Findings from both the Pleistocene (late Acheulé tradition) and the Holocene have been made in a reasonable amount. Sharp stone objects are unusual, but from the beginning of the first millennium BC There are numerous traces of ironworking. At the end of the first millennium AD there was a well-established culture that, among other things, grown sorghum and smelted iron in decorated brick ovens. In central and northwestern Rwanda, farming communities have provided simpler ceramics from about 800 AD.
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The genocide tragedy in 1994 and the subsequent social debate have led to the questioning and partial revision of Rwanda’s historical writing. Relatively controversial, however, is that Rwanda was originally inhabited by the pygmy people the two, who were feeding on hunting. Sometime around 1000 AD a farming bantu, the origin of today’s hutu, is believed to have settled in the country. From the 1300s to the 1400s, there has probably been a gradual immigration from the north of a livestock-loving people, possibly related to ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa, from which today’s Tutsis would descend. In the very hilly country a number of small kingdoms emerged. At first these were ruled by Hutus, but eventually Tutsi families came to dominate. It has been speculated that the Tutsis had developed a closest military organization to keep track of their livestock herds and that this force made it possible to begin dominating the Hutus. To see more information other than history, please visit AbbreviationFinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Rwanda.
One of these Tutsid-dominated kingdoms began to expand in the 18th century, to cover most of today’s Rwanda at the arrival of the German colonizers in the 1880s. However, there were still a few minor hatreds in the western parts of the country. Parallel to the Tutsi kingdom, a mythology was built up, usually expressed in songs and poems, which glorified the king, mwami, which was attributed to a divine origin, and justified the supremacy of the Tutsis. In fact, the relationship between the two ethnic groups was much more complicated. “Tutsi” most closely termed a person who owned cattle, and it was possible for both a Hutu to become Tutsi by acquiring animals and for a Tutsi to “degrade” to Hutu. But Tutsi has also been a term for the ruling class, while Hutu have been the subjects, regardless of ethnic origin. Mixed marriages were commonplace and Hutus could be recorded in Tuscan families. The two peoples gradually merged, and they cherished the same traditions and rites.
Tutsi took over the language of the Hutu population, Rwanda (Kinyarwanda), a bantu language which, however, according to some scholars, contains features of the Cushitic languages spoken in the Horn of Africa, which would support the theory of the Tutsis’ medieval immigration. When the German colonization began after the Berlin Conference of 1884–85, the Europeans perceived the land of King Kigeri IV (1860–95) had built up that was more centralized and hierarchical than it actually should have been. But by basing their indirect rule on the Tutsi head, the Germans widened the social divide and consolidated the supremacy of the Tutsi. When Belgium took over responsibility for Rwanda during the First World War mandated by the League of Nations, the contradictions were reinforced and given an ethnic dimension they had not previously had.
German and Belgian colony
During the colonial period, the racist stereotypes were reinforced, mainly that Tutsi are long and slender while hutu are short and contradictory. The colonial power disrupted the previous balance of power based on chiefs and subordinates, the mutual obligations of the traditional patron-client relationship were transformed into unilateral obligations and ethnic identity into class differences. The Belgian colonial power strengthened the racial and class divide by introducing identity cards with ethnic affiliation indicated. During the Belgian colonial era, social divisions were also strengthened by the Tutsis unilaterally favoring the education system and providing services in the administration. The church also played a major role in cementing the contradictions. The Tutsis quickly embraced Christianity, which was spread by Catholic missionaries,
From 1946 Belgium administered Rwanda as a management area on behalf of the UN. During the 1950s, a modernization of the country began; For example, forced labor was banned, and land reform was initiated despite protests from the Tutsi elite. After World War II, a new generation of missionaries and administrators felt greater sympathy for the Hutu people. An intellectual Hutuelite, who demanded part of the power, began to emerge with the good memory of the Belgians. At the forefront of these demands was Grégoire Kayibanda, leader of the hut party Party of Movement of Emancipation du Peuple Hutu (PARMEHUTU). After ethnic unrest in 1959, the Hutu people revolted, deposed King Kigeri V and broke the rule of the Tutsis. According to some estimates, 20,000 Tutsis were killed during the Hutu revolution, and 100,000 fled the country.
