the striking East African Rift finally drops steeply towards the interior of the rift valley filled by Lake Tanganyika. The Luvironza rises in the mountains and flows into the Ruvuvu and represents the longest and southernmost source river of the Nile . The source of the Nile is located about 45 kilometers east of Lake Tanganyika between Bururi and Rutana .
The climate is tropical and humid with two rainy seasons . The temperatures are tempered by the altitude. Rainfall falls on average 1000 mm per year. For species-rich wildlife including leopards , lions , baboons , zebras and antelope species, live in the rivers of crocodiles and hippos .
46% of the population are younger than 15 years, the average age is 16.7 years. The child mortality rate is 62 out of 1,000 births (2007). The average life expectancy at birth in the period from 2010 to 2015 is given as 56.1 years (men: 54.2 years, women: 58.0 years). The (estimated) birth rate in 2016 was 6.04 children / woman. The population is growing by over 3% annually.
According to the UN's average population forecast, a population of over 26 million is expected for the year 2050.
In Burundi, contrary to popular belief, there are no different peoples or ethnic groups of Hutu and Tutsi , but one people with one language: the Rundi. They share a history and culture and belong to the same social and political fabric. 85% count themselves among the Hutu, who are mainly the "simple", predominantly rural population. Around 14% of the population describe themselves as Tutsi, the rest are the Twa ( Pygmies ) with 1% of the population. In 2017, 2.8% of the population were born abroad. Most of them were refugees from the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The people speak the Bantu language Kirundi as their mother tongue , which is also one of the official languages of Burundi. Kirundi is so closely related to the Kinyarwanda language spoken in neighboring Rwanda that the two languages are sometimes confused. During the time of the League of Nations mandate , the foreign language French, with the inclusion of Swahili, was the administrative language. Swahili served as the lingua franca in Burundi during the German colonial era , but was increasingly pushed back as the language of instruction in favor of Kirundi under Belgian administration and eventually disappeared completely from school lessons in the post-colonial era. Along the Lake Tanganyika and in the region of the former capital Bujumbura is, however, still considered the lingua franca common.
In 2005, however, there was a change of course in language policy. This initially stipulated that in future English and Kiswaheli would be taught in primary school from the first year of school.
In August 2014, the National Assembly unanimously voted for a bill to introduce English as an official language in Burundi. According to the new law, Kirundi is now the only national language in Burundi. However, there are also three official languages, namely Kirundi, French and English, which are classified as equivalent. Burundi is clearly based on a language policy that has already been implemented by its northern neighbor, Rwanda . This language policy aims, among other things, to strengthen integration into the East African Community . Another advantage is that numerous official documents no longer have to be translated from English into the administrative language of French, as was previously the case.
Monarchy and Colonial History
Burundi has centuries of history as an independent monarchy , the Kingdom of Burundi . At the end of the 19th century, as part of the division of Africa among the major European powers, it was added to Germany and, together with "Rwanda" as "Urundi", was subordinated to the colony of German East Africa . The Germans limited themselves to indirect rule in the form of residency ; As in the British protectorates, the German resident faced the local ruler in a controlling and advisory capacity. At the same time the missionary work began, in which the Catholics prevailed. During the First World War the country was conquered by Belgian armed forces and then awarded by the League of Nations to Belgium as part of the Rwanda-Urundi mandate .
In 1959, while Rwanda-Urundi was preparing for independence, there was a stream of displaced Tutsi from Rwanda , which subsequently led to increased racial attitudes (especially between Tutsi and Hutu ) due to recurring conflicts in the border area, including within Burundi . The political history of Burundi has also been shaped by massive tensions, rivalries and disputes between various Tutsi factions. In November 1959 there was the first serious unrest between Hutu and Tutsi, which was suppressed by the Belgians.
The UPRONA founder and Ganwa prince Louis Rwagasore became head of government in 1961 and was supposed to lead the country towards independence. His assassination a few weeks after the election was the prelude to decades of power struggles that did not prevent the independence that the Kingdom of Burundi received in 1962 as a constitutional monarchy under King Mwambutsa IV . Rwagasore's successors, including both Hutu and Tutsi, were overthrown or murdered. In October 1965 a Hutu uprising was brutally suppressed; there were around 5,000 deaths.
