There has never been any boundless kingdom. Burundi frequently fought various invasions from surrounding kingdoms. Thus, there has always been unofficial defense body to guarantee security and territory sovereignty.

During the 19th Century, Burundian fighters successfully defeated Arabic slavers. Under the guide of King Mwezi Gisabo, Abavyeyi and Abadasigana resisted to the Germanic Colonizers. His capitulation ratified in Kiganda in 1904 weakened any attempt of properly Burundian defense body. Until 1960, the security of Burundi was successively entrusted to Germans and Belgians. In 1960, the Territory Guard inaugurated the progressive establishment of the National Army.

The accession to Independence in 1962 implied that Burundi could protect its territory integrity. Two main security branches were created: The Gendarmerie in charge of internal security and National Army for protecting Burundi against external invasions. In that context, strengthening military capacity could not wait any more.

Down now is the evolution;

July 1ST.1962 there is creation of the state defense secretary with Zenon NICAYENZI at the head of it. 1996 to Dec 31; 2014 the Burundi army was called FAB; from Dec 31st; 2004 with the integration of former veterans the FDN .The 1st CDF was Belgian called Verzhein ;

The following is the list of the state Defense secretary and ministers of the Burundi Army.

  • Nicayenzi Zénon                          : 1962-1963
  • Lt-GénMicombero Michel           : 1963-1976
  • Col Bagaza Jean Baptiste             : 1976-1987
  • Maj Buyoya Pierre                       : 1987-1988
  • Col Maregarege Léonidas            : 1988-1993
  • Col Ntakije Charles                      : 1993-1994
  • Col Fyiroko Gédéon                     : 1994-1994
  • Col Sinzoyiheba Firmin               : 1994-1997
  • Col Nkurunziza Alfred                 : 1997-2000
  • Gén-maj Ndayirukiye Cyrille       : 2000-2002
  • Lt-Gén Niyungeko Vincent          : 2002-2005
  • Lt-GénNiyoyankana Germain      : 2005-2010
  • Gén-majGaciyubwenge Pontien   : 2010-


This is the  succession the General Chief Defense Force CDF


  • Verwhein
  • MajShibura Albert                        : 1966-1967
  • Lt-GénNdabemeye Thomas          : 1967-1976
  • Col NzohabonayoSylvere             : 1976-1977
  • Col Niyungeko Antoine                : 1977-1981
  • Lt-col Kazatsa Charles                  : 1981-1982
  • Col KarenzoHerménégilde           : 1982-1987
  • Col Ndakazi Edmond                   : 1987-1989
  • Col Mibarurwa Michel                 : 1989-1993
  • Col Bikomagu Jean                      : 1993-1996
  • Lt-GénNiyungeko Vincent          : 1996-2002
  • Lt-GénNiyoyankana Germain     : 2002-2005
  • Gén-MajGahiro Samuel              : 2005-2009
  • Gén-MajNiyombare Godefroid   : 2009-2012
  • Gén-MajNiyongabo Prime          : 2012-

The number of fighters was huge and the new FDN could not absorb all the former fighters. The non incorporated ones could fall now under the Ministry of National Defense and Former Combattants. Burundi took the rank of most successful merge of the army members and former rebels. Today, the Burundian Army spearheads most of the International peace keeping forces. Currently, a Burundian pilotes the AU peace keepers in Somalia. Burundian soldiers participate in maintaining peace in the Republic of Centrafrique.

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