Prince Louis Rwagasore, 29 (Jan. 10, 1932 — Oct. 13, 1961)
Rwagasore’s reign as the prime minister of Ruanda-Urundi was short-lived. Ruanda-Urundi at the time was under Belgian and Germany rule and populated by the Twa, Hutu and Tutsi peoples.
According to rwagasore.com, Rwagasore was “an emblematic figure of the anti-colonial struggle” and directly linked to the independence of Burundi through the formation of the multi-ethnic unity party, Union for National Progress (UPRONA). UPRONA urged the local population to boycott Belgian stores and refuse to pay taxes.
The country claimed complete independence on July 1, 1962, and legally changed its name from Ruanda-Urundi back to Burundi. Two weeks later, Rwagasore was assassinated in a plot organized by a Belgian-supported rival to the throne.
Rwagasore believed the Belgian colonial rule pitched the Hutus and Tutsis against each other. In an effort to play down the ethnic divisions between the groups, Rwagasore married a woman many believed was Hutu.