In 2002, Burundi was a small landlocked country located in Central Africa. It had a population of around 8 million people and an economy that was heavily reliant on subsistence agriculture and traditional industries. Despite this, there were still economic challenges such as high unemployment and a lack of economic diversification. According to computerannals, Burundi was a presidential republic ruled by President Pierre Buyoya who held executive power. However, there were efforts to strengthen democratic institutions within the country in order to promote stability within Burundi. In terms of development, the government began to focus on improving infrastructure and providing basic services such as healthcare and education which provided a glimmer of hope for a better future for Burundians. Additionally, efforts have been made by both local and international organizations to encourage foreign investment in order to promote sustainable economic growth. The government also adopted several economic reforms aimed at increasing efficiency and promoting free trade with other countries in the region.
Burundi. A Provisional National Assembly with equal representation for Hutus and Tutsis was inaugurated in January and followed in February by a newly formed Senate. According to Countryaah website, national day of Burundi is every July 1. The new Parliament was the result of the peace agreement signed by the parties to the long civil conflict in 2000 and which led to the formation of a transitional government in November 2001.
Despite the new balance of power, both the hutumilies FDD and FNL continued the armed struggle against the Tutsid-dominated army. During the autumn, the government managed to get the FDD militia involved in the peace process, while the FNL refused to participate in the talks held in rounds in Tanzania and instead escalated the fighting.
After the army acknowledged that it killed at least 173 civilians in the province of Gitega in early September, the FDD also temporarily left the talks but signed in December under a peace agreement with the government.
In November, former President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza was placed under house arrest. He was accused of plans to overthrow the government in protest against the hutumilization negotiations.
2015 Political, security and humanitarian crisis
In February 2015, the Chief of National Intelligence, SNR, General Godefroid Niyombare warned the President that he should not apply for a 3rd term, as it would be perceived as a violation of the Arusha Agreement and the Constitution. A few days later, Niyombare was fired by the president. The following month, several senior CNDD-FDD members also warned the president not to stand. They were then thrown out of the lot.
In April 2015, Nkurunziza’s party announced to the CNDD-FDD that Nkurunziza would stand for a 3 term as the country’s president. The decision was in violation of constitutions and immediately sparked fierce protests in the country. On May 4, the Vice President of the country’s Constitutional Court fled the country after receiving death threats from the government. 4 out of the 7 judges of the court had then gone into exile. The remaining 3 judges then chose to know Nkurunziza’s lineup for validity. The protests continued around the country, and on May 13, General Godefroid Niyombare conducted a military coup while Nkurunziza was on a state visit to Tanzania. However, the coup already collapsed after a day when the General Staff stood on President Nkurunziza’s side. The following days, violence continued to bujumbura. On May 23, the chairman of the party was UPD, Zedi Feruzi and his bodyguard killed by an assault. Then the opposition interrupted all negotiations with the government. Over 100,000 had fled the country by then. By the end of the year, 230,000 had fled.
On June 25, Gervais Rufyikiri’s second Vice-President went into exile in Belgium, declaring that the drafting of Nkurunziza was in violation of the Constitution and that Nkurunziza set his own interests over the country. The day after, the opposition declared it would boycott the presidential and parliamentary elections. On June 28, President Pie Ntavyohanyuma fled the country. On July 25, Nkurunziza was “elected” to the president for a third term. The election was boycotted by the opposition.
Despite the failed coup attempt in May, rebel soldiers continued to attack soldiers and security forces throughout the rest of 2015. On December 11, 3 barracks and a Bujumbura officer’s school were attacked by rebels. The attack cost over 100 lives. Bujumbura residents subsequently reported that police and soldiers had subsequently gone from house to house, had taken out young men and executed them. A few days later, the African Union declared its intention to send peacekeepers to Burundi. Nkurunziza replied that he would not accept this, and if the AU sent soldiers anyway, they would be considered an invasion force. On December 23, rebels announced the formation of the Burundi Republican Forces (FOREBU), whose goal was to oust Nkurunziza.