|Former name (until 1962): Ruanda a republic in central Africa: part of German East Africa from 1899 until 1917, when Belgium took over the administration; became a republic in 1961 after a Hutu revolt against the Tutsi (1959); fighting between the ethnic groups broke out repeatedly after independence, culminating in the genocide of Tutsis by Hutus in 1994. Official languages: Kinyarwanda, English, French, and Swahili. Religion: Roman Catholic, African Protestant, Muslim, and animist. Currency: Rwanda franc. Capital: Kigali. Pop: 8 481 000 (2004 est). Area: 26 338 sq km (10 169 sq miles)|
Note: Rwanda gained its independence from Belgium in 1962.
Note: It has long been marked by ethnic strife between majority Hutus and dominant Tutsis. When its president died in a suspicious plane cash in 1994, Hutu militia massacred at least 500,000 Tutsis in an act of genocide.