Rwanda: History

  1. 1858

    Hanning Speke, a British explorer, visits Rwanda and becomes the first European to explore the country.

  2. 1916

    Belgian troops invade Rwanda and take over the colony from Germany.

  3. 1923

    The League of Nations officially gives Rwanda to Belgium.

  4. 1959

    More than 160,000 native Tutsis flee the country after a revolt that brought about ethnic violence.

  5. 1962

    Rwanda is granted complete independence by the UN.

  6. 1990

    Troops of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), mostly made up of Tutsis, invade Rwanda from their base in Uganda, leading to fighting for the next two years.

  7. 1992

    A cease-fire agreement is signed between the rebels and Rwandan government, supposedly ending the war.

  8. 2001

    A new flag and national anthem are adopted in an attempt to promote national unity and reconciliation.

  9. 2008

    Rwanda joins the East African Community.

  10. 2009

    Rwanda is admitted to the Commonwealth, becoming only the second country to join the Commonwealth with no prior ties to the British Crown.

  11. 2012

    Several countries stop sending financial aid to Rwanda after the United Nations accuse the government of promoting a rebellion in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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