Burundi. After a bloody civil war and a protracted peace process, Burundi’s situation in 2005 looked brighter than ever before. A new constitution establishing a fair division of power between the ethnic majority of Hutu and the minority Tutsi was adopted by a large majority in a referendum in February, after which general elections were held in the spring. The democratically executed elections gave the former rebel movement Democratic Defense Forces (FDD) political power at all levels. The party, which in a short time has been transformed from an armed hutumilis, won in 75 of 129 municipalities, gained its own majority in the National Assembly and 30 of the 34 seats in the indirectly elected Senate. Finally, FDD leader Pierre Nkurunziza was elected president. He formed a government that, in accordance with the new constitution, contained as many Hutus as Tutsis. Several key positions were awarded to the FDD, whose great successes were partly attributed to the fact that despite its past as a radical Hut nationalist, the party managed to attract a large number of Tutsis. Seven of the 20 ministerial posts went to women.
In accordance with the peace agreement and the constitution, a new army and a new police force began to be built with the aim of achieving ethnic balance. The Tutsi minority’s control of the security forces has previously made all peace attempts impossible.
However, the violence continued, albeit on a limited scale, as the last remaining hutumilis, the National Liberation Forces (FNL), refused to recognize the new government and lay down its weapons.
According to countryaah, Gitega is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Burundi. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank depreciated USD 1.5 billion of Burundi’s foreign debt. The country was thus estimated to save $ 40-50 million annually and promised to invest this money on health care and education.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym BI stands for the country of Burundi and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
After ten years of civil war and a peace agreement signed on August 28, 2000 in Arusha, Tanzania, between then Tutsi president P. Buyoya and the leaders of Hutu rebel parties and armed groups, a final new ceasefire agreement was signed in Dār es-Salām, Tanzania, in November 2003 between the main Hutu rebel party Conseil national pour la défense de la démocratie – Forces de défense de la démocratie (CNDD-FDD) headed by P. Nkurunziza and the transitional government led by Hutu President D. Ndayizeye of the Front pour la démocratie au Burundi (FRODEBU). The 2003 agreement, preceded a few weeks by the political and military agreement on the division of powers between the two parties (October), managed to give greater substance to the phase of political transition launched in 2000 and aimed at organizing democratic elections and ensuring adequate representation of the Hutu.
In 2005, the long transitional phase opened after the signing of the peace accords in August 2000 came to an end. In February the constitutional referendum was approved with about 92 % of the consensus from Burundians, who flocked to the polls en masse. All the articles of the new Constitution were inspired by the principle of a more equitable distribution of power between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority. Government, National Assembly and major public companies of the Burundi would have been composed of a maximum of 60 % of Hutu and 40% of Tutsi. Three representatives of the Twa ethnic group would have participated by right in the National Assembly and the Senate, both bodies for which the minimum threshold of 30 % of women was envisaged. In the workforce of the police and army no ethnic group could exceed 50 % of the workforce. The president was elected by universal suffrage (with the exception of the first president of the post transitional phase elected by the two joint chambers). In June the administrative elections recorded the success of the CNDD-FDD (57 % of the votes), a success confirmed the following month in the first multi-party legislative elections since 1993. On this occasion the CNDD-FDD won again the 57% of the votes, while the FRODEBU 21.68 % and the Union pour le progrès national (UPRONA), the Tutsi party hegemonic in the country until the end of the 1980s, 7.17 %. In August, the leader of the CNDD-FDD Nkurunziza, the only candidate, was elected president by the two chambers by a very large majority.
Although threatened by the guerrillas of the Hutu faction opposed to the agreements, the Forces nationales de libération (FLN), responsible for the massacre of 160 Congolese Tutsis in the refugee camp of Gatumba (August 2004), seemed to be starting a possible pacification that allowed the return to Burundi of refugees from Tanzania, about 90,000 in 2004 and many more in 2005 thanks to the repatriation plan developed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).