Burundi: The History of Conflict Essay
Burundi has some of the greatest climate that Africa has to offer and is fairly densely
populated as a result. The highly desirable land in this country is one of the primary
elements of long term conflicts for the ethnic tribes who occupy it. ("The World and Its
Peoples", 424) For a long time in its history Burundi was occupied in harmony by the
BatwaPygmies in the forest regions and the Bahutu (Hutu) tribes living in the savannah
regions. During the 15th centurythe Watusi (Tutsi) arrived in Burundi. They came from
Ethiopia in search of more fertile land and soon conquered over the Hutu ("The World
The minority culture of the Tutsi people succeeded in acquiring power over the
earlier ethnic groups in Burundi thanks to there sharp political sense (Landon). Thy
brought a new structure of religion and even technological advancements in healing and
preservation of goods (Landon). In addition, the Tutsi people were tall in stature, and had
much lighter skin than the Hutu people. In migrating they also introduced cattle grazing.
The Hutu then, and now, were farmers whose crude methods of cultivation impoverished
the region (Clarke). The Hutu then invited the value of new life that the cow would hold.
Tutsis were the only people in the land who could own cattle because their superiority
allowed them to graze the sacred animal. The Hutu absorbed many Tutsi customs even
though they made up around 20% of the population (Clarke).
Atfirst, the established supremacy of the Tutsi tribes was a beneficial relationship.
The Hutu raised crops for the Tutsi in return for their protection and served underneath
them in a balanced harmony for centuries. Even in the colonial era, when Belgium ruled
the area, after taking it from Germany in 1916, the two groups lived as one, speaking the
same language , intermarrying, and o