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First posted on July 2nd 2002, last revised on November 12th 2013

History of Rwanda : Narrative . References : Online Secondary Sources . Online Primary Sources . Bibliographic and Print Sources

until 1896 . 1896-1916 . 1916-1962 . Since 1962
see also Ruanda-Urundi 1916-1962

Precolonial History, until 1896
The territory of modern Rwanda was first inhabited by the Twa (Pygmees). The Bantu Hutu immigrated in the 11th century, the Tutsi pastoralists in the 15th century. The Tutsi adopted the Hutu language of Kinyarwanda. The Kingdom of Nyiginya expanded to form the Tutsi Kingdom of Rwanda in the late 18th century; the king ruled under the title of Mwami. His successors continued to rule until 1931/1960. In 1860, the Kingdom of Rwanda was first mentioned by John Speke.

Colonial History, 1896-1962
German rule, 1896-1916
In an agreements with Britain (Uganda) Germany achieved the Kingdom of Rwanda to fall into the German sphere of interest.
Dr. Oscar Baumann was the first German to visit Rwanda in 1892, soon to be followed by Graf von Götzen in 1894, who travelled the country extensively. In 1896, King Musinga recognized the German protectorate. In 1900, the Peres Blancs (White Fathers) established their first mission in Rwanda. Until 1907, the Germans administrated Rwanda as part of the military district of Tanganyika-Kivu; in 1907, the Germans established a military command at Kigali which they selected as capital. In 1911 Belgium and Germany signed a treaty on the border between German East Africa (Rwanda) and the Belgian Congo; Rwanda gained in the west. The Germans treated the Kingdom of Rwanda as a protectorate, interfering little in its internal affairs (indirect rule). The kingdom of Rwanda already had a relatively centralized administration. Christian mission began during the period of German colonialism.

Belgian rule, 1916-1962
In 1916, Belgian troops from the Belgian Congo invaded German East Africa, occupying both Rwanda and Burundi. In the Treaty of Versailles, all German colonies were taken from it. In 1920, the League of Nations transferred Rwanda and Burundi as mandated territory to Belgium.
During the Belgian occupation, a number of outlying Hutu kingdoms were annexed to the Kingdom of Rwanda : Bugama-Kiganda 1916, Cyingogo 1916, Bushiru 1919/1925/1938, Bwanamwari 1919, Buhoma 1924, Bukonya 1931, Kibari 1931, Rwankeri 1931, Ruhengeri (date unknown).
In 1922, the Belgians created the colony of Ruanda-Urundi (administrated as an annex to the Belgian Congo). Yet, they left both kingdoms, Rwanda and Burundi, intact, and established administrations in which the real authority lay with the Belgian officials 'advising' the king. In 1922, Rwanda was separated from the apostolic vicariate of Kivu, turned into a separate vicariate.
While under the Germans, Rwanda, regarded a remote outpost, had received little attention, the Belgians intensifyed colonial administration. The elite was educated in French, drawing the country into the circle of francophone countries. Catholic mission, begun under the Germans, was intensifyed. Coffee was introduced as a crop in 1918.
In 1926-1931, the Belgians undertook an administrative reform, reducing c. 200 chieftaincies to c.40; they treated Tutsi preferentially when it came to the appointment of chiefs (Tutsification), because the latter were regarded of a higher, more intelligent race, a race of 'naturally born leaders'. In 1931, King Musinga was deposed by the Belgians; he was succeeded by regents appointed by the Belgians. In 1942 and 1943, during World War II, Rwanda suffered a famine in which about 300,000 persons perished (out of a total population of c.2,000,000).
In 1946, Rwanda became a UN mandate. Constitutional changes were made to assure the native population with political representation. The minority TUTSI managed to dominate positions in the army, administration and economy; this lead to Hutu (who form 85 % of the population) resentment, which turned into civil unrest.
In 1954, Regent Mutara III Rudahigwa decreed the abolition of feudalism.
In 1959, Belgium declared a state of emergency and sent troops in from Belgian Congo, to calm down the situation. After elections held in 1960, a republican government was formed, the monarchy terminated. In 1962, Rwanda was released into independence.

