Burundi profile

Chronology of key events:

pre-1300s - Hutu people settle in the region.

Refugees in Burundi in 1993 Refugees flee violence in Burundi, which has seen several episodes of inter-ethnic strife

1400s - Tutsi settlers arrive.

1500s - Distinct Burundian kingdom emerges.

1858 - British explorers Richard Burton and John Speke visit Burundi.

1890 - The kingdoms of Urundi and neighbouring Ruanda (Rwanda) incorporated into German East Africa.

1916 - Belgian army occupies the area.

1923 - Belgium receives League of Nations mandate to administer Ruanda-Urundi.

1959 - Influx of Tutsi refugees from Rwanda following ethnic violence there.

1959-1961 - Independence drive led by cross-communal UPRONA party of Prince Louis Rwagasore, which wins 1961 legislative elections. Prince Louis becomes prime minister but is assassinated shortly afterwards.

Independence

1962 - Urundi is separated from Ruanda-Urundi and becomes independent kingdom of Burundi under King Mwambutsa IV.

1963 - Thousands of Hutus flee to Rwanda following ethnic violence.

1965 - King Mwambutsa refuses to appoint a Hutu prime minister after Hutus win a majority in parliamentary elections; attempted coup put down by army chief Michel Micombero.

1966 July - Mwambutsa deposed by his son, Ntare V.

1966 November - Michel Micombero ousts king, declares himself president.

Massacres and one-party rule

1972 - About 120,000 Hutus are massacred by government forces and their supporters in the wake of a Hutu-led uprising in the south.

1976 - President Micombero is deposed in a military coup by Jean-Baptiste Bagaza.

Burundian presidents Ndadaye and Ntaryamira Melchior Ndadaye, left, was assassinated and Cyprien Ntaryamira died in a plane crash

1981 - A new constitution makes Burundi a one-party state under UPRONA.

1987 - President Bagaza is deposed in a coup led by Pierre Buyoya.

1988 - Thousands of Hutus are massacred by Tutsis and thousands more flee to Rwanda.

Dashed hopes

1992 - New constitution providing for a multiparty system is adopted in a referendum.

1993 June - Melchior Ndadaye's Frodebu wins multi-party polls, ending military rule and leading to the installation of a pro-Hutu government.

1993 October - Tutsi soldiers assassinate President Ndadaye. In revenge, some Frodebu members massacre Tutsis and the army begins reprisals. Burundi is plunged into an ethnic conflict which claims some 300,000 lives.

Wreck of plane which had been carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi Burundi's President Ntaryamira and his Rwandan opposite number died when their plane was shot down, triggering the 1994 genocide in Rwanda

1994 January - Parliament appoints Cyprien Ntaryamira - a Hutu - as president.

1994 April - Plane carrying Ntaryamira and his Rwandan counterpart is shot down over the Rwandan capital Kigali, killing both and triggering genocide in Rwanda in which 800,000 are killed.

1994 October - Parliament speaker Sylvestre Ntibantunganya appointed president.

1995 - Massacre of Hutu refugees leads to renewed ethnic violence in the capital, Bujumbura.

Buyoya returns

Burundian coup leader Pierre Buyoya Pierre Buyoya seized power twice

1996 - Ex-president Buyoya seizes power.

1998 - Buyoya and parliament agree on a transitional constitution under which Buyoya is formally sworn in as president.

2000 - Government and three Tutsi groups sign a ceasefire accord, but two main Hutu groups refuse to join in.

Transitional government

2001 October - Talks brokered by South African President Nelson Mandela lead to installation of transitional government, but main Hutu rebel groups refuse to sign and fighting intensifies.

2002 January - Jean Minani, leader of main Hutu party Frodebu, elected president of transitional national assembly set up to bridge ethnic divide.

2003 April - Domitien Ndayizeye - a Hutu - succeeds Pierre Buyoya as president, under terms of three-year, power-sharing transitional government inaugurated in 2001.

2003 July - Major rebel assault on Bujumbura. Some 300 rebels and 15 government soldiers are killed. Thousands flee their homes.

2003 November - President Ndayizeye and Hutu rebel group Forces for Defence of Democracy (FDD) leader Pierre Nkurunziza sign agreement to end civil war at summit of African leaders in Tanzania. Smaller Hutu rebel group, Forces for National Liberation (FNL), remains active.

