U.S. Relations With Burundi

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
March 31, 2017


More information about Burundi is available on the Burundi Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-BURUNDI RELATIONS

In 1962, the United States established diplomatic relations with Burundi when it gained its independence from Belgium. Following independence, the country experienced political assassinations, ethnic violence, and cyclical periods of armed conflict; several governments were installed through coups. The 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement provided a negotiated settlement framework that, along with later ceasefire agreements, led to the end of the1993-2006 civil war. President Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third presidential term in 2015 sparked protests in the capital and was followed by a failed coup d’état. The resultant violence and political and economic crises resulted in massive refugee flows to neighboring countries.

The United States supports the achievement of long-term stability and prosperity in Burundi through broad, inclusive reconciliation; humanitarian assistance; economic growth; and the promotion of political openness and expansion of democratic freedoms. The United States supports the East African Community (EAC)-facilitated Burundian dialogue and other conflict resolution efforts within Burundi. The United States seeks to facilitate Burundi’s deeper integration into regional and international markets, as a means to promote sustainable economic development.

U.S. Assistance to Burundi

The majority of U.S. foreign assistance in Burundi contributes to improving the health and food security sectors, specifically to programs that support the Government of Burundi’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria, improve maternal and child health, and reduce the high rate of chronic malnutrition. The United States also contributed $38.4 million to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in 2016 to provide life-saving assistance to Burundian refugees. U.S. foreign assistance promotes private sector-led economic growth, emphasizing agricultural production and trade (particularly within the East African Community Common Market) and builds Burundi’s capacity to maintain peace and security both at home and elsewhere in Africa. U.S. development assistance seeks to prioritize women and youth in order to bolster the whole society more effectively.

The Embassy’s Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) continues to support the two rotational Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) battalions deployed to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with equipment.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Burundi’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act AGOA was suspended in October 2015, but remains under review. The United States has signed trade and investment framework agreements with the East African Community and with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. Burundi is a member of both regional organizations. The primary U.S. exports to Burundi include computer and electronic products. The United States primarily imports coffee from Burundi.

Burundi's Membership in International Organizations

Burundi and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Burundi is Anne Casper. Other principal U.S. Embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List. Burundi maintains an embassy in the United States at Suite 408, 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-342-2574). More information about Burundi is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Burundi Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Burundi Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Burundi Page
History of U.S. Relations With Burundi
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Travel Information