In a 1961 referendum, the kingdom was abolished, and the following year Rwanda became independent with Kayibanda as president. A year later, exiled Tutsi in Burundi crossed the border to regain power. The Hutu regime fought back the invasion; in organized pogroms, more than 10,000 Tutsis were then murdered, and thousands fled. Due to internal contradictions within the ruling Hutu elite and the continued unresolved ethnic conflict, Juvénal Habyarimana took power in a military coup in 1973 and proclaimed president. He took a relatively moderate stance on the ethnic issue, dissolved PARMEHUTU, improved relations with Tutsi-controlled Burundi and formed the only permissible party, the Mouvement révolutionnaire national pour le développement (MRND), which included all Rwandans regardless of ethnic affiliation.
In 1987, Tutsis and other exile Rwandans formed the Uganda Front Patriotic Rwandaise (FPR). Three years later, it invaded Rwanda from bases in Uganda, but was halted during the advance of the Rwandan army, which was supported by soldiers from the then Zaire, France and Belgium. Continued guerrilla war, combined with domestic political dissatisfaction fueled by economic problems, forced the Hutu regime to the negotiating table. Multiparty systems were introduced, and a unifying government was appointed to end the civil war.
The 1994 genocide
An agreement was signed in 1993 in Arusha, Tanzania, for the FPR to take a seat in the government, and the United Nations formed an international peacekeeping force, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR), to ensure compliance with the agreement. However, extreme Hut nationalists delayed the government transformation and launched a rough propaganda campaign in the mass media against FPR and Tutsis in general. Hutumilis like Interahamwe were assigned weapons, and plans were drawn for mass murder of Tutsis. Among the leading extremists were senior officers in the army and the presidential guard, as well as prominent politicians.
When President Habyarimana was pressured to sign a new pledge to take FPR into Arusha in his government, his aircraft was shot down over Kigali’s airport upon his return. Who was behind the shooting has never been unequivocally clarified, but the death of the president became a pretext to launch the carefully planned genocide. In three months, at least 800,000 civilians of all ages were murdered, not just Tutsis but also Hutus who opposed the extremists. The identity documents, which since the colonial era had an ethnic affiliation, often helped the murderers sell out their victims. The outside world remained passive, and the UN’s response to the mass murders was to call home most of its soldiers.
FPR refused to acknowledge the provisional Hutur regime that took power, and suspended the ceasefire. Under pressure from the Tutsiger guerrillas, the Hutu extremists were driven south and then fled into Zaire. About 2 million civilian hutans fled the FPR to Zaire, Tanzania and Burundi. A French elite force set up an enclave in southwestern Rwanda in order to protect civilians, but the French intervention mainly resulted in the fact that several of the suicide bombers could leave the country.
The genocide ceased only after the FPR defeated the Hutu regime in July 1994 and formed a new government with representatives of both peoples. Tutsier Paul Kagame, vice president and defense minister, became the country’s strong man, while Hutu politicians occupied the posts of president and prime minister. For several years, hutumilis continued to make raids into Rwanda from bases in Zaire, while extremist leaders through terror and propaganda specifically prevented hut refugees from returning.
The development took a new turn in October 1996 after being threatened by the Zairian people to expel banyamulenge (Zairians of Tutsi residents living in the country for generations) from eastern Zaire to Rwanda. The latter then attacked the refugee camps and chased away the hutumilis, who fled west along with refugees who, because of their involvement in the 1994 genocide, feared reprisals. However, a majority of Hutu refugees returned to Rwanda, and in December 1996 Tanzania ordered all Rwandan refugees to return. The Kigali government was thus faced with the gigantic task of integrating more than one million returning refugees and dispensing punishment for the architects and craftsmen of the genocide. In the fall of 1994, the UN established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda(ICTR) with location in Arusha. However, the work there was very slow, and in Rwanda the prisons were filled with at least 125,000 suspected killers and fellow runners who had to wait for years for trial.