2004 - UN force takes over peacekeeping duties from African Union troops.

2005 January - President signs law to set up new national army, incorporating government forces and all but one Hutu rebel group, the FNL.

2005 March - Voters back power-sharing constitution.

Nkurunziza becomes president

2005 August - Pierre Nkurunziza, from the Hutu FDD group, is elected as president by the two houses of parliament. The FDD won parliamentary elections in June.

National Liberation Forces (FNL)

Burundian politician Agathon Rwasa

This former rebel group group, led by Agathon Rwasa, officially disarmed in 2008 and transformed into a political party

  • Formed in 1985 as a militant group to protect Hutu population
  • Fought in 1993-2005 civil war
  • Continued to fight until ceasefire deal in 2006
  • Fighters began disarming in 2008
  • Leader Agathon Rwasa was to run for president in 2010 but withdrew and fled
  • Several attacks since 2010 have been linked to FNL

2006 April - A curfew, imposed during the violence of 1972, is lifted.

2006 September - The last major rebel group, the Forces for National Liberation (FNL), and the government sign a ceasefire at talks in Tanzania.

2007 February - UN shuts down its peacekeeping mission and refocuses its operations on helping with reconstruction.

2007 April - DRCongo, Rwanda and Burundi relaunch the regional economic bloc - Great Lakes Countries Economic Community - known under its French acronym CEPGL.

2007 September - Rival FNL factions clash in Bujumbura, killing 20 fighters and sending residents fleeing. Rebel raids are also reported in the north-west of the country.

2007 December - Burundian soldiers join African Union peacekeepers in Somalia.

2008 April - Former head of governing party, Hussein Radjabu, is sentenced to 13 years in prison for undermining state security. Radjabu was accused of plotting armed rebellion and insulting President Nkurunziza.

2008 April-May - Renewed fighting between government forces and FNL rebels leaves at least 100 people dead.

Peace agreement
Burundian soldier serving in Somalia Burundian troops have been part of an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia since 2007 and have suffered some casualties

2008 May - Government and FNL rebels sign ceasefire. FNL leader Agathon Rwasa returns home from exile in Tanzania.

2009 March - The Paris Club of creditor nations cancels all of the $134.3m debt Burundi owed to its members.

2009 April - Ex-rebel Godefroid Niyombare becomes first ever Hutu chief of general staff of the army.

FNL lays down arms and officially becomes a political party in a ceremony supervised by the African Union.

Authoritarian moves

2010 June - Presidential election. Nkurunziza re-elected in uncontested poll after main opposition parties boycott the vote and parliamentary polls. They say earlier district elections were rigged, and form a new civil opposition Alliance of Democrats for Change (ADC-Ikibiri). FNL leader Agathon Rwasa goes into hiding.

2011 November - Rights group says more than 300 people killed in past five months, including opposition party members or members of former rebel FNL; accuse the government of restricting media and political freedom.

2012 November - Murundi People's Front Abatabazi becomes sixth rebel group to launch attacks on government forces from across the DRCongolese border since the disputed presidential election, adding to fears of a return to civil war.

2013 June - President Nkurunziza approves new media law which critics condemn as an attack on press freedom. Law forbids reporting on matters that could undermine national security, public order or the economy.

2013 August - The leader of the former rebel FML, Agathon Rwasa, resurfaces after three years in hiding and says he will stand in the 2015 presidential election.

2014 January - Burundi deploys a battalion of troops to Central African Republic, as part of an international effort to prevent a descent into civil war there.

2014 March - Several opposition supporters are jailed for life for attending an illegal demonstration.

Parliament blocks a government attempt to introduce changes to the constitution which would have threatened the balance of power between the country's main ethnic groups.

2014 April - Burundi orders a senior UN official to leave the country after a UN report warns that the government is arming its young supporters ahead of next year's elections, a claim which the government denies.

2014 June - President Nkurunziza hints that he might seek a third term, despite opposition complaints that this would be unconstitutional.

2014 July - Parliament passes a bill to curb the proliferation of churches in the country. A survey last year found there were 557 denominations practising in Burundi.

2014 October - Burundian opposition leader Leonce Ngendakumana sentenced to a year in prison for slander, in what he describes as a political trial ahead of next year's election.

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