3.3972142170754 (2082)
Posted by bender 04/27/2009 @ 22:14

Tags : burundi, africa, world, bujumbura

News headlines
Somalia Defense Minister Says Forces Taking Control - Wall Street Journal
BUJUMBURA, Somalia (AFP)--Somalia's defense minister claimed Tuesday that his forces were taking control in Mogadishu and repelling a month-old offensive by insurgents bent on toppling the transitional administration. "We presently have the situation...
Africa: 'Tajudeen Will Turn the Angels Into Pan Africanists' - AllAfrica.com
The night he died, I was on the way from Kampala to Bujumbura as he was on the way to Kigali from Nairobi - may be we would have met at the Jommo Kenyatta International Airport. You would be sure that irrespective of the airport you were,...
Grenade claims pair in Burundi - Independent Online
Bujumbura - A man and his wife were killed on Monday night when a grenade was hurled into their bedroom north of Burundi's capital Bujumbura, an official told reporters on Tuesday. "A grenade was hurled into a family's bedroom on the Kanenga hills,...
Uganda Government News: EAC to have budget of 100 billion - UGPulse.com
The just concluded meeting of the East African Legislative Assembly that took place in Bujumbura has approved a budget of over 100 billion shillings to fund the activities of the East African Community in the next financial year....
EA assembly to meet in Bujumbura next week - The Citizen Daily
By The Citizen Reporter, Arusha The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is scheduled to hold its 6th meeting of the Second Assembly in Bujumbura, Burundi beginning next Monday. Acting clerk Mr Kenneth Madete said in a statement yesterday that...
Burundi: New peace structure to bolster stability - Human Rights Tribune
IRIN, Bujumbura - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who chairs the Regional Initiative for Burundi, initiated the Partnership for Peace in Burundi (PPB), to monitor the consolidation of peace in the country until December 2009....
Burundi: Covering the mouth with the gun - East African
Burundian soldiers patrol near Bujumbura in this file picture. Burundi is a country full of weapons and many areas, especially upcountry, have little police surveillance. By JOSH KRON (email the author) Across the street from the Obama Phone Store in...
Burundi: EAC parliamentary session starts in Bujumbura - Le Mali en ligne
The 45 parliamentarians of the Legislative Assembly of the East African Community (EAC) on Tuesday began, in Bujumbura, a two-week or dinary session to consider a number of bills relating to customs integration and the common market, official sources...
Regional parliament decries albono killings - The Citizen Daily
At the ongoing meeting of the regional parliament in Bujumbura, Burundi, MPs from the five EAC member states called for regional cooperation to protect albinos victimised by superstitious fortune seekers. This is the second time in the last two weeks...
Sowerby flashes back to treacherous African drive - Las Vegas Review - Journal
The Canadian High Commission in Nairobi knew a Belgian contractor who ran a construction company in Burundi, so while Ken finished up in Nairobi, I made plans to fly Burundi's capital city, Bujumbura. Two days later, Guy Collette met me at Bujumbura...


Flag of Burundi

Burundi (pronounced ), officially the Republic of Burundi, is a small country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the south and east, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Although the country is landlocked, much of the southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika.

The Twa, Tutsi, and Hutu peoples have occupied Burundi since the country's formation five centuries ago. Burundi was ruled as a kingdom by the Tutsi for over two hundred years. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Germany and Belgium occupied the region, and Burundi and Rwanda became a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi. Political unrest occurred throughout the region because of social differences between the Tutsi and Hutu, provoking civil war in Burundi throughout the middle twentieth century. Presently, Burundi is governed as a presidential representative democratic republic. Sixty-two percent of Burundians are Roman Catholic, eight to ten percent are Muslims and the rest follow indigenous beliefs and other Christian denominations.

Burundi is one of the ten poorest countries in the world. Burundi has a low gross domestic product, largely due to civil wars, corruption, poor access to education, and the effects of HIV/AIDS. Burundi is densely populated, with substantial emigration. Cobalt and copper are among Burundi's natural resources. Some of Burundi's main exports include coffee and sugar.

