The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has accused the government of Michel Micombero of orchestrating the coup that led to the tragic death of 24-year-old King Ntare V in a commando camp in Gitega on April 29, 1972.
In a press conference held on Monday April 10, 2023, Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, President of the commission, has highlighted the significant role played by former Foreign Affairs Minister Arthémon Simbananiye and the Ugandan government in the forced extradition of King Charles Ndizeye from Uganda to Burundi and his death in the commando Camp in Gitega.
The commission’s president contends that Ntare V was bribed by Micombero and his affiliates to overthrow his father, King Mwambutsa Bangiricenge. Following Ntare V’s inauguration, Micombero deposed him while he was in Congo attending celebrations marking Mobutu Sese Seko’s first year in power. Micombero then established the Republic of Burundi on November 28, 1966, after overthrowing King Charles Ndizeye known as a king on the name of Ntare V.
The government’s fear of King Ndizeye, who had fled to Europe, led to a plot to bring him back to Burundi and assassinate him. Simbananiye repeatedly traveled to Europe to persuade the king to return, but he refused until his eventual arrival in Uganda as a refugee.
The Burundian government then requested Uganda to convince the king to come back home, what he did on March 30, 1972. After arriving in Bujumbura, King Ndizeye was taken to Gitega, where he was beaten and shot on April 29, 1972. This incident sparked a wave of violence in the country that was later confirmed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a genocide against the Hutu people prepared and executed by the Government of Micombero.