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History, European Colonization

John Hanning Speke, trust territory, German East Africa, Roman Catholic clergy, League of Nations

In 1858 the British explorers Sir Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were the first Europeans to visit Burundi. Austrian explorer Oskar Baumann and German Count Gustav Adolf von Gotzen arrived in the 1890s, and soon Roman Catholic clergy established missions in the area. Later Burundi (then called Urundi) and Rwanda (then called Ruanda) were incorporated into German East Africa. The indigenous Tutsi rulers maintained good relations with the Germans and later with the Belgians, who occupied the country during World War I (1914-1918). After the war, the area was mandated to Belgium by the League of Nations and became known as the Territory of Ruanda-Urundi. Following World War II (1939-1945), it became a United Nations (UN) trust territory. The Belgians continued previous policies of supporting mission education and ruling through Tutsi chiefs. The colonial authorities strengthened precolonial inequalities and were late in seeking reforms. Nevertheless, the Belgians encouraged the mwami to phase out the ubugabire system in 1955.



Article key phrases:

John Hanning Speke, trust territory, German East Africa, Roman Catholic clergy, League of Nations, Belgians, good relations, Europeans, World War, reforms, Rwanda, United Nations, Germans, missions, Belgium, country, area, mwami

 
 

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