The Republic of Burundi is a landlocked country located in the Southeast African region called African Great Lakes. It is surrounded by Rwanda in the North, Democratic Republic of Congo in the West and Tanzania in the East and South. Burundi’s external relations have frequently been affected by security issues. Refugees from the country have fled to the Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania several times in the past. The country is wracked by civil war and rebel forces have used neighbouring counties as base for their revolutionary activities and attacks against the government.
The ban on Burundi imposed by regional states more than two decades ago strained diplomatic relations with other countries but these have improved since 1999 when the sanctions were suspended. Burundi is a member of the United Nations, African Union and African Development Bank. Burundi’s internal troubles have escalated after incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza insisted to run for a third term. He has been President of Burundi since 2005. The constitution allows only a maximum of two terms so he is pressuring parliament to amend this. However, the ruling party (National Council for the Defence of Democracy) has failed to convince even one lawmaker from another party to support this amendment. President Nkurunziza is planning to stage a referendum on the matter. The elections in 2010 were rejected by opposition groups because of fraud claims.
At present, the economy is very unstable especially now that coffee production has dropped. The intervention of foreign donors like the World Bank, Belgium and the United States which supply more than half of the country’s budget came in to help the government avoid bankruptcy. Crackdown on insurgency and the President’s economic negligence turned Burundi into a combination of an ill-starred economy and tyranny.
Population. Ranked 78th in 2013.
GDP per capita. Ranked 177th in 2012.
25,680 sq km
Sq. km. Ranked 139th in 2008.