Burundi is an ethnically stratified society in which the Tutsi have formed the nobility and the Hutu the common peasantry. These two groups originally represented divergent racial, cultural, and linguistic patterns (Nilotic and Bantu respectively), yet today they comprise a more or less unitary society. Considerable intermixing has taken place between the two groups. They have come to share a common language (Rundi) and social system in most areas. However, significant numbers of Hutu are geographically isolated from the mainstream of Burundi culture, and therefore retain a certain degree of distinctiveness. Estimates of Tutsi population previously ranged up to 17 percent. Because of the influx of Tutsi refugees from Rwanda (approximately 60,000 according to Europa Yearbook 1967 and the fleeing of a number of Hutus from Burundi to Tanzania and Zaire after the 1972 and 1973 pogroms, an increase in the percent Tutsi population is likely. Estimates of the number of Hutu who were killed are as high as 200,000, including a large percentage of those with post-primary education.
KeywordsPolitical Party Prime Minister Army Officer Country Profile Communal Instability
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