Archaeological evidence shows that a pygmoid hunter gathering tribe, the Twa, first settled the region in 70,000 B.C. However, approximately 5,000 years ago, the Hutu, a Bantu-speaking people from the mountainous regions of central Africa, immigrated and provided Burundi's first language. The Hutu served as the main farming group in the country. Following the Hutu, the Tutsi tribe settled the region in the late fifteenth century. Based on genetics and bioanthropology the Tutsi seem to have many affinities with population from the Central and Western Sahara corridor. From the Tutsi's early occupation in the region, some additional agricultural techniques were introduced, and a feudal system was established within local chiefdoms. The Tutsi's relationship with the Hutu remained stable during this period.

With the settlement of the Tutsi and Hutu tribes, Burundi's kingdom expanded in land size until the seventeenth century creating a powerful state. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Tutsi dynasty reigned over Burundi's kingdom. The kingdom continued through rulers until the late nineteenth century. King Mwezi IV reigned from 1852 to 1908. During this time he allied with the Germans in order to gain control over his opponents. Mwezi's opponents, two chiefs named Maconco and Birori, were rebelling to take away Burundi's throne. As a result, the kingdom of Burundi became a German colony in 1899.

After its defeat in World War I, Germany handed control of Burundi to Belgium. On October 20, 1924, Burundi officially became a part of the Belgian colonial empire and was known as Ruanda-Urundi, and consisted of Rwanda and Burundi. However, the Belgians allowed Ruanda-Urundi to continue its kingship dynasty.

Following World War II, Ruanda-Urundi was a United Nations Trust Territory under Belgian administrative authority. During the 1940s, a series of policies caused divisions throughout the country. On October 4, 1943, powers were split in the legislative division of Burundi's government between chiefdoms and lower chiefdoms. Chiefdoms were in charge of land, and lower sub-chiefdoms were established. Native authorities also had powers. In 1948, Belgium allowed the region to form political parties. These factions would be one of the main influences for Burundi's independence from Belgium.

On January 20, 1959, Burundi's ruler Mwami Mwambutsa IV requested from the Belgian Minister of Colonies a separation of Burundi and Rwanda and a dissolution of Ruanda-Urundi. Six months later, political parties formed to bring attention to Burundi's independence from Europe and to separate Rwanda from Burundi. The first of these political parties was the African National Union of Ruanda-Urundi (UNARU).

During Burundi's push for independence, instability and ethnic persecution occurred between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. In November 1959, a dispute over land possession sparked a revolt in Rwanda between Hutu teachers and Tutsi soldiers. From 1959 to 1962, Hutu refugees escaped to Rwanda to avoid persecution. In turn, the Hutu in Rwanda murdered thousands of Tutsi, causing the Tutsi to flee to Burundi for freedom. While in Burundi, Tutsi fought against the Hutu. Many Tutsi soldiers killed Hutu peasants in retaliation for Hutu violence in Rwanda. The Hutu managed to take power in Rwanda by winning Belgian-run elections in 1960.

The Union for National Progress (UPRONA), a multi-ethnic unity party led by Tutsi Prince Louis Rwagasore and Christian Democratic Party (PDC) members, became popular throughout Burundi-Urundi. Following an UPRONA victory in legislative elections, Prince Rwagasore was assassinated in 1961 by a Greek national named Georges Kageorgis; the event caused infighting between the two groups.

The country claimed independence in July 1, 1962, and legally changed its name from Ruanda-Urundi to Burundi. Mwami Mwambutsa IV was named king. On September 18, 1962, just over a month after declaring independence from Belgium, Burundi joined the United Nations.

Upon Burundi’s independence, a constitutional monarchy was established and the Hutus and Tutsis held equal representation in Parliament. However, during Burundi's move to become an independent nation, Hutu forces took control of the country, forcing the Tutsi out of the country; many fled to Rwanda to escape ethnic persecution and death. During 1962 and 1963, approximately 12,000 Tutsi were killed, while between 140,000 to 250,000 people escaped to Rwanda.

In 1965, King Mwambutsa refused to appoint a Hutu prime minister, even though Hutus won a majority in parliamentary elections. An attempted coup by the Hutu dominated police was ruthlessly suppressed by the Tutsi dominated Army led by Michel Micombero When the next Hutu Prime Minister was assassinated in 1965, Hutus engaged in a series of revolts that the government repressed, and, fearing the killings of Tutsis by the neighboring Rwandan Hutu regime, the police and military came under the control of the Tutsis.

Mwambutsa was deposed in 1966 by his son, Prince Ntare V, who claimed the throne. That same year, Tutsi Prime Minister Captain Michel Micombero deposed Ntare, abolished the monarchy, and created a republic, which was in effect a military regime.

