Rwanda: Background and Current Developments
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In Rwanda, events of a prior decade are still fresh in the minds of many survivors and perpetrators. In 1993, after several failed efforts, the Rwanda Patriotic Front RPF and the government of Rwanda reached an agreement in Tanzania, referred to as the Arusha Peace Accords. The RPF joined the Rwandan government as called for in the agreement. In April 1994, the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, along with several senior government officials, were killed when their plane was shot down as it approached the capital of Rwanda. Shortly after, the Rwandan military and a Hutu militia known as the Interhamwe began to systematically massacre Tutsis and moderate Hutu opposition members. In the first 10 weeks of the Rwandan genocide, an estimated 1,000,000 people, mostly Tutsis, were slaughtered by government forces and the Interhamwe militia. In July 1994, the RPF took over power and later formed a coalition government. In 2003, Rwanda held its first multi-party presidential and parliamentary elections in decades. President Paul Kagame of the RPF won 95 of the votes cast, while his nearest rival, Faustin Twagiramungu, received 3.6 of the votes. In the legislative elections, the ruling RPF won 73 in the 80-seat National Assembly, while the remaining seats went to RPF allies and former coalition partners. In September 2008, Rwanda held legislative elections, and the RPF won a majority of the seats. Rwandese women are now the majority in the National Assembly. In October 2008, the National Assembly elected Ms. Mukantabam Rose as the first female Speaker of the Assembly. In late 2008, the governments of Rwanda and Congo agreed on a wide range of issues, including the launch of a joint military offensive against the National Congress for the Defense of the Congolese People CNDP and the FDLR. They also agreed to restore full diplomatic relations and to activate economic cooperation. In January 2009, Rwanda and Congo launched the joint military operation in eastern Congo.
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