Constitutional Background

Burundi, a former Belgian colony, is one of the world's poorest countries, mainly relying on original production of coffee, tea, and cotton.

With the most recent army coup of Pierre Buyoya (July 1996), the Tutsis again seized power from Hutu government, whose President Ntibantunganya took refuge in the American ambassador's residence. Buyoya appointed a Hutu, Pascal Firmin Ndimira, as Prime Minister while declaring himself the new President. This army setup is a mirror image of the government under constitutional order.

Members of the Tutsi nation, only 14% of the citizens, but dominating Army, Police, Judiciary, and public sector jobs, are mainly assembled in the Uprona Party. Their leader Antoine Nduwayo became Prime Minister in the power-sharing time (1993-1996). The Hutu nation and its Frodebu Party are the large majority in Burundi. Their Sylvestre Ntibantunganya was the last President unter the constitutional order.

History and News

  • 31 July 1996: East and central African leaders agree on imposing full economic sanctions on Burundi. They call for immediate return to constitutional order.
  • 24 July 1996: The power-sharing government of 1993 collapses when Uprona Party with Prime Minister Antoine Nduwayo withdraws from its coalition with Frodebu.
  • 23 July 1996: President Ntibantunganya, trying to visit the scene of a massacre by rebel Hutu army of Léonard Nyangoma (operating from Zaire), was stoned by Tutsi protesters and retreated into the American embassy.
  • 15 June 1995: UN-Convoy with American Embassador Robert Kueger and Burundi's State Secretary Jean-Marie Ngendahayo gets attacked. Officers of the OAU are killed.
  • Oct 1993: Hutus and Tutsis start violent conflict with the Tutsi-dominated army assassinating the first Hutu President Melchior Ndadaye.
  • 1993: Hutu Melchior Ndadaye defeats Tutsi Pierre Buyoya in elections and becomes President.
  • 1987-1993: Pierre Buyoya serves as the countries' President and introduces democracy in 1993.
  • 1987: Hard-line Tutsi Jean-Baptiste Bagaza is ousted by Buyoya in a bloodless coup.
  • 1959: Tutsis fled massacres in Rwanda and started businesses in Burundi.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - 11.2.2022 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.