A Hutu attack on a military-affiliated town in 1972 resulted in a systematic retaliation by the military against the Hutus. Roughly 200,000 Hutus were killed and about 150,000 became asylum-seekers. Another Tutsi, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, led a bloodless coup in 1976 and promoted various reforms. A new constitution was created in 1981, making Burundi a one-party state. Bagaza was elected head of state. However, Bagaza suppressed political opponents and religious freedoms.

Major Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, overthrew Bagaza in 1987 and suspended the constitution, dissolved the political parties, and reinstated military rule under the Military Committee for National Salvation (CSMN). In 1988, tensions between Hutus, Tutsis, and the military resulted in roughly 20,000 deaths. In response, Buyoya approved a new constitution in 1992 that attempted to create a non-ethnic government with a presidency and a parliament. The constitution provided for a multi-party system. Buyoya also created a commission to investigate the 1988 killings.

An estimated 250,000 people died between 1962 and 1993.

In June 1993, Melchior Ndadaye, leader of the Hutu-dominated Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU), won the first democratic election and became the first Hutu head of the state, leading a pro-Hutu government. However, in October 1993, Tutsi soldiers assassinated Ndadaye, which started further years of violence between Hutus and Tutsis. It is estimated that some 300,000 were killed in 1993.

In early 1994, the parliament elected Cyprien Ntaryamira, also a Hutu, to the office of president. He and the president of Rwanda were killed together when their airplane was shot down. More refugees started fleeing to Rwanda. Another Hutu, parliament speaker Sylvestre Ntibantunganya was appointed as president in October 1994. Within months, a wave of ethnic violence began, starting with the massacre of Hutu refugees in the capital, Bujumbura, and the withdrawal of the mainly Tutsi Union for National Progress from the government and parliament.

In 1996, Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, took power through a coup d’état. He suspended the constitution and was sworn in as president in 1998. In response to the rebel attacks, the population was forced by the government to relocate to refugee camps. Under his rule, long peace talks started, mediated by South Africa. Both parties signed agreements in Arusha, Tanzania and Pretoria, South Africa, to share power in Burundi. The agreements took four years to plan, and on August 28, 2000, a transitional government for Burundi was planned as a part of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. The transitional government was placed on a trial basis for five years. After several aborted cease-fires, a 2001 peace plan and power sharing agreement has been relatively successful. After several more years of genocide against the Hutu, a cease-fire was signed in 2003 between the Tutsi-controlled Burundian government and the largest Hutu rebel group, CNDD-FDD (National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy). In 2003, FRODEBU Hutu leader Domitien Ndayizeye was elected president. > In early 2005, ethnic quotas were formed for determining positions in Burundi's government. Throughout the year, elections for parliamentary and president occurred. To this day, conflicts between the Hutu and the Tutsi continue. As of 2008, the Burundian government is talking with the Hutu-led Palipehutu-National Liberation Forces (NLF) to bring peace to the country. In 2008, Pierre Nkurunziza, once a leader of a Hutu rebel group, was elected to president.

Following the request of the United Nation Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to intervene in the humanitarian crisis, African leaders began a series of peace talks between the warring factions. Talks were initiated under the aegis of former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere in 1995; following his death, South African President Nelson Mandela took the helm. As the talks progressed, South African President Thabo Mbeki and United States President Bill Clinton would also lend their respective weight.

The peace talks took the form of Track I mediations. This method of negotiation can be defined as a form of diplomacy involving governmental or intergovernmental representatives, who may use their positive reputations, mediation or the “carrot and stick” method as a means of obtaining or forcing an outcome, frequently along the lines of “bargaining” or “win-lose”.

The main objective framing the talks was a structural transformation of the Burundian government and military as a way to bridge the ethnic gap between the Tutsis and Hutus. This would be accomplished in two ways. First, a transitional power sharing government would be established, with the president holding office for three year terms. The second objective involved a restructuring of the military, where the two groups would be represented equally.

As the protracted nature of the peace talks demonstrated, there were several obstacles facing the mediators and negotiating parties. First, the Burundian officials perceived the goals as “unrealistic” and viewed the treaty as ambiguous, contradictory and confusing. Second, and perhaps most importantly, the Burundians believed the treaty would be irrelevant without an accompanying cease fire. This would require separate and direct talks with the rebel groups. The main Hutu party was skeptical of the offer of a power-sharing government; they alleged that they were deceived by the Tutsis in past agreements.