In 2001, preparations began with the reintroduction of a traditional legal system, gacaca, in order to make the suspects more easily accountable through simpler processes. The cooperation between Tutsis and Hutus in the transitional government and the Provisional Parliament encountered many problems, and in 2000 both the President and the Prime Minister resigned. Paul Kagame was named president, and the Tutsis’ takeover of power was now conspicuous. At the same time, the military situation had begun to stabilize. Hutumilization no longer posed any acute threat, and society began to show signs of some normalization. The economy began to recover. A new constitution was adopted in a referendum in 2003, after which general elections consolidated FPR’s dominant political position and Kagame was re-elected as president.
Rwanda during the 2000s
Since the genocide, Rwanda has had tense relations with a large part of the outside world that did not intervene to stop the killing. Co-operation with ICTR has also at times been poor, as the UN Court’s chief prosecutor also wanted to investigate possible war crimes by FPR leaders. France has been accused by Rwanda both of protecting war criminals and of having previously armed the Hutu regime. A French parliamentary inquiry that blamed FPR for the shooting down of President Habyarimana’s aircraft in April 1994 further deteriorated relations between the countries.
In November 2009, Rwanda resumed diplomatic relations with France, but was approved at the same time as a member of the English-speaking organization Commonwealth. In 2010, an official Rwandan inquiry found that Hutus from the president’s own circle were behind the deed, a conclusion that in 2012 was supported by a new French inquiry.
The relationship with the Congo (Kinshasa) has been poor since the then dictator Mobutu helped the Hutu regime. The presence of the Hutumilis in eastern Congo (Kinshasa), and their threat to the Tutsi-related banyamulenge, was the formal reason why Rwanda militarily intervened in Zaire/ Congo (Kinshasa) both in 1996 and 1998. However, in a UN investigation, Rwanda has been accused of prosecuting all have used their interventions in Congo (Kinshasa) to conduct illegal mining of valuable minerals. At the end of the 1990s, however, the relationship between the countries improved. In 2007, Rwanda together with Burundi and Congo (Kinshasa) decided to revive cooperation within the Economic Community of the Great Lakes (CEPGL) and Rwanda and Burundi became members of the East African Community that year.
Rwandan huturebeller has continued to be active in eastern Congo (Kinshasa) under the name Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR). In 2009, Rwandan soldiers were invited to fight the FDLR in cooperation with the Congolese army. However, conflicts in eastern Congo (Kinshasa) have continued and in a 2012 UN report, Rwanda was accused of supporting the rebel movement Mouvement du March 23 (M23). Rwanda refused, but several countries canceled their aid payments. Despite the allegations, Rwanda was elected to the UN Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014. Thanks to the successful economic policy and the low level of corruption, Rwanda has otherwise benefited from the donors, despite the regime’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies.
According to ICTR’s original mandate, the court’s work would have been completed by 2008, but the UN Security Council has extended the mandate. By the end of 2012, the majority of cases had been completed, of which 22 resulted in lifetime sentences. Ten defendants had been acquitted and the others were sentenced to time-limited imprisonment of up to 45 years. In 2002, the UN gave other countries the right to try and convict Rwandans arrested there, provided that the laws of these countries allow the trial of genocide and crimes against humanity regardless of where the crimes have been committed.
Rwanda’s regular judicial system has largely been rebuilt and is now being given such high level of competence that ICTR 2011 was able to submit a case to Rwanda for the first time. A prerequisite for this was that the death penalty was abolished in 2007, when about 800 people had their death sentences converted to life imprisonment. In October 2011, Sweden received a clear sign from the Court of Justice of the Council of Europe (European Court of Justice) to extradite a genocidal suspected Rwandan to his home country. The same year, the last gacaca courts were closed.
Kagame and FPR have continued to strengthen their hold on power and after a constitutional change in 2015, two years later, Kagame could be elected for a third term as president.