Ubushingantahe as a Base for Political Transformation in Burundi

The idea of rehabilitating the virtues of Ubushingantahe and the “bashingantahe council,” or the group of people who embody those virtues on the community level, is not a new one in Burundi. In 1991, when the government of Burundi organized discussions on democratisation throughout the country, many people brought up the concept of Ubushingantahe and suggested that any reputable polity must be based on persons who had these virtues. This paper will focus on the ways that bashingantahe councils can enhance human security, peaceful coexistence, and stability. The project of revisiting the usefulness of Ubushingantahe responds to current political crisis in Burundi as well as to the social and political upheavals in that country caused by its many cycles of violence.