In 2000, the Burundian President signed the treaty, as well as 13 of the 19 warring Hutu and Tutsi factions. However, disagreements persisted over which group would preside over the nascent government and when the ceasefire would commence. The spoilers of the peace talks were the hardliner Tutsi and Hutu groups who refused to sign the accord; as a result, violence intensified. Three years later at a summit of African leaders in Tanzania, the Burundian president and the main opposition Hutu group signed an accord to end the conflict; the signatory members were granted ministerial posts within the government. However, smaller militant Hutu groups – such as the Forces for National Liberation - remained active.

Between 1993 and 2003, many rounds of peace talks, overseen by regional leaders in Tanzania, South Africa, and Uganda, gradually established power-sharing agreements to satisfy the majority of the contending groups. African Union (AU) peacekeepers were deployed to help oversee the installation of a transitional government. In June 2004, the UN stepped in and took over peacekeeping responsibilities as a signal of growing international support for the already markedly advanced peace process in Burundi.

The mission’s mandate, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, has been to monitor cease-fire; carry out disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants; support humanitarian assistance and refugee and IDP return; assist with elections; protect international staff and Burundian civilians; monitor Burundi’s troublesome borders including halting illicit arms flows; and assist in carrying out institutional reforms including those of the Constitution, judiciary, armed forces, and police. The mission has been allotted 5,650 military personnel, 120 civilian police, and about 1,000 international and local civilian personnel. The mission has been functioning well and has greatly benefited from the existence of a fairly functional transitional government, which is in the process of transitioning into a more legitimate, elected entity.

The main difficulty the operation faced at first was the continued resistance to the peace process by the last Tutsi nationalist rebel group. This organization continued its violent conflict on the outskirts of the capital despite the UN’s presence. By June 2005, the group had stopped fighting and was brought back into the political process. All political parties have accepted a formula for inter-ethnic power-sharing, which means no political party can gain access to government offices unless it is ethnically integrated.

The focus of the UN’s mission had been to enshrine the power-sharing arrangements in a popularly voted constitution, so that elections may be held and a new government installed. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration were done in tandem with elections preparations. In February 2005, the Constitution was approved with over 90% of the popular vote. In May, June, and August 2005, three separate elections were also held at the local level for the Parliament and the presidency.

While there are still some difficulties with refugee returns and securing adequate food supplies for the war-weary population, the mission has overall managed to win the trust and confidence of a majority of the formerly warring leaders as well as the population at large. It has also been involved with several “quick impact” projects including rehabilitating and building schools, orphanages, health clinics, and rebuilding infrastructure such as water lines.

Reconstruction efforts in Burundi started to practically take effect after 2006. The UN shut down its peacekeeping mission and re-focused on helping with reconstruction. Toward achieving economic reconstruction, Rwanda, D.R.Congo and Burundi relaunched the regional economic bloc: The Great Lakes Countries Economic Community. In addition, Burundi, along with Rwanda, joined the East African Community in 2007.

However, the terms of the September 2006 Ceasefire between the government and the last remaining armed opposition group, the FLN (Forces for National Liberation, also called NLF or FROLINA), were not totally implemented, and senior FLN members subsequently left the truce monitoring team, claiming that their security was threatened. In September, rival FLN factions clashed in the capital, killing 20 fighters and causing residents to begin fleeing. Rebel raids were reported in other parts of the country. The rebel factions disagreed with the government over disarmament and the release of political prisoners. In late 2007 and early 2008, FLN combatants attacked government-protected camps where former combatants now live, in search of peace. The homes of rural residents were also pillaged.

The 2007 report of Amnesty International mentions many areas where improvement is required. Civilians are victims of repeated acts of violence done by the FLN. The latter also recruits child soldiers. The rate of violence against women is high. Perpetrators regularly escape prosecution and punishment by the state. There is an urgent need for reform of the judicial system. Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity remain unpunished. The establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a Special Tribunal for investigation and prosecution has not yet been implemented. The freedom of expression is limited, journalists are frequently arrested for carrying our legitimate professional activities. A total of 38,087 Burundian refugees have been repatriated between January and November 2007.

In late March 2008, the FLN sought for the parliament to adopt a law guaranteeing them ‘provisional immunity’ from arrest. This would cover ordinary crimes, but not grave violations of international humanitarian law like war crimes or crimes against humanity . Even though the government has granted this in the past to people, the FLN is unable to obtain the provisional immunity.