Independence, since 1962
Rwanda proclaimed independence in 1962. The monarchy had been abolished in 1961. The new republic suffered under continuing antagonism between the traditionally dominating minority Tutsi (15 %) and the majority Hutu (85 %). The country's recent political history is notoriously instable. Coups (1973), mass emigrations (Tutsis 1962, 1964), civil wars (1990, 1994), massacres (1993, 1994). When Rwanda became independent in 1962, Gregoire Kayibanda, head of the Parmehutu party, formed the first government. Thousands of Tutsi fealt threatened and left the country. The Hutu-Tutsi conflict remained a major issue in Rwandan politics; the exile Tutsi established themselves across the Ugandan border. France aided the Hutu government. In 1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana, a moderate Hutu, was killed; radical Hutus took over government and radical Hutus organized a systematic massacre of Tutsis as well as moderate Hutus, of hitherto unknown proportion (estimates range between 0.8 and 1.05 million deaths). The exile Tutsis, from their base camps in Uganda, invaded and quickly defeated the Hutus; now, many Hutus fled the country into Zaire, where refugee camps such as Goma were established.
A new government under Paul Kagame brought stability and economic progress to the country. Hutu extremists (Rwandese exiles) undertook operations against Kagame's Rwanda, to which Rwanda's military responded by interfering in the Democratic Republic of Congo's civil war.

Historical Atlas, Rwanda Page

Students' Paper : Sung Ji Yun, History of Nutrition in East Africa (2012)

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Official Website of the Government of Rwanda, Brief History of Rwanda
Specific Periods DADM, Rwanda 1962-present
Rwanda Gateway, Pre-colonial Rwanda, Colonial Rwanda, Post-Colonial Rwanda
Historiography T. Hartley, Rwanda and Burundi: Historical and Historiographical Explanations for Ethnic Violence thesis Sheffield 2011
M. Jean, The Rwandan Genocide: The True Motivations for Mass Killings, Emory n.d.
Politics Politics of Rwanda, from Wikipedia; Political Resources on the Net : Rwanda
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Rwanda Profile, from International Crisis Group
F. Reyntjens, Chiefs and Burgomasters in Rwanda. The Unfinished Quest for a Bureaucracy 1987
International Boundary Studies : Burundi-Rwanda Boundary 1966
E. Ntakutirama, La Français au Rwanda n.d.
T. Rukara, Rwanda: A Brief History of Rwandan Leaders and Rulers since 1950 2011
W. Ferroggiaro, The US and the Genocide in Rwanda 1994. Evidence of Inaction 2001
Military Wars of Rwanda, 1800-1999, from ACED
Orders, Decorations and Medals from Rwanda, posted by Jean Paul le Blanc, from ODM
Article Rwandan Civil War, from Wikipedia
Global Security : African Paramilitary Groups : Interahamwe, Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda
M. White, Death Tolls for the Multicides of the Twentieth Century, Rwanda, Hutu vs. Tutsi, 1959-1964, 1994, Rwanda 1990
Economy & Finances Global History of Currencies : Rwanda; Currency Boards and Dollarization by Kurt Schuler; click for Rwanda
Article Economy of Kenya, from Wikipedia
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D. Rohac, The Rwandan Renaissance, The American Interest 2012, an article on the recent economic performance of R., historical information included in the article is flawed
National Bank of Rwanda, A Brief Survey of Rwanda's Monetary History, partially confused
Potato Atlas : Rwanda
Social History Rwanda, from Crime and Society, A Comparative Crimonology Tour of the World (R. Winslow)
Alcohol and Drugs History Society : Rwanda
H. Musahara, Perspectives on Cooperatives with Reference to Rwanda, draft 2012
E. Ibuka, The Role of Civil War on Higher Education in Rwanda: A Case Study of the National University of Rwanda, thesis Florida International Univ. 2011
N. Hogg, Women's participation in the Rwandan genocide: mothers or monsters? , International Review of the Red Cross 92/877 2010
Ethnography Category Languages of Rwanda, from Wikipedia
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Country Report : Rwanda, from U.S. Committee for Refugees
Forced Migration Online Research Guide Rwanda 2003
Rwanda, from Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
Rwanda : Hutus, Tutsis, from Minorities at Risk
World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples : Rwanda
Emmanuel Viret, Chronological Index : Rwanda - a Chronology, from Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence
Refugee Studies Centre : Repatriation and Reconciliation in Divided Societies : The Case of Rwanda's 'Ingando', 2008, from Forced Migration Online
D. Mayersen, "Race" relations in Rwanda: An historical perspective, Wollongong 2010
Religion Chronology of Catholic Dioceses : Rwanda, from Kirken i Norge
Category : Religion in Rwanda, from Wikipedia
by Region Category : Provinces of Rwanda, Subdivisions of Rwanda, from Wikipedia
Article Provinces of Rwanda, from Wikipedia
Provinces of Rwanda, from www.statoids.com
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J.M. Merklin, Countries and Territories of the 20th Century, 2009 : Republique Rwandaise 1968-07-08, 1978-07-08, 1988-07-08, 1998-07-08, 2008-07-08
Local History List of Cities in Rwanda, from Wikipedia
History of Kigali, from Wikipedia
Institutions Rwanda, from Airline History
Article National University of Rwanda, from Wikipedia
Structurae : Rwanda
Cultural History Article Rwanda at the Olympics, from Wikipedia
Biographies List of Rwandans, from Wikipedia
African Women Bibliographic Database
Dictionary of African Christian Biography
Environmental History Afrotropic Ecoregion, from WWF
Disaster History by Country : Rwanda, from Relief Web

