Territory of Ruanda-Urundi
|Status||Mandate of Belgium|
|Common languages|| French (official)|
also: Dutch, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi and Swahili
|Religion|| Catholicism (de facto)|
also: Protestantism, Islam and others
• Mandate created
|20 July 1922|
• Administrative merger with Belgian Congo
|1 March 1926|
• Mandate becomes Trust Territory
|13 December 1946|
• Rwanda gains autonomy
|18 October 1960|
• Burundi gains autonomy
|21 December 1961|
|1 July 1962|
|Currency|| Belgian Congo franc (1916–60)|
Ruanda-Urundi franc (1960–62)
|Today part of|| Burundi |
Ruanda-Urundi (French pronunciation: [ʁwɑ̃da uʁundi] ), later Rwanda-Burundi, was a colonial territory, once part of German East Africa, which was occupied by troops from the Belgian Congo during the East African campaign in World War I and was administered by Belgium under military occupation from 1916 to 1922. It was subsequently awarded to Belgium as a Class-B Mandate under the League of Nations in 1922 and became a Trust Territory of the United Nations in the aftermath of World War II and the dissolution of the League. In 1962 Ruanda-Urundi became the two independent states of Rwanda and Burundi.
Ruanda and Urundi were two separate kingdoms in the Great Lakes region before the Scramble for Africa. In 1897, the German Empire established a presence in Rwanda with the formation of an alliance with the king, beginning the colonial era.They were administered as two districts of German East Africa. The two monarchies were retained as part of the German policy of indirect rule, with the Ruandan king (mwami) Yuhi V Musinga using German support to consolidate his control over subordinate chiefs in exchange for labour and resources.
World War I broke out in 1914. German colonies were originally meant to preserve their neutrality as mandated in the Berlin Convention, but fighting soon broke out on the frontier between German East Africa and the Belgian Congo around Lakes Kivu and Tanganyika. [ citation needed ]As part of the Allied East African Campaign, Ruanda and Urundi were invaded by a Belgian force in 1916. German forces in the region were small and hugely outnumbered. Ruanda was occupied over April–May and Urundi in June 1916. By September, a large portion of German East Africa was under Belgian occupation reaching as far south as Kigoma and Karema and as far eastwards as Tabora all in modern-day Tanzania. In Ruanda and Urundi, the Belgians were welcomed by some civilians, who were opposed to the autocratic behaviour of the kings. In Urundi, much of the population fled or went into hiding, fearful of war. Much of the Swahili trader community which resided along the shores of Lake Tanganyika fled towards Kigoma, as they had long been commercial rivals with Belgian traders and feared retribution. The territory captured was administered by a Belgian military occupation authority ("Belgian Occupied East African Territories") pending an ultimate decision about its political future. An administration, headed by a Royal Commissioner, was established in February 1917 at the same time as Belgian forces were ordered to withdraw from the Tabora region by the British.
While the Germans had begun the practice of conscripting labour from the Ruandans and Urundians during the war, this was limited since the German administration considered sustaining a local labour force logistically challenging. The Belgian occupation force expanded labor conscription;20,000 men were drafted act as porters for the Mahenge offensive, and of these only one-third returned home. Many died due to malnourishment and disease. The new labour practices caused some locals to regret the departure of the Germans.
The Treaty of Versailles in the aftermath of World War I divided the German colonial empire among the Allied nations. German East Africa was partitioned, with Tanganyika allocated to the British and a small area allocated to Portugal. Belgium was allocated Ruanda-Urundi even though this represented only a fraction of the territories already occupied by the Belgian forces in East Africa. Belgian diplomats had originally hoped that Belgian claims in the region could be traded for Portuguese territory in Angola to expand the Congo's access to the Atlantic Ocean but this proved impossible. The League of Nations officially awarded Ruanda-Urundi to Belgium as a B-Class Mandate on 20 July 1922. The mandatory regime was also controversial in Belgium and it was not approved by Belgium's parliament until 1924. [ citation needed ] Administratively, the mandate was divided into two pays, Ruanda and Urundi, each under the nominal leadership of a Mwami. The city of Usumbura and its adjoining townships were classified separately as centres extra‑coutumiers, while the pays were subdivided into territories.Unlike colonies which belonged to its colonial power, a mandate was theoretically subject to international oversight through the League's Permanent Mandates Commission (PMC) in Geneva, Switzerland.
After a period of inertia, the Belgian administration became actively involved in Ruanda-Urundi between 1926 and 1931 under the governorship of Charles Voisin. The reforms produced a dense road-network and improved agriculture, with the emergence of cash crop farming in cotton and coffee. [ citation needed ] The Belgians were far more involved in the territory than the Germans, especially in Ruanda. Despite the mandate rules that the Belgians had to develop the territories and prepare them for independence, the economic policy practised in the Belgian Congo was exported eastwards: the Belgians demanded that the territories earn profits for the motherland and that any development must come out of funds gathered in the territory. These funds mostly came from the extensive cultivation of coffee in the region's rich volcanic soils.However, four major famines did ravage parts of the mandate after crop failures in 1916–1918, 1924–26, 1928–30 and 1943–44.
