Country of the World Rwanda

About the country Rwanda, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: In east central Africa, 100 mi. south of the equator, perched on an isolated plateau of verdant, rolling hills, scattered with eucalyptus trees and banana groves, is Rwanda, called "the land of a thousand hills." Startling volcanic peaks, resplendent Lake Kivu, and the Virunga Mountains, capped by 14,787-ft. Mt. Karisimbi, form a natural barrier to the west and northwest; the Kagera Rive, source of the Nile River, is to the east; and the Ankanyaru and Ruzizi rivers are to the south and southeast.

Size: 10,169 sq. mi. (26,338 sq. km.).

Population: 4.5 million.

Who Rules: Former Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Juvenal Habyalimana, who overthrew Pres. Gregoire Kayibanda in a bloodless coup d'etat July 5,1973, is president of Rwanda.

Who REALLY Rules: Despite the bloody Hutu overthrow of their Tutsi overlords in 1959, the Tutsis have retained most of the best jobs and economic influence. The military junta, which styles itself "the Committee for Peace and National Unity," dismantled Tutsi dominance and established a centralized civilian-military government, largely of younger technocrats. One of the world's poorest countries, Rwanda is kept afloat by over $100 million annually in aid from Communist and non-Communist nations alike.

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