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List of Rwandan Bamis (Kings), from RwandaNet
Lists of Ambassadors U.S. Ambassadors to Rwanda, from NNDB: Chinese Ambassadors to Rwanda, from PRC MOFA; Liste der Botschafter der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Kigali (Ruanda), from Wikipedia German edition
Statistical Data Responsible Institution National Institute of Statistics, Rwanda
Population Figures from Population Statistics (Jan Lahmeyer)
World Life Expectancy, Health Profile : Rwanda
Survivors Fund. Supporting survivors of the Rwandan Genocide, Statistics of the Rwandan Genocide
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List of Ratifications of International Labour Conventions by Rwanda, from ILO, 27 docs. since 1962
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Peace Agreements Digital Collection : Congo-Rwanda, from United States Institute of Peace
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Security Council Report : UN Documents on the Great Lakes Region
Individual Documents UN Security Council Resolutions 1962 res. 172, 1993 res. 812, 846, 872, 891, 1994 res. 893, 909, 912, 918, 925, 928, 929, 935, 955, 965, 1995 res. 977, 978, 989, 997, 1005, 1011, 1013, 1028, 1029, 1996 res. 1050, 1053, 1078, 1080, 1997 res. 1097, 1998 res. 1161, 1200, 1999 res. 1241, 2000 res. 1329, 2001 res. 1347, 2002 res. 1411, 1431, 2003 res. 1477, 1482, 1503, 1505, 1512, 2004 res. 1534, 2006 res. 1653, 1684, 1705, 1717, 2007 res. 1749, 2008 res. 1804, 1823, 1824, 1855, 2009 res. 1878, 1901, 2010 res. 1932, 2011 res. 1995, 2006, 2013, 2029, 2012 res. 2038, 2054, 2080
Historical Maps responsible institutions Ministry of Lands, Environment, Forestry, Water and Mines, National Mapping Agencies in Africa
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Category : Old Maps of Rwanda, Maps of the History of Rwanda, Wikimedia Commons
Ruanda-Urundi, Topographical Maps 1:100,000, 1942, PCL, UTexas
Africa, Modern Africa 1905, 1912, 1938, 1959, 1967, 1993, J. de Salas Vara del Rey
Africa, Contemporary Historical Map of Africa 1885, Nations Online Project
Africa 1885, PCL, UTexas
Africa 1909, World Maps Online
Africa 1910, Emerson Kent
Africa 1913, Zonu
Rwanda, Modern
Rwanda, Contemporary R. de Lannoy de Bissy, Carte de l'Afrique ?l'?helle de 1:2 000 000 41. Tabora 1885, 41. Tabora 1892, Gallica
Africa 1:2.000.000, U.S. Army Map Service, sheet 23 Kisangani (1968), sheet 24 Nairobi (1968), PCL, UTexas
detail, hindsight/modern Map Italian-Ethiopian War 1896
detail, contemporary
Encyclopedia Entries
Secular Article Ruanda, from Meyers Konversationslexikon, 4th ed., 1885-1892, in German, Retrobibliothek
Parliamentary Debates Search Hansard for Rwanda
Institutions Archives Iriba Center for Multimedia Heritage, Rwanda
Genocide Archive Rwanda
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Musea Museums in Rwanda, from International Council of African Museums
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Libraries Libraries in Rwanda, from LibDex
Official Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Flag, from FOTW; Coat of Arms, from International Civic Heraldry
National Anthem, posted by David's National Anthem Reference Page
Coins, Banknotes Banknotes of Rwanda, from World Currency Museum, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
Rwandan coins from Collections of Coins, bilingual Russian and English page; from World Coin Gallery
Stamps see under Ruanda-Urundi

