Rwanda is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge.

Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kigali, Rwanda
Photo Taken In Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda, a small country with a predominantly agricultural economy, had one of Africa’s highest population densities by the early 1990s.

The Hutu made up about 85 percent of the population, with the balance being Tutsi and a tiny number of Twa, a Pygmy minority that was Rwanda’s first occupants.

Rwanda, along with neighboring Burundi, was part of German East Africa from 1897 to 1918 until becoming a Belgian trusteeship under a League of Nations mandate after World War I.

The colonial period in Rwanda, when the ruling Belgians favored the minority Tutsis over the Hutus, intensified the tendency of the few to oppress the many, resulting in a legacy of tension that erupted into bloodshed even before Rwanda’s independence.

What was Rwanda called before?

Rwanda was previously called Ruanda-Urundi and it was an effort pulled up by the Belgian colony to create an independent Ruanda-Urundi at that time.

At the urging of the UN, the Belgian government divided Ruanda-Urundi into two separate countries, Rwanda and Burundi.

Rwanda, on the other hand, was only a German colony for a short time. As a result of Germany’s defeat in World War I, Rwanda was given to the Belgian colonial empire under a League of Nations mandate (later United Nations).


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