Sylvie Kinigi

Sylvie Kinigi

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Sylvie Kinigi

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Sylvie Kinigi (born 1952) was Prime Minister of Burundi from 10 July 1993 to 7 February 1994, the first and to date only woman to hold the position.


Kinigi was born in 1952, and is a member of the Tutsi ethnic group. Her husband, with whom she had five children, was a member of the Hutu ethnic group. Kinigi graduated from Burundi University, having studied economic management, and worked in the Burundi civil service. She eventually became a senior advisor in the Prime Minister's office, focusing on economic policy.

When Melchior Ndadaye was elected President of Burundi in 1993, he appointed Kinigi as his Prime Minister. Kinigi stated that reconciliation between the two ethnic groups would be her highest priority.

On 21 October, however, President Ndadaye and six of his ministers were captured and killed by Tutsi insurgents. This marked the beginning of the Burundi Civil War, with widespread ethnic violence breaking out. Kinigi and other senior government figures took refuge in the French embassy, and survived the chaos. On 1 November, Kinigi attempted...
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