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date: 15 October 2019

Burundi, Republic of [République de Burundi]locked

  • Pierre Haffner

Extract

[République de Burundi]

Small, densely populated and mountainous country in eastern Africa, formerly part of Ruanda-Urundi. Burundi is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and Zaïre to the west; Lake Tanganyika defines its south-eastern border. The capital is Bujumbura (formerly Usumbura); its national languages are Kirundi and French, while Swahili is also spoken. A poor infrastructure and a long history of civil turbulence have made Burundi one of Africa’s poorest nations. The population (5,302,000; UN estimate, 1989) is made up of Hutu (85%), Tutsi (14%) and Twa (1%). The peoples of Burundi have lived together according to a model of social organization established by the Tutsi monarchy at the end of the 18th century, which lasted until its abolition in 1966. The resulting strong cultural unity and geographical protection enabled Burundi to resist not only the raids of Arab slave traders but also German occupation (following the Treaty of Kiganda in ...

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