|4th President of Burundi|
10 July 1993 –21 October 1993
|Prime Minister||Sylvie Kinigi|
|Preceded by||Pierre Buyoya|
|Succeeded by||François Ngeze|
|Born||28 March 1953|
|Died||21 October 1993 40) (aged|
|Cause of death||Murder|
|Political party|| Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU)|
Burundi Workers' Party (UBU)
|Alma mater|| National University of Rwanda |
Conservatoire national des arts et métiers
Melchior Ndadaye (28 March 1953 – 21 October 1993) was a Burundian intellectual and politician. He was the first democratically elected and first Hutu president of Burundi after winning the landmark 1993 election. Though he moved to attempt to smooth the country's bitter ethnic divide, his reforms antagonised soldiers in the Tutsi-dominated army, and he was assassinated amidst a failed military coup in October 1993, after only three months in office. His assassination sparked an array of brutal tit-for-tat massacres between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups, and ultimately sparked the decade-long Burundi Civil War.
Melchior Ndadaye was born on 28 March 1953 in the commune of Nyabihanga, Ruanda-Urundi. The son of Pie Ndadaye and Thérèse Bandushubwenge, he was the first of ten children in a Hutu family. He attended primary school in Mbogora and in 1966 enrolled at the normal school in Gitega. Following the 1972 Ikiza, in which the government of Burundi targeted and massacred educated Hutus, he fled to Rwanda. He enrolled at the Groupe Scolaire Officiel in Butare to complete his secondary studies, graduating in 1975. He then enrolled at the National University of Rwanda to take up pedagogical studies, earning a license degree in 1980.Ndadaye lectured at the Lycée pédagogique in Save, southern Rwanda, from 1980 to 1983.
Ndadaye became involved in politics while in Rwanda, and in 1976 founded the Mouvement des Étudiants Progressistes Barundi au Rwanda (BEMPERE), a progressive movement for exiled Burundian Hutu students.In December 1979 Ndadaye and other Burundian exiles founded Burundi Workers' Party (Umugambwe wa'Bakozi Uburundi, UBU) a revolutionary socialist political party. From 1982–1983 ideological divisions arose in UBU, and in 1983 Ndadaye left the organisation and returned to Burundi.
In July 1984 Ndadaye married Laurence Nininahazwe, with whom he had three children. From that year until 1986 he worked at the Centre Neuro-Psychiatrique Kamenge in Bujumbura. From then until 1988 he directed the Coopératives d'Épargne et de Crédit in Gitega. In 1989 he returned to Bujumbura and became head of Meridian Bank Biao's credit service. He then took up study with the Institut Technique de Banque at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers in Paris, securing a diploma in higher banking studies in 1992.
In August 1986 Ndadaye and other former UBU members, seeing the growing international preference for democracy and peaceful electoral processes, founded a new underground political movement, the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU).He subsequently became the party's president. In 1988 he was named first secretary of the Gitega branch of the Union des Travailleurs du Burundi, a labor union affiliated with the ruling Union for National Progress (UPRONA) party. That year Burundi became beset by ethnic violence, and on 23 October he criticised the government of President Pierre Buyoya in a meeting called by the governor of Gitega Province. As a result, he was imprisoned for two months in Rumonge. In February 1991 Ndadaye became one of the twelve founding members of the Iteka League, a human rights association. In March Buyoya appointed a 35-member Constitution Commission to study the country's ethnic and political problems and draft a new basic law. Ndadaye was the sole member of the political opposition to serve on it. The body produced a 145-page report titled, "The Democratisation of Institutions and Political Life in Burundi." Ndadaye resigned in August, citing the commission's lack of diversity, and omissions and undemocratic provisions in the report.
The 1991 constitution made provisions for multiparty politics, and on 3 May 1992 FRODEBU went public. On 18 April 1993 a FRODEBU congress nominated Ndadaye as its candidate of choice for the upcoming presidential election.He advocated disbanding the Tutsi-dominated armed forces and recreating the army and gendarmerie based on equitable recruitment from every collines, thus ensuring more ethnically balanced forces.
