Historically and culturally, Burundian society has an original history, a national construction of more than six centuries and a homogeneous culture based on a common language, Kirundi. Founded in the 15th century, the kingdom of Burundi was one of the most organized kingdoms in the Great Lakes Region, with a well-structured administrative management system. Although under the authority of the Mwami, local chiefs and sub-chiefs enjoyed broad autonomy.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the kingdom fell under foreign domination. German precisely. Indeed, after fierce resistance against the invader, the Mwami Mwezi GISABO is forced to lay down his arms. On June 6, 1903, he signed the Treaty of Kiganda by which he agreed to submit and recognize German authority over his kingdom. Although remaining Mwami, he is no longer the one giving orders. Henceforth, all the regional chiefs obey orders from the German station of Usumbura (Today’s Bujumbura).
In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, Germany lost the kingdom of Burundi to the Belgians already present in the Congo since 1885 (The Belgian Congo was a personal possession of King Leopold II of Belgium at the time of its creation in 1885 before become a Belgian colony, November 15, 1908).
Germany defeated and the War ended, the kingdoms of Burundi and neighboring Rwanda are put under mandate from the League of Nations (League of Nations). And it is to Belgium that the exercise of this mandate is entrusted to this group, now known as Rwanda-Urundi. In 1925, this territory was attached to the Belgian Congo, of which it was to constitute the seventh province.
After the Second World War, Rwanda-Urundi became a trust territory of the United Nations under Belgian administrative authority.
On July 1, 1962, Burundi gained independence in a very tense political climate. Indeed, in the legislative elections of September 18, 1961, the Burundians overwhelmingly chose UPRONA (Union for National Progress) with a score of 58 out of the 64 seats of the new national assembly. But a month later, on October 13, Prince Louis Rwagasore, leader of the winning party, was assassinated. The country’s independence was proclaimed on July 1, 1962, and King Mwambutsa IV established a regime of constitutional monarchy.
On November 28, 1966, Ntare V, who succeeded his father Mwambutsa IV in the meantime, was the victim of a military coup (the first in the history of Burundi) led by Captain Micombero Michel. This young man under the age of 30 took power, abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Republic.
Since then, Burundian political life has been punctuated by military coups, the worst of which was in 1993 against the first democratically elected president. An atrocious war followed, which ended with the Arusha Agreement of August 28, 2000, and then with the 2003 Pretoria Agreement between the transitional government and the CNDD-FDD. These agreements formed the basis of our current institutions.