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In return they gained their labor, loyalty, and political support.
Social relations in Rwanda and Burundi were changed by European rule.
The Tutsi are a people who live in Rwanda, Burundi, and the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
They have much in common with the other groups of this region, the Twa and the Hutu. However, most of the upper-class rulers were Tutsi.
The Germans held power from the 1890s until World War I (1914–18). For most of this period, the Europeans treated the Tutsi better than the Hutu.
In the 1950s, however, the Belgians urged the Hutu to challenge Tutsi power.
When the colonial period ended, opposite sides controlled Rwanda and Burundi. However, this Tutsi victory occurred at a great cost in human lives. Rwanda and Burundi are mountainous countries in east-central Africa.
Their combined total area is about 20,900 square miles (54,100 square kilometers).
The mwami (the Tutsi king) helped the Tutsi and Hutu sides reach an agreement. The Hutu tried to gain power by force, and they were defeated. Hutu power in Rwanda ended in 1994 when Tutsi rebels overthrew the government.
This is about the combined size of the states of Maryland and New Jersey.
Tutsi also live in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire).
They live near the city of Bukavu in the Mulenge region. The combined population of Rwanda and Burundi was about 13 million in 1994. In addition, many Rwandese Tutsi returned from Uganda after the Hutu army was defeated in 1994.
Their cultures are similar, and they all speak the same language. A system of cattle trading helped keep peace among the different groups.The wealthier people (often Tutsi) lent cattle to the poorer ones (often Hutu).