25 October 2010
Burundi is a resource-poor country in Eastern Africa, bordered by Rwanda, The Republic of Congo, and Tanzania. The country is about the size of Maryland, and has a population of about 9,511,000 people (CIA World Factbook). Burundi is known for having one of the highest population densities in all of Africa. It is a country with a drawn out history plagued with war, conquest, and detrimental ethnic conflicts. It has a moderate tropical climate, with two wet seasons and two dry seasons, yet it is lacking in industrial and political force to overcome its deficiencies. Though the citizens face extreme poverty, a tainted past, and a recently ended civil war, they remain optimistic for their future.
Present day Burundi is a country that has been occupied by Twa, Tutsi, and Hutu for the last 500 years. The Twa are believed to be indigenous to the land, and descendants of pygmies. The Hutu are believed to have migrated next form the west, and pushed the Twa peoples into the forests to live as hunter-gatherers. Eventually the Tutsi migrated from the Nile region, and now make up about 15% of the population; the Twa, 1%; the Hutu, 85%.
Political unrest has been the norm for Burundi since the 19th century, due to the social differences between the Tutsi and the Hutu. Though these groups share many cultural similarities, there have been brutal massacres done to each group by the other in the civil wars that have been arising since even before the country’s independence from colonial Belgium in 1962. These problems persist into present day Burundi and though the leaders of this presidential representative democratic republic and Hutu and Tutsi groups have signed several peace agreements throughout the last 10 years, violence still seems to find its way in the hearts of the Burundians.
Burundi is one of the 10 poorest countries and about 80 of it’s population lives in severe poverty. This is so due to the...