a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Hutu Rebellion

Also called: Ikiza - The Scourge

Years: 1972-1972
Battle deaths: 3,000 [1]
Onesided violence: 150,000 [2]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]

Published prior to 2013 | Altered: 2014-03-29 16:18:55
The Hutu Rebellion was an armed conflict with genocidal dimensions in Burundi in 1972.

From Wikipedia

On April 27, 1972, a rebellion led by some Hutu members of the gendarmerie broke out in the lakeside towns of Rumonge and Nyanza-Lac and declaring the "Martyazo Republic". Countless atrocities were reported by eyewitnesses, and the armed Hutu insurgents proceeded to kill every Tutsi in sight, as well as the Hutus that refused to join the rebellion.It is estimated that during this initial Hutu outbreak, anywhere from 800 to 1200 people were killed.
President Michel Micombero (Tutsi) proclaimed martial law and systematically proceeded to slaughter Hutus en masse. The initial phases of the genocide were clearly orchestrated, with lists of targets including the Hutu educated—the elite—and the militarily trained. Once this had been completed, the Tutsi-controlled army moved onto the larger civilian populations. The Tutsi-controlled government authorities originally estimated that roughly 15,000 had been killed while Hutu opponents claimed number was actually far closer to 300,000. Today, estimates hover in between these two figures, at between 80,000 to 210,000 killed. Several hundred thousand are estimated to have fled the genocide into Zaire, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

Source: Wikipedia, published under the GNU FDL. Retrieved 2014-03-01

From Encyclopedia of Mass Violence
The Burundi Killings of 1972

In the spring of 1972 the small (10,747 sq miles), overpopulated (7 million), poverty-stricken State of Burundi experienced massive bloodletting. Burundi’s agonies did not begin nor end with what is sometimes referred to in Burundi as ikiza, the “scourge”. Nonetheless, there is nothing in the country’s turbulent history comparable to the scale of the 1972 killings. Although the number of victims will never be known, estimates range between 150,000 to 300,000 (Kiraranganya, 1985: 76) To reduce a complicated drama to its simplest common denominator, the vast majority of those killed were of Hutu origins, representing approximately 80 per cent of a total population then numbering approximately four million; the perpetrators were drawn overwhelmingly from the Tutsi minority, accounting for some 15 per cent of the population, its representatives holding full control over the armed forces and the government.
Not all Tutsi were perpetrators, however, nor were all of the victims Hutu. Hutu and Tutsi were both victims and perpetrators — but each at separate time intervals and with very different scales of involvement. The triggering factor behind the bloodbath was a Hutu-led rural insurrection aimed at seizing power from the ruling Tutsi minority. The fulcrum of the rebellion was in the southern province of Bururi, its leadership consisting of a small group of radicalized Hutu intellectuals, most of them operating from neighboring Tanzania. To the extent that it claimed an ideology, its overtones were militantly anti-Tutsi. In a matter of days, hundreds (possibly thousands) of Tutsi lives were lost. The ensuing repression, however, went far beyond the province most directly affected by violence; its avenging furor swept across the entire country and lasted for months after it had been brought under control.
Its extensiveness and extreme brutality against all Hutu elites have prompted some commentators to refer to a “selective genocide” (Lemarchand, 1974). Yet, to this day, scholars disagree as to whether the 1972 killings should be described as a double genocide, a selective genocide, a genocide or a case of ethnic cleansing run amok. Despite the wealth of data made available by recent research (Chrétien and Dupaquier, 2007) many of the questions raised by these tragic events defy a simple answer.

René Lemarchand, The Burundi Killings of 1972, Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, [online], published on 27 June 2008, accessed 1 March 2014, URL : http://www.massviolence.org/The-Burundi-Killings-of-1972, ISSN 1961-9898 


Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Correlates of War, Intra-State War Data v4.1

[2] Onesided violence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burundian_Genocide

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.


Check if this section is being updated on the update page.