Rwanda is a country in central Africa, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The indigenous population consists of three ethnic groups. The Hutus, who comprise the majority of the population, are farmers of Bantu origin. The Tutsis are a pastoral people who arrived in the area in the 15th century. Until 1959, they formed the dominant caste under a feudal system based on cattleholding. The Twa are thought to be the remnants of the earliest settlers of the region.
|National motto: Xxxxx|
|Official languages||French, Kinyarwanda[?]|
- % water
|Ranked 144th |
July 1, 1960
|Time zone||UTC +2|
|National anthem||Rwanda rwacu[?]|
In 1990, the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front[?] invaded Rwanda from their base in Uganda. The military government of Juvenal Habyarimana[?] responded with genocidal pogroms against Tutsis, who it claimed were trying to re-enslave the Hutus.
Fighting continued until 1992, when the government and the RPF signed a cease-fire agreement in Arusha, Tanzania.
On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying President Habyarimana was shot down in Kigali. Over the next two months, the military and militia groups killed over 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates. The RPF launched another invation, and captured the northern part of the country by July. French peacekeepers secured the southern part, and the war ended on July 16.
Over 2 million Hutus fleed the country after the war, fearing fearing Tutsi retribution. Most have since returned, although some militias remain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and have become involved in that country's civil war.
After its military victory in July 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front[?] organized a coalition government similar to that established by President Juvenal Habyarimana[?] in 1992. Called the Broad Based Government of National Unity, its fundamental law is based on a combination of the constitution, the 1994 Arusha accords, and political declarations by the parties. Habyarimana's National Movement for Democracy and Development[?] was outlawed. Political organizing is banned until 2003.
Rwanda is divided into 12 prefectures:
Rwanda's countryside is covered by grasslands and small farms extending over rolling hills, with areas of rugged mountains that extend southeast from a chain of volcanoes in the northwest. The divide between the Congo and Nile drainage systems extends from north to south through western Rwanda at an average elevation of almost 9,000 feet. On the western slopes of this ridgeline, the land slopes abruptly toward Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River valley, which form the western boundary with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and constitute part of the Great Rift Valley. The eastern slopes are more moderate, with rolling hills extending across central uplands at gradually reducing altitudes, to the plains, swamps, and lakes of the eastern border region.
Rwanda is a rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture. It is the most densely populated country in Africa; is landlocked; and has few natural resources and minimal industry. Primary exports are coffee and tea.
Rwanda's population density, even after the 1994 genocide, is among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly every family in this country with few villages lives in a self-contained compound on a hillside. The urban concentrations are grouped around administrative centers.
|Date||English Name||Local Name||Remarks|
|July 1||Independence Day|
|July 4||Liberation Day|