Newspapers in Burundi
The daily distribution in Burundi is very small (less than 1 newspaper ex.
Per 1,000 residents, 2000). French-language and state-controlled Le Renouveau du
Burundi (edition: about 20,000 copies), founded in 1978, is the country's only
State La Radiodiffusion et Télévision Nationale du Burundi (RTNB)
has been broadcasting daily broadcasts in 1960s, Swahili, French and English. In
1996, an EU-funded private radio station began broadcasting programs advocating
national reconciliation. Since 1985, RTNB has a TV channel, whose offerings are
dominated by imported, mainly French programs. There are 220 radio and 30 TV
receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).
Burundi has a rich oral tradition of poetry,
fables and legends that are often toned down. Drums
occupy a special position in music. Burundi also has
strong traditions in crafts.
Since illiteracy has long been high among the
population, the written literature has remained limited.
Back in history, drummers used to follow the king on
his travels. The drumming was considered safe for the
kingdom's survival and prosperity. Nowadays the drumming
lives on in official and religious ceremonies. The dance
and drum ensemble Les Tambourinaires du Burundi (The
Royal Drummers of Burundi) is internationally known and
has toured in Europe and the United States.
Latest population statistics of Burundi, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
The song has a central cultural function in family
events as well as in religious and official contexts.
The songs are usually accompanied by domestic wind and
All crafts in Burundi have a practical function. This
applies to wood carving as well as pottery and
In the capital Bujumbura there is a museum of "living
history" with, among other things, a handicraft village.
There is also a museum in the town of Gitega.
Campaign start before referendum
13th of December
President Nkurunziza starts his campaign ahead of the
referendum to be held in 2018 on a constitutional change
that will allow the president to be re-elected several
times. The opposition that opposes the change calls
Nkurunziza's campaign launch a "declaration of war".
The ICC begins to investigate the violence after the
crisis in 2015
The International Criminal Court (ICC) opens a
full-scale investigation into the wave of violence that
surrounded the 2015 presidential election (see Current
Policy). According to the UN, between 500 and 2000
people were killed; The ICC estimates the number of
deaths to be at least 1200. The Chief Prosecutor of the
Court, Fatou Bensouda, states that the preliminary
investigation conducted gives her reason to believe that
the Burundi government "deliberately carried out attacks
on the civilian population in the form of murder,
imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual
assault. violence". Burundi left the ICC on October 26,
2017, but Bensouda states that it does not prevent the
court from investigating crimes committed before. She
also says that it is Burundi's duty to cooperate with
Burundi leaves ICC
Burundi formally leaves the International Criminal
Court ICC and thus becomes the first country in the
world to take such a step. At the same time, officials
at the court state that the preliminary investigation
initiated by the court in April 2016 regarding crimes
against humanity in Burundi will continue.
Proposed amended constitution
Senior officials report that a few days earlier the
government approved a draft constitutional amendment
that theoretically allows President Nkurunziza to remain
in office for another 14 years when his current
presidential term expires in 2020. According to the
officials, the ministers have also approved others
constitutional changes that throw the prevailing
division of power between Hutus and Tutsis over and over
(see further Current Policy) . The officials state that
the proposals will be submitted to a referendum within a
few months. The news raises upset feelings of the
opposition. Charles Nditije, who heads the opposition
alliance CNARED , says Nkurunziza has
now violated "a red line" and should be chased away from
"Rebel leaders arrested in Tanzania"
The rebel group FPB (see September 2017)
announces that four of the group's top leaders have been
arrested in eastern Tanzania and deported to Burundi.
According to the FPB, the leaders, including senior
leader Jeremie Ntiranyibagira and secondman Edouard
Nshimirimana, were arrested in a joint campaign by
Burundian and Tanzanian security forces. FPB fears that
those arrested should be subjected to torture in
Burundi. The arrest information cannot be immediately
confirmed by official sources in Burundi or Tanzania. A
news site that stands close to the Burundian government
writes on Twitter that no deportation has taken place.
Radio station is closed by the government
The CCIB FM + radio station operated by the country's
Chamber of Commerce is subject to a three-month
broadcast ban. The reason is that the radio station has
criticized the government's silence about an event in
Congo-Kinshasa on September 15, when 36 Burundian asylum
seekers were shot dead during a demonstration. The
decision to close is made by the National Media Council
on the grounds that, through its criticism, the radio
station has violated press ethical rules and the
country's press laws.
Rebel movement is reformed
The rebel movement Burundi's Republican Forces (Forebu)
is being reshaped and renamed Burundi's People's Forces
(Forces Populaires du Burundi, FPB). The leader of the
new organization is Major General Jérémie Ntiranyibagira,
who participated in the coup attempt in 2015 (see
Current policy). Cup leader Godefroid Niyombare, who
founded Forebu after the coup attempt, is missing from
FPB's management. The group is estimated to have over
300 to 500 soldiers, mostly Hutu.
Government warns new UN envoy
The Burundi government says it has confidence in the
UN's new envoy, Burkina Faso's former president Michel
Kafando, but warns him to take a stand for opposition
groups or write "insulting" reports on Burundi. Kafando
is the fourth UN envoy since the Burundi crisis broke
out in June 2015. The government has had such strong
objections to the former that they could not work. The
UN's problem in this context is that the government
refuses to negotiate with the fugitive opposition.
UN report on continued abuse
Burundi security forces and the government's youth
organization Imbonerakure continue to torture and kill
oppositionists, said an investigation group in a report
to the UN Human Rights Council. The group has collected
testimonies from more than 470 Burundians who have fled
the country. Investigators have not been allowed into
Burundi. The government rejects the information, saying
that the report's sole purpose is to "send high-ranking
Burundian officials to The Hague," that is, to the
International Criminal Court (ICC).
Cohabitants must marry
The government decides that all unmarried couples
living together must enter into a formal marriage. They
get a deadline for the end of the year to marry, but
there is no mention of any punishment for those who do
not obey. The gift order is part of a "moralization
campaign" initiated by the state. Formally, it is about
slowing down a population explosion that the government
and the church blame for "illegal marriage", polygamy
and bigamy. Critics accuse the president and his wife,
who are both newly saved evangelical Christians, of
operating a kind of crusade.
The Iteka Association is banned
The human rights movement Iteka Union is declared
illegal. The government accuses the organization of
"tarnishing the country's reputation, spreading hatred
between people and splitting the population". The Iteka
Association was founded in 1991 and has regularly
reported abuse in the country. The organization is
forced to work from abroad because of the persecution in
The Minister of the Environment is murdered
Environment Minister Emmanuel Niyonkuru is shot dead
in Burundi. He is the first member of government to be
killed since the country went into crisis when President
Nkurunziza was re-elected in 2015. Earlier attacks
against high-ranking statesmen have regularly blamed the
regime for Rwanda.