To implement their vision, the Belgians extended and consolidated a power structure based on indigenous institutions. In practice, they developed a Tutsi ruling class to formally control a mostly Hutu population, through the system of chiefs and sub-chiefs under the overall rule of the two Mwami. Belgian administrators were influenced by the so-called Hamitic hypothesis which suggested that the Tutsi were partially descended from a Semitic people and were therefore inherently superior to the Hutu who were seen as purely African.In this context, the Belgian administration preferred to rule through purely Tutsi authorities therefore further stratifying the society on ethnic lines. Hutu anger at the Tutsi domination was largely focused on the Tutsi elite rather than the distant colonial power. Musinga was deposed by the administration as mwami of Ruanda in November 1931 after being accused of disloyalty. He was replaced by his son Mutara III Rudahigwa.
Although promising the League it would promote education, Belgium left the task to subsidised Catholic missions and mostly unsubsidised Protestant missions. Catholicism expanded rapidly through the Rwandan population in consequence. An elite secondary school, the Groupe Scolaire d'Astrida was established in 1929 but as late as 1961, shortly before independence arrived, fewer than 100 Africans had been educated beyond the secondary level.The policy was one of low-cost paternalism, as explained by Belgium's special representative to the Trusteeship Council: "The real work is to change the African in his essence, to transform his soul, [and] to do that one must love him and enjoy having daily contact with him. He must be cured of his thoughtlessness, he must accustom himself to living in society, he must overcome his inertia."
The League of Nations was formally dissolved in April 1946, following its failure to prevent World War II. It was succeeded, for practical purposes, by the new United Nations (UN). In December 1946, the new body voted to end the mandate over Ruanda-Urundi and replace it with the new status of "Trust Territory". To provide oversight, the PMC was superseded by the United Nations Trusteeship Council. The transition was accompanied by a promise that the Belgians would prepare the territory for independence, but the Belgians felt the area would take many decades to be ready for self-rule and wanted the process to take enough time before happening.
In 1961 the Belgian administration officially renamed Ruanda-Urundi as Rwanda-Burundi.
Independence came largely as a result of actions elsewhere. African anti-colonial nationalism emerged in the Belgian Congo in the late 1950s and the Belgian Government became convinced they could no longer control the territory. Unrest also broke out in Ruanda where the monarchy was deposed in the Rwandan Revolution (1959–1961). Grégoire Kayibanda led the dominant and ethnically defined Party of the Hutu Emancipation Movement (Parti du Mouvement de l'Emancipation Hutu, PARMEHUTU) in Rwanda while the equivalent Union for National Progress (Union pour le Progrès national, UPRONA) in Burundi attempted to balance competing Hutu and Tutsi ethnic claims. The independence of the Belgian Congo in June 1960 and the accompanying period of political instability further drove nationalism in Ruanda-Urundi and the assassination of the UPRONA leader Louis Rwagasore, also Burundi's crown prince, in October 1961 did not halt the movement. After hurried preparations which included the dissolution of the monarchy in the Kingdom of Rwanda in September 1961, Ruanda-Urundi became independent on 1 July 1962, broken up along traditional lines as the independent Republic of Rwanda and Kingdom of Burundi. It took two more years before the government of the two became wholly separate and two other years until the proclamation of the Republic of Burundi.
Ruanda-Urundi was initially administered by a Royal Commissioner (commissaire royal) until the administrative union with the Belgian Congo in 1926. After this, the mandate was administered by a Governor (gouverneur) located at Usumbura (modern-day Bujumbura) who also held the title of Vice-Governor-General (vice-gouverneur général) of the Belgian Congo. Ruanda and Urundi were each administered by a separate resident (résident) subordinate to the Governor.
Burundi originated in the 16th century as a small kingdom in the African Great Lakes region. After European contact, it was united with the Kingdom of Rwanda, becoming the colony of Ruanda-Urundi - first colonised by Germany and then by Belgium. The colony gained independence in 1962, and split once again into Rwanda and Burundi. It is one of the few countries in Africa to be a direct territorial continuation of a pre-colonial era African state.
Human occupation of Rwanda is thought to have begun shortly after the last ice age. By the 11th century, the inhabitants had organized into a number of kingdoms. In the 19th century, Mwami (king) Rwabugiri of the Kingdom of Rwanda conducted a decades-long process of military conquest and administrative consolidation that resulted in the kingdom coming to control most of what is now Rwanda. The colonial powers, Germany and Belgium, allied with the Rwandan court.
