On this day in 1960 and 1966, Chad and Burundi respectively officially became republics. Although the circumstances leading to the declaration of these countries as republics are different, the day is a memorable moment for the citizens.
The holiday is a commemoration of the anniversary of the 1966 coup that resulted in the overthrowing of Prince Ntare V.
Prince Ntare V, the last King of Burundi, ruled from July to November 1966. His father, Mwambusta IV designated Prince Charles Ndizeye (as Ntare was then known) as the heir to the throne. King Mwambusa IV was in exile in Switzerland following the coup attempt in October 1965.
Burundi gained independence from Belgium in 1962 and became a monarchy. However, a series of coups and assassinations led to the establishment of a republic and one-party state.
The country held its first elections on 8 September 1961, and Prince Louis Rwagasore garnered over 80% votes. He was assassinated on Oct 13. Prince Rwagasore’s father King Mwambutsa became the King after it became the constitutional monarchy.
On November 28, 1966, then Prime Minister Michel Micombero overthrew Ntare. Micombero abolished the monarchy and proclaimed Burundi a republic.
Micombero then imposed a military regime and became the de facto leader of Burundi until 1976. He was exiled from Burundi in 1977, and lived in Somalia where he earned a degree in economics in the University of Somalia.
People celebrate Republic Day to commemorate the day when Burundi became a republic in 1966.
Chad has been a part of many colonies of France in Africa until 1960. Not only did they gain independence from France but also became a Republic.
Chad had been a French military territory and protectorate in Africa. By 1920, France had full control of the country and was part of the French Equatorial Africa.
After World War II, France named Chad its overseas territory and allowed the people some liberties like the creation of political parties and election of representatives to the Chadian Assembly.
On August 11, 1960, France granted Chad it Independence with François Tombalbaye as its first president.
Chadians celebrate the day in the same ways they celebrate Independence Day, with festivities, parades and soccer games. People also decorate their cities with the national colours and wave their flags.