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Introduction: In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed up to a million of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi...

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People: Rwanda's population density is currently the highest in continental sub-Saharan Africa. It is still a very rural society, and many families live in self-contained compounds on hillsides. The urban concentrations are grouped around administrative centers. The indigenous population consists of three groups, or ubwoko -- Bahutu, Batutsi, and Batwa. Traditionally, the population also is affiliated ...

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International Relations: Since the genocide of 1994, Rwanda's international relations have been dominated by its involvement in the DRC (formerly Zaire). Remnants of the forces that carried out the genocide, (known as 'exFAR/I'), who fled there in 1994 soon began to conduct raids back into Rwanda. Frustrated at international and Zairean inaction to resolve this problem, in 1996 the new Rwandan government sent its army into Zaire. The resulting chaos led to the removal of long-standing Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko from power, and his replacement by Laurent Kabila.

Although the majority of refugees returned to Rwanda, significant numbers of ...

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