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The History of the Tutsi and the Hutu

The Hutu

The Tutsi

Genocide in Rwanda

Works Cited

The Conflict in Burundi

Burundi gained independence in 1962. Ganwa King Mwambutsa IV created a constitutional monarchy. He incorporated an equal number of Tutsi and Hutu. In 1965 the Prime Minister, Pierre Ngendandumwe,was assassinated. This was the catalyst for multiple Hutu revolts and governmental repression.

In 1976 Col. Jean-Baptiste Bogaza gained power through a bloodless coup. He led a Tutsi dominated military regime. He tried to encourage land and electoral reform, along with a national reconciliation. He even created a new constitution in 1981. In 1984 he was elected as Head of State. After that, he began to suppress religious activities and he would detain members of the political opposition.

In 1987 Col. Bogaza was overthrown by Maj. Pierre Buyoya. He completely dissolved opposition parties and suspended the 1981 constitution. He also instituted his Military Committee for National Salvation (CSMN). In 1988 violence broke out between the Tutsi dominated army, the Hutu opposition and the Tutsi hardliners. It is estimated that 150,000 people died in the violence and that tens of thousands fled to neighboring countries.

In 1991 Buyoyo approved of a constitution that would create a multi ethnic government, a parliament and a president. This gave rise to the first elected Hutu President, Melchior Ndadye from the FRODEBU (Front for Democracy in Burundi) party. In October of 1993 President Ndadye was assassinated by members of a faction of the Tutsi dominated armed forces. After that the country plunged into a civil war.


The civil war caused tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands to flee. Eventually FRODEBU regained control. In January of 1994 they elected Cyprien Ntayamira. In April, President Ntayamira’s plane was shot down, killing him and Rwandan President Habyaimana. This was the beginning of the Rwandan genocide and only exacerbated the violence in Burundi. Sylvestre Ntibantuganya was installed as President for a 4 year term. During the Rwanda genocide there was an influx of Rwandan refugees that fled into Burundi.

The civil war was officially ended in 2006, through a South African brokered cease fire agreement, which had been made with the last of the Burundian rebel groups. In 2009 the PALIPEHUTUFNL, the last rebel group in Burundi was officially disbanded and disarmed and became a registered political party.