Pierre Buyoya was born in Burundi in 1949. His background is nearly identical to two of his immediate predecessors in office. Like both Micombero and Bagaza, Buyoya came from Rutovu in Bururi province and was part of the historically low-status Hima subgroup of the Tutsi. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Brussels and received additional training in Germany before returning to Burundi to assume an army post. Although a high-ranking officer, Buyoya was little known outside of the military before his 1987 coup.