Map of Burundi

Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only four months in office. Since then, some 200,000 Burundians have perished in widespread, often intense ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. Hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced or have become refugees in neighboring countries. Burundi troops, seeking to secure their borders, intervened in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998. More recently, many of these troops have been redeployed back to Burundi to deal with periodic upsurges in rebel activity. A new transitional government, inaugurated on 1 November 2001, was to be the first step toward holding national elections in three years. While the Government of Burundi signed a cease-fire agreement in December 2002 with three of Burundi's four Hutu rebel groups, implementation of the agreement has been problematic and one rebel group refuses to sign on, clouding prospects for a sustainable peace.