Roberto Régnier was a Belgian Colonial official in Ruanda-Urundi. He served as Regent from 28 July 1961 to January 1962 and as High Representative of Burundi for no more than six months starting in January 1962.
René Lemarchand, an expert on Burundian history, claims that the assassination of Prince Louis Rwagasore was planned by members of the pro-Belgian Christian Democratic Party (PDC) whose European secretary, Ms Belva was allegedly were told by Régnier that "Rwagasore must be killed".In addition, several days before his assassination Prince Rwagasore filled a complaint against seven Belgian officials including the Belgian Governor-General, Jean-Paul Harroy and Régnier. Prior to his execution for murdering Prince Rwagasore, Jean Kageorgis explicitly accused Harroy and Régnier of responsibility in the murder stating, “Ce crime fut perpétré par la tutelle, M. Harroy et M. Regnier.”
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 favoured for more important positions.
Michel Micombero was a Burundian politician and army officer who ruled the country as its first president and dictator for the decade between 1966 and 1976.
Ruanda-Urundi was a colonial territory, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium from 1916 to 1962.
Pierre Ngendandumwe was a Burundian politician. He was a member of the Union for National Progress and was an ethnic Hutu. On 18 June 1963, about a year after Burundi gained independence and amidst efforts to bring about political cooperation between Hutus and the dominant minority Tutsis, Ngendandumwe became Burundi's first Hutu prime minister. He served as prime minister until 6 April 1964 and then became prime minister again on 7 January 1965, serving until his death. Eight days after beginning his second term, he was assassinated by a Rwandan Tutsi refugee.
René Lemarchand is a French-American political scientist who is known for his research on ethnic conflict and genocide in Rwanda, Burundi and Darfur. Publishing in both English and French, he is particularly known for his work on the concept of clientelism. He is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, and continues to write, teach internationally and consult. Since retiring he has worked for USAID out of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire as a Regional Consultant for West Africa in Governance and Democracy, and as Democracy and Governance advisor to USAID / Ghana.
Joseph Cimpaye was a Burundian politician and writer.
André Muhirwa was a Burundian politician as a member of the Union for National Progress and the third Prime Minister of Burundi from 19 October 1961 to 7 June 1963. His term coincided with Burundi's independence.
The Christian Democratic Party was a political alliance in Burundi.
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.
Jean-Paul Harroy was a Belgian colonial civil servant who served as the last Governor and only Resident-General of Ruanda-Urundi. His term coincided with the Rwandan Revolution and the assassination of the popular Burundian political leader Prince Louis Rwagasore. It has been alleged that Harroy may have been implicated in the murder.
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.
Michel Rwagasana was a Rwandan politician who served as secretary general of the Union Nationale Rwandaise (UNAR) and represented Nyanza in the Rwandan Legislative Assembly from 1961 to 1963. Born to Hutu and Tutsi parents in Ruanda-Urundi, Rwagasana worked for the colonial administration and advised King Mutara III Rudahigwa of Ruanda before cofounding UNAR, a Tutsi-dominated monarchist political party. UNAR lost out to the majority party, Parmehutu led by Rwagasana's cousin Grégoire Kayibanda, but supported the integration of UNAR into a coalition government as the country became independent as the Republic of Rwanda. He was killed in a purge in 1963, and is currently recognized by the Rwandan government as a national hero.
Gilles Bimazubute was a Burundian politician.
Paul Mirerekano was a Burundian politician. Ethnically Hutu, he worked as an agronomist for the Belgian colonial administration in Ruanda-Urundi before starting a successful market garden in Bugarama. Politically, he was a nationalist, monarchist, and advocate for Hutu civil rights. He was a leading member of Louis Rwagasore's political party, the Union for National Progress (UPRONA), and in 1961 served as the organisation's interim president. Rwagasore's assassination in 1961 fueled a rivalry between Mirerekano and Prime Minister André Muhirwa, as both men claimed to be the heirs to Rwagasore's legacy and sought to take control of UPRONA. The controversy led to the coalescing of two factions in the party, with Mirerekano leading what became known as the Hutu-dominated "Monrovia group". His criticism of Muhirwa and his successor led him to be arrested on several occasions, but in 1965 he was elected to a seat in the National Assembly representing the Bujumbura constituency. The body subsequently elected Mirerekano its First Vice-President on 20 July. In October Hutu soldiers launched a coup attempt which failed, but led to the outbreak of ethnic violence. The government believed Mirerekano helped plan the coup attempt and executed him. His reputation remains a controversial subject in Burundi.
Michel Kayihura (1924–2003) was a Rwandan politician and veterinarian.
Joseph Biroli-Baranyanka was a Burundian politician. He was the first Burundian to receive a university education.
Gervais Nyangoma was a Burundian politician and diplomat.
Jean-Baptiste Ntidendereza was a Burundian politician.