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Burundi: The Biography of a Small African Country

Overview


Little known in the English-speaking world, Burundi is Rwanda's twin, a small Central African country with a complex history of ethnic tension between its Hutu and Tutsi populations that has itself experienced traumatic events, including mass killings of over 200,000 people. The country remained in a state of simmering civil war until 2004, after which Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela took turns as mediators in a lengthy, and eventually successful, peace process which has endowed Burundi with new institutions, ...
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Overview


Little known in the English-speaking world, Burundi is Rwanda's twin, a small Central African country with a complex history of ethnic tension between its Hutu and Tutsi populations that has itself experienced traumatic events, including mass killings of over 200,000 people. The country remained in a state of simmering civil war until 2004, after which Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela took turns as mediators in a lengthy, and eventually successful, peace process which has endowed Burundi with new institutions, including a new constitution, that led to the election of a majority Hutu government in 2005. But there are many problems still to solve apart from ethnic tensions, above all the entrenched poverty of most Burundians, which has seen it designated by NGOs as one of the most deprived countries on earth.Nigel Watt's book discusses the troubled political fortunes of this beautiful yet disturbed country in the heart of Central Africa. He traces the origins of its political crises, sheds light on Burundi's recent history by means of interviews with leading participants and those whose lives have been affected by horrific events, and helps demystify the country's "ethnic" divisions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A very accessible, empathic, and yet accurate book. Nigel Watt puts people and their experiences and emotions at the middle of his story."--Filip Reyntjens, University of Antwerp

"A book about reality, an item in very short supply when people write about African conflicts....Hope based on nice feelings is a non-starter in the nasty world of Africa's small wars. Nigel Watt provides the only picture of hope which can be realistically contemplated, that which bases itself on informed and uncompromising local knowledge. This is a book which should be read by all humanitarian workers and members of the international community involved in what are today coyly called 'complex emergencies.'"--Gerard Prunier, author, From Genocide to Continental War: The Congolese Conflict and the Crisis of Contemporary Africa

"Topical and action-oriented, can be read as an almost complete introduction for the newcomer to the subject."--Race and Class

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199326846
  • Publisher: An Oxford University Press Publication
  • Publication date: 10/27/2008
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigel Watt worked in Burundi for several years and was formerly Director of the Africa Centre in London.

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Table of Contents

1. A Quick Tour of the Country
2. Transport, Language, Culture, Religion
HISTORY AND PAINFUL MEMORIES
3. Kings, Germans, Belgians, Hutus, Tutsis, Twa
4. Micombero and the tragedy of 1972
5. Dictatorship and the first seeds of democracy 1977-93
6. The crisis begins (1993): the killing of Ndadaye and the aftermath
7. 'Creeping coup' to Buyoya II, 1993-99
8. The peace talks at Arusha, 1998-2001
9. Buyoya, Ndayizeye and the elections of 2005
10. Rebels and extremists
11. Integrating the army: disarmament and demobilisation
12. Tales of 'ethnicity'
13. The Twa: organising the most marginalised
MAKING PEACE
14. Peace comes to Kibimba
15. Action by Christians: peace education and trauma healing
16. Peacemaking on the ground
17. The media
18. Governance, human rights and justice
19. Poverty and development: the economy as the key to peace?
20. International organisations
THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE
21. The new regime, 2005-07
22. Is it peace?
Annexes
1. Bibliography
2. Who's Who
3. Glossary
4. Acronyms
5. Some useful websites

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