On April 17, 2008, the FLN bombarded Bujumbura. The Burundian army fought back and the FLN suffered heavy losses. A new ceasefire was signed on May 26, 2008. In August 2008, President Nkurunziza met with the FLN leader Agathon Rwasa, with the mediation of Charles Nqakula, South Africa’s Minister for Safety and Security. This was the first direct meeting since June 2007. Both agree to meet twice a week to establish a commission to resolve any disputes that might arise during the peace negotiations.

Refugee camps are now closing down, and 450,000 refugees have returned. The economy of the country is shattered - Burundi has the lowest per capita gross income in sub-Saharan Africa. With the return of refugees, amongst others, property conflicts have started.

Burundi's political system is presidential representative democratic republic based upon a multi-party state. The President of Burundi is the head of state and head of government. There are currently 21 registered parties in Burundi. On March 13, 1992, Tutsi coup leader Pierre Buyoya established a constitution, which provided for a multi-party political process and reflected multi-party competition. Six years later, on June 6, 1998, the constitution was changed, broadening National Assembly's seats and making provisions for two vice presidents. Because of the Arusha Accord, Burundi enacted a transitional government in 2000.

Burundi's legislative branch is a bicameral assembly, consisting of the Transitional National Assembly and the Transitional Senate. As of 2004, the Transitional National Assembly consists of 170 members, with the Front for Democracy in Burundi holding 38% of seats, and 10% of the assembly is controlled by UPRONA. Fifty-two seats are controlled by other parties. Burundi's constitution mandates representation in the Transitional National Assembly to be consistent with 60% Hutu, 40% Tutsi, and 30% female members, as well as three Batwa members. Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote and serve for five year terms.

The Transitional Senate has fifty-one members, and three seats are reserved for former presidents. Due to stipulations in Burundi's constitution, 30% of Senate members must be female. Members of the Senate are elected by electoral colleges, which consist of members from each of Burundi's provinces and communes. For each of Burundi's seventeen provinces, one Hutu and one Tutsi senator are chosen. One term for the Transitional Senate is five years.

Together, Burundi's legislative branch elect the President to a five-year term. Burundi's president appoints officials to his Council of Ministers, which is also part of the executive branch. The president can also pick fourteen members of the Transitional Senate to serve on the Council of Ministers. Members of the Council of Ministers must be approved by two-thirds of Burundi's legislature. The president also chooses two vice-presidents. As of 2008, the President of Burundi is Pierre Nkurunziza. The First Vice President is Dr. Yves Sahinguvu, and the Second Vice President is Gabriel Ntisezerana.

The Court Supreme (Supreme Court) is Burundi's highest court. There are three Courts of Appeals directly below the Supreme Court. Tribunals of First Instance are used as judicial courts in each of Burundi's provinces as well as 123 local tribunals.

Burundi is divided into 17 provinces, 117 communes, and 2,638 collines (hills). Provincial governments are structured upon these boundaries. In 2000, the province encompassing Bujumbura was separated into two provinces, Bujumbura Rural and Bunjumbura Mairie.

One of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi is landlocked and has an equatorial climate. Burundi is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western extension of the Great Rift Valley. The country lies on a rolling plateau in the center of Africa. The average elevation of the central plateau is 5,600 feet (1,700 m), with lower elevations at the borders. The highest peak, Mount Heha at 8,810 feet (2,690 m), lies to the southeast of the capital, Bujumbura. The Nile is a major river in Burundi. Lake Victoria is also an important water source, which serves as a fork to the Kagera River. Another major lake is Lake Tanganyika, located in much of Burundi's southwestern corner.

Burundi's lands are mostly agricultural or pasture. Settlement by rural populations has led to deforestation, soil erosion and habitat loss. Deforestation of the entire country is almost completely due to overpopulation, with a mere 230 square miles (600 km2) remaining and an ongoing loss of about 9% per annum. There are two national parks, Kibira National Park to the northwest (a small region of rain forest, adjacent to Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda), Rurubu National Park to the northeast (along the Rurubu River, also known as Ruvubu or Ruvuvu). Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations.