In 1966, Prime Minister Captain Michel Micombero (Tutsi) overthrew King Ntare V. Ndizeye , who had only recently come to power through a coup d'état , and abolished the monarchy . Micombero united the posts of head of state and government in his person for the next ten years. During this period there were many unrest and fighting between Hutu and Tutsi, the most serious of which occurred between 1972 and 1973; probably between 150,000 and 200,000 Hutu fell victim to them. The army specifically pursued well-trained Hutu. Some of the killings are described as " bordering on genocide ".
Many Hutu fled to neighboring countries, mainly to Rwanda and Tanzania, but also to Zaire (now DR Congo). There they founded political movements, including TABARA, from which the PALIPEHUTU emerged in 1980. This interpreted the political conflicts in Burundi purely “ethnic” - as repression against Hutu - and opted for armed struggle. The armed wing was trained by PALIPEHUTU in the refugee camps in West Tanzania. Over the years, several parties with armed wings had formed (above all FRODEBU and PALIPEHUTU-FNL, later also CNDD-FDD) which claimed to represent the interests of the Hutu. They were gradually included in the negotiations as far as they were ready. Splits within the rebel groups made the negotiation process difficult.
In the course of a military coup in 1976, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (Tutsi) came to power, followed by Major Pierre Buyoya (Tutsi) in a new military coup in 1987 . Buyoya initially sought a balance with the Hutu. In August 1988, after the murder of two Hutu, another Hutu uprising broke out, which was again repulsed and claimed 24,000 to 50,000 deaths. A unity government was then formed, half of which consisted of Tutsi and Hutu. Buyoya allowed elections for the first time in 1993, which brought Hutu Melchior Ndadaye with the FRODEBU party to the presidency. After his murder in the same year, which was in turn accompanied by bloody riots against Tutsi such as Hutu and the flight of 300,000 Hutu, his party friend Cyprien Ntaryamira (Hutu) took over the presidency. In the same year the Hutu-dominated Forces pour la Defense de la Democratie (FDD) was founded.
Ntaryamira was already killed in 1994 in an attack on the plane of the Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana , which triggered the genocide in Rwanda . His successor Sylvestre Ntibantunganya was overthrown in 1996 by former President Buyoya. As a result, there was international pressure on the country. Negotiations led by the South African Nelson Mandela and the Tanzanian Julius Nyerere resulted in the Arusha peace treaty in 2000 , which, among other things, gave the Hutu rebel groups access to the army. In 2001 a transitional government was formed, which initially headed Buyoya. Part of the FDD under Pierre Nkurunziza split off as the CNDD-FDD and went into opposition. In accordance with the agreement, Hutu Domitien Ndayizeye (FRODEBU) replaced President Buyoya in 2003 and ruled until the 2005 elections.
In 2005, Pierre Nkurunziza was elected President by both chambers of parliament. In 2010 he was directly elected by the people after a change in the electoral law. According to the constitution , he was not allowed to run again in 2015, but pointed out that his first election was by parliament and not by direct election. An attempted coup on May 13, 2015 was repulsed by the army; again around 170,000 people fled abroad. In the subsequent parliamentary and presidential elections in July, which were boycotted by the opposition, Nkurunziza and his party won. The elections were judged by observers to be not free and not credible.
Executive and Legislative
Burundi is a presidential republic , the president is head of state and also head of government until 2020. From 2005 to June 8, 2020, this was Pierre Nkurunziza , from June 9, Pascal Nyabenda took over provisionally (both CNDD-FDD). Nkurunziza was directly elected in 2010 and 2015, previously by the two chambers of parliament. The President appoints two Vice-Presidents. There has been a prime minister again since June 2020. In the 2019 democracy index of the British magazine The Economist, Burundi only ranks 154th out of 167 countries, making it one of the authoritarian states. In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “not free”. According to the report, the situation in the country has worsened significantly since the unrest of 2015. The country's domestic politics are characterized by ethnic violence, corruption and the curtailment of basic civil rights. Nkurunziza died in office in June 2020. In the presidential election in May 2020 , his party friend Évariste Ndayishimiye had previously been elected as his successor in the first ballot; Nkurunziza's term would have ended in August.
