The economic power of the Watusis, expressed in their wealth in cattle and as warriors, enabled them to maintain themselves in power through the use of force before the arrival of the Belgian colonialists.
This idea of power sharing was not very palatable to the Watusis elite who saw self-rule as an attack on its own hegemony.
Unable to sidetrack the United Nations' authority, the Belgian imperial state was forced to grant limited independence with the hope that the Watusis monarchy would be a stabilizing force in post-independent Rwanda-Burundi.
During 1962 and 1963, Bahutus vigilante groups slaughtered twenty five thousand Watusis. While discountenancing Bahutus violence, the Belgian imperialists were solidly behind the Tutsis encouraging them to keep their hold on the bureaucracy and the education system.