African troubles

European nations had been exploring and colonizing the world for most of three centuries, before they finally came to the interior of Africa in the latter 19th century. At that time, there was a mad scramble to claim pieces of it as colonies. France, Britain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, and Spain all established claims after 1880.  Starting after World War II, these African colonies began demanding, and were granted, independence in a wave of decolonization.  These newly independent nations followed the borders of the various European colonial dominions, which sometimes had nothing to do with the affinities of the native tribes.

This poses a problem for me, because when I began assigning nations to various peoples of the world, I did so roughly on a geographic basis, without knowing the details of which peoples lived where.  because the African nations are so far down on the list, it has taken some time to get to their histories.  I was familiar with  the names of the Hutus and the Tutsis because of the publicity given to the Rwanda’ genocide.  I had assigned Rwanda to South Central Africa.  So, when I finally got around to summarizing Burundi which I had assigned to a different division, Southern Africa in the 1980s and 1990s, I found reference to the Hutus and Tutsis there.

Big bust. This means that Rwanda and Burundi (which are neighboring nations, after all)  ought to be in the same region, not different ones.   The easiest fix will probably by going through and reassigning Burundi from Southern Africa to southern East Africa.  I’m not looking forward to it, but it must be done. A little at a time. as opportunity arises.

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