Background: In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, 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, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed up to a million of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias, and established an RPF-led government of national unity. Approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC; the former Zaire) and formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF tried in 1990. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda in 2009 staged a joint military operation with the Congolese Army in DRC to rout out the Hutu extremist insurgency there and Kigali and Kinshasa restored diplomatic relations. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009.
Location: Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Area land: 24,668 sq km
Area water: 1,670 sq km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Rwanda
Country name conventional short form: Rwanda
Country name former: Ruanda, German East Africa
Age structure: 0-14 years: 42.9% (male 2,454,924/female 2,418,504); 15-64 years: 54.7% (male 3,097,956/female 3,123,910); 65 years and over: 2.4% (male 110,218/female 164,913) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 2.792% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 36.74 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 9.88 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female; total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 64.04 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 67.64 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 60.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 58.02 years; male: 56.57 years; female: 59.52 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 4.9 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.9% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 170,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 4,100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Rwandan(s); adjective: Rwandan;
Ethnic groups: Hutu (Bantu) 84%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 15%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%;
Religions: Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Muslim 4.6%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 1.7% (2001);
Languages: Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 70.4%; male: 76.3%; female: 64.7% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $11.84 billion (2010 est.); $11.17 billion (2009 est.); $10.69 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $5.693 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2010 est.); 4.5% (2009 est.); 11.2% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,100 (2010 est.); $1,000 (2009 est.); $1,000 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 42.1%; industry: 14.3%; services: 43.6% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 60% (2001 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1%; highest 10%: 38.2% (2000);
Labor force: 4.446 million (2007);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 90%; industry and services: 10% (2000);
Unemployment rate: NA%;
Budget: revenues: $1.169 billion; expenditures: $1.366 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes;
Industrial production growth rate: 7.5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 120 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 231.6 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 10 million kWh (2007);
Electricity - imports: 130 million kWh (2007 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
Displaying 1 to 4 of 10 items.
Rwandans should be proud of the immense progress they have made since the genocide, but economic inequality and political abuses still plague the country.
It is unlikely that former prime ministers Dominique de Villepin or Alain Juppé, or anyone else on the commission's list of French genocide suspects, will be extradited to Rwanda.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Romeo Dallair to a new Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention.
The Ivory Coast, once an oasis of stability in war torn West Africa sinks deeper into chaos