President Ntaryamira Day
President Ntaryamira Day is a holiday observed annually on April 6th in the Republic of Burundi. It commemorates the life of President Cyprien Ntaryamira on the anniversary of his death in 1994. When the first democratic elections were held in June of 1993, Melchior Ndadaye became president but was soon assassinated just a few months later. Burundi’s Parliament elected Cyprien as the next president in early 1994.
However, he died on April 6, 1994, when his plane was shot down while landing at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda. Also on board was Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, who also died in the crash. These events would set off the Rwandan Genocide and result in one of the darkest periods in African history.
Facts About Burundi
Since the Republic of Burundi isn’t a country everyone is familiar with, we thought we’d list some of the facts that we learned about this country while working on this holiday.
- For the first time in Olympic history, Burundi won a gold medal in 1996.
- Gitega is the second-largest city in Burundi.
- The disease kwashiorkor is common in Burundi. This disease is caused by a lack of protein and fat in a person’s diet.
- This country imports twice as much as it exports.
- Burundians have to deal with corruption, poor infrastructure, and hunger.
Observing President Ntaryamira Day
In Burundi, this holiday is a very solemn occasion. It is a public holiday, so government buildings, schools, and businesses are closed on this day. The holiday is observed with solemn ceremonies and speeches given by top government officials.