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Cyprien Ntaryamira

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Cyprien Ntaryamira

Cyprien Ntaryamira
5th President of Burundi
In office
5 February 1994 – 6 April 1994
Prime Minister Anatole Kanyenkiko
Preceded by Sylvie Kinigi (acting)
Succeeded by Sylvestre Ntibantunganya
Personal details
Born (1955-03-06)6 March 1955
Mubimbi, Bujumbura Rural Province, Burundi
Died 6 April 1994(1994-04-06) (aged 39)
Kigali, Rwanda
Political party Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU)

Cyprien Ntaryamira (6 March 1955 – 6 April 1994) was President of Burundi from 5 February 1994 until his death when aboard Juvénal Habyarimana's plane which was shot down on 6 April 1994.

Biography

Ntaryamira was born in the Mageyo zone's commune of Mubimbi, Bujumbura Rural Province, in what was then the Belgian-dominated United Nations Trust Territory of Burundi. He entered school in Bujumbura, but after an abortive Hutu rebellion in 1972, he and thousands of other ethnic Hutus fled the country.

Ntaryamira eventually received a degree in agriculture from the National University of Rwanda in Butare in 1982. During this time, he became politically active in socialist movements. He returned to his native country in 1983 to work as an agricultural official. He was briefly a political prisoner of the regime of Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza in 1985.

In August 1986, he became a founding member and economic policy director of the Hutu-dominated Front for Democracy in Burundi party (FRODEBU). His party gained power after Burundi's first democratic elections in 1993, ending a long history of rule by the Tutsi minority and the Union for National Progress (UPRONA). New president Melchior Ndadaye appointed Ntaryamira Minister of Agriculture.

In October 1993, however, Ndadaye and his two top officials were assassinated, sparking parliamentary deadlock and civil war. Ntaryamira was selected as president on 5 February 1994 as a compromise: He was Hutu, but considered a moderate in Ndadaye's tradition, while Anatole Kanyenkiko, a UPRONA figure, was made prime minister.

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