Timeline of Rwandan history

This timeline of Rwandan history is a chronological list of major events related to the human inhabitants of Rwanda.

17th century

17th centuryTutsi king Ruganzu Ndori comes to prominence.

18th century

Explorer John Hanning Speke, the first European to visit the area
1858The area is visited by British explorer John Hanning Speke, the first European to do so.
188428 MarchThe Society for German Colonization is formed by Karl Peters in order to acquire German colonial territories in overseas countries. Peters signs treaties with several native chieftains on the mainland opposite Zanzibar.
AugustRwanda becomes a German protectorate.[1]
18852 AprilThe German East Africa Company is formed by Karl Peters to govern German East Africa.
1890Rwanda is incorporated into German East Africa.

20th century

Third president Juvénal Habyarimana
President of Rwanda Paul Kagame
190123 FebruaryA boundary is agreed between German East Africa and Nyasaland.
1916Rwanda is occupied by Belgian forces.
192220 JulyRwanda-Urundi are joined as a League of Nations mandate, governed by Belgium.[1]
1933All citizens in Rwanda-Urundi are issued with an identity card defining their ethnicity.
1943Famine affects the region.
1945Rwanda-Urundi becomes a United Nations Trust Territory.
1957The Hutu Manifesto is published.
195924 JulyMwami Mutara III dies.[2]
3 SeptemberThe Union Nationale Rwandaise (UNAR) party is formed.[2]
1 NovemberPolitician Dominique Mbonyumutwa is beaten by members of UNAR, leading to a violent backlash that kills thousands of Tutsis.[3]
1960An election is held.
1961Rwandans vote to abolish the Tutsi monarchy.
28 JanuaryDominique Mbonyumutwa becomes provisional President of Rwanda.
19621 JulyBelgium grants Rwanda independence.[1]
26 OctoberGrégoire Kayibanda becomes the first elected President of Rwanda.
1963Following a Tutsi guerilla attack from Burundi, an anti-Tutsi backlash kills thousands.
19735 JulyGrégoire Kayibanda is overthrown in a military coup d'état.[4] Juvénal Habyarimana becomes the third President of Rwanda.
198526 DecemberAmerican naturalist Dian Fossey is murdered in her Rwandan cabin.[5]
19901 OctoberThe Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) makes an attack from Uganda, starting the Rwandan Civil War.[6]
19934 AugustThe Arusha Accords are signed between President Habyarimana and leaders of the RPF in Arusha, Tanzania, ending the Rwandan Civil War.[7]
19946 AprilPresident Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira are assassinated as their aircraft is shot down approaching Kigali. This incident sparks the Rwandan genocide.[1]
8 AprilThéodore Sindikubwabo becomes interim President of Rwanda.
3 JulyThe RPF takes control of Kigali.[1]
19 JulyThe RPF forms a provisional government[1] and Pasteur Bizimungu becomes President of Rwanda.
21 AugustThe RPF controls the whole of Rwanda.[1]
8 NovemberThe International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is established.[8]
200024 MarchPaul Kagame is selected as interim President of Rwanda.[9]
22 AprilPaul Kagame is sworn in as the fourth President of Rwanda.[10]

21st century

Year Date Event
2006 January "Rwanda's 12 provinces are replaced by a smaller number of regions with the aim of creating Decentralised administrative areas."[11]
2007 6 April Former president Pasteur Bizimungu is released from prison after three years of a fifteen-year sentence, pardoned by President Kagame.[12]
2009 Rwanda becomes part of the Commonwealth of Nations.[11]

See also


  • "Timeline: Rwanda". BBC. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  1. Notholt, Stuart (2008). Fields of Fire: An Atlas of Ethnic Conflict. Troubador Publishing. p. 2.24. ISBN 978-1-906510-47-3.
  2. Osabu-Kle, Daniel Tetteh (2000). Compatible cultural democracy: the key to development in Africa. University of Toronto Press. p. 220. ISBN 1-55111-289-2.
  3. Cook, Susan E. (2006). Genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda: New Perspectives. Transaction Publishers. p. 174. ISBN 1-4128-0515-5.
  4. Adelman, Howard; Astri Suhrke (2000). The path of a genocide: the Rwanda crisis from Uganda to Zaire. Transaction Publishers. p. 64. ISBN 0-7658-0768-8.
  5. Mongillo, John F.; Zierdt-Warshaw, Linda (2000). Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. University Rochester Press. p. 160. ISBN 1-57356-147-9.
  6. Heo, Uk (2007). "Rwanda (1990–1994)". Civil Wars of the World: Major Conflicts Since World War II, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 655. ISBN 978-1-85109-919-1.
  7. "Accord Ends 3-Year Civil War in Rwanda", The New York Times, 5 August 1993, retrieved 5 April 2010
  8. Boot, Machteld (2002). Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes. Intersentia nv. p. 226. ISBN 90-5095-216-X.
  9. Hranjski, Hrvoje (24 March 2000), "Rwanda: Kagame selected as interim president", The Independent, Independent News and Media Limited, retrieved 30 March 2010
  10. "Rwanda's Kagame sworn in", BBC News, BBC, 22 April 2000, retrieved 20 March 2010
  11. "Rwanda Profile: Timeline". BBC News. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  12. "Rwanda ex-leader freed from jail", BBC News, BBC, 6 April 2007, retrieved 20 March 2010