|Republic of Burundi|
|Head of State:||Pierre Nkurunziza|
|Languages:||Kirundi, French, Swahili|
|UN Member State|
Total area: 27,830 sq km (slightly smaller than Maryland) The Republic of Burundi is a landlocked country in the Eastern Region of the African Continent . It is located in the Great Lakes Region. Burundi shares borders with Rwanda (to the north), Tanzania (to the east and south) and with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (to the west). Much of the south-western border is adjacent to the Lake Tanganyika which is considered the country's main attraction. The Lake Tanganyika is larger than the capital city, Bujumbura. From one of the corners of the lake you are able to see The DRC and Tanzania.
Burundi is one of the five poorest countries in the world with of the lowest per capita GDP of any nation. The low GDP is mainly due to the amount of corruption, poor access to education, the effects of HIV/AIDS and the lasting effect of the civil wars which resulted in a great deal of migration of Burundian nationals to other countries. In 2006 the United States of America accepted approximately 10,000 Burundian refugees. Over 500,000 have been displaced because of the effects of HIV/AIDS. A great part of Burundi’s GDP is created through agriculture. Their main exports include coffee and sugar. The culture of the Burundian people follows closely that of the Hutu and Tutsi Tribes of Africa. The main religion of Burundi is Christianity but indigenous beliefs are also quite common. Since independence was gained in 1961, there has been tension between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups of Burundi. Tutsi is the minority in terms of size but is seen as the dominant ethnic group in Burundi. This conflict seemed to have ended in 1993 when a Hutu head of state, Melchior Ndadaye, was elected, but this was not the case. Within months Ndadaye was assassinated which sparked years of Hutu-Tutsi violence. An estimated 300,000 people were killed in this conflict. During the conflict another Hutu president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was killed. Following talks in 2001, which were mediated by South Africa, a power-sharing agreement was reached and a ceasefire was agreed. Four years later the first parliamentary elections took place and a Hutu former rebel group won and elected Pierre Nkurunziza as president. The government and the United Nations started a lengthy process of disarming thousands of soldiers and former rebels, as well as forming a reformed national Army.
Population below poverty line: 68%
Forests: Settlement by rural populations has led to deforestation, soil erosion, and habitat loss. Deforestation of the entire country is almost completely due to overpopulation, with a mere 230 square miles remaining.
Religion: Christian population equals 70%, with Roman Catholics representing the largest group at 65%. Protestant and Anglicans comprise the remaining 5%.