Burundi, densely populated, and landlocked, lies just south of the Equator in central Africa.
From the capital, Bujumbura, on Lake Tanganyika, a great escarpment rises to fertile highlands.
Agriculture employs 90 per cent of the people, with most being subsistence farmers.
Since independence in 1962, Burundi has been plagued by ethnic conflict between the majority Hutus and the Tutsis, who tend to dominate the government and army—but are only 14 percent of the population.
A 2003 cease-fire and new government offer hope for peace.
Capital: Bujumbura; 378,000
Language: Kirundi, French, Swahili
Religion: Roman Catholic, indigenous beliefs, Muslim, Protestant.
Currency: Burundi franc
Life Expectancy: 43
GDP per Capita: U.S. $500
Literacy Percent: 52