Unity Day in Burundi in 2021

Unity Day in Burundi in 2021

  How long until Unity Day?
This holiday next takes place in 130 days.
  Dates of Unity Day in Burundi
2022 Burundi Sat, Feb 5 National Holiday
2021 Burundi Fri, Feb 5 National Holiday
2020 Burundi Wed, Feb 5 National Holiday
2019 Burundi Tue, Feb 5 National Holiday
2018 Burundi Mon, Feb 5 National Holiday
  Summary
A holiday intended to help reconcile ethnic differences between the Tutsi and the Hutu, which has dominated the recent history of this African country.

When is Unity Day?

Unity Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Burundi on February 5th each year.

The holiday is intended to help reconcile ethnic differences between the Tutsi and the Hutu, which has dominated the recent history of this African country.

History of Unity Day

Burundi gained full independence from Belgium in 1962. This began a period of instability in the fledgling landlocked nation.

It moved from a constitutional monarchy to a republic and lurched into civil war and ethnic cleansing. In 1987, Major Pierre Buyoya led a military coup d'état to overthrow Col. Bagaza, who himself had come to power in a military coup.

Before returning to a democratically elected government, Buyoya instigated a Charter of National Unity. The charter was intended to abolish ethnic discrimination and give a mandate for the government to write a new constitution.

A referendum on the charter was held in Burundi in February 1991.  It was approved by 89.77% of voters with a 96% turnout.

Following the referendum, work began on the drafting of a new constitution which was approved in a referendum and promulgated on March 13th 1992.

Following the referendum, President Buyoya declared February 5th as National Unity Day in an attempt to reconcile the warring ethnic groups of the Tutsi and the Hutu.

At the time, the new constitution did little to dampen the ethnic tensions in the country with the newly-elected President being assassinated in 1993 and widespread ethnic killing of Tutsis taking place a year later.

And even though there are still some ethnic tensions in the country, the public holiday endures as the attempt to introduce the Charter of National Unity is seen as an important milestone on Burundi's journey to peaceful modernity.

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