Burundi has recently emerged from twelve years of devastating civil war. Its economy has been destroyed and hundreds and thousands of people have been killed. In this book, the voices of ordinary Burundians are heard for the first time.
Farmers, artisans, traders, mothers, soldiers and students talk about the past and the future, war and peace, their hopes for a better life and their relationships with each other and the state. Young men, in particular, often seen as the cause of violence and war, talk about the difficulties of living up to standards of masculinity in an impoverished and war-torn society.
Weaving a rich tapestry, Peter Uvin pitches the ideas and aspirations of people on the ground against the theory and assumptions often made by the international development and peace-building agencies and organisations. In doing this, he illuminates both shared goals and misunderstandings. This groundbreaking book on conflict and society in Africa will have profound repercussions for development across the world.