The Furiiru mainly inhabit the east-central highlands of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), in the South Kivu province south of Lake Kivu and north and northwest of Uvira, along the Ruzizi plain near the border with Rwanda and Burundi, where some Furiiru also live. In 2009, their population estimate numbered over 250,000. A 1999 estimate of Furiiru-language speakers placed the number at 300,000. The Furiiru are connected to the Vira in a Furiiru-Vira culture cluster. Both groups are interlacustrine, living between the African Great Lakes.
The Fuliiru speak the Fuliiru language, a Bantu language. They are predominantly farmers, although they also own and raise cattle for milk and meat. Traditionally the Furiiru were the only highland Bantu-speaking people to be organized into a "single, relatively small state" which was highly centralized.
In June 2014, 35 Fuliiru were killed in an attack on the town of Mutarule. The attack was believed to be ethnically motivated.
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