Burundi National and Independence Hero

Prince Louis Rwagasore (10 January 1932 – 13 October 1961)  Crown Prince of Burundi at birth, the Prince Louis Rwagasore was born on 10th January 1932 in Gitega. He was the son of Mwami Mwambutsa IV Bangiricenge with his first wife, Thérèse Kanyonga,
In 1939, he started school at the primary school of Bukeye, then in Kinyinya. In 1945, He left to attend Groupe Scolaire d’Astrida of Butare in Rwanda for 6 years. He then attended university of Anvers in Belgium, and left in 1956 to spearhead his country’s anti-colonial movement.
Prince Louis Rwagasore married Marie-Rose Ntamikevyo on 12th September 1959 and they had 2 daughters together: Princess Marie-Thérèse Rwagasore and Princess Marie-Pie Rwagasore, who both passed away unfortunately no long after the death of their father.
Rwagasore, a Ganwa, married a woman who most people thought was a Hutu. It is believed that Rwagasore did so in a bid to play down the ethnic divisions between ethnic groups, especially between Tutsi and Hutu, which he believed the Belgian colonial rule had pitched against one another following the divide et impera (divide and conquer) practice.Upon leaving Belgium, the Prince founded a series of cooperatives to encourage economic independence, but these were quickly banned by Belgium in 1958.
In September of the same year, Prince Louis Rwagasore established nationalist political movement, the Union for National Progress (UPRONA) to fight for the country’s independence. Believing that the role of the royal family should transcend partisan politics, his father promoted him to Chief of Butanyerera, but Rwagasore turned down the appointment so that he could devote himself fully to the nationalist cause.
At the first UPRONA Congress in March 1960, Rwagasore demanded complete independence for Burundi and called on the local population to boycott Belgian stores and refuse to pay taxes. Because of his calls for civil disobedience, he was placed under house arrest from 27th October to the 09th December 1960. This was done while the local elections were scheduled for mid November of the same year, and in order to put his party, UPRONA to a disadvantage.
Despite the setbacks, Rwagasore and UPRONA won a clear victory in elections for the colony’s Legislative Assembly on 18 September 1961, under the UN supervision, winning 80 percent of the vote. The next day, he was declared Prime Minister, with a mandate to prepare the country for independence.
He died on 13th October 1961, assassinated at the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika in Bujumbura, and was buried at the Royal Palace in Gitega

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