Burundi: Biography of a Small African Country
Columbia University Press, 2008 - 234 pagina's
Burundi is Rwanda's twin, a small country in Central Africa with a complex history of ethnic tension between its Hutu and Tutsi populations and a deep familiarity with traumatic events, including the mass killing of over 200,000 people. Burundi was trapped in a state of civil war until 2004, after which Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela mediated a lengthy and eventually successful movement toward peace. Burundi's contemporary era has brought new institutions to the country, including a more open constitution, which led to the election of a majority Hutu government in 2005. Still, apart from ethnic tensions, many problems persist, particularly the entrenched poverty of most Burundians, which has led NGOs to call Burundi one of the most deprived countries on earth.
Nigel Watt traces the origins of Burundi's political crises and illuminates recent historical events through interviews with leading political figures and survivors of atrocity. A unique and rare portrait, Watt's "biography" demystifies Burundi's little-understood "ethnic" divisions and provides a thorough understanding of this beautiful and cultured land, which has produced a remarkable line of peacemakers, journalists, teachers, and political and religious leaders.