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Burundi History Timeline

Burundi's Information

Flag of Burundi
Land Area 25,680 km2
Water Area 2,150 km2
Total Area 27,830km2 (#142)
Population 11,099,298 (#80)
Population Density 432.22/km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $7.89 Billion
GDP Per Capita $800
Currency Franc (BIF)
More Information Burundi
Largest Cities

1300 - 1500

  • (1300s) Hutu people settled in the region
  • (1400s) Tutsi settlers arrived, established themselves as feudal rulers
  • (1500s) Burundian Kingdom emerged
1600 - 1800
  • (1680 - 1709) Cambarantama was first king of Burundi
  • (1796 - 1840) Ntare IV Rutaganzwa Rugamba was king, doubled the size of the territory
  • (1858) British explorers, Richard Burton and John Speke, were first Europeans to visit Burundi
  • (1890) Kingdoms of Urundi (Burundi) and Ruanda (Rwanda) became part of German East Africa
  • (1901) Britain and Germany agreed on boundary between German East Africa, Rwanda and Burundi
  • (1905) Urundi suffered from severe famine
  • (1916) Belgian troops occupied the area during World War I
  • (1923) League of Nations mandated the territory of Ruanda-Urundi to Belgium
  • (1959) Tutsi refugees from Rwanda began arriving in Burundi following ethnic violence
  • (1959 - 1961) Prince Louis Rwagasore led drive for independence
  • (1961) UPRONA party won elections, Prince Louis became prime minister
  • (1961) Prince (Prime Minister) Louis was assassinated
  • (1962) Urundi and Ruanda were separated, Burundi became independent kingdom under King Mwambutsa IV
  • (1963) Thousands of Hutus fled to Rwanda following ethnic violence
  • (1963) Pierre Ngendandumwe became first Hutu prime minister
  • (1963) Prime Minister Ngendandumwe assassinated by Rwandan Tutsi refugee
  • (1965) Hutus won majority in parliamentary elections, King Mwambutsa refused to appoint Hutu prime minister
  • (1965) King appointed Tutsi friend as prime minister
  • (1965) Hutus attempted coup, king fled the country, army chief Michel Micombero suppressed coup
  • (1966) King Mwambutsa ousted by son, Ntare V
  • (1966) Army chief Michel Micombero staged coup, ousted king, declared himself president
  • (1972) Tutsi-controlled government killed over 100,000 Hutus in Burundi genocide; several hundred thousand fled to Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rwanda, Tanzania
  • (1976) President Micombero deposed in bloodless coup d'etat, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza became president
  • (1976 - 1980) President Bagaza encouraged land reform, electoral reform, national reconciliation
  • (1981) New constitution promulgated, Burundi became one-party country
  • (1984) Bagaza elected head of state
  • (1987) President Bagaza deposed in coup led by Pierre Buyoya
  • (1987) Pierre Buyoya sworn in as president
  • (1987) President Buyoya dissolved opposition parties, suspended 1981 constitution, instituted his ruling Military Committee for National Salvation (CSMN)
  • (1988) Tensions between the ruling Tutsis and majority Hutus resulted in violent confrontations between the army, Hutu opposition, and Tutsi hardliners; over 150,000 people were killed, tens of thousands of refugees escaped to neighboring countries
  • (1992) New constitution approved which provided for a president, non-ethnic government, and parliament
  • (1993) Melchior Ndadaye became Burundi's first Hutu president after defeating Pierre Buyoya in country's first presidential election
  • (1993) President Ndadaye assassinated by Tutsi army extremists
  • (1993) Ethnic conflicts claimed over 300,000 lives
  • (1994) Cyprien Ntaryamira appointed president by Parliament
  • (1994) President Ntaryamira and Rwandan president killed in mysterious plane crash on return trip from Tanzania
  • (1994) Sylvestre Ntibantunganya appointed president
  • (1994) Seven Rwandan refugee camps created in Burundi, held over 250,000 people
  • (1995) Antoine Nduwayo became prime minister
  • (1996) Tutsi militants closed down Burundi capital in general strike, accused the president of backing massacres by Hutus
  • (1996) Military seized power, deposed Ntibantunganya, suspended constitution, named former president Pierre Buyoya as president
  • (1998) Buyoya and Parliament agreed on transitional constitution
  • (1998) Buyoya formally sworn in as president
  • (2000) Ceasefire accord signed by government and three Tutsi groups; two main Hutu groups refused
  • (2001) President Buyoya agreed to open ceasefire talks with leader of the main ethnic Hutu rebel, Forces for the Defense of Democracy, in attempt to end seven years of civil war
  • (2001) Burundian army regained control of capital city, Bujumbura, after two weeks of heavy fighting between army troops and Hutu rebels
  • (2001) President Buyoya survived coup attempt by Tutsi soldiers
  • (2001) Power-sharing accord agreed to by Hutu politicians and President Buyoya; terms called for President Buyoya to lead for 18 months, Hutu president for 18 months, elections to follow
  • (2002) Fighting between Tutsi army and Hutu rebels forced over 16,000 people to flee from their homes
  • (2002) President Buyoya and Pierre Nkurunziza, Hutu leader of Forces for the Defense of Democracy, agreed to cease-fire
  • (2002) Jean Minani, leader of main Hutu party Frodebu, elected president of transitional national assembly

Burundi Trivia

What Are The Major Natural Resources Of Burundi?

Burundi is rich in natural resources including arable land, natural forests, wildlife, water resources, peat, gold, nickel, and other mineral deposits.

What Are The Major Natural Resources Of Burundi?

What Is The Culture Of Burundi?

Burundi has a rich heritage of oral literature which features stories, legends, poems, songs, and riddles.

The Culture Of Burundi

What are the Ecological Regions of Burundi?

Burundi's environmental landscape is a mix of highland forests and savanna grasslands. The ecological regions include tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, tropical and subtropical grasslands, and shrublands.

Ecological Regions Of Burundi

What is the Largest Ethnic Group in Burundi?

The Hutu ethnic group makes up around 85% of the population of Burundi.

Largest Ethnic Groups In Burundi

What is the Largest Religion in Burundi?

An estimated 75% of Burundians are Christian, with 81.5% of these Christians (61.1% of the total population) being Roman Catholic Christians.

Religious Beliefs In Burundi

What is the biggest city in Burundi?

Bujumbura is the largest city in Burundi with a population of nearly 500,000.

Biggest Cities In Burundi

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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