From the seventeenth through the nineteen centuries, the kingdom continued to expand, eventually encompassing parts of present-day Rwanda and Tanzania.However, rule was decentralized, following a system similar to that of feudal lords, and internal conflicts led to a situation in which the king controlled only half the land that was nominally part of his domain by 1900.Through much of the country's history, the majority (around 85 percent) of the people have been Hutu.The Tutsi, the largest minority, traditionally have accounted for about 14 percent of the population. The ethnic balance has begun to shift as Hutu from Burundi have fled to neighboring Rwanda to escape ethnic persecution and Tutsi have escaped violence in Rwanda and settled in Burundi.In 1923, Burundi and Rwanda were officially declared a Belgian mandate by the League of Nations. After the World War II, the mandate was superseded by a United Nations trusteeship.Throughout colonial times, internal strife continued to build.Its total area is 10,750 square miles (27,830 square kilometers).
These animals are being threatened as development encroaches on their natural habitat, and the country has not established national park areas or sanctuaries where species are protected. The country also is experiencing deforestation and soil erosion because of overgrazing and the spread of farming. The population was estimated at 6,054,714 in 2000, with one of the highest population densities in Africa.They outnumbered the Twa and put their own regional kings, called bahinza, in place.Most of the Twa retreated farther into the forested highlands.Rwanda, unlike Burundi, was controlled by the Hutu, and before European rule, the two had never constituted a single political entity.Anti-Tutsi sentiment began to intensify among the Hutu in Burundi.
In a 1964 election, a Hutu won the popular vote but the Tutsi refused to accept a Hutu prime minister. A coup in 1966 replaced the monarchy with a military government and put Michel Micombero in power.