Article

Burundi

Patricia Daley

in African Studies

ISBN: 9780199846733
Published online September 2013 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199846733-0127
Burundi

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The modern state of Burundi is one of the few African states that have retained its territorial integrity from the precolonial period to today. The country lies within what is known as the Great Rift Valley, bounded by Lake Tanganyika to the south, Tanzania to the east, Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Rwanda to the north. Burundi is geographically small, covering an area of 27,834 square kilometers. Its population of eight million inhabits some of the most densely settled areas in Africa. Burundi’s population is predominantly rural and agricultural; only 8.2 percent live in urban areas. The people of Burundi are diverse, although the focus has been on the broad categories of Hutus, Tutsis, and Twas, in order of numerical size—the same ethnic group composition as its neighbor Rwanda. There are clan, regional, and class differences among the population that have shaped the complexity of its politics. All groups speak the same language, share the same culture, and live together on hills (collines). However, successive episodes of genocidal violence (1972, 1988, and 1993) and civil war (1993–2009) have led to increased segregation and a sizeable proportion of its citizens in exile. These events have dominated scholarship on the country and have colored its international reputation.

Article.  12305 words. 

Subjects: African History ; African Languages ; African Music ; African Philosophy ; African Studies

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