By Ann Garrison
What is happening in Rwanda? On Aug. 26, the BBC reported that Burundian officials are investigating to determine why Rwandan bodies have been found floating in Lake Rweru, on Burundi’s border with Rwanda.
The discovery is not only gruesome but also ominous because both East African nations suffer from extremely volatile Hutu-Tutsi ethnic rivalries rooted in centuries of Hutu oppression by a feudal Tutsi aristocracy, which became a colonial elite in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Attempts to institute European democracy – between 1959 and 1961 in Rwanda and in 1993 in Burundi – turned the existing social order upside down, giving electoral advantage to the Hutu majorities, which the Tutsi minorities refused to accept. War, genocide and massacres ensued and both nations, neither of which is yet 100 years old, are commonly described as tinderboxes awaiting a match.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is a Tutsi…
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