The elections, held in June 1993, saw Ndadaye, endorsed by FRODEBU and three other predominantly Hutu parties, the Rally for the People of Burundi (RPB), People's Party (PP), and the Liberal Party (PL), face up against the ruling Tutsi-dominated government under Buyoya.[ citation needed ] In the 1 June presidential election, Ndadaye won 64 percent of the vote, whereas Buyoya only garnered 32 percent. In the subsequent parliamentary elections on 29 June, FRODEBU won 71.4 percent of the vote and earned 80 percent of the seats in the National Assembly. The poll was certified by international observers as being free and fair, and none of the candidates contested the poll. It was followed by success for his party in the legislative elections held later that month, winning 65 of 81 seats. After surviving a failed coup attempt on July 3, Ndadaye was sworn in as President of Burundi on July 10, 1993. The victory made him both the first democratically elected and first Hutu president of Burundi. In his inaugural address he promised to create a "new Burundi".
Ndadaye took a cautious, moderate approach as President, and attempted to resolve the deep ethnic divide in Burundian society. He named Sylvie Kinigi, a Tutsi, as the Prime Minister, and gave one-third of the Cabinet posts and two regional governorships to Buyoya's Union for National Progress (UPRONA). He freed political prisoners, granted freedom of the press, granted amnesty to exiled former dictator Bagaza and moved slowly to address the entrenched disadvantage of the Hutus that had resulted from many years of minority Tutsi rule to avoid exacerbating tensions.
Despite his cautious approach to the presidency, some of his actions nevertheless provoked tensions in the community. He questioned contracts and concessions approved under previous Tutsi governments, which threatened the economics of the powerful Tutsi elite and army. He began reforms to the military, shifting the national police to a separate command and changing the admission requirements for the military and police so as to reduce the entrenched Tutsi dominance. The dominance of FRODEBU caused problems at a local level, as Ndadaye's Hutu supporters took over many positions previously held by Tutsis in the public service, and botched the resettlement of refugees returning after the 1972 massacres in such a way as to leave many Tutsi families homeless. The issues were exacerbated by the newly-free press, who began reporting in such a way as to inflame ethnic tensions.[ citation needed ] He appointed Lieutenant Colonel Jean Bikomagu as Army Chief of Staff.
Internationally, Ndadaye attended the signing of the Arusha Accords—a peace agreement designed to end the Rwandan Civil War—on 4 August.His relationship with Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana was tenuous. In September he went to the United Nations headquarters and addressed the General Assembly. On 18 October he attended a summit of Francophone countries in Mauritius.
On 19 October 1993, an army officer approached the wife of Minister of Communications Jean‐Marie Ngendahayo and informed her that personnel in the army headquarters were plotting against the president.At 15:00 on 20 October, Major Isaïe Nibizi, the officer responsible for presidential security, informed Ndadaye's chef de cabinet of suspicious military movements. Later that afternoon, Ndadaye hosted a cabinet meeting in Bujumbura to mark the first 100 days of his presidency (which had passed two days prior) and discuss what his government had accomplished in comparison to its campaign promises. At the conclusion of the meeting Ngendahayo requested to speak in private with Ndadaye. In the president's office, Ngendahayo raised concerns about Ndadaye's safety. Instead of informing the president about the vague threat his wife had learned of, he told him that he felt it strange that UPRONA, the Tutsi-dominated opposition party, was denouncing the government's popular policy of allowing thousands of Burundian refugees to return to the country before the commune elections in December. Ngendahayo stated that he thought this would cost UPRONA the elections, and thus the only reason they would oppose the policy is if they planned to take power via an assassination and a coup. He also requested that Ndadaye further consider a previous report declaring his personal security to be inadequate. Ndadaye instructed Ngendahayo to bring him the Minister of Defence, Colonel Charles Ntakije.
