Historical Reprint Series; June 2003      

    RWANDA is a land-locked state in central Africa, just south of the Equator, bordered on the west by Zaire (now known as the Democratic republic Zaire -Ed Alliance 2003), on the north by Uganda, on the east by Tanzania and on the south by Burundi.

    The country has an area of 10,100 square miles and a population of 7.1 million. This population is composed of three ethnic groups:
        Hutu (85%), Tutsi (14%), and Twa (1%).

    The Twa are believed to have been the earliest inhabitants. The Hutu and Tutsi share a common language and kinship systems. With an average density of population of 762 per square mile, Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa.

    It is a mountainous country. The climate is tropical -- hot and humid in the lowlands, but cooler in the highlands. The average temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The average annual rainfall 40-50 inches, and the major rainy season from February to May.

    The economy is based almost entirely on agricultural and pastoral farming -- some 93% of the economically active population deriving their livelihood from subsistence farming or the processing of farm produce. The chief cash crops are coffee, tea and pyrethrum -- with coffee accounting for 74-82% of export earnings. The major minerals exported are tin, cassiterite and wolframite.

    In 1989,

    The working class is, therefore, very small: in 1966:     that is, about 1.2% of the population.

    There are two official languages -- Kinyarwanda, the native language, and French.

    Some 50% of the population adhere to animistic beliefs, while most of the rest are Christians, mainly Catholics.

    The unit of currency is the 'Rwanda franc', valued at approximately 79 to the dollar.

    The capital is Kigali, with a population of 182,000.

    As Imperialist Colony (1899-1962)

    In 1899, the territory now known as Rwanda was occupied by German troops and made part of German East Africa.

    In 1916, during World War I, the territory was occupied by Belgian troops. After the defeat of Germany, in August 1923 it was handed over together with the neighbouring territory of 'Urundi' (later 'Burundi') --- to the Belgian imperialists under the name of 'Rwanda-Urundi' as a colony in the guise of a 'League of Nations Mandate'.

    After the Second World War, this colonial position was continued under the guise of a 'United Nations Trust Territory'.

    Already, in pre-colonial days, the Tutsi had become:

    Both the German and Belgian colonialists attempted to follow a strategy of 'divide and rule' -- according privileges to the minority Tutsi tribe and enlisting their help in ruling the people:     For example, they gave royal powers to the chief of the Tutsi tribe, who became known officially as:     The Transition from Colony to Neo-Colony (1959-62)

    In November 1959 there was:

    The Belgian authorities declared a state of emergency,     and eventually these succeeded in regaining control.

    However, these events convinced the Belgian imperialists that a 'divide and rule' policy based on the Tutsi minority was insufficiently stable, and therefore no longer tenable. They therefore promoted the Hutu to the position of their privileged-agents:

    But the transfer of Belgian support from the Tutsi minority to the Hutu majority, made possible the introduction of 'democratic reforms' into the colony. In November 1959, the Belgian Minister for the Congo and Rwanda-Urundi, Auguste de Schryer,     In October 1960,     In September 1961,     In July 1962 the territory -- now known as Rwanda -- was transformed into an imperialist neo-colony, that is, it was given nominal 'independence', while continuing, in fact, to be dominated and exploited by foreign imperialism.

    In the same month, Rwanda was admitted to membership of the United Nations. ('Keesing's Contemporary Archives', Volume 13; p. 18,895).

    The Constitution adopted in November 1962:

    which was, in fact, a one-party dictatorship under Gregoire Kayibanda:     The neo-colonial status of Rwanda was clear from its inception. After the 'Independence' ceremony,     The Kayibanda dictatorship, based on Hutu supremacy, pursued a policy of
discrimination against the Tutsi minority:     which from time to time became a policy of outright genocide. British travellers in Rwanda testified that Kayibanda was carrying out a:     in which there were:     Kayibanda having:     The Habyarimana Military Dictatorship (1973-94)

    By July 1973, however, it had become clear that the Kayibanda dictatorship was incapable of maintaining power against the growing opposition of the people, and on 3 July 1973 army officers, led by the Minister of Defence Major-General Juvenal Habyalimana, staged a military coup.

    A statement by the High Command on the day of the coup stated:

    In July 1974, it was announced:     In February 1975, a convention establishing relations of 'economic cooperation' between the European Economic Community and 46 'developing' countries' (including Rwanda) was signed at Lome, (the capital of Togo). ('Keesing's Contemporary Archives', Volume 21; p. 27,050).

