Burundi is one of Africa’s poorest and most densely populated areas. As if that were not plentiful, the country has been ravaged over the past 5 centuries by ethnic and economic conflicts between the Hutus and the Tutsi. Since the 15th century, there have been at least 5 comprehensive genocides that have alternately gone beyond one of the country’s two main population groups. Due. lack of access to education and health care and lack of freedom 80% of the population lives below the poverty line and 57% of children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Burundi.
The Hutus are descended from the Bantu and are farmers who are mainly collectively organized. 500 years ago, they became subservient to the invading Tutsis – or watutsis – who came from the north in search of fertile soil for their cattle. The Tutsis were in possession of modern weapons and force and force succeeded in forcing the locals, the Hutus, into slaves. The Tutsi kings were quite powerful in the 7th and 8th centuries, but in the 19th century the internal rivalry between the various clans contributed to weakening central power. This enabled an invasion of German colonizers who in 1890 conquered Burundi. The Germans supported the Tutsis’ dominance over the Hutus, thus establishing a system that protected the Mwami king.under the name of Rwanda-Burundi. The country became famous for its ivory export, which was monopolized by the colonial power.
When Germany suffered World War I defeats, Belgium took control of the colony and again divided Rwanda and Burundi; later they tried to sell Burundi to Congo (formerly Zaire). The system of indirect administration, introduced by the Belgians with the support of the Tutsi oligarchy, provoked the founding of nationalist movements throughout the 1950s. Here, the Party of Unity and National Progress was also “born” under the leadership of Louis Rwagasore, who was appointed prime minister in 1960. The Belgians feared that Rwagasore would become a local Lumumba and he was assassinated a few months before independence. On July 1, 1962, the country gained independence and was ruled by a pro-Belgian Tutsi king.
The first 4 years of independence were marked by violence; during this period no less than 5 different prime ministers ruled. The generally somewhat chaotic atmosphere lasted until November 1966, when Captain Michael Micombero conducted a coup d’etat and proclaimed a new republic. The new president launched a purge campaign against all Hutu officials. In 1972, 350,000 Hutus were assassinated as a result of government repression, while another 70,000 Hutus were forced to flee.
Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza took power in 1976 with promises to halt the persecution of the Hutu and the establishment of a reform government. Bagaza democratized the Party of Unity and National Progress; started a land distribution project, which was a challenge for the Tutsi bourgeoisie, which had close contacts with the foreign investors and finally legalized the trade union movement. Foreign policy made the new government closer to Tanzania and received assistance from China as part of efforts to develop the mining industry.
In 1979, the Party of Unity and National Progress held its first congress after independence, and here a new constitution was prepared, which came into force in 1981. It was intended to help neutralize the Tutsi minority’s exploitation of the Hutus representing the majority in the country; modernizing the political structure and introducing socialism and establishing women’s equality. These reforms led to tensions between the government and the conservative Catholic Church as 63 missionaries were expelled, followed by expropriations of church property.
The 1982 election was a recognition of President Baghaza’s policy and the plans for normalizing conditions in the country accelerated. It was, after all, the first general election after 19 years of independence.