May 2, 2011, 4:17 p.m.
Since gaining independence in 1962, Burundi has had a checkered history of political turmoil, coups d‘état, ethnic violence and civil war. Despite the conduct of credible elections in 1993, the country lapsed into a decade-long period of instability until the signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in 2000. That agreement laid the foundation for a democratic transition that Burundians hoped would lead to peace, reconciliation and democracy. Successful elections in 2005 appeared to have set Burundi on a promising course of democratic development.