Republic. Gained independence from Belgium in 1966.
Head of state:
President Pierre Nkurunziza since 2005.
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Burundi is a country of wonderful landscapes, from mountaintops to forests, huge lakes to tropical plateau. Yet this topographical patchwork mirrors Burundi's cultural patchwork, one which has interwoven both Hutu and Tutsi tribal strands, often with violent consequences.
Burundi's situation is improving. President Nkurunziza, democratically elected in 2005, is engaged in peace talks and has announced applauded measures, such as that of introducing free education. However, there is still a danger of indiscriminate attacks from rebel groups in Burundi. Until these incidents are fully quashed, many will miss out on seeing the beauty of Burundi for themselves.