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Chapter 1 details the precolonial cultural, political, and economic connections among the Busubi and Bugufi chiefdoms of Ngara and kingdoms in Rwanda and Burundi. The end of World War I and the creation of the League of Nations' mandate system required the establishment of an international boundary between what became British Tanganyika and Belgian Ruanda-Urundi. The chapter reveals the haphazard delineation of this border and the inability or unwillingness of colonial officials to take into account local conditions. Imperial debates around border making signaled the birth of a new type of global governance regime, particularly through the League of Nations' Permanent Mandates Commission.

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