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The Treaty of Kiganda


The establishment inside Burundi by Germans was not easy. The surrender of King Mwezi Gisabo came only on 06 June 1903, whereas the invaders were settled on the east coast of Lake Tanganyika since 1896.

During all this period Germans tempted to penetrate the country but in vain. It required the German captain Von Bering to look for support from dissidents to the king, Maconco and Kirima who were claiming for territories, to be able to oust the king from his capital Muramvya and to force him to retreat to Kiganda after closely escaping from fire of machines of Germans and arsons in the royal court.

Popular belief goes around that the king was never defeated, and the catholic fathers of the mission of Mugera and some of his influential sons like Ntarugera had a lot of difficulties to bring the king to negotiate with Germans. At Kiganda, on 06 June 1903, Germans were obliged to acknowledge that Mwezi Gisabo remain king of Burundi and a post run by a German was set up for his protection. In return, seated on the flat rocs of Kiganda, the king of Burundi:

  •  Acknowledge the sovereignty of Germany;
  •  Recognises the autonomy of Maconco and Kirima respectively in Bukeye and Muramvya, now only depending on Usumbura;
  •  Accepts to pay a fine of 424 cattle as reparation;
  •  Takes engagement of no more hampering the action of the catholic mission of Mugera, etc.

In this region considered as the cradle of Burundian culture, BURUNDIDES includes the site of Kiganda Treaty in a circuit passing by the nearby Kings’ valley, the monument trees of Rubumba and the cultural attractions of Gitega before continuing, the following day towards the natural sites of the east of the country.

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