Rwanda - The African Switzerland
With an area of over 26,000 km², Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in
Africa. However, this is not the reason why it is often referred to as "African
Switzerland". To Switzerland make it - how could it be otherwise - the
mountains. Rwanda is crossed by a high mountain range. The highest mountain in
Rwanda, the Karisimbi, is at 4,507 m almost as high as the highest mountain in
the Alps, the Mont Blanc. The altitude means that Rwanda, despite its location
in Central Africa, is a fertile and extremely green country. Not only the flora,
but also the fauna of Rwanda is rich and diverse. The last mountain gorillas
live in the Park des Volcans, in the remote mountain regions. Many tourists
therefore insist on visiting this part of Africa, despite the country's bloody
The clashes between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups have been part of
Rwanda's history since the 14th century. The atrocities of recent times,
however, the genocide of around 800,000 Tutsis by members of the Hutus between
April 7 and July 18, 1994, as well as the resulting civil wars in the
neighboring states, which claimed around 5 million deaths, put everything that
happened before the shadow. Even though Rwanda's President Kagame, who comes
from the Tutsi minority, was democratically confirmed in office by the Hutus in
2003, the country is still marked by the murders between the two ethnic groups.
Rwanda will not soon forget the domestic mass murder. Countless orphaned
street children testify to this. It will still be many years before Rwanda will
be as beautiful and tranquil as Switzerland - and not just in terms of
landscape. It should be noted that Rwanda is considered the cleanest country in
Africa, and the country has been free of plastic bags since 2008.
|Name of the country
||Republic of Rwanda
|Form of government
||Rwanda nziza gihugu cyacu
||approx. 13 million residents (Credit:
- Hutu (84%)
- Tutsi (15%)
- Twa (1%)
||Catholics 44%, Protestants 38%, Adventists 12% and 6% Muslims
||French, Kinyarwanda, English and Swahili
||Karisimbi with a height of 4,507 m
||Kagera with a length of 850 km
||Kiwu Lake with an area of 2,650 km²
|International license plate
|Time difference to CET
||+ 1 h
|International phone code
||220 volts and 50 hertz
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Rwanda by the 17th century
The earliest residents of Rwanda were probably the Twa, a pygmy people,
about whose history little is known.
Abbreviationfinder website, today's Rwanda is inhabited by the Hutu, a farming people and the
Tutsis. Since the 14th or 15th century, the Hutu were subjugated by the Tutsi
(formerly Watussi warriors), a people related to the Hutu language, but with a
nomadic way of life.
20th century until today
From 1890 until the end of the First World War, Rwanda belonged to German
East Africa through the Helgoland-Sansibar Treaty. However, the area was hardly
colonized. In 1916 the Belgians took Rwanda without encountering any resistance
and were given it as a League of Nations mandate after the First World War.
In 1946, Rwanda became a UN trust territory.
In 1959, a Hutu peasant revolt against Tutsi rule with many deaths led to a mass
exodus of around 150,000 Tutsi to the neighboring countries of Burundi and
In 1960 a Hutu party won the first election and appointed the president.
In 1961 the Hutu deposed the Tutsi king, who fled to Burundi with 60,000 Tutsis.
In 1962, Rwanda became an independent republic.
In 1963 tens of thousands of Tutsi who had fled tried to regain power but
were crushed. Countless Tutsis were killed in a horrific civil war, and
massacres of the Tutsi who remained in the country were also carried out in the
following years. In 1990 a Tutsi rebel army began to challenge the Hutu
government with the aim of returning the Tutsi refugees to Rwanda.
In 1994, Rwandan President Habyarimana was killed in a plane crash under
unclear circumstances. This became the occasion for the genocide of the Tutsi,
in which radical Hutu militias murdered around 800,000 Tutsi and even moderate
Hutu from April 7th to July 18th, 1994.
Large parts of the population were subsequently forced to flee to neighboring
countries, especially the Democratic Republic of the Congo. From there, the Hutu
militias organized attacks on the Tutsi, now ruling Rwanda, and their related
peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Banyamulenge). This also
triggered a civil war there, in which almost all neighboring countries became
involved. Rwandan militias, as well as armed forces and militias from various
other countries, committed a mass murder here, undisturbed by the global public,
which, according to estimates, claimed a total of around 5 million deaths. In
addition to the occurrence of raw materials such as gold and diamonds, the
background is coltan, which is indispensable for the construction of cellular
phones, which is produced in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
under the protection of militias,
Finally, the UN organized the return of the refugees to Rwanda.
Since 2000, a member of the Tutsi minority has ruled Rwanda again, who was
also confirmed in office by the Hutu in 2003. The country is controlled by the
Tutsi under the leadership of the FPR, which began the fight for supremacy from
Uganda in 1990. From the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this government is
being fought by Hutu guerrillas who are trying to take power.
April 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the murder in the country worldwide.