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Ruanda-Urundi is split into two countries, Rwanda and Burundi

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Dominique Mbonyumutwa, a Hutu, survived an attack when political activists in Gitirama took action against him. This is was the first outbreak of violence after the Hutu Manifesto was published, which occurred in 1959. The rumor of Dominique's death spreads rapidly in Hutu circles, and it is still believed today. "The resulting nationwide campaign of Hutu violence against Tutsis becomes known as 'the wind of destruction'. Over the coming months many Tutsis flee from Ruanda, including the 25-year-old hereditary ruler, the Mwami."

In the few years before Ruanda-Urundi got their independence in July 1962, the area had a turbulent transition. First, in the 1960 municipal elections that were organized by the Belgian colonial rulers, the Hutu politicians scored a staggering victory. "Grégoire Kayibanda, one of the authors of the Hutu Manifesto, leads a provisional government for the interim period to independence."

"In Urundi, the Tutsi monarchy proves at first more resilient, both in holding on to the reins of power and in attempting a resolution of the Tutsi-Hutu conflict. When the 1961 elections had final re, they bring a landslide victory for a joint Hutu and Tutsi party," which was led by the popular Prince Rwagasore. He was the eldest son of the Mwami. Before independence had been formally achieved, he was assassinated a few months later after the elections. Yet, Urundi still had not experienced any ethnic violence.

The United Nations pressured Ruanda-Urundi to "federate as a single nation, but both opt to go their separate ways. Ruanda, in which ethnic violence has continued during 1960 and 1961, becomes a republic (automatically, since the young ruler has fled and has been formally deposed in his absence). The spelling of the name is changed to Rwanda." Meanwhile, Urundi, becomes independent as a constitutional monarchy and it also had a name change (to Burundi).

"The first presidential election in Rwanda is won by Grégoire Kayibanda, the leader of the interim provisional government. The name of his party, the Parti du Mouvement de l'Emancipation du Peuple Hutu (Party for Hutu Emancipation), makes all too plain what is to be the central plank of government policy. In the spirit of Kayibanda's movement, 'cockroaches' becomes the favorite slang name for Tutsis. The killing of cockroaches is soon an all-too familiar feature of Rwandan life, in a frenzy whipped up by the government at any time of crisis - particularly whenever Rwandan exiles, most of them Tutsi, attempt invasions from across the borders."


1, 2, 3, 4, 5Gasciogne, Bamber. "History of Rwanda". HistoryWorld. March 15, 2010 .


Gascoigne, Bamber. History of Rwanda. 13 March 2010. 13 March 2010 http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ad24.

none. Frontline: Rwanda Chronology. 15 March 2010. 15 March 2010 .



Mar 20, 2010 4:35pm
Great article about a fascinating part of the world, Rwanda.
Very informative and well written! You're a great asset to Info Barrel! Glad to see you here!
Mar 28, 2010 1:31pm
Nice Article, Straight, to the point and easy to read.
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