The problem here is that the Tutsi are, by most measures, the good guys. There are only about 2.5 million Tutsi (in Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and Uganda) and they represent a distinct culture in the region. The Tutsi are more disciplined, better educated, wealthier and less corrupt. The Tutsi also dominate local governments, if only because they are better administrators and, when armed and organized, more effective fighters. Most other ethnic groups in the area are jealous, hostile or just afraid of the Tutsi.
The Tutsi problem goes back over 600 years. In the 1500's the Tutsi (plural- Watutsi) nomads moved south from their ancient home in the semi-desert Sahel. With a different complexion (an important point for the Tutsi) and a foot taller than the local Hutu, it did not take long for the Tutsi to take over and install their own brand of Apartheid. The area eventually evolved into two Tutsi ruled empires, each roughly covering the territory of modern Burundi and Rwanda. In 1899 the Germans moved in and made both areas colonies. The British replaced the Germans in 1916 and passed the area over to the Belgians in the 1920's. It was assumed that, when the areas became independent nations, the Hutu (over 80 percent of the population) would run the place. The more aggressive and warlike Tutsi had other ideas, and the Hutu knew it.
Monday, January 07, 2013
StrategyPage article on the history of tribalism in the central area of Afria.
Posted by Nancy Reyes at 6:43 AM