11 Guilford Street
London WC1N 1DH
+44 0203 206 9939
Nearest tube: Russell Square (Picadilly line), Chancery Lane (Central line)
Full Official Name: Republic of Burundi
Region: Central Africa
Ethnic Groups: Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
Languages: Kirundi 38.8% (official), French (official) 0.3%, Swahili 0.2%, English 0.06%, unspecified 60.6%
Religions: Catholic 62.1%, Protestant 23.9%, Muslim 2.5%, other 3.6%, unspecified 7.9%
Government: Presidential Republic
A. Kivu Conflict
Type of Conflict: Ethnic and Territorial Conflict
Conventionally Dated Period: 2004–2009 (Phase 1), 4 April 2012 – 7 November 2013 (Phase 2), 31 January 2015 – present (Phase 3)
Starting as a conflict between the Military of the DRC and the Hutu group of the FDLR, the ethnic groups of the Tutsis and the Hutus battled each other in the Kivu region of Eastern Congo. Two previous peace negotiations were attempted but both saw no resolution as the third phase of the conflict began in January 2015. The DRC has announced their intentions to launch offensive action against the FDLR and its supporters. This can be seen as an extension of the Hutu-Tutsi conflict which was also responsible for the Rwandan genocide.
Peace Process: No
B. 2015 Burundian Unrest
Type of Conflict: Social Unrest
Conventionally Dated Period: 26 April 2015 – Present
After the Burundian Civil War ended in 2005, a power sharing mechanism between the Tutsis and the Hutus was established. Pierre Nkurunziza of the Hutu-dominated party was then elected to become the president. Poverty worsened after the election and 60% of Burundians barely have enough food to eat. In 2015, the vice-president of the constitutional court had to flee the country following death threats by senior government officials. The judge, along with 7 other judges stated that Nkurunziza could not be elected for a third term as it violates the constitution. They fled Burundi to avoid prosecution and the remaining judges approved Nkurunziza’s third term. The public, especially students, saw this as a manipulation of the constitutional laws and protested against the president’s elections. On 13 May 2015, Major General Godefroid Niyombare declared a coup d’état while the president was away in Tanzania. In the same day, police forces loyal to the president countered the attempted overthrowing and eventually broke the coup. President Nkurunziza flew back to Burundi on the same day. By 18 May 2015, it was reported that 112,200 people who have fled to neighboring countries to seek asylum. In the refugee camp, a cholera outbreak claimed 31 lives and thousands of new infections are being discovered on a daily basis.
Peace Process: N/A. Coup never succeeded but tensions are still high between the different factions of government and the multi-ethnic population.