Let’s begin with the country’s national flag, its divided by four diagonal crosses, the upper and lower parts are red while the left and right parts are green. The white colour represents peace and the green represents hope/future endeavours. The red symbolises the suffering of the nation during the freedom struggle. The stars symbolise the three major ethnic groups of Burundi which are Hutu, Tutsi and Twa but the twa make about one percent of the population. The three stars also stands for the national motto, which is Obumwe, ibikorwa and iterambere which in the Kirundi language entails unity, work and progress despite the fact the unity has been a difficult issue in this country for a while for number of years due to tribal sentiments. If Lake Victoria was the eye of Africa Burundi would be the tear drop of Africa. Burundi is one of the smallest countries located in in East Africa bordered by Tanzania to the East and South. Rwanda to the north and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the North-West. In the South west of Burundi there is Lake Tanganyika which was the previous name for Tanzania. The country is divided into 18 provinces each one named after the capital the resides in it. For instance, Bujumbura whose capital is called ISALE. Each province has a near proportion of half a million residences, Burundi did a great job spreading out.
The capital is Bujumbura called on the North West coast of Lake Tanganyika and a stone throw away from the democratic republic of Congo. Burundi’s borders are often at times unmarked and virtually invisible to communities that do not mind about distinguishing nationalistic separation. Burundi is very tiny and compact; they have a wide web of road networks throughout the country many of which google maps has a horrible job tracing. This makes it unique that in many parts of Burundi it possible is possible to navigate it through by road.
There are roughly twenty-three times of Burundi being smaller than Botswana yet the area wise. After Rwanda Burundi is the second land packed country in Africa. This means that Burundi as more opportunities in dispersed cultivation, when you think about this about this country you can imagine a factory, every area is used for something. First, the country lies at the East African rift which includes the Kagera River, its also the speculative source of the Nile River. The most in the west is hilly and mountainous as one goes to the East the Area drops into a plateau. Most of the land is used for pasture and agriculture production.
The country has a population of 11 million making Burundi one the most densely populated parts of Africa. Most of the population are from the Hutu tribe and about sixteen percent are from the Tutsi tribe and then the small minority people of the Twa tribes who are regarded as the bush people. There are couple of thousand whites and Asians living in Burundi to round things up.
In order to understand how Burundi functions you need to understand who exactly the Hutu and Tutsi are, though they basically indistinguishable and came from the same individual groups. Many Rwandese or Burundi people will tell you the perpetuated stereotypes that Hutus are shorter than Tutsis. Hutus are presumed to have harder bodies built for manual labour while the Tutsis are taller and leaner spelt physics used to adorning themselves with beautiful garments of the high class.
The differentiation all started with class not ethnicity, hundreds of years ago anybody who built wealth and status automatically became a Tutsi even when they affiliated with the Hutu tribe. This was pretty much a social structure both Hutus and Tutsis speak relatively the same language the only difference is Rwandan Hutus and Tutsis have a slightly different dialect that is totally mutually understandable.
Burundi was kings land rather than a colony when it was in the hands of the Belgians until Independence in 1962. Historically the Hutus had larger numbers and populous however the Tutsis retained most of the political dominance. It all came with the fact that the Tutsis had a kingdom, when you have a Kingdom that entails you have some sort of power in a society. The Belgians were responsible for these social structures and enabled the Tutsi with these with this ruling influence.
The Burundi genocide happened for long period of time, for ten years it was the Tutsis pushing down the Hutus and for other ten years the Hutus fighting the Tutsis and finally in 2005 it subsided. The official languages are French and Kirundi, however English and Swahili are wildly taught, more citizens speak more than four languages. Most of the royal house in Burundi is in exile, Princess Esther Kamatari ran for president 2005 but it didn’t quiet fall through. Then you have a Hutu president Pierre Nkurunziza, who broke the constitution and went for a third term causing an up roar from both Hutus and Tutsis. This resulted in the exodus of a hundred thousand Burundians.
Burundi used to have good relations with its neighbours but after the civil war of hundreds of thousands of Burundians fleeing the country all over the world but most heavily in their immediate neighbours. The most were over three hundred thousand people in Tanzania. Tanzania has been a refugee for so many African countries over several years, though when Burundi rebels used Tanzania as a base for insurgencies. Tanzania along with other countries put embargoes on Burundi.
Rwanda is pretty much like the conjoined twin of Burundi they share so much culturally and linguistically and diplomatically, its often hard to distinguish them apart. Rwanda is currently under a predominantly Tutsi government and Burundi under Hutu government.