Burundi is one of the poorest countries on the planet, owing in part to its landlocked geography, poor legal system, lack of access to education, and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS. Approximately 80% of Burundi's population lives in poverty. Famines and food shortages have occurred throughout Burundi, most notably in the 20th century, and according to the World Food Programme, 56.8% of children under age five suffer from chronic malnutrition. One scientific study of 178 nations rated Burundi's population as having the lowest satisfaction with life in the world. As a result of poverty, Burundi is dependent on foreign aid.

Burundi's largest industry is agriculture, which accounted for 58% of the GDP in 1997. Subsistence agriculture accounts for 90% of agriculture. The nation's largest source of revenue is coffee, which makes up 93% of Burundi's exports. Other agriculture products include cotton, tea, maize, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk, and hides. Some of Burundi's natural resources include uranium, nickel, cobalt, copper, and platinum. Besides agriculture, other industries include: assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing, and light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, and soap. Burundi's currency is the Burundian franc (BIF); As of July 2008, 1,184 Burundian franc were equivalent to one United States dollar.

Burundi is part of the East African Community and a potential member of the planned East African Federation.

As of 2008, Burundi was projected to have an estimated population of 8,691,005 people. This estimate explicitly takes into account the effects of AIDS, which has a significant effect on the demographics of the country. Over 500,000 have been displaced due to the disease. Many Burundians have migrated to other countries as a result of the civil war. In 2006, the United States accepted approximately 10,000 Burundian refugees.

Most Burundians live in rural areas, and about six percent of the population live in urban areas. The population density of around 315 people per square kilometer (753 per sq mi) is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Roughly 85% of the population are of Hutu ethnic origin, 15% of the remaining population are Tutsi, and fewer than one percent are Twas.

Sources estimate the Christian population to be 67 percent, with Roman Catholics representing the largest group at 62 percent. Protestant and Anglican practitioners comprise the remaining 5 percent. An estimated 23 percent of the population adheres to traditional indigenous religious beliefs; some of the traditional indigenous groups promoted cures for HIV/AIDS and other ailments. The Muslim population is estimated to be as high as 10 percent, the majority of whom live in urban areas. Sunnis make up the majority of the Muslim population, and the remainder is Shi'a.

The Anglican Church of Burundi. Retrieved on July 5, 2008. Reports indicate the Christian population may be as high as 90% with most of the remainder being Muslim.

Burundi's culture is based on local tradition and the influence of neighboring countries, though cultural prominence has been hindered by civil unrest. Since farming is the main industry in Burundi, a typical Burundian meal consists of sweet potatoes, corn, and peas. Due to the expense, meat is only eaten few times per month. When several Burundians of close acquaintance meet for a gathering they drink impeke, a beer, from a large container. Each person receives a straw to symbolize unity.

Crafts are an important art form in Burundi and are attractive gifts to many tourists. Basket weaving is a popular craft for Burundian artisans. Other crafts such as masks, shields, statues, pottery are made in Burundi.

Drumming is an important part of Burundian cultural heritage. The world-famous Royal Drummers of Burundi, who have performed for over forty years, are noted for traditional drumming using the amashako, ibishikiso, and ikiranya drums. Dance often accompanies drumming performance, which is frequently seen in celebrations and family gatherings. The abatimbo, which is performed at official ceremonies and rituals, and the fast-paced abanyagasimbo are some famous Burundian dances. Some musical instruments of note are the flute, zither, ikembe, indonongo, umuduri, inanga, and the inyagara.

Kirundi, French, and Swahili are spoken throughout Burundi. Burundi's literacy rate is low, due to low school attendance. Ten percent of Burundian boys are allowed a secondary education. Burundi's oral tradition is strong and relays history and life lessons through storytelling, poetry, and song. Imigani, indirimbo, amazina, and ivyivugo are types of literary genres existing in Burundi.

Basketball and track and field are noted sports in Burundi. Football is a popular pastime throughout the country, as are mancala games. In Burundi most Christian holidays are celebrated, with Christmas being the largest. Burundian Independence Day is celebrated annually on July 1. In 2005, the Burundian government declared Eid al-Fitr, an Islamic holiday, to be a public holiday.

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Burundi Premier League

The Burundi Premier League or as it is known Amstel Ligue is the highest division in football in Burundi. The league was formed in 1972. It has 16 teams that plays 30 rounds home and away.

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Air Burundi

Air Burundi was the state owned national airline of Burundi and based in Bujumbura. It operated scheduled regional passenger services to Rwanda and Tanzania. Its main base was Bujumbura International Airport. It ceased operations in the spring of 2007.

