The fight for power in a country is a common thing among many countries globally, especially African states. The power struggle might result in negative impacts such as coups, murder, and civil wars. Burundi is a good example of a country that is a victim of the struggle for power many years ago.
1993 Burundian Coup
In 1993, a Tutsi-dominated army group, Jean Baptiste and Francois Ngeze attempted a coup in the state. The coup resulted in president Melchior Ndadaye losing his life and led Burundi into a civil war between Hutu and Tutsi. Earlier that year, people elected Ndadaye in the June presidential elections and the CJ swore him in office in July.
Following the coup, the CSP came into existence as the junta and Francois became the new head of state. The Army heads told civilian politicians to take back charge. PM Sylvie Kinigi became the acting head of state on 27th October. In 2018, the Burundian authorities apprehended Celestin Ndayisaba, Gabriel Gunungu, Laurent Niyonkuru, and Anicet Nahigombeye. The government arrested them with the intent to charge them with the killing of Melchior.
Burundian Civil War
The Burundian Civil War was civil unrest in the country that lasted from 1993 to 2005. The war was because of ethnic differences between the Tutsi and Hutu groups in the country. Children were tools of violence in the civil war, and the death toll stood at over 250000.
Events of Ndadaye’s Murder
Laurence Ndadaye and her kids left the palace and went for one vehicle on the grounds. They could not start. They reunited with the head of state who was in another car. At Captain Mushwabure’s side, the president went with his family to camp Muha.
Later they left in their vehicle, and the putschists’ cars followed them. Upon reaching the base, the putschists of the first Battalion surrounded their vehicle. The army chief of staff took the president to a meeting with other senior officials of the military. Later, he returned with Lazare, having reached an agreement with the officials.
The president re-entered the vehicle with Lazare to finish their agreement on paper. However, when Gakoryo exited the car, soldiers started harassing the head of the state. Soldiers closed in on the head of state and Bikomagu told them to let his people go. The putschists put Ndadaye in a car and took him to the first Parachute Battalion’s base. The head of the state went to an office where more than 5 officers killed him.
Who is Pierre Buyoya?
He is a former Burundi head of state. Pierre is one of the people with whom the Burundian authorities connect him to Ndadaye’s assassination. The court sentenced him, but he rejected the life sentence.
“This is a political trial in which the court has conducted scandalously, in violation of all the rules of law. We decide to appeal to the Burundian courts and, when the time comes, to external courts.”
He also spoke on the behalf of over 10 civilian and army officials in whom the court has sentenced. The authorities convicted the ex-leader of attacking the president, authority of the state, and attempting to bring chaos.
As Buyoya seeks an appeal, we would love to see how his story develops with time.