The Abahuza party is a monarchist political party in Burundi. Officially called the Party for the Restoration of Monarchy and Dialogue in Burundi, Abahuza literally means “The Reconciliators” in the Kirundi language. The party was registered with Burundi’s Interior Ministry on September 20 2004. Since then, the party has achieved wide national and international attention.
The party was led by HRH Prince Godefroid Kamatari, one of the heirs to the Burundian throne until his death on the 20 August 2005. The main goal of the Abahuza party is the restoration of Burundi’s monarchy, which was abolished in 1966, which it asserts resulted in violent ethno-national conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus. The ethno-national cleavage in Burundi mirrors that in neighboring Rwanda to the north. During that time, many members of the Tutsi royal family were assassinated by Hutu nationalists, and civil wars have ravaged the small country ever since. According to Abahuza party leaders, a return to monarchy will put an end to the unrest. Prince Godefroid was able to communicate the central ideology of the Abahuza party in his statement that "the monarchy lasted 500 years in Burundi in a political environment of stability and cohabitation because the King was the symbol of national unity."
Prince Godefroid had stated that the Abahuza party sought a constitutional monarchy, like those seen in Europe, as opposed to a totalitarian monarchy. The party chose Princess Esther Kamatari, Godefroid’s sister and a former fashion model in Paris, to run as their presidential candidate in the elections coming up in April. Their hope is to end the ethnic divisions in the country and restore peace and harmony. In addition, the party hopes to reestablish the monarchy through a referendum that would be voted on. According to Princess Kamatari, her first step as president would be to implement a social plan “because the country is in ruins.” This ideology targets the poor and non-intellectual populations in Burundi. The party’s decision to choose Princess Esther Kamatari as their presidential candidate has drawn a greater degree of attention, both nationally and internationally.