Rwanda is located in Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its natural resources are gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, and arable land. Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa. Its population of 11,689,696 is made up of Hutu (Bantu-84%), Tutsi (Hamitic-15%), and Twa (Pygmy-1%) ethnic groups. Official languages are Kinyarwanda (universal Bantu vernacular), French, and English; Rwandans also speak Kiswahili (Swahili, used in commercial centers). Rwanda became independent from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship in July 1962.
In 1959 the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990.  The war culminated in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which up to a million Rwandans were killed, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF defeated the national army and Hutu militias, and established an RPF-led government of national unity.

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    Khalid Al-Naif

    Director, Development Consulting Services

  • Default People Image

    Amy Gillett

    Director, Executive Education, William Davidson Institute

  • Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy

    Executive Director, William Davidson Institute
    Professor, Business Administration

  • Nyambura Mpesha

    Nyambura Mpesha

    Lecturer III in Afroamerican and African Studies, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies
    Professor, DAAS
    Language Instructor

  • Allan Stam

    Allan Stam

    Professor, Political Science
    Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies

  • Mark Tessler

    Mark Tessler

    Vice Provost, International Affairs
    Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor, Political Science
    Director, International Institute
    Research Professor, Center for Political Studies