Ntakije told Ndadaye that a coup was being planned by the 11th Armoured Car Battalion, which was going to attack the Presidential Palace at 02:00 on 21 October. When asked how he would respond, Ntakije said he would gather trusted officers and organise an ambush if the battalion left its camp.Ndadye inquired about the status of Sylvestre Ningaba, a former army colonel who had been arrested in July for attempting a coup, and asked if he could be relocated to a different prison so the putschists could not obtain his help. Ntakije said that this would not be possible due to the objections of prison officials to transferring detainees at nighttime, but he assured the president that he would station an additional armoured car at the Presidential Palace for extra security. Ndadaye spoke about training possibilities for the Presidential Guard before dismissing both ministers for the evening and going to the palace. When he arrived he told his wife, Laurence, about the coup plot, but was mostly assured by what Ntakije had said to him. Writing on Ndadaye's willingness to return to the palace despite the threat, journalists Gaëtan Sebudandi and Pierre-Olivier Richard asserted that the president was probably convinced that the coup would be easily foiled, just like the plot on 3 July. Krueger wrote, "That a president as intelligent as Ndadaye's associates found him to be would so readily accept such scant preparations for his protection seems, in retrospect, remarkable to an outsider...However, in a capital perpetually nervous with rumour, it becomes exhausting to take seriously every reported threat. Moreover, Ndadaye may have had a kind of che sarà, sarà, fatalistic attitude that could come to a person who, having overcome numerous life threatening challenges, was unwilling to run away from the position and responsibilities he had so recently assumed."
At around midnight on 20 October, putschists of the 11th Armoured Car Battalion departed from Camp Muha in over a dozen armoured cars and took up positions around Bujumbura. Within an hour they surrounded the Presidential Palace. They were joined by hundreds of soldiers and gendarmes from the other eleven military camps in Bujumbura, including members of the 1st Parachute Battalion and a few personnel from the 2nd Commando Battalion. They prepared to attack the palace, which was only guarded by 38 soldiers of the Presidential Guard and two armoured cars. Shortly before 01:00 on 21 October, Ntakije called the president and told him that armoured cars had left Camp Muha for an unknown destination and advised him to leave the palace immediately.Ndadaye then attempted to reach Captain Ildephonse Mushwabure, the commander of the palace guard, by phone, but when he did not answer he went into the palace gardens. At 01:30 the putshcists fired a single shot, and shortly thereafter at least one armoured car blasted a hole in the grounds wall and began bombarding the palace with cannon fire. Laurence Ndadaye took her three children into an interior room and sheltered them under tables, while the president was disguised in a military uniform by his guards and placed in one of their armoured cars in the garden, where he remained for the next six hours.
At about 7:30, Laurence Ndadaye and her children left the palace and reached one of the two cars on the grounds, which would not start. They quickly reunited with President Ndadaye, who was in the other armoured vehicle. The family considered scaling the perimeter wall to go to the neighbouring Meridian Hotel, but found that the palace was completely surrounded by putschists.At Captain Mushwabure's direction, Ndadaye decided to be taken with his family to Camp Muha. At 7:30 they left in their armoured car, and were trailed by the putschists' vehicles. Upon arriving at the base at 8:00, their car was surrounded by putschists of the 1st Battalion. Ndadaye was taken by Army Chief of Staff Bikomagu to a meeting with other senior officers of the army. About an hour later he returned with Secretary of State for Security Colonel Lazare Gakoryo, having reached a verbal agreement with the officers. Ndadaye reentered the armoured car with Gakoryo to finalise their understanding on paper, but when the secretary of state exited the vehicle soldiers began shouting for the president to come out. Once he did, Bikomagu quieted the crowd and Ndadaye appealed to the soldiers to negotiate peacefully with him.
Soldiers began closing in on the president, and Bikomagu instructed them to let his family go since they were "of no interest" to them. He directed a driver to take the family away, and at Laurence's direction, the soldier brought them to the French embassy, where they were allowed to take refuge. Bikomagu then pointed at President Ndadaye and said to the putschists, "He is the one you were looking for. Here he is. Do what you want with him."They placed Ndadaye in a jeep and drove him to the 1st Parachute Battalion's camp nearby, closely followed by Bikomagu, Gakoryo, and Major Nibizi. The president was taken to an office where ten junior officers—specifically assigned to the task—killed him. A coroner's report later found that Ndadaye was held by a cord around his neck while the soldiers bayoneted him 14 times. Half of the wounds penetrated his thorax and the subsequent bleeding filled up his lungs, killing him. The soldiers then dug a mass grave in the centre of the camp, where they buried Ndadaye, President of the National Assembly Pontien Karibwami, Vice President of the National Assembly Gilles Bimazubute, Minister of Home Affairs and Communal Development Juvénal Ndayikeza, and Director of Intelligence Richard Ndikumwami. After several hours the soldiers realised that international opinion would strongly disapprove of such treatment of the bodies, so they exhumed them and allowed family members to collect them. Ndadaye was reburied on 6 December in a ceremony in Bujumbura alongside other officials killed in the coup.
