Burundi Current Affairs - 2019

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International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide was observed on 7th April on 7th April in memory of the victims of the genocide in Rwanda.

1994 Rwanda Genocide

1994 Rwanda Genocide was the genocide against the Tutsi community directed by members of the Hutu majority government during the 100-day period from 7 April to 15 July 1994.

About 85% of Rwandans were Hutus and the Tutsi minority has long dominated the country. In 1959, the Hutus overthrew the Tutsi monarchy and tens of thousands of Tutsis fled to neighbouring countries, including Uganda.

A group of these Tutsi exiles formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The RPF invaded Rwanda in 1990 and fighting continued until a 1993 peace deal was agreed.

On 6th April, a plane carrying then-President Juvenal Habyarimana, and his counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi both Hutus was shot down which killed everyone on board.

Hutu extremists blamed the RPF and immediately started a well-organised campaign of slaughter whereas the RPF said the plane had been shot down by Hutus to provide an excuse for the genocide.

Gitega named as the new capital of Burundi

The government of Burundi has declared Gitega as the country’s new political capital on 22nd December 2018. Bujumbura, the previous capital of Burundi, will serve as the economic capital of the country. President Nkurunziza had made this promise of shifting the capital in 2007 which has been implemented now.

The government has decided to hold future Cabinet meetings in Gitega and to establish five ministries in Gitega from the start of 2019. Gitega’s population is around 30 000  as compared to Bujumbura’s 1.2 million.

About Burundi

Burundi is a resource-poor, underdeveloped landlocked African country which shares its borders with Rwanda in the north, Tanzania in the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west. Burundi gained freedom from colonial rule in 1962. The political system of Burundi is that of a presidential representative democratic republic. About 85% of the population of Burundi is of Hutu ethnicity, 15% are of Tutsi origin and less than 1% are Twa. Burundi has extreme levels of poverty and rampant corruption. Burundi was ranked as the world’s least happy nation in the World Happiness Report 2018.