| President of Burundi |
27 October 1993 –5 February 1994
|Preceded by||François Ngeze (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Cyprien Ntaryamira|
|Prime Minister of Burundi|
10 July 1993 –7 February 1994
|Preceded by||Adrien Sibomana|
|Succeeded by||Anatole Kanyenkiko|
|Born||1953 (age 67–68)|
Mugoyi, Bujumbura Rural Province, Ruanda-Urundi
|Political party||Union for National Progress|
|Alma mater||University of Burundi|
Sylvie Kinigi (born 24 November 1953) 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.
Sylvie Ntigashira was born on 24 November 1953 in Mugoyi, Bujumbura Rural Province, Ruanda-Urundi.Ethnically, she is Tutsi. Her father was a merchant, while her mother farmed and maintained their home. The third of six children, Ntigashira was allowed to attend school while the oldest daughter in the family helped their mother. She was given a primary and secondary education by nuns in the Ijenda parish. She then studied at the University of Burundi under the Faculty of Economic Sciences, graduating in 1979 with a degree in banking and credit. In 1990 she earned a Diplômes d'études supérieures from the Centre de Formation de la Profession Bancaire in Paris.
In 1973 Ntigashira married a Burundian academic, Firmin Kinigi,who had taught her in school, and had four or five children with him. He was ethnically Hutu. Her husband supported her desire to further her education and career and the family hired a maid to take care of their house and children. He died in 1992 or 1993.
Urundi became independent from Belgium as Burundi in July 1962. The country quickly fell under the political domination of Tutsis at the expense of the Hutu majority ethnic group. Kinigi believed that democracy was introduced too rapidly in Burundi without proper preparation, leading to political organising along ethnic lines and the heightening of ethnic tensions.Burundi's government became controlled by Tutsi military officers, who ruled for approximately 30 years. Politically, Kinigi was closely affiliated with the Union pour le Progrès national (UPRONA), Burundi's only legal political party, and was an active member of the Union des Femmes Burundaises, a subgroup of UPRONA, serving as a member of its central committee by 1987. In that capacity she lobbied for legislative changes and government measures to benefit women.
In 1990 Kinigi was hired by the Bank of the Republic of Burundi to direct its department of research and statistics,while also teaching courses at the University of Burundi. In 1991 she left the job when President Pierre Buyoya appointed her Special Consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister, making her responsible for the implementation of Burundi's structural adjustment program. In that capacity she conducted negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and foreign donors. Impressed with her work, Buyoya subsequently appointed her Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning.
In the summer of 1993 Burundi underwent a democratic transition.The country hosted free elections, which were won by UPRONA's rival, Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi (FRODEBU). The new FRODEBU President of Burundi, Melchior Ndadaye, offered Kinigi the position of Prime Minister of Burundi in his new government. She reportedly considered the offer for some time, but eventually decided to accept it, reasoning that she was not more politically inexperienced than the army officers which had previously ruled the country. Furthermore, she was personally acquainted with Ndadaye, having studied alongside him at Parisian institutions and even sat on a committee that judged his academic performance. She was also an acquaintance of Léonard Nyangoma and Cyprien Ntaryamira, two FRODEBU politicians who Ndadaye wanted to become ministers in the new government. FRODEBU hardliners were angered by her appointment, seeing her assumption of the premiership to be a betrayal by Ndadaye. The government ultimately comprised two-thirds Hutu and one-third Tutsi members. Kinigi was one of two women ministers. The government was sworn-in on 10 July. Kinigi wished to pursue economic development while she was prime minister, but thought that this could not be achieved until ethnic tensions were reduced. Thus, she declared that ethnic reconciliation would be her highest priority.
On 21 October President Ndadaye and several other officials were killed by Tutsi soldiers in a coup attempt.Kinigi and other senior government figures took refuge in the French embassy. She was the highest-ranking civilian official to survive the coup attempt. From the embassy she continued to issue directives on government policy. After a few days, Kinigi managed to gather together 15 of the 22 ministers to continue to govern, effectively being the acting president. Her position was bolstered when Buyoya and Jean Baptiste Bagaza, former military presidents, gave their support to her government. On 7 November she left the embassy and returned to her residence under French military guard. The death of Ndadaye and others in the presidential line of succession left her de facto head of state of Burundi. Her government proved unable to contain the ethnic violence following the coup, in which thousands of Burundians died. In December her government appointed a commission of inquiry led by the Procurator General to investigate human rights abuses that had occurred after the coup, but its work never began due to objections from the parliamentary opposition.
