|Country|| Ruanda-Urundi |
(modern-day Rwanda and Burundi)
|Location||Kingdom of Rwanda|
|Consequences||Mass emigration to surrounding countries; political destabilisation|
|History of Burundi|
The Ruzagayura famine was a major famine which occurred in the Belgian mandate of Ruanda-Urundi (modern-day Rwanda and Burundi) during World War II. It led to a large number of deaths and a huge population migration out of the territory and into the neighboring Belgian Congo and surrounding areas. The famine is considered to have begun in October 1943 and ended in December 1944.
Belgium controlled two colonies during its history, the Belgian Congo from 1908 to 1960, and Ruanda-Urundi from 1922 to 1962. It also had a concession in China, and was a co-administrator of the Tangier International Zone in Morocco.
A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League of Nations. These were of the nature of both a treaty and a constitution, which contained minority rights clauses that provided for the rights of petition and adjudication by the International Court.
Ruanda-Urundi was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium between 1922 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African Campaign during World War I, the territory was under Belgian military occupation from 1916 to 1922 and later became a Belgian-controlled Class B Mandate under the League of Nations from 1922 to 1945. After the disestablishment of the League and World War II, Ruanda-Urundi became a Trust Territory of the United Nations, still under Belgian control. In 1962, the mandate became independent as the two separate countries of Rwanda and Burundi.
The principal cause of the famine was several prolonged periods of drought in the region in early 1943. However, the problem was exacerbated by attempts of the colonial authorities to send agricultural produce to the Belgian Congo, as part of the Allied war effort, in World War II.
A drought or drouth is a natural disaster of below-average precipitation in a given region, resulting in prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric, surface water or ground water. A drought can last for months or years, or may be declared after as few as 15 days. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region and harm to the local economy. Annual dry seasons in the tropics significantly increase the chances of a drought developing and subsequent bush fires. Periods of heat can significantly worsen drought conditions by hastening evaporation of water vapour.
The Allies of World War II, called the "United Nations" from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The colonial administration, together with Christian missionaries, began to transport food to a supply point in Usumbura.The Rwandan king, Mutara III Rudahigwa, sent aid to the affected region.
Bujumbura, formerly Usumbura, is the former capital, largest city and main port of Burundi. It ships most of the country's chief export, coffee, as well as cotton and tin ore. It is on the north-eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world after Lake Baikal.
Mutara III Rudahigwa was King (mwami) 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.
By the time the famine ended in December 1944, between 36,000and 50,000 people (between one-fifth and one-third of the total regional population) died of hunger in the territory.
Several hundred thousand people emigrated away from Ruanda-Urundi, most to the Belgian Congo but also to British Uganda. The migration also served to create further political instability in the areas affected by the mass influx of Rwandans.
The British Protectorate of Uganda was a protectorate of the British Empire from 1894 to 1962. In 1893 the Imperial British East Africa Company transferred its administration rights of territory consisting mainly of Buganda Kingdom to the British Government.
The University of Burundi is a public university located in Bujumbura, Burundi. Founded in 1964, it comprises eight faculties and five institutes and has a student enrollment of approximately 13,000. It is based in three campuses in Bujumbura and a fourth in Gitega. It took its current name in 1977 and is Burundi's only publicly funded university.
Pierre, 1st Count Ryckmans, was a Belgian peer and civil servant who served as Governor-General of Belgium's principal African colony, the Belgian Congo, between 1934 and 1946. Ryckmans began his career in the colonial service in 1915 and also spent time in the Belgian mandate of Ruanda-Urundi. His term as Governor-General of the Belgian Congo coincided with World War II in which he was instrumental in bringing the colony into the war on the Allied side after Belgium's defeat in May 1940. He was also a prolific writer on colonial affairs. He was posthumously created a peer of the realm in the Belgian nobility with the rank of Graaf in 1962.
The Central Bank of the Congo is the central bank of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The bank's main offices are on Boulevard Colonel Tshatshi in La Gombe in Kinshasa.
