Photo Diary: Burundi

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  • 1. Photo diary: BurundiText and Photos by Marites N. Sison

2. After the warIn 1994, while most of the world was riveted by the genocide in Rwanda, Burundi became the scene of one of Africas most violent and intractable conflicts between thedominant Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority. More than 300,000 Burundians were killed and hundreds of thousands others were internally displaced or became refugees in neighbouring countries. Recovery and rebuilding after morethan a decade of war remains achallenge. The government hasbeen overwhelmed by the return of refugees who fled during the war in the 1990s, as well as the demobilization of former rebels andcombatants.. 3. Coastal paradise View from the road to Bitare, about 50 kms from the capital, Burundi. 4. Heavy loadMany Burundians lack access to potable water. This young boy fetches water from a local well. 5. Yearning for peace Burundi continues to face huge challenges as it recovers from the lingeringeffects of a 12-year, ethnic-based civil war and numerous crises before that. 6. Top mission The UN is mandated to help the Burundian government and people to devisestrategies to deal with challenges to peace and stability. 7. The next generation Young Burundians remain hopeful about the future despite grinding poverty. 8. Religious life Christians constitute 67 per cent of Burundis 8.9 million population (RomanCatholics account for 62 per cent, and Protestants, including Anglicans, 5 percent). The rest include ancestral believers (23 per cent) and Muslims (10 percent). 9. Creative spirit Burundi drummers are a class of their own. They combine the pulsating energyof their drums with graceful dances. 10. Celebrations Welcome dance 11. Sea of colour 12. HIV-AIDS remains one of the biggest challenges in Burundi.It remains one of the major causes of mortality.