    In July 1975

    In December 1978, a new Constitution was adopted     Habyarimana was declared 're-elected unopposed' as President in December 1983 and for a third term in December 1988. ('Europa World Year Book: 1993': op. cit.; p. 2,419).

    In February 1979 the government announced:

    The Habyarimana military dictatorship attempted to continue Rwanda's neo-colonial status. In February 1980,     and in May 1980:     The National Revolutionary War (1990-)

On the night of 30 September/l October 1990, a revolutionary guerilla force entered Rwanda from Uganda with the aim of overthrowing the Habyarimana:

    Naturally,     The Peace Negotiations (1990-93)

    The Rwandan government and imperialist troops found themselves incapable of destroying the forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front and their position was further weakened by internal civilian opposition.

    In these circumstances, the regime was compelled to make further 'democratic' gestures, and to support, at least in words, the concept of peace negotiations with the Rwandan Patriotic Front.

    In November 1990, President Habyarimana:

    In April 1991, the ruling party changed its name to the:     In June 1991, constitutional amendments were promulgated:     However, the Rwandan Patriotic Front:     In September 1991,     In October 1991:     In November 1991 and January 1992:     In December 1991, Nsanzimana:     By this time, there was widepread realisation that the government's promises of 'power-sharing' were not genuine. In December 1991,     Following these protests, in April 1992 the President agreed to further concessions, to     However, in July 1992:     In August 1992, it was agreed for the first time at peace talks in Arusha (Tanzania) between the transitional government and the PFR that:     In January 1993,     In these circumstances, in February 1993,     In May 1993, the Rwandan government,     In July 1993 President Habyarimana:     In August 1993,     Imperialist Military Intervention (1993-94)

    On 4 October 1990, three days after the Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR) had launched its assault upon the Rwandan military dictatorship, French and Belgian troops entered Rwanda, and played the principal role in holding back, for the time being, the FPR forces:

    The French government poured:     In February 1993,     In June 1993, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 846:     In August 1993, in accordance with UN Resolution 846:     In October 1993,     The Removal of Habyarimana (1994)

    The power-sharing concessions which the Habyarimana regime had been compelled to make to the Rwandan Patriotic Front and the Rwandan people were unacceptable to the imperialists and their agents in the Rwandan military.

    On 6 April 1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana, together with the President of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, were killed when the plane in which they were travelling was shot down while approaching Kigali airport.

    and reliable press reports spoke bluntly of :     The Rwandan Patriotic Front:     A United Nations report dated June 1994 said that the more extreme elements in the government were:     Certainly, with the killing of Habyarimana the peace accords reached between his regime and the Rwandan Patriotic Front were abruptly annulled:     As soon as the news of the killing of the President spread on 7 April,     Reliable observers repudiate the myth that the internal conflict in Rwanda is simply inter-ethnic in character:     On 9 April 1994,     but did not include any representative of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.

    Jean Kambanda was appointed Prime Minister. An FPR radio broadcast on 9 April

    and in a broadcast on 12 April,     Further Imperialist Military Intervention (1993-1994)

    On 9 April 1994, Belgium and France deployed further troops in Rwanda, ostensibly

    But the reign of terror and the imperialist military intervention did not hold up the advance of the Rwandan Patriotic Front forces. Already on 12 April:     and     On 8 June 1994 the United Nations:     On 12 June 1994     On 22 June 1994, the UN Security Council approved French imperialist intervention in Rwanda for 'humanitarian reasons':     Later the same day,     and on 23 June 1994 French troops began operations in western Rwanda under the code-name 'Operation Turquoise'.

    France's decision was taken:

    Few people accepted the official claims that the imperialist military intervention had 'humanitarian motives':     The French imperialist intervention was carried out in full collaboration with the death squads of the Rwandan army and militia:     The operation was planned as a preliminary to the arrival of 5,500 ?peace-keeping' troops:     Rwandans in Brussels demonstrated against the intervention:     On 30 June 1994,     Despite the imperialist military intervention, however, by June 1994, it was clear that the RPF forces had:     and on 4 July 1994 Rwandan Patriotic Front troops     The French imperialists now announced plans to intervene actively in the war of national liberation against the forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front by establishing a 'humanitarian safe zone' in western Rwanda:             CONCLUSION
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