country in EC Africa, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: formerly part of Ruanda-Urundi: member of the Commonwealth: 10,169 sq mi (26,338 sq km); cap. Kigali
A country of east-central Africa. By the late 1700s, the region was the site of a Tutsi kingdom inhabited principally by Hutus. In 1890 it became part of German East Africa and later (1919) part of the Belgian League of Nations mandate of Ruanda-Urundi. Rwanda achieved independence from Belgium in 1962. In 1990 the country was invaded by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a group largely composed of exiled Tutsis, which signed a peace agreement with the government in 1992. Ethnic fighting broke out again in 1994, and with the assassination of the president, the Hutu government initiated a campaign of genocide. It is estimated that 800,000 people were murdered before Tutsis seized control of the government one hundred days later. Many Rwandan Hutus fled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, leading to ongoing conflict between the two countries. Kigali is the capital and largest city.