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This country is located in the eastern part of central Africa and is bounded to the north by Uganda, to the east by Tanzania, in the south by Burundi and to the west and northwest by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It lies mostly on a plateau ranging between 1,200 and 2,000 metres above sea level. The highest peak is Mount Karisimbi at 4,057 meters above sea level. The main lake is Kivu and the most important river is Kagera, where the Nile begins. The Hutu are the main ethnic group; only 16% of the population lives in urban areas and its subsistence economy is one of the poorest in the world.

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