"Kigali – Capital of the Country of the 1000 Hills" Top 5 Page for this destination Kigali by MikeAtSea
Kigali Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 188 photos
Upon my arrival to Kigali, the Rwandan capital I was not sure what to expect. Any trip to this part of the world will undoubtedly be associated with the cinema film “Hotel Rwanda” or the pictures that were broadcasted around the globe in 1994 and before.
The first sight of Kigali was a modern airport and immaculate roads and a city that had just gone to sleep – due to my late evening arrival. At dawn suddenly a magnificent capital city emