January 30, 2013

"European explorers and missionaries.... compared the organisation of the kingdom of Burundi with that of the old Greek empire."

"It was not until 1899 that Burundi became a part of German East Africa."
Unlike the Rwandan monarchy, which decided to accept the German advances, the Burundian king Mwezi IV Gisabo opposed all European influence, refusing to wear European clothing and resisting the advance of European missionaries or administrators. The Germans used armed force and succeeded in doing great damage, but did not destroy the king’s power. Eventually they backed one of the king's sons-in-law Maconco in a revolt against Gisabo. Gisabo was eventually forced to concede and agreed to German suzerainty.....
With WWI, Belgium took over, running things "through indirect rule, building on the Tutsi-dominated aristocratic hierarchy." Independence came in 1962, and "Tutsi King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng established a constitutional monarchy comprising equal numbers of Hutus and Tutsis." Horrific events follow.

In Burundi, today's "History of" country.

14 comments:

Nonapod said...

Burundi is on one of the shores of Lake Tanganyika one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, second only to Baikal by volume.

Scott M said...

How would you like to have a cup of coffee with the President of Burundi

EDH said...

Many believe that German and Belgian colonizers tried to find differences between the Hutu and Tutsi in order to better categorize native peoples in their censuses.

White Europeans do have a history of doing and saying exactly the wrong thing when they try to get involved in African affairs.

edutcher said...

Scene of Susan Rice's first, but by no means last, foreign policy screw-up on the African continent.

William said...

This happened before European rule in Burundi. The King had several hundred wives. This is bad on a number of levels. If you're wife number 127, for example, your sex life is not apt to be episodic and interesting. If you're a young stud and the King has sequestered most of the young, single woman into his harem, your sex life also stands an excellent chance of being drab and uneventful......So what happens is that one of young men gets caught having an affair with one of the King's brides. The young man was beaten so that his arms and legs were broken, and he could not move. Then he was left on the shores of the lake to be eaten by crocodiles. The bride was sent back to her father's family. The book didn't say what happened next, but probably something ghastly. This happened in the latter part of the 19th century after American slaves had been free for a generation.....What are the chances that Tarantino will make a movie about this tragic love affair. I'd especially like to see a movie about the young man's last minutes. What with CGI, you could really make a convincing crocodile feeding, and it's never been done before.

Franklin said...

Did you find this Wikipedia entry through reddit?

Coketown said...

Scott M read my mind! "How do I take it? Any way I find it, big boy."

That's when Izzard was funny. Now he's just a bitter loser. And people like bitter losers much less than executive transvestites.

Scott M said...

@Coketown

I dunno..."Stripped" was pretty damned funny. I listened to his interview on XM's Raw Dog and he is apparently looking at a switch from entertainment to politics.

Blue@9 said...

"[T]he old Greek empire."

Um, what? What Greek empire? Athenian? Macedonian? Byzantine? What the hell is that referencing?

traditionalguy said...

Queen Beatrix needs her colony back. She is getting poorer and poorer.

After all she owns it.

Coldstream said...

The Congo Free State/Congo/Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi...does anyplace that Belgium gets involved in ever end well?

Good thing the EU is based there. What could go wrong?

ironrailsironweights said...

Air Burundi, the national airline of Burundi, has a fleet consisting of one airplane.

Peter

wyo sis said...

We're only in the B's and already the history of war and revolution in every country is impressive. So much for the idea that the United States is the most oppressive and opportunistic nation to ever exist.

Mitch H. said...

Queen Beatrix needs her colony back. She is getting poorer and poorer.

After all she owns it.


Nope, Belgium conquered the Lake monarchies from Germany a decade after the Congo Free State had been taken away from their King's personal and run by the state. The Kings of Belgium never owned Burundi or Rwanda.

Damn, look at that list of Burundian genocides, each of them kind of tiny in comparison with the 1994 Rwandan slaughter, but the numbers start to add up when you repeat the process every decade or so. But, especially with central African claims of genocide, you have to watch out for the "tyranny of rounded numbers". Note how the closer you get to the offices of Western journalists, the less rounded the numbers get, and generally speaking, the smaller the claims. Some of that is effect amplication - it takes a bigger pile of bodies to capture the attention of the press the further you get from their usual stomping grounds. Sometimes that means that nobody heard about the little tribal killings in Backwoodistan or Upper Guinea, but sometimes that means that the stringer rounds the numbers in his copy as high as the editors will tolerate, just to get the wires to carry the story.