Ndadaye's death sparked severe ramifications across the country. The attempted coup rapidly failed, as Francois Ngeze, the civilian politician installed as temporary head of state, refused to support the coup leaders and called for Prime Minister Kinigi, who had survived the coup and was in hiding at the French embassy to assume control, a move soon backed by key military chiefs. Kinigi was thus appointed as acting president while a resolution to the constitutional crisis caused by the assassination of both the president and the president of the assembly was found. The United Nations Security Council condemned the assassination and coup, and was soon followed in doing so by the United Nations General Assembly. Many thousands of civilians, on both sides, were killed in the resulting carnage, with estimates varying but generally agreed to be above 100,000. The ongoing violence developed into the decade-long Burundi Civil War.[ citation needed ]
A United Nations investigation into Ndadaye's murder, the result of which was released in 1996, accused the army command of being responsible for the assassination and of being complicit in the resulting massacres by Tutsi troops. It did not name specific figures as being responsible, but Buyoya, Ndadaye's predecessor as president, has long been suspected of having some role in the assassination.[ citation needed ]
In 1999, as part of attempts to end the civil war, an array of arrests were made of those suspected of involvement in the Ndadaye assassination. Five men, including the alleged ringleader, army officer Paul Kamana, were sentenced to death, and 74 others received sentences ranging from one year to twenty years. Most of the high-ranking officials charged, however, were acquitted, in a verdict condemned by Ndadaye's supporters.[ citation needed ]
In Burundi, Ndadaye has been posthumously remembered as a martyr for democracy and a national hero.Ndadaye Day is observed annually on 21 October to commemorate his death.
The BurundiNational Defence Force is the state military organisation responsible for the defence of Burundi.
Burundi originated in the 16th century as a small kingdom in the African Great Lakes region. After European contact, it was united with the Kingdom of Rwanda, becoming the colony of Ruanda-Urundi - first colonised by Germany and then by Belgium. The colony gained independence in 1962, and split once again into Rwanda and Burundi. It is one of the few countries in Africa to be a direct territorial continuation of a pre-colonial era African state.
Louis Rwagasore was a Burundian prince and politician who served as Prime Minister of Burundi from 28 September 1961 until his assassination on 13 October 1961. Born to the Ganwa family of Burundian Mwami Mwambutsa IV in Belgian-administered Ruanda-Urundi in 1932, Rwagasore was educated in Burundian Catholic schools before attending university in Belgium. After he returned to Burundi in the mid-1950s he founded a series of cooperatives to economically empower native Burundians and build up his base of political support. The Belgian administration took over the venture, and as a result of the affair his national profile increased and he became a leading figure of the anti-colonial activists. He soon thereafter became involved with a nationalist political party, the Union for National Progress (UPRONA). He pushed for Burundian independence from Belgian control, national unity, and the institution of a constitutional monarchy. Rwagosore sought to bring UPRONA mass appeal across different regions, ethnicities, and castes, and thus under his leadership the party maintained a leadership balanced between ethnic Hutus and Tutsis, though the latter were usually favored for more important positions.
Cyprien Ntaryamira was a Burundian politician who served as President of Burundi from 5 February 1994 until his death two months later. A Hutu born in Burundi, Ntaryamira studied there before fleeing to Rwanda to avoid ethnic violence and complete his education. Active in a Burundian student movement, he cofounded the socialist Burundi Workers' Party and earned an agricultural degree. In 1983 he returned to Burundi and worked agricultural jobs, though he was briefly detained as a political prisoner. In 1986 he cofounded the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU), and in 1993 FRODEBU won Burundi's general elections. He subsequently became the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry on 10 July, but in October Tutsi soldiers killed the president and other top officials in an attempted coup.
Pierre Buyoya was a Burundian army officer and politician who served two terms as President of Burundi in 1987 to 1993 and 1996 to 2003 as de facto military dictator. He was the second-longest serving president in Burundian history.
Sylvestre Ntibantunganya is a Burundian politician. He was President of the National Assembly of Burundi from 23 December 1993 to October 1994, and President of Burundi from 6 April 1994 to 25 July 1996.
Jean-Baptiste Bagaza was a Burundian army officer and politician who ruled Burundi as president and de facto military dictator from November 1976 to September 1987.
