The history of Burundi is linked to that of two small states located in the Butuutsi region and dominated by an ethnic group of Tutsi shepherds. Both were conquered by Ntare I (1675-1715), progenitor of the dynasty that was to reign until 1966. The kingdom took the name of Urundi and was extended almost to its present borders by another great sovereign, Ntare II (1795-1852). Under Mweezi II (1852-1908), the kingdom went through a period of decline, characterized by various revolts, attacks by neighboring kingdoms, especially Rwanda, and by the raids carried out by Arab slaveholders against the population. In 1899 a German military station was established in Usumbura (today Bujumbura) and four years later Germany imposed its protectorate on Mweezi II. After the First World War, in 1920, Urundi was entrusted as a mandate, then transformed in 1946 into a trust, by the League of Nations to Belgium, which united it with Rwanda as Rwanda-Urundi. Later Urundi claimed independence, achieved on 1 July 1962. The life of the independent kingdom was immediately troubled by riots and crises, at the base of which was the conflict between the Tutsi minority and the majority of the Hutus. After a period of repression and a final coup attempt by the Hutu group, following which many leaders were shot, the king left the country (1965) and moved to Europe, shortly after appointing his son as regent. The latter, having deposed his father, assumed power (8 July 1966), suspended the Constitution and on 1 September was crowned with the name of Ntare V. The initial support obtained by the Prime Minister M. Micombero it soon turned into hostility; Micombero, having taken over the country, deposed the king by being proclaimed president of the Republic (November 29, 1966).
In 1972 Ntare V was killed by Micombero and Burundi was devastated by real genocides perpetrated by the Tutsi ethnic group to the detriment of the Hutus. In 1976 Colonel J.-B. Bagaza he dismissed Micombero and assumed the presidency, but in turn was dismissed in 1987 by Major Pierre Buyoya, in a bloodless coup. He suspended the Constitution, formed a National Salvation Military Committee and in turn assumed the presidency; then he started a cautious liberalization of the regime, but the undisputed privileges of the Tutsi ethnic group, who controlled, among other things, the army, continued to exacerbate the situation. Tribal massacres alternated with moments of relaxation until, in 1990, the Military Committee of National Salvation was abolished. In March 1992 a new constitution was approved based on multi-partyism and the direct election of the head of state. In June 1993, in the first democratic elections, the Democrat Melchior Ndadaye, exponent of the Hutu ethnicity. From that moment, despite the new president’s attempt to initiate a policy of ethnic reconciliation, forming a government with a significant Tutsi presence, a new phase of serious instability began. A group of Tutsi officers murdered M. Ndadaye, six ministers and numerous Hutu personalities on 21 October 1993. The loyalty of the army as a whole prevented the situation from becoming irreparable, even if the tribal clashes, immediately ignited, caused 200,000 deaths and one and a half million refugees. The new Hutu president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was also killed in a suspected crash on the plane on which he was traveling with the president of Rwanda J. Habyarimana (April 6, 1994) and was replaced by Sylvestre Ntibantunganya: in Burundi the internal ethnic war was joined by the contradictions of the ferocious Rwandan civil war with the many hundreds of thousands of Hutu refugees. In March 1995 a Hutu minister was assassinated: the life of Burundi continued to be marked by the repetition of the massacres, in which religious and delegates of the Red Cross were also involved. In July 1996 a new coup d’état definitively put an end to the democratic experiment started in 1993 which, moreover, had proved to be a harbinger of a real disaster. To interrupt that process was, paradoxically, the very one who had initiated it, Major P. Buyoya. Violence against the Hutus continued with incidents on the border with Tanzania.
In the’ In the summer of 1997 there were still strong conflicts between the Buyoya government and a meeting between the representatives of the guerrillas ended without significant results. To Arusha in 2001 a summit was held, in the presence of Mandela and other leaders of East Africa, which led to the signing of a peace agreement, signed by three of the four rebel movements: Buyoya, flanked by a Hutu vice president, took charge of form a transitional government to lead the country towards elections. However, the situation of internal conflict continued, so much so that in 2004 the UN Security Council decided to send a mission of 5650 blue helmets, called MONUB, to monitor the situation. The legislative elections of 2005 represented a democratic turning point for Burundi, a country located in Africa according to Lawschoolsinusa: in them the rebel forces gathered in a single party (CNDD-FDD) and obtained the majority of the votes. Their leader, Pierre Nkurunziza, was elected president. Only one group of rebels remained active in the country, the National Liberation Forces (FNL) and, despite the fact that a ceasefire agreement was signed with them in 2008, the guerrilla situation is struggling to stop definitively. Presidential elections took place in 2010, boycotted by all the opposition: President Nkurunziza was re-elected in the absence of other candidates.