Eugène Jungers (1888–1958) was a Belgian colonial civil servant and lawyer. Beginning his career in the Belgian Congo as a colonial magistrate, Jungers rose rapidly through the judiciary and became the colonial governor of the League of Nations Mandate of Ruanda-Urundi from 1932 to 1946. In 1946, Jungers was further promoted to Governor-General of the Belgian Congo, the senior administrative position in the colony, which he held from 1946 to 1952.
The National Bank of Rwanda is the central bank of Rwanda. The bank was founded in 1964. The current governor of the bank is John Rwangombwa.
The Bank of the Republic of Burundi is the central bank of Burundi. The bank was established in 1966 and its offices are in Bujumbura.
The Ruanda-Urundi franc was a currency issued for the Belgian mandate territory of Ruanda-Urundi in East Africa between 1960 and 1964. The currency replaced the Belgian Congo franc which had also circulated in Ruanda-Urundi from 1916 until 1960 when the Belgian Congo became independent, leaving Ruanda-Urundi as the sole Belgian colonial possession in Africa. With the independence of Rwanda and Burundi in 1962, the shared Ruanda-Urundi franc continued to circulate until 1964 when it was eventually replaced by two separate national currencies.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Kivu is the name that was given to two vicariates of the White Fathers, a Catholic missionary society in the Latin Roman Rite Catholic Church. Both vicariates served lands around Lake Kivu during the colonial era. The first vicariate, from 1912 to 1922, served what are now Rwanda and Burundi. The second vicariate, from 1929 to 1952, served territory in the east of the Belgian Congo.
Léo Pétillon was a Belgian colonial civil servant and lawyer who served as Governor-General of the Belgian Congo (1952–58) and, briefly, as Minister of the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi (1958).
Belgium had a colonial empire in Central Africa from 1908 to 1962, comprising the colony of the Belgian Congo (1908–60) and the international mandate of Ruanda-Urundi (1918–62). The territories were the responsibility of a Belgian parliamentarian who received the title Minister of the Colonies for most of the colonial period. The exact title was changed on several occasions.
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Rwanda. The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country located in the Great Lakes region of eastern-central Africa, bordered by Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.
Lieutenant General Charles Tombeur was a Belgian military officer and colonial civil servant. As well as holding several major administrative positions in the Belgian Congo, he is particularly known for his role as commander of the Belgian colonial military, the Force Publique, during the first years of World War I. His military career culminated in the capture of Tabora in German East Africa in September 1916.
Frans Hubert Edouard Arthur Walter Robyns (1901-1986), known as Walter Robyns, was a Belgian botanist. His son, André Robyns (1935–2003), was also a botanist.
The 1940–1945 Colonial War Effort Medal was a Belgian war service medal established by royal decree of the Regent on 30 January 1947 and awarded to government civil servants, magistrates, volunteer members of the female auxiliary service, missionaries, civilian agents of the different departments and civilians who served honourably for at least one year in the Belgian Congo or Ruanda-Urundi colonies of the Kingdom of Belgium in Africa between 10 May 1940 and 7 May 1945.
Gaston-François de Witte was a Belgian herpetologist who discovered and described at least 24 different species of reptiles.
The history of the Jews in the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be traced back to 1907, when the first Jewish immigrants began to arrive in the country. Current Jewish Congolese population is mostly of Sephardi background.
Armand Christophe Huyghé, later knighted Armand Huyghé de Mahenge, was a Belgian career soldier. He is best known for his service in the Belgian Congo during World War I, where he succeeded Charles Tombeur as commander of the Belgian forces in the East African Campaign in 1917. He commanded the Belgian contingent during the Allied occupation of the Rhineland after the war. During World War II, he was involved in the resistance and, after being captured by the Germans, was deported to Buchenwald concentration camp where he died in 1944.
The Archives Africaines of the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs in Brussels contains records related to colonial Congo Free State, Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi, 1885-1962. The archives was transferred in 1960 to the Ministère belge des Affaires étrangères. In 2015 the archives went to the Belgian State Archives, an arrangement expected to continue until 2018. The Archives Africaines includes "the archives of the former Ministry for Colonies, the archives of the Governor-General of the Congo, and the files on former colonial personnel ."