Gitega, 1 July 2022 (TDI): The Republic of Burundi is celebrating the 60th Independence Day. The President congratulated the people in Burundi.

The country received a multitude of high-level congratulatory messages. Diplomatic cables were received from leaders around the world including the White House, Crown Prince King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of UAE.

Political History of Burundi

Burundi gained its independence on 1st July 1962 from Belgium. Before that Belgium was formerly administering it with the Republic of Rwanda as Ruanda-Urundi.

Initially, Germany colonized it but following World War I, it was Belgium got the mandate by the League of Nations. Belgian rule is the cause of much political turmoil and ethnic hostility between Rwanda and Burundi today which cultivated the Hutu-Tutsi schisms between the two countries.

In 1962, following independence, the two countries split with Burundi becoming a constitutional monarchy under the Tutsi King Mwambutsa IV, and in Rwanda, Hutus won the elections. Although the relations between the two countries have frequently been rife with violence, on the previous independence day Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye affirmed that the two countries are moving on “a path of reconciliation”.

Independence Day Celebrations in Burundi

National celebrations in Bujumbura and the provinces on Independence Day usually encompass parades of security personnel followed by the President honoring civilians and personnel for their distinguished professionalism and patriotism.

Dignitaries from neighboring African countries also join these parades as chief guests.

Centuries-old Burundi art of drumming rituals is performed in the country’s capital Gitega which has the country’s historic drum sanctuary at Gishora built by King Mwezi Gisabo.

Burundi’s political history may be mired in conflict, but independence day is a special occasion for Burundians to venerate the struggles of their past and celebrate national pride.