The airline was established in April 1971 and started operations in 1975. It was formed as Societe de Transports Aériens du Burundi and adopted the present name in June 1975. It was wholly owned by the Burundi government.

Air Burundi operated a scheduled international service to Kigali (at January 2005)and Entebbe.

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Livingstone-Stanley Monument, Burundi

The stone monument at Mugere, south of Bujumbura

The Livingstone-Stanley Monument at Mugere in Burundi is 12 km south of the capital Bujumbura, overlooking Lake Tanganyika, and marks a location where explorer and missionary Dr David Livingstone and journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley visited and spent two nights on 25-27 November 1871. In French it is referred to as La Pierre de Livingstone et Stanley. Some Burundians claim the location is where the famous first meeting of Livingstone and Stanley took place, at which the latter uttered the famous words "Dr Livingstone, I presume?".

However that meeting actually took place in Ujiji in Tanzania on 10 November 1871 as clearly detailed in Stanley's book, "How I Found Livingstone". David Livingstone's journal also confirms Ujiji as the location, with an entry the day before the meeting reading "At dawn, off and go to Ujiji", a town he knew well. Livingstone then details meetings with several Arab residents of Ujiji including one who was supposed to be keeping his goods from his previous visit, before recording Stanley's arrival.

From their writings, the visit to Mugere appears to be the one on 25-27 November which Livingstone and Stanley described as being one of the most hospitable they enjoyed. The date 25 November 1871 can be seen scratched on the rock. They had rested in Ujiji for six days, and then set off by canoe up the north-east shore of the lake to explore rivers which might flow out of the Lake Tanganyika. At the Mugere River they found the village of Chief Mukamba who welcomed them and gave them a hut in which to rest. They stayed two nights, and Stanley records that Livingstone's servant Susi got very drunk on the Chief's hospitality. As the first Europeans to visit the area, their arrival was memorable, and it must be at some time later the event became confused in some people's minds as the first meeting between Livingstone and Stanley. A number of websites make this wrong claim.

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A view of Bujumbura Beach, west of the city

Bujumbura (pronounced /ˌbuːdʒəmˈbuːrə/) is the capital city and main port of Burundi and ships most of the country's chief export, coffee, as well as cotton, skins, and tin ore.

The city center is a colonial town with a large market, the national stadium, a large mosque, and the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Bujumbura. Museums in the city include the Burundi Museum of Life and the Burundi Geological Museum. Other nearby attractions include the Rusizi National Park, the Livingstone-Stanley Monument at Mugere (where David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley visited 14 days after their first historic meeting at Ujiji in Tanzania), and the source of the southernmost tributary of the Nile, described locally as the source of the Nile.

Ferries sail from Bujumbura to Kigoma in Tanzania, while the city is also home to the Bujumbura International Airport and the University of Bujumbura.

Bujumbura grew from a small village after it became a military post in German East Africa in 1889. After World War I it was made the administrative center of the Belgian League of Nations mandate of Ruanda-Urundi. The city's name was changed from Usumbura to Bujumbura when Burundi became independent in 1962. Since independence, Bujumbura has been the scene of frequent fighting between the country's two main ethnic groups, with Hutu militias opposing the Tutsi-dominated Burundi army.

Bujumbura is governed by a community council and community administrator. It is further divided into 13 communes, or neighborhoods, each with its own neighborhood council and neighborhood boss.

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Shabani Nonda

Shabani Christophe Nonda (born 6 March 1977 in Bujumbura, Burundi) is a DR Congolese international footballer who currently plays in Turkey for Galatasaray.

He began his career at Atletico Olympic in the year 1992, after playing in Tanzania with Young Africans and in South Africa with Vaal Professionals, Nonda's professional career began in Switzerland with FC Zürich in 1996. He signed for French side Stade Rennais in 1998, and later moved to AS Monaco in 2000. His performances, including those in the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final, earned him a move to Italian giants AS Roma on a three-year deal in 2005. However, he never lived up to his potential – partly due to a knee injury sustained while at Monaco – and spent the 2006–07 season on loan at English side Blackburn Rovers. While at Blackburn, Nonda announced his intention to sign a permanent deal, Blackburn opted not to sign Nonda on a permanent deal and he later signed for Turkish side Galatasaray in August 2007. on a two-year deal.

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Source : Wikipedia