Geographic and Governmental Profile of Rwanda

Background
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 population. The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias, and established an RPF-led government of national unity. Approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, the former Zaire) and formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF tried in 1990. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda in 2009 staged a joint military operation with the Congolese Army in DRC to rout out the Hutu extremist insurgency there and Kigali and Kinshasa restored diplomatic relations. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009.
Location
Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates
2 00 S, 30 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
26,338 sq km
rank:
149
land:
24,668 sq km
water:
1,670 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries
total:
893 km
border countries:
Burundi 290 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 217 km, Tanzania 217 km, Uganda 169 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible
Terrain
mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Rusizi River 950 m
highest point:
Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m
Natural resources
gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land
Land use
arable land:
45.56%
permanent crops:
10.25%
other:
44.19% (2005)
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Irrigated land
90 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
5.2 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.15 cu km/yr (24%/8%/68%)
per capita:
17 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo
volcanism:
Visoke (elev. 3,711 m), located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the country's only historically active volcano
Environment - current issues
deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; widespread poaching
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
Law of the Sea
Geography - note
landlocked; most of the country is savanna grassland with the population predominantly rural
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Rwanda
conventional short form:
Rwanda
local long form:
Republika y'u Rwanda
local short form:
Rwanda
former:
Ruanda, German East Africa
Government type
republic; presidential, multiparty system
Capital
name:
Kigali
geographic coordinates:
1 57 S, 30 03 E
time difference:
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
4 provinces (in French - provinces, singular - province; in Kinyarwanda - intara for singular and plural) and 1 city* (in French - ville; in Kinyarwanda - umujyi); Est (Eastern), Kigali*, Nord (Northern), Ouest (Western), Sud (Southern)
Independence
1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)
Constitution
constitution passed by referendum 26 May 2003
Legal system
mixed legal system of civil law, based on German and Belgian models, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Paul KAGAME (since 22 April 2000)
head of government:
Prime Minister Pierre Damien HABUMUREMYI (since 7 October 2011)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections:
President elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 9 August 2010 (next to be held in 2017)
election results:
Paul KAGAME elected to a second term as president; Paul KAGAME 93.1%, Jean NTAWUKURIRYAYO 5.1%, Prosper HIGIRO 1.4%, Alvera MUKABAR 0.4%
Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament consists of Senate (26 seats; 12 members elected by local councils, 8 appointed by the president, 4 appointed by the Political Organizations Forum, 2 represent institutions of higher learning; members to serve eight-year terms) and Chamber of Deputies (80 seats; 53 members elected by popular vote, 24 women elected by local bodies, 3 selected by youth and disability organizations; members to serve five-year terms)
elections:
Senate - NA; Chamber of Deputies - last held on 15 September 2008 (next to be held in September 2013)
election results:
percent of vote by party - RPF 78.8%, PSD 13.1%, PL 7.5%; seats by party - RPF 42, PSD 7, PL 4, additional 27 members indirectly elected
Judicial branch
Supreme Court; High Courts of the Republic; Provincial Courts; District Courts; mediation committees
Political parties and leaders
Centrist Democratic Party or PDC [Agnes MUKABARANGA]; Democratic Popular Union of Rwanda or UDPR [Gonzague RWIGEMA]; Democratic Republican Movement or MDR [Celestin KABANDA] (officially banned); Islamic Democratic Party or PDI [Musa Fazil HARERIMANA]; Liberal Party or PL [Protais MITALI]; Party for Democratic Renewal (officially banned); Party for Progress and Concord or PPC [Alvera MUKABARAMBA]; Rwandan Patriotic Front or RPF [Paul KAGAME]; Rwandan Socialist Party or PSR [Jean Baptist RUCIBIGANGO]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Vincent BIRUTA]; Socialist Party-Imberakuri or PS-Imberakuri [Christine MUKABUNANI]; Solidarity and Prosperity Party or PSP [Pheobe KANYANGE]
Political pressure groups and leaders
IBUKA (association of genocide survivors)
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CEPGL, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador James KIMONYO
chancery:
1714 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone:
[1] (202) 232-2882
FAX:
[1] (202) 232-4544
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Donald W. KORAN
embassy:
2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie, Kigali
mailing address:
B. P. 28, Kigali
telephone:
[250] 596-400
FAX:
[250] 596-591
Flag description
three horizontal bands of sky blue (top, double width), yellow, and green, with a golden sun with 24 rays near the fly end of the blue band; blue represents happiness and peace, yellow economic development and mineral wealth, green hope of prosperity and natural resources; the sun symbolizes unity, as well as enlightenment and transparency from ignorance
National anthem
name:
"Rwanda nziza" (Rwanda, Our Beautiful Country)
lyrics/music:
Faustin MURIGO/Jean-Bosco HASHAKAIMANA
adopted 2001
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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