JULY 24, 1996

Associated Press

Some facts about Burundi:

GEOGRAPHY -- Landlocked Central African country wedged between Tanzania and Zaire and south of Rwanda. Total area 10,750 square miles, slightly larger than Maryland.

PEOPLE -- About 6 million, including 85 percent Hutu, 14 percent Tutsi, 1 percent Twa. Official languages Kirundi and French.

Roman Catholic 62 percent, Protestant 5 percent, traditional beliefs 32 percent, Muslim 1 percent. Literacy about 50 percent.

ECONOMY -- Resource-poor, mainly agricultural. Coffee accounts for about 90 percent of export earnings.

POLITICS -- Minority Tutsis, who have traditionally controlled Burundi, have been reluctant to share power with Hutus, who they fear will wipe them out.

Any attempt by Hutus to gain greater access to power has been met by political and military repression, which has created a Hutu backlash.

In 1972, 10 years after Burundi's independence from Belgium, Tutsi soldiers killed more than 100,000 Hutus in a massacre largely ignored by the rest of the world.

In 1988, Hutus killed several hundred Tutsis who they thought were going to kill them. Tutsis responded by killing 20,000 Hutus. In 1993, Hutus killed several thousand Tutsis; the Tutsis again retaliated.

In mid-1994, the worst fears of Burundian Tutsis came true -- in neighboring Rwanda to the north -- where the Hutu-dominated government masterminded a massacre of more than 500,000 Tutsis.

Tutsis drove Hutus from Burundi's towns in a desperate attempt to create Tutsi safe havens. Hutu rebels retaliated against rural Tutsis.

SEPTEMBER 24, 1994

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) -- Facts about Burundi, a small Central African country wedged between Tanzania and Zaire and south of Rwanda.

Total area: 10,750 sq miles, slightly larger than Maryland. Official languages: Kirundi and French.

Religion: Roman Catholic 62 percent; Protestant 5 percent; traditional beliefs 32 percnet, Muslim 1 percent.

Population: About 6 million. Growth rate: 3.1 percent per year.

Ethnic divisions: Hutu 85 percent; Tutsi 14 percent; Twa (pygmy) 1 percent.

Literacy rate: 50 percent.

Economy: A landlocked, resource-poor country in an early stage of economic development, Burundi is mostly agricultural with only a few basic industries. Its economic health depends on the coffee crop, which accounts for about 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings each year.

Environment: Soil exhaustion, erosion, deforestation.

Source: CIA World Factbook.