Hutu


Hutu

Bantu-speaking people of Rwanda and Burundi, with a large refugee population in Congo (Kinshasa). Numbering about 9.5 million, the Hutu comprise the vast majority in both Rwanda and Burundi but were traditionally subject to the Tutsi, who under German and Belgian colonial regimes succeeded in cultivating a lord-vassal relationship. The two cultures are deeply intertwined; both speak Rwanda and Rundi and adhere to similar religious beliefs (traditional and Christian). The Tutsi remained dominant in Rwanda until 1961, when the Hutu expelled most of them and took over the government. After an unsuccessful Hutu coup attempt in Burundi in 1965, that country's Hutu remained subordinate under a Tutsi-dominated military government. Violent clashes occurred in Burundi in 1972, 1988, and 1993 and in Rwanda in 1990 and 1994–96, the later including a Hutu-initiated genocidal campaign in which more than a million people were killed and 1–2 million fled to refugee camps in Zaire (now Congo) and Tanzania.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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