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Burundi Wants Former Colonisers to Pay $43bn in Reparations for Colonial Rule

The country’s senate has put together a panel of experts to assess the damage done during colonialism and advise on the cost of damages, according to Radio France International. Burundi plans to send these recommendations to the German and Belgium governments. The country also intends to demand the European countries return stolen historical artifacts and archive material. From 1890, Germany colonized Burundi, which became part of German East Africa. After WWI, the country was ruled by Belgium, until it gained its independence in 1962. During the colonial era, the ruling powers strengthened the divide between the Hutu and Tutsi groups. This contributed to deadly ethnic conflict between them in the 1970s and then another civil war for 12 years from 1993, which killed some 300,000 people. The Belgium government carried out a program of kidnapping biracial children from Burundi and then Belgium Congo during the 1940s and 50s. Belgium officially apologized for this in 2009.