Parliament is a bicameral system consisting of the National Assembly and the Senate . The legislative period is five years. The minimum 100 members of the National Assembly are at least 60% Hutu, 30% Tutsi and 30% women. At least three Twa MPs are represented, additional MPs are appointed to fulfill the quorum ; since 2015 there are 121 parliamentarians. In the National Assembly elected in 2015, the CNDD-FDD has an absolute majority. The Senate consists of 36 to 54 members, 36 members are elected by electors in the provinces; one Hutu and one Tutsi come from each province. Additional Senate members can be appointed, including women, so that their share is at least 30%, as in the National Assembly. Former presidents are also members of the Senate.
The introduction of women's suffrage began even before independence: women were first granted universal suffrage for the local elections of 1960. Even before independence, the Legislative Decree of Rwanda - Urundi issued by the Belgian administration of the UN trust territory on August 17, 1961 guaranteed ( LDRU) N ° 02/269 women have the general right to vote and stand for election also at national level. It was confirmed at independence in 1962
Human rights violations
According to Amnesty International , the judicial system is problematic. Torture, arbitrary arrests and severe ill-treatment are common. Human Rights Watch reported in a report mentioning extrajudicial executions, politically motivated attacks, and killings by both government and opposition sides during and after the 2010 elections. UNICEF regards the situation of the children in Burundi as worrying. Around 25% of children between the ages of 10 and 14 do child labor. Children are in prisons and experience sexual and gender-based violence. The exploitation and abuse of street children, orphans and disabled children for prostitution, servitude and as child soldiers represent a major challenge.
Homosexuality has been a criminal offense since 2008 . Due to the new criminal law, homosexuality is now punished with a prison sentence of between three months and two years or a fine between 50,000 and 100,000 BIF (equivalent of around 25–50 euros). Numerous human rights organizations are trying to draw attention to the situation with campaigns, including Human Rights Watch with the campaign “Forbidden - Gays and Lesbians in Burundi”.
In connection with the fighting since the second half of 2015, particularly in the capital Bujumbura, there have been repeated serious injuries and deaths among members of the opposition, journalists critical of the government and human rights activists . According to international media, it states that it is targeted executions by police, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said of martial law shootings.
In October 2015, informed US President Barack Obama to Congress that he would exclude from Burundi African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), due to the existing political crisis in the country. He also spoke of murders, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and torture. On November 22, 2015, Obama signed Executive Order 13712. It was entitled: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi . The European Union reaffirmed its position on the situation in Burundi in March 2015 . Accordingly, the EU is of the opinion that an imperishable political solution can only be found through dialogue and a resulting consensus, while respecting the Arusha Agreement and the Burundi constitution. On May 18, 2016, the Council of the European Union condemned the attempted coup in Burundi, while the Council temporarily expressed its deep concern about the situation in Burundi. On June 22, 2015, the Council expressed concern at the number of victims and known cases of serious human rights violations since the beginning of the crisis. The Council also reiterated its determination to face restrictive measures. On June 29, 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that numerous UNHCR offices in neighboring countries had seen an increase in Burundian refugees. According to UNHCR, 127,000 people in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo had registered as refugees by June 2015. On October 1, 2015, the Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2015/1763 . The decision made the following persons:
- Godefroid Bizimana, Deputy Director General of the National Police
- Gervais Ndirakobuca, Head of Cabinet of the Presidential Administration
- Mathias / Joseph Niyonzima, officer of the National Intelligence Service
- Léonard Ngendakumana, former “Chargé de Missions de la Présidence” and former General of the Army
sanctioned by the Council of the European Union. On September 29, 2016, the Council extended the EU's restrictive measures against Burundi until October 31, 2017.
