L. M. SADOVSKAYA
Candidate of Historical Sciences
Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences
Burundi Keywords: Tutsi, Hutu, ethnic conflict
The modern history of Burundi, like that of Rwanda, which borders it to the north, has been characterized until recently by sporadic conflicts between the two ethnic groups - Hutu and Tutsi-that inhabit both countries.
HOW THE CONFRONTATION IN BURUNDI BEGAN
According to experts, in particular Russian Africanists1, who have studied in detail the pre-colonial and colonial periods in the development of Burundi, these stages were crucial for understanding the full depth of the problem.
By the time the European colonialists arrived at the end of the 19th century, Burundi had long had a well-developed political structure - the Tutsi monarchy. The internecine wars that began within the state weakened the royal power and thereby facilitated the invasion of the German colonialists into the hinterlands of the state. The final capture took place in 1912.
This was followed by more than forty years of Belgian colonization, when Burundi and Rwanda were part of a single territory - Rwanda-Urundi*. The colonial system of government of the country did not shake the position of Tutsis, despite the fact that then, according to the population census conducted by the Belgians in the 1920s, 2 the quantitative ratio of Tutsis and Hutus was, respectively, 15 to 85 3. However, it should be noted that this ratio has not changed to this day.
Since Burundi's independence in 1962,4 periods of relative internal political stability have alternated with ethnic conflicts. Attempts by the changing Tutsi-led military regimes to ease ethnic tensions have failed to bring the resolution of this acute problem any closer. The largest collisions occurred in 1962, 1965, 1972, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995 - 1996 several hundred thousand people, most of them Hutu, were killed and about a million fled to neighboring countries.
In 1972, the so-called Tutsi monarchists attem ... Read more