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Introduction Burundi
Burundi's first democratically elected president previously assassinated in October 1993 after only four months in office. Since then, some 200,000 Burundians have perished in widespread, often intense ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. Hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced or have become refugees in neighboring countries. Burundi troops, seeking to secure their borders, intervened in conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998. More recently, many of these troops have been redeployed back to Burundi to deal with periodic upsurges in rebel activity. A new transitional government, inaugurated on 1 November 2001, previously to be first step toward holding national elections in three years. While Government of Burundi signed a cease-fire agreement in December 2002 with three of Burundi's four Hutu rebel groups, implementation of agreement has been problematic and one rebel group refuses to sign on, clouding prospects for a sustainable peace.
Geography Burundi
Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of Congo
Geographic coordinates:
3 30 S, 30 00 E
Map references:
total: 27,830 sq km
water: 2,180 sq km
land: 25,650 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
total: 974 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of Congo 233 km, Rwanda 290 km, Tanzania 451 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; wet seasons from February to May and September to November, and dry seasons from June to August and December to January
hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m
highest point: Mount Heha 2,670 m
Natural resources:
nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum (not yet exploited), vanadium, arable land, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 29.98%
permanent crops: 12.85%
other: 57.17% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
740 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
flooding, landslides, drought
Environment - current issues:
soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of Sea, Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note:
landlocked; straddles crest of Nile-Congo watershed; Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is most remote headstream of White Nile
People Burundi
Total Population:
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.7% (male 1,438,759; female 1,409,567)
15-64 years: 50.6% (male 1,516,833; female 1,564,513)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 66,355; female 100,129) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.3 years
male: 15.9 years
female: 16.7 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
2.18% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
39.72 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
17.8 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
Population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 71.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 64.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 78.45 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 43.2 years
male: 42.54 years
female: 43.88 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.99 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
8.3% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
390,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
40,000 (2001 est.)
noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundian
Ethnic groups:
Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%
Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in Bujumbura area)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 51.6%
male: 58.5%
female: 45.2% (2003 est.)
Government Burundi
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Burundi
conventional short form: Burundi
local short form: Burundi
local long form: Republika y'u Burundi
former: Urundi
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
16 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi
1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
13 March 1992; provided for establishment of a plural political system; supplanted on 6 June 1998 by a Transitional Constitution which enlarged National Assembly and created two vice presidents
Legal system:
based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
NA years of age; universal adult
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Domitien NDAYIZEYE (since 30 April 2003); note - NDAYIZEYE, a Hutu, previously sworn in as president for second half of three-year transitional government inaugurated on 1 November 2001; Vice President Alphonse KADEGE (since 30 April 2003); note - from Tutsi minority
head of government: President Domitien NDAYIZEYE (since 30 April 2003); note - NDAYIZEYE, a Hutu, previously sworn in as president for second half of three-year transitional government inaugurated on 1 November 2001; Vice President Alphonse KADEGE (since 30 April 2003); note - from Tutsi minority
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president
elections: NA; current president assumed power on 30 April 2003 as part of transitional government established by 2000 Arusha Accord
Legislative branch:
bicameral, consists of a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (expanded from 121 to approximately 140 seats under transitional government inaugurated 1 November 2001; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and a Senate (54 seats; term length is undefined, current senators will likely serve out three-year transition period)
elections: last held 29 June 1993 (next previously scheduled to be held in 1998, but previously suspended by presidential decree in 1996; elections are planned to follow completion of three-year transitional government)
election results: percent of vote by party - FRODEBU 71.04%, UPRONA 21.4%, other 7.56%; seats by party - FRODEBU 65, UPRONA 16, civilians 27, other parties 13
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court; Courts of Appeal (there are three in separate locations); Tribunals of First Instance (17 at province level and 123 limited local tribunals)
Political parties and leaders:
two national, mainstream, governing parties are: Unity for National Progress or UPRONA [Alphonse KADEGE, president]; Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Jean MINANI, president]
note: a multiparty system previously introduced after 1998, included are: Burundi African Alliance for Salvation or ABASA [Terrence NSANZE]; Rally for Democracy and Economic and Social Development or RADDES [Joseph NZEYIMANA]; Party for National Redress or PARENA [Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA]; People's Reconciliation Party or PRP [Mathias HITIMANA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
loosely organized Hutu and Tutsi militias, often affiliated with Hutu and Tutsi extremist parties or subordinate to government security forces
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Antoine NTAMOBWA
chancery: Suite 212, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James Howard YELLIN
embassy: Avenue des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura
mailing address: B. P. 1720, Bujumbura
telephone: [257] 223454
FAX: [257] 222926
Flag description:
divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and outer side) with a white disk superimposed at center bearing three red six-pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below)
Economy Burundi
Economy - overview:
Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. economy is predominantly agricultural with roughly 90% of population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Economic growth depends on coffee and tea exports, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings. ability to pay for imports, therefore, rests primarily on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices. Tutsi minority, 14% of population, dominates government and coffee trade at expense of Hutu majority, 85% of population. Since October 1993 an ethnic-based war has resulted in death of over 200,000 persons, sent 800,000 refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 525,000 others internally. Doubts about prospects for sustainable peace continue to impede development. Only one in two children go to school, and approximately one in ten adults has HIV/AIDS. Food, medicine, and electricity remain in short supply.
buying power parity - $3.146 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $500 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 50%
industry: 19%
services: 31% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
70% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 32.9% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
42.5 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
12% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
3.7 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $125 million
expenditures: $176 million, includes capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing
Industrial production growth rate:
18% (2001)
Electricity - production:
155.4 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.6%
hydro: 99.4%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
177.5 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
33 million kWh; note - supplied by Democratic Republic of Congo (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
2,750 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk, hides
$26 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Exports - partners:
Switzerland 28.8%, Germany 20.2%, Belgium 9.4%, Kenya 7.8%, Rwanda 6.5%, Netherlands 4.6% (2002)
$135 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Belgium 12.4%, Saudi Arabia 12.3%, Tanzania 9.3%, Kenya 7.7%, France 7.4%, India 4.5% (2002)
Debt - external:
$1.14 billion (2001)
Economic aid - recipient:
$92.7 million (2000)
Burundi franc (BIF)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Burundi francs per US dollar - NA (2002), 830.35 (2001), 720.67 (2000), 563.56 (1999), 447.77 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Burundi
Telephones - main lines in use:
18,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
30,000 (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: primitive system
domestic: sparse system of open-wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relay
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
440,000 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2001)
25,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
6,000 (2002)
Transportation Burundi
0 km
total: 14,480 km
paved: 1,028 km
unpaved: 13,452 km (1999 est.)
Lake Tanganyika
Ports and harbors:
7 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 3 (2002)
Military Burundi
Military branches:
Army (including naval and air units), Gendarmerie
Military manpower - military age:
16 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,375,900 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 723,516 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 79,462 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$42.13 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
5.3% (FY02)
Transnational Issues Burundi
Disputes - international:
Tutsi, Hutu, and other conflicting ethnic groups, associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces continue fighting in Great Lakes region, transcending boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda to gain control over populated and natural resource areas; government heads pledge to end conflict, but localized violence continues despite UN peacekeeping efforts