Kingdom of Burundi

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Kingdom of Burundi
Royaume du Burundi
Independent state (1680-1885)
Part of German East Africa (1885-1916)
Part of Ruanda-Urundi (1916-1962)
Independent state (1962-1966)



Flag Coat of arms
Imana, Umwan, Uburundi
Dieu, le Roi et le Burundi
"God, the King and Burundi"
Burundi bwacu (Our Burundi)
Territory of the Kingdom of Burundi in 1966.
Capital Gitega
Languages Kirundi, French
Government Monarchy
 •  1680–1709 Ntare III (first)
 •  1966 Ntare V (last)
Prime Minister
 •  1961 Joseph Cimpaye (first)
 •  1966 Michel Micombero (last)
Historical era Cold War
 •  Established 1680
 •  German East Africa July 1, 1890
 •  Ruanda-Urundi July 20, 1922
 •  Autonomy December 21, 1961
 •  Independence July 1, 1962
 •  Republic November 28, 1966
 •  1966 27,834 km² (10,747 sq mi)
 •  1966 est. 3,275,000 
     Density 117.7 /km²  (304.7 /sq mi)
Currency Rupie
Belgian Congo franc
Rwanda and Burundi franc
Burundian franc

The Kingdom of Burundi existed according to the traditional account from the 16th century until 1966, but it is now thought that the first king began to reign in 1680. Like the monarchy in neighbouring Rwanda it was led by Tutsi kings. The last mwami (ruler) of Burundi was King Ntare V, who was either (according to some reports) murdered at the Ibwami royal palace in Gitega in 1972, or (according to others) fled to exile in West Germany.

Most members of the royal house live in exile in France today. In the 2005 elections, Princess Esther Kamatari ran for president for the Abahuza party ("Party for the Restoration of Monarchy and Dialogue in Burundi"). Supporters argue that a restoration of a constitutional monarchy could help to ease the tensions between the ethnic groups and become a symbol of unity.

The flag of the kingdom contained a karyenda in the center as a symbol of royal authority.[1]

See also


  1. Guide to the Flags of the World by Mauro Talocci, revised and updated by Whitney Smith (ISBN 0-688-01141-1), p. 153.
  • R. O. Collins & J. M. Burns (2007): A History of Sub-Saharan Africa, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-86746-7.