On 9 January 1994,at the direction of Kinigi, the National Assembly modified Article 85 of the Burundian constitution, empowering itself to elect the next President of Burundi. Four days later the National Assembly elected Ntaryamira to become president in a vote, 78 to one. Ntaryamira was scheduled to be inaugurated on 22 January, but the parliamentary opposition, led by UPRONA, filed a suit with the Constitutional Court to block the installment. They argued that Article 182 of the constitution, which stipulated that the document could not be modified in times of national crisis, rendered the National Assembly's amending of Article 85 void. FRODEBU parliamentarians argued that the change was necessary to fill the vacancy, since holding a national election to replace the former president would have been impossible. The Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the opposition in a decision split along ethnic lines. The Hutu justices subsequently resigned and on 29 January Kinigi's government issued a decree dismissing the Tutsi justices. This led to several days of violence in Bujumbura. With the assistance of United Nations representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Kinigi brokered a compromise with the opposition, whereby Ntaryamira would be installed as president with a new UPRONA prime minister, and the Constitutional Court would be reinstated. Ntaryamira was sworn-in on 5 February. Kinigi resigned as prime minister when he was inaugurated. On 7 February Ntaryamira appointed Anatole Kanyenkiko to replace her.
Kinigi was the first woman to serve as head of state in an African country. Some observers have debated the significance of this achievement, stressing that she served as acting president for only a short time.Reflecting on her time in government in 1999, she said it made people realise "that a woman can do even more than a man can do, with a soul of a mother and strong will, at the highest level of politics."
Upon leaving government, Kinigi assumed an executive position at the Banque Commerciale du Burundi. She then held several international positions, including jobs at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Development Programme (representing it in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Senegal), and the office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region in Nairobi, where she served as a political advisor and programme coordinator. She returned to Burundi in 2008 and became an independent economic consultant.In that capacity she advocated for the right of women to inherit land and property and for the use of democracy. In 2016 the Carter Center selected Kinigi to lead its international election observer mission in Zambia for that year's general elections.
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.
The Front for Democracy in Burundi is a Hutu progressive political party in Burundi.
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.
Melchior Ndadaye 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.
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.
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.
François Ngeze is a Burundian retired politician. He served as the acting head of state of Burundi from 21 October 1993 to 27 October 1993. He was chosen by the military Committee of Public Salvation, a group of army officers that staged the 1993 Burundian coup d'état attempt overthrew the democratically elected government of president Melchior Ndadaye.
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.
The position of vice-president of the Republic of Burundi was created in June 1998, when a transitional constitution went into effect. It replaced the post of Prime Minister.
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.
Ethnic groups in Burundi include the three main indigenous groups of Hutu, Tutsi and Twa that have largely been emphasized in the study of the country's history due to their role in shaping it through conflict and consolidation. Burundi's ethnic make-up is similar to that of neighboring Rwanda. Additionally, recent immigration has also contributed to Burundi's ethnic diversity. Throughout the country's history, the relation between the ethnic groups has varied, largely depending on internal political, economic and social factors and also external factors such as colonialism. The pre-colonial era, despite having divisions between the three groups, saw greater ethnic cohesion and fluidity dependent on socioeconomic factors. During the colonial period under German and then Belgian rule, ethnic groups in Burundi experienced greater stratifications and solidification through biological arguments separating the groups and indirect colonial rule that increased group tensions. The post-independence Burundi has experienced recurring inter-ethnic violence especially in the political arena that has, in turn, spilled over to society at large leading to many casualties throughout the decades. The Arusha Agreement served to end the decades-long ethnic tensions, and the Burundian government has stated commitment to creating ethnic cohesion in the country since, yet recent waves of violence and controversies under the Pierre Nkurunziza leadership have worried some experts of potential resurfacing of ethnic violence. Given the changing nature of ethnicity and ethnic relations in the country, many scholars have approached the topic theoretically to come up with primordial, constructivist and mixed arguments or explanations on ethnicity in Burundi.
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 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.
Bernard Ciza was a Burundian politician. Originating from Bururi Province, he became a leading member of the Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) and in 1993 became Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Social Affairs under Prime Minister Sylvie Kinigi. He survived the coup attempt of October 1993 and in February 1994 became Minister of State for Development Planning and Reconstruction. He died later that year when the plane on which he was traveling was shot down over Kigali.