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Jean-Baptiste Bagaza

President of Burundi

Died when: 69 years 249 days (836 months)
Star Sign: Virgo


Jean-Baptiste Bagaza

Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (29 August 1946 – 4 May 2016) was a Burundian army officer and politician who ruled Burundi as president and de facto military dictator from November 1976 to September 1987.

Born into the Tutsi ethnic group in 1946, Bagaza served in the Burundian military and rose through the ranks under the rule of Michel Micombero after his rise to power in 1966.

Bagaza deposed Micombero in a bloodless coup d'état in 1976 and took power himself as head of the ruling Union for National Progress (Union pour le Progrès national, UPRONA).

Despite having participated in the genocidal killings of 1972, he introduced various reforms which modernised the state and made concessions to the country's ethnic Hutu majority.

His regime became increasingly repressive after it became consolidated in 1984, especially targeting the powerful Catholic Church.His rule lasted until 1987 when his regime was overthrown in a further coup d'état and he was forced into exile.

He returned to Burundi in 1994 and became involved in national politics as the leader of the Party for National Recovery (Parti pour le Redressement National, PARENA).

He died in 2016.

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