|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2009)|
|1st President of Burundi|
28 November 1966 – 1 November 1976
|Succeeded by||Jean-Baptiste Bagaza|
|Prime Minister of Burundi|
11 July 1966 – 28 November 1966
|Succeeded by||post abolished|
|Died||16 July 1983 (aged 43)
|Political party||Union for National Progress (UPRONA)|
In the years after independence, Burundi had seen a rapid descent into anarchy. The king Mwambutsa IV rapidly changed the Prime Minister as anti-Tutsi forces threatened to unleash the same violence as had hit Rwanda. On October 18, 1965, Hutu leader Gervais Nyangoma launched a coup, ousting the king. Soon afterward the largely Hutu police force, under the control of Antoine Serkwavu, began to massacre Tutsis in some parts of the country.
Michel Micombero was a young Tutsi army captain who had been born in Rutovu, Bururi Province. In 1965, he had only recently returned from school in Belgium and had quickly risen to become Secretary of Defense. He rallied the army, and its largely Tutsi officers, against the coup and overthrew them. This was followed by numerous attacks on Hutus throughout the nation.
Micombero became Prime Minister on July 11, 1966 and was the real power in the nation technically ruled by King Ntare V, who deposed his father with the help of Micombero. On November 28, 1966, Micombero overthrew the monarchy and made himself president. He also promoted himself to brigadier general.
As president, Micombero became an advocate of African socialism and received support from the People's Republic of China. He imposed a staunch regime of law and order, sharply repressing Hutu militarism.
In 1972, Hutu refugees from surrounding nations organized an uprising of Hutus in Burundi. This was repulsed and followed by organized ethnic violence that killed some 150,000 Hutus. Micombero unquestionably played a leading role in these massacres. Afterward, Micombero became increasingly corrupt, and also turned to heavy drinking. Some reports allege he became delusional. He was overthrown in 1976 in a coup by Deputy Chief of Staff Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, a distant relative of Micombero from the same clan and political faction.
Micombero went into exile in Somalia, where he died of a heart attack in 1983.
Ntare V Ndizeye
|President of Burundi