The background of the bloodiest episodes of ethnic rivalries between Hutus and Tutsis dates back to colonial and postcolonial times. Thus, in the late 80s, there were almost half a million Rwandan refugees in Burundi, Uganda, Zaire and Tanzania.
The Rwanda Civil War started in 1990 and worked itself into a frenzy with the assassination of the presidents of that country and Burundi in 1994. This was the spark that triggered the systematic extermination of approximately 75% of the Tutsi population and of thousands of moderate Hutus during 100 consecutive days.
Burundi also suffered that ethnic conflict. The small African country was thrown into civil war between 1993 and 2005, after the Hutu uprising against the Tutsi minority in control of the Army. During these long years, massacres were committed and some 300,000 people are thought to have died due to their ethnicity. Although the Arusha Peace Agreement was signed in 2000, it wasn't until years later that the General Ceasefire Agreement promising peace between Hutus and Tutsis was signed in the Tanzanian capital.
The Burundi Truth and Reconciliation Commission for ethnic conflicts investigates the atrocities committed since German colonialism in 1885 until the year 2008. To date, more than 4,000 mass graves have been found and more than 140,000 victims have been identified.