Louis Rwagasore was a Burundian prince and politician, who served as the second prime minister of Burundi for two weeks, from 28 September 1961 until his assassination on 13 October 1961. Born to the Ganwa family of Burundian Mwami (king) Mwambutsa IV in Belgian-administered Ruanda-Urundi in 1932, Rwagasore was educated in Burundian Catholic schools before attending university in Belgium. After he returned to Burundi in the mid-1950s he founded a series of cooperatives to economically empower native Burundians and build up his base of political support. The Belgian administration took over the venture, and as a result of the affair his national profile increased and he became a leading figure of the anti-colonial movement.
Mwambutsa IV Bangiricenge was the penultimate king of Burundi who ruled between 1915 and 1966. He succeeded to the throne on the death of his father Mutaga IV Mbikije. Born while Burundi was under German colonial rule, Mwambutsa's reign mostly coincided with Belgian colonial rule (1916–62). The Belgians retained the monarchs of both Rwanda and Burundi under the policy of indirect rule.
Mutara III Rudahigwa was King (umwami) of Rwanda between 1931 and 1959. He was the first Rwandan king to be baptised, and Roman Catholicism took hold in Rwanda during his reign. His Christian names were Charles Léon Pierre, and he is sometimes referred to as Charles Mutara III Rudahigwa.
Pierre Ngendandumwe was a Burundian politician. He was a member of the Union for National Progress and was an ethnic Hutu. On 18 June 1963, about a year after Burundi gained independence and amidst efforts to bring about political cooperation between Hutus and the dominant minority Tutsis, Ngendandumwe became Burundi's first Hutu prime minister. He served as prime minister until 6 April 1964 and then became prime minister again on 7 January 1965, serving until his death. Eight days after beginning his second term, he was assassinated by a Rwandan Tutsi refugee.
The Kingdom of Rwanda was a pre-colonial kingdom in East Africa which survived with some of its autonomy intact under German and Belgian colonial rule until its monarchy was abolished during the Rwandan Revolution in 1961. After a 1961 referendum, Rwanda became a republic and received its independence in 1962.
The Kingdom of Burundi or Kingdom of Urundi was a Bantu kingdom in the modern-day Republic of Burundi. The Ganwa monarchs ruled over both Hutus and Tutsis. Created in the 17th century, the kingdom was preserved under European colonial rule in the late 19th and early 20th century and was an independent state between 1962 and 1966.
These are some of the articles related to Rwanda on the English Wikipedia pages:
The Rwandan Revolution, also known as the Hutu Revolution, Social Revolution, or Wind of Destruction, was a period of ethnic violence in Rwanda from 1959 to 1961 between the Hutu and the Tutsi, two of the three ethnic groups in Rwanda. The revolution saw the country transition from a Belgian colony with a Tutsi monarchy to an independent Hutu-dominated republic.
The African territories of Ruanda and Urundi came under Belgian control as Ruanda-Urundi after they were seized from Germany during World War I in 1916. They had previously formed part of German East Africa.
Louis Joseph Postiaux was a Belgian colonial administrator who was governor of Ruanda-Urundi, and then governor of Katanga Province.
Charles-Henri-Joseph Voisin was a Belgian lawyer and colonial administrator. He served as attorney general of the Belgian Congo, then as governor of the mandated territories of Ruanda-Urundi. He deposed the traditional king of Ruanda and replaced him by the king's son.
Belgium-Rwanda relations refers to the international and diplomatic relations between Belgium and Rwanda. Belgian relations with Rwanda started under the League of Nations mandate, when the modern day countries of Rwanda and Burundi were governed as Ruanda-Urundi. As the colonial power, Rwanda's relationship with Belgium has been significant throughout the country's history, even after independence.
François Rukeba was a Rwandan politician and rebel leader.
In the Rwandan Revolution, the coup of Gitarama was an event which occurred on 28 January 1961 in which the monarchy in Rwanda, then a part of the Belgian mandate of Ruanda-Urundi, was abolished and replaced with a republican political system. The traditional monarchy was led by a Mwami (king), who ruled through an administration of chiefs and subchiefs in the context of a feudal system of patron-client relations based on tribute. The Mwami and most of his chiefs were members of the Tutsi ethnic minority, a group which wielded considerable social, political economic power. Of subordinate status to the Tutsis was the Hutu ethnic majority. As part of their rule, the Belgians institutionalised a racial hierarchy which favoured the Tutsis at the expense of the Hutus.
Rwandan nationality law is regulated by the Constitution of Rwanda, as amended; the Nationality Code of Rwanda, and its revisions; the Law of Persons and Family; and various international agreements to which the country is a signatory. These laws determine who is, or is eligible to be, a national of Rwanda. The legal means to acquire nationality, formal legal membership in a nation, differ from the domestic relationship of rights and obligations between a national and the nation, known as citizenship.
The Kamenge incidents or Kamenge riots were a series of armed raids and murders conducted in the Kamenge quarter of Bujumbura, Burundi in January 1962. They were perpetrated by militants of the Jeunesse Nationaliste Rwagasore against Hutu leaders of the Syndicats Chrétiens trade union and the Parti du Peuple. The Kamenge incidents were the first major instance of ethnic violence in modern Burundi.