In April 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that nearly 260,000 people have fled to surrounding countries since the beginning of the crisis in Burundi. Tanzania took in most of the refugees. Most of them live in the Nyarugusu camp in the Kigoma region , about 150 km from Lake Tanganyika . It is currently referred to as the largest refugee camp in the world due to the high number of refugees. Most of the people who fled to Rwanda live in Camp Mahama.
A detailed, 261-page report on the continuing violation of human rights and crimes against humanity in Burundi ( Rapport final détaillé de la Commission d'enquête sur le Burundi ) presented by the UN Human Rights Council set up Commission d'enquête sur le Burundi in September 2018. The report describes, among other things, the crimes of the "Imbonerakure" militia used by the government against unpopular people. In response to the report, the Burundian government announced the approval of all non-governmental organizations operating in the country - with the exception of those that run hospitals and schools.
In October 2016, Burundi initiated its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court under Article 127 of the Rome Statute . On October 27, 2017, Burundi became the first state to leave the world criminal court. Despite the exit, the court will continue an investigation into possible war crimes that began in April 2016.
Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are not guaranteed in Burundi. In the 2020 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Burundi ranks 161st out of 180 countries. The situation for journalists in the country is classified as "very serious" by Reporters Without Borders.
The armed forces of Burundi ( Force de defense nationale ) have a strength of 20,000 men. There are also paramilitary units with a staff of 30,000. In 2017, Burundi spent almost two percent of its economic output or $ 64 million on its armed forces.
In December 2018, the government decided to relocate the country's political capital to the centrally located former royal city of Gitega .
The provinces are divided into 116 districts ( communes ), which in turn are divided into collines (hills). The former capital Bujumbura (corresponds to the province Bujumbura Mairie) is divided into 13 districts. The provinces are:
The entire road network covered around 12,322 km in 2016, of which 1,500 km are asphalt.
According to the Global Hunger Index, Burundi has been the poorest country in the world over the past 25 years. 42.6% of the population go hungry. In 2007, the proportion of the population living on less than one US dollar a day was 58%.
In a global hunger index of Welthungerhilfe , Burundi ranks last among 119 developing countries and Eastern European transition countries. The reasons for hunger are the consequences of war, overuse of the soil, high population density and the associated lack of land. The latter is exacerbated by the return of refugees.
Since the end of the war there has been a certain economic recovery and the indicators of social development are slowly improving. According to the United Nations Human Development Index 2014, Burundi ranks 184 out of 188 countries evaluated.
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).
(purchasing power parity)
|1.39 billion||2.31 billion||3.23 billion||3.23 billion||3.50 billion||4.54 billion||4.94 billion||5.24 billion||5.60 billion||5.86 billion||6.24 billion||6.62 billion||7.04 billion||7.58 billion||8.07 billion||7.84 billion||7.85 billion||7.99 billion|
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
|Public debt (
in% of GDP)
Burundi is a typical agricultural country. The livelihood of around 85% of the population depends on agriculture. The main crops are bananas , cassava , corn , sweet potatoes , rice and vegetables, but millet is also an important crop. Coffee and tea in particular are grown for export . Coffee had the largest share of exports in 1997 with 78.5%. Burundi suffered very badly from the low world market coffee prices in recent years.
Burundi has a relatively high number of livestock, but productivity and usability are low. Only hides and skins of cattle, goats and sheep are exported. Fishing is mainly possible on Lake Tanganyika ; Fishing is of great importance in view of the great lack of protein-rich food.
In 2016, only 7.6% of the population had access to electricity, which is the lowest in the world. In the cities, almost half of the people had access to electricity, while in the countryside it was only 1.6%. As a result, Burundi also has very low energy consumption per capita.
The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to the equivalent of 657 million US dollars , which was offset by income equivalent to 525 million US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 4.2% of GDP . The national debt in 2002 was $ 1.366 billion, or 234% of GDP, and since then large parts of the country's national debt have been canceled . In 2016, the national debt was 47.2% of GDP.
In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:
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