Rwanda, Burundi and their tribal wars

Stephen B. Isabirye, Kooros M. Mahmoudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper demonstrably dispels the assumption that ethnic conflict in Rwanda and Burundi is a chronic endemic phenomenon. It emphasizes the consolidation of the caste system during the colonial era, intra regional disparities within the two communities, high population densities, very weak economic bases, poverty and international interference as some of the cardinal dynamics behind the current deadly contentions within the two states. An analysis behind the genocidal tendencies in the two countries is well illustrated, with special emphasis on the Rwandese tragedy of 1994 as well as its parallels and divergences with the Nazi Holocaust. The effects of the conflict in the two countries such as the proliferation of a gigantic refugee problem and the role of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Globalization, are critically assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-69
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Change
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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