|During the crisis there were Hutu who killed Tutsi just because they were Tutsi, and Tutsi who killed Hutu just because they were Hutu.
||Courage in context
Isaac Kubwimana cautioned Maziar and me on making false assumptions about the ethnic conflict. Isaac, a Hutu from Kinama commune in North Bujumbura had his father, sister, brother and four other relatives killed by the Tutsi army and civilian militias when the crisis began in 1993. Yet three years later he chose to risk his own life rescuing other Tutsi. Most of the rescuers you will meet are Hutu who saved Tutsi, he said. This may give the false the impression that it was only Hutu who were killers and only Tutsi who were victims. During the crisis there were Hutu who killed Tutsi just because they were Tutsi, and Tutsi who killed Hutu just because they were Hutu. 
For most outsiders, the words 'Hutu' and 'Tutsi' invariably bring to mind the Rwandan genocide of April 1994 when an estimated 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu lost their lives. Neighbouring Burundi is a country roughly the size of the American state of Maryland. With a population of just over eight million people, it shares similar ethnic makeup and tensions. Here the latest cycle of the conflict started in 1993, a year earlier than Rwanda with almost 300,000 people killed in similarly gross circumstances. However to view the events in Burundi and Rwanda as isolated episodes or to assign blame to one ethnic group at the exclusion of the other would be unfair. As Johan Pottier reminds us, "the 1994 genocide [of the Tutsi] in Rwanda related to the 1972 genocide [of the Hutu] in Burundi and to [Hutu] fears of a repeat genocide in 1993."  Indeed, as the rest of this section will demonstrate, the ethnic strife between the Hutu and the Tutsi started much earlier and was marked by countless episodes of tyrannical provocation, violent rebellion and ruthless repression.
More importantly, it is only when considered against the historical context of this conflict can the courage of the heroes can be properly appreciated.