text readers click here for text only version

the people
eco info
series profile

PrintEmail this article

great lakes: the people

Blessed with fish and fertile lands, the Great Lakes region has attracted a wide range of people over the centuries. But despite this region's idyllic appearance, it has not escaped bloody conflict. This is the case in Rwanda and Burundi, where Tutsi herdsmen of Nilotic descent conquered Bantu-speaking Hutu farmers, setting off centuries of violent clashes that culminated in genocide in the early 1990s. Yet in the midst of chaos, the peoples of the Great Lakes have flourished. In Uganda, the Baganda people, have survived the blood-soaked regimes of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, to emerge as strong today as in centuries past. Strongly tied to their identity as subjects of the kabaka, or Baganda king, they are a well-structured and upwardly mobile group that make up the majority of Uganda's population.

Photo credit: Tutsi: Sayyid Azim/AP; Hutu: Jean-Marc Bouju/AP

great lakes explore the regions africa