Burundi is a small, land-locked country in Central Africa, bordering to Rwanda, Tanganjika and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Area: 27834 km2
Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (Bubanza, Bujumbura, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi)
Time Zone: MEZ + 1 Stunde
Population: 6.6 million people
Ethnic groups: 85% Hutu, 14% Tutsi, 1% Pygmies
Languages: Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili
Religion: Christian 67% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%.
Between 1993 and 2000, wide-spread, often intense ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions in Burundi created hundreds of thousands of refugees and left tens of thousands dead. Although some refugees have returned from neighboring countries, continued ethnic strife has forced many others to flee.
Burundian troops, seeking to secure their borders, have intervened in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Tutsi controlled government enforced the regroupment of 330,000 Hutu into 53 so called "protection sites" around the capital Bujumbura over the past two years, leaving them without access to their homes and land and in extremely poor living conditions.
The Arusha Peace Negotiations made little progress under the chairmanship of Julius Nyerere. Nelson Mandela became the new mediator after the death of Nyerere in 1999.
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