Flag of Burundi

Scenery of Burundi

Burundi         (Link to map of Burundi and link to map of Africa showing Burundi)
Continent Africa
Capital Bujumbura
Population 10,395,931   (2014)
Language French and Kirundi
Religion Catholic 62%, Protestant 24%,  Muslim 2.5%
Terrain It is a landlocked country on the NE shoreline of Lake Tanganyika – the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the world.  It is hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in the east.  The only land below 3000 feet is a narrow strip along the Ruzizi River in the west. Mount Heha is the highest point at 8759 feet,.
Sports Football (soccer)
Animals Elephants have disappeared due to poaching – leaving only warthogs, baboons and antelope as the less endangered species.
Facts of Interest Once part of German East Africa

Original inhabitants were Twa – a Pygmy people

Today population is divided between 85% Hutu (Bantu) and 14% Tutsi and 1% Twa. However, since independence from Belgium, the landowning Tutsi aristocracy has dominated Burundi.

Exports coffee, tea, sugar, cotton and hides

Concerns Tribal ethnicity triggers conflict as do political rebels and armed gangs.

It is considered one of the world’s most corrupt countries on many levels

There are border conflicts between Burundi and Rwanda

To avoid a revival of past ethnic tensions between the Tutsi and Hutu, Burundi needs to find the right balance between land restitution and national reconciliation.

As a result of the civil war between Hutu rebels and Tutsi controlled army/government from 1993 to 2005, about 300,000 people died.

A new constitution was established in 2005 and President Pierre Nkurunziza from the leading Hutu rebel group was elected President by the Parliament as part of the peace treaty ending the civil war. The constitution limits the president’s term to two 5-year terms. When Pierre Nkurunziza was re-nominated to run for a 3rd term in 2015, there was a failed coup, resulting in over 300 deaths and some 240,000 people fleeing the country according to the UN.  The AU and the UN wanted Burundi to accept peacekeeping troops to keep the country from sliding into total ethnic conflict, but the president opposed on the grounds it would be attacking a sovereign country with a legitimate government.

This president – who is popular in the rural areas – is a born-again Christian with a degree in sports education, but he has limited religious and other freedoms.  (He has banned jogging because he claims that Saturday group jogging is a cover for subversive activities.) He travels with his own football team and a choir, where he combines matches against the local team with evangelical prayer sessions.  His critics – who include 40 opposition parties and human rights groups – call him a dictator.

Mission The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding to the current refugee crisis with water, sanitation assistance and food.

There are currently no Presbyterian churches in Burundi