Bibliographies . Online Libraries . Thesis Servers . Online Journals . General Accounts . Specific Topics . Historical Dictionaries . Statistical Data . Yearbooks
Bibliographies general Search ISBN Database
on Rwanda survey of bibliographies
bibliographic database AfricaBib : Africana Periodical Literature, African Women, Women Travelers, Explorers and Missionaries to Africa
African Borderlands Research Network : Bibliography
general bibliographies pp.409-437 in L. Dorsey, Historical Dictionary of Rwanda, Metuchen NJ : Scarecrow 1994 [G]
annual bibliographies
specialist bibliographies Article : Bibliography of the Rwandan Genocide, from Wikipedia
Le Genocide Rwandais. Documents disponibles a la BDIC
Ritimo, Relations France-Rwanda. Du soutien aveugle a la rupture. Bibliographie
serial publications
general bibliographies
Rwanda entries
J. Gay, Bibliographie des ouvrages relatifs a l'Afrique et a l'Arabie : catalogue methodique de tous les ouvrages français et des principaux en langues etrangeres traitant de la geographie, de l'histoire, du commerce, des lettres et des arts de l'Afrique et de l'Arabie 1875, in French, Gallica
Roots Institute, Bibliography of Published Primary Sources in African History (English Language)
Rwanda-Bibliographie, from Afrika-Handbuch, at Univ. of Vienna
Online Libraries general Google Books; Internet Archives; Gutenberg Library Online; HathiTrust; Gallica
International Boundary Studies
on Rwanda Aluka, African Online Digital Library (AODL), African Digital Library (ADL)
Thesis Server Registry of Open Access Repositories : Rwanda
Open Access Theses and Dissertations
Online Journals Directory of Open Access Journals
General Accounts Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia, Vol.15, pp.640-642 Article Central Africa : Rwanda. KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862h v.15
Specific Topics
Historical Dictionaries Learthen Dorsey, Historical Dictionary of Rwanda, Metuchen N.J. : Scarecrow 1994 [G]
Statistical Data IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. The Americas 1750-2000, London : Palgrave 2003 [G]
Yearbook Entries Britannica Book of the Year Ruanda-Urundi, 1963 pp.708-709 [G]
Rwanda, 1964 p.737, 1965 p.721, 1966 pp.677-678, 1967 p.677, 1968 pp.684-685, 1969 p.667, 1970 pp.674-675, 1971 p.656, 1972 pp.617-618, 1973 p.604, 1974 pp.603-604, 1975 p.608, 1976 pp.605-606, 1977 pp.605-606, 1978 pp.622-623, 1979 pp.613-614, 1980 pp.610-611, 1981 p.610, 1982 p.611, 1983 p.606, 1984 p.607, 1985 pp.472, 767, 1986 pp.466, 766, 1988 pp.395, 686, 1989 pp.395, 686, 1990 pp.412, 702, 1993 pp.367-368, 702, 1994 pp.366, 701, 1995 pp.463-464, 701 [G]
Statesman's Yearbook Rwanda, 1970-1971 pp.1271-1272, 1975-1976 pp.1277-1278, 1978-1979 pp.1026-1028, 1980-1981 pp.1026-1028, 1983-1984 pp.1022-1024, 1984-1985 pp.1019-1021, 1985-1986 pp.1021-1024, 1987-1988 pp.1025-1027, 1988-1989 pp.1028-1030, 1989-1990 pp.1040-1042, 1990-1991 pp.1041-1043, 1991-1992 pp.1041-1043, 1992-1993 pp.1129-1131, 1993-1994 pp.1127-1129, 1994-1995 pp.1126-1129, 1995-1996 pp.1118-1121, 1996-1997 pp.1094-1097, 1997-1998 pp.1099-1102, 1998-1999 pp.1194-1197, 2000 pp.1137-1142, 2001 pp.1300-1304, 2002 pp.1354-1358, 2003 pp.1353-1357, 2004 pp.1358-1362, 2005 pp.1368-1372 [G]
Americana Annual Rwanda, 1963 p.584, 1964 p.579, 1965 p.617, 1967 p.595, 1968 p.584, 1969 p.590, 1970 p.595, 1971 p.590, 1972 p.583, 1973 p.586, 1993 p.461 [G]

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