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Friday 24th May
Rwanda Facts
The highest point in Rwanda is Volcan Karisimbi (4,519 m) in the Virunga Mountains.

Rwanda is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills.

The Twa (a Pygmy people) were the first of Rwanda's ethnic groups to inhabit the region.

Hutu people settled in Rwanda some time around the eleventh century.

Tutsu people migrated to the region around the fifteenth century.

In 1850 the area was visited by John Hanning Speke, the British explorer; he was the first European to arrive in the territory.

The area, now known as Rwanda, became part of the German Protectorate in 1884. This was followed by the formation of the German East Africa Company.

In 1890 Rwanda (Ruanda) and Burundi (Urundi) became part of German East Africa.

After the First World War Rwanda formed part of Ruanda-Urundi, a League of Nations Trust Territory administered by Belgium.

Following the Second World War Ruanda-Urundi became a United Nations Trust Territory governed by Belgium.

In 1959 the king was driven into exile in neighbouring Uganda.

Rwanda achieved independence in 1962.

Over the years Rwanda suffered social unrest and many people became refugees in Burundi and Uganda.

Dr. Dian Fossey, author of Gorillas in the Mist, died in Rwanda in 1985. Dr Fossey worked with mountain gorillas in the Parc des Volcans. It is thought that Dr Fossey was killed by a poacher.

In 1990 Rwanda was invaded from Uganda by the Rwandan Patriotic Front - largely composed of Rwandan refugees.

An agreement was reached in 1993 to end the civil war (the Arusha Peace Accords).

In April 1994 the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were both killed when their plane was shot down over Rwanda.

The assassination of the Rwandan president gave rise to genocide and massacres that lasted until July 1994.

In 1995 the United Nations appointed an international tribunal to deal with a number of people responsible for the genocide.

Floods in 2007 affected countries in Africa, from east to west; a number of people lost their lives in flooding in Rwanda.

In September 2018 over two thousand prisoners jailed in 2012 were pardoned; the charges were threatening state security and "belittling" the 1994 genocide.

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