oa Africa Insight - Country profile - Rwanda

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



The Rwandese Republic is distinctive among the independent states of black Africa both for the smallness of its territory and the density of its population - the densest in Africa outside the Nile delta. At the beginning of the Christian era, the Hutu (Bantu tribes) became established in the country. In the 16th century the Tutsi (pastoralists who came from the north) subjugated the Hutu and set up a feudal-type organization with a monarchy. Between 1899 and 1919 the kingdoms of Ruanda and Urundi were united and constituted a German colony. In 1919 Ruanda-Urundi was placed under a League of Nations mandate and put under Belgian administration. Between 1946 and 1962, Ruanda was administered under United Nations trusteeship. In January 1961, the monarchy was abolished and the Republic of Rwanda proclaimed. At the elections of September 1961 victory went to the Parmehutu party whose leader, Gregoire Kayibanda, became the first president of the republic.

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