National Geographic : 1962 Nov
U.N.TRUST TERRITORY BRITISH GERMAN PORTUGUESE SPANISH SWAZILAND NSUTOLAND CHANGING AFRICA Kneeling Africans worship with bowed heads in the chapel of the College du Saint Esprit, a Jesuit institution in Usumbura, Burundi. Sunlight streams through panels of stained glass. Half the people of the infant kingdom embrace the Christian faith. HS EKTACHROMEBY JOSEPHJ. SCHERSCHEL© N.G.S. MAPS BY DOROTHYA. NICHOLSON© N.G.S. m INDEPEN BELGIAN FRENCH E ITALIAN SOUTH A DENT FRICAN us L , 1 MUNIi n | CABINDA 1959 " MUNI CABINDA 1962 ASUTOLAND 604 ing states posed a formidable threat. Most of the Europeans with whom I talked felt they might be waiting only for withdrawal of the Belgian troops to make a new bid for power. So tense was the situation in the days be fore July 1, when Belgian troops were orig inally scheduled to begin leaving, that the soldiers were ordered to remain at their posts through the advent of uhuru. They did, and the peace was kept. But tribal animosities run deep in Africa, and tribal memories are long. In June, few settlers were willing to gamble. "There may be delays," said a departing farmer, "but ultimately the troops will depart. And then, should violence start, who knows where it will end? In any case, there is no future here. Both new governments have made it clear that we are no longer welcome." I walked the length of Usumbura's prin cipal street, the Chaussee d'Astrida, and read the forlorn epitaphs of the departing whites in the shopwindows. Most stared vacantly at the passerby, small placards announcing A Vendre (For Sale), or A Louer (For Rent). Notices proclaiming Solde (Clearance Sale) emblazoned those shops still open. Here and there stood a stubborn holdout. One store, its window shattered by a pre mature celebrator of independence, had plas tered the break with a defiant poster: La Con fiance Regne-Confidence Reigns. Confidence perhaps. Or perhaps something more desperate. "I'm tired of running," a white storekeeper with weary eyes told me. "They drove me out of the Congo, out of a house my grandfather built. Why? Neither I nor my family have ever exploited anyone. I was born in Africa. I love Africa. And no matter what happens, I'll stay in Africa." Others, too, were staying. High in the green hills that overlook Usumbura and Lake Tan Changing map of southern Africa reflects the spread of self-government in a few mo mentous decades. Only one native African state, Ethiopia (Abyssinia), existed in 1913 in the area shown here and on the supple ment map. Since 1959, 16 new nations, for mer wards of Europe, have sprung up.