The Burundian Civil War was a civil war in Burundi lasting from 1993 to 2005. The civil war was the result of longstanding ethnic divisions between the Hutu and the Tutsi ethnic groups. The conflict began following the first multi-party elections in the country since its independence from Belgium in 1962, and is seen as formally ending with the swearing-in of President Pierre Nkurunziza in August 2005. Children were widely used by both sides in the war. The estimated death toll stands at 300,000.
The Union for National Progress is a nationalist political party in Burundi. It initially emerged as a nationalist united front in opposition to Belgian colonial rule but subsequently became an integral part of the one-party state established by Michel Micombero after 1966. Dominated by members of the Tutsi ethnic group and increasingly intolerant to their Hutu counterparts, UPRONA remained the dominant force in Burundian politics until the latter stages of the Burundian Civil War in 2003. It is currently a minor opposition party.
Sylvie Kinigi is a Burundian politician and banker who served as Prime Minister of Burundi from 10 July 1993 to 7 February 1994, and acting president from 27 October 1993 to 5 February 1994, the first and to date only woman to hold these positions in Burundi.
Antoine Nduwayo was the Prime Minister of Burundi from February 22, 1995, until July 31, 1996. He is an ethnic Tutsi and a member of UPRONA. He was appointed prime minister by the Hutu president in an effort to stop some Tutsis from fighting with his government. He resigned shortly after the 1996 military coup.
Presidential elections were held in Burundi on 1 June 1993 following the approval of a new constitution in a referendum the previous year. They were the first multi-party elections for the presidency, the only previous elections in 1984 having been held at a time when the country was a one-party state. This election was a watershed for Burundi, representing the end of a military backed Tutsi state, and the birth of democracy.
Mass killings of Tutsis were conducted by the majority-Hutu populace in Burundi from 21 October to December 1993, under an eruption of ethnic animosity and riots following the assassination of Burundian President Melchior Ndadaye in an attempted coup d'état. The massacres took place in all provinces apart from Makamba and Bururi, and were primarily undertaken by Hutu peasants. At many points throughout, Tutsis took vengeance and initiated massacres in response.
Burundi, officially the Republic of Burundi, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge. It is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and southeast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Lake Tanganyika lies along its southwestern border. The capital cities are Gitega and Bujumbura, which is also the largest city.
These are some of the articles related to Burundi on the English Wikipedia:
The 1996 Burundian coup d'état was a military coup d'état that took place in Burundi on 25 July 1996. In the midst of the Burundi Civil War, former president Pierre Buyoya deposed Hutu President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya. According to Amnesty International, in the weeks following the coup, more than 6,000 people were killed in the country. This was Buyoya's second successful coup, having overthrown Jean-Baptiste Bagaza in 1987.
On 18–19 October 1965, a group of ethnic Hutu officers from the Burundian military and gendarmerie attempted to overthrow Burundi's government in a coup d'état. The rebels were frustrated with Burundi's monarch, Mwami Mwambutsa IV, who had repeatedly attempted to cement his control over the government and bypassed parliamentary norms despite Hutu electoral gains. Although the prime minister was shot and wounded, the coup failed due to the intervention of a contingent of troops led by Captain Michel Micombero. The attempted putsch provoked a backlash against Hutus in which thousands of people, including the participants in the coup, were killed. The coup also facilitated a militant Tutsi backlash against the monarchy resulting in two further coups which culminated in the abolition of the monarchy in November 1966 and the proclamation of a republic with Micombero as President of Burundi.
The Ikiza or the Ubwicanyi (Killings) was a series of mass killings—often characterised as a genocide—which were committed in Burundi in 1972 by the Tutsi-dominated army and government, primarily against educated and elite Hutus who lived in the country. Conservative estimates place the death toll of the event between 100,000 and 150,000 killed, while some estimates of the death toll go as high as 300,000.
On 21 October 1993, a coup was attempted in Burundi by a Tutsi–dominated army faction. The coup attempt resulted in assassination of Hutu President Melchior Ndadaye and the deaths of other officials in the constitutional line of presidential succession. François Ngeze was presented as the new President of Burundi by the army, but the coup failed under domestic and international pressure, leaving Prime Minister Sylvie Kinigi in charge of the government.
Gilles Bimazubute was a Burundian politician.