Rwanda: April 19, 2001


On, April 18 a group of young Burundian Army officers attempted a coup against the Buyoya government. The officers and their troops took over the Burundi state radio station in Bujumbura and held it for several hours. The group called themselves The National Youth Patriotic Front. The coup failed. A subsequent report said the group of rebel officers also tried to close the Bujumbura airport and the state tv station. On April 19 a Burundian Army spokesman, Col. Augustin Nzabampema, said that the mutineers surrendered to loyalists. The coup leader was identified as Lieutenant Pasteur Ndakarutimana. About 40 soldiers participated, including four cadets from the armys officers' training college (identified by its acronym, ISCAM). Apparently, several other cadets attempted to join the mutiny but ran away when they encountered pro-government troops. The coup may be an indication of stirring internal Tutsi rivalries as well as disenchantment with the Arusha peace process. Western sources report that Lieutenant Ndakarutimana is a Tutsi from Muranvya Province. He may well be a protege of Colonel Epitace Bayagandakndi, a Tutsi who some Burundians believe is interested in becoming president. Muranvya Province is regarded as something of a rival of Bururu province, President Buyoyas home region. Lieutenant Ndakarutimana said he wasnt completely opposed to the Nelson Mandela-sponsored peace talks but believes Buyoya is not acting in Burundis long-term interests. However, its public knowledge that a number of young Tutsi officers do oppose President Pierre Buyoyas policy of negotiating with Hutu rebels. Yes, the coup attempt looks to be hasty, ineptly led, and poorly planned. Yet the attempt is another indication that at the moment any peace agreement between the Burundian government and Hutu leaders will be rejected by hardliners in both major tribes. Hardline Tutsis, particularly in the Burundian Army, wont accept it, hardline Hutu guerrillas wont buy it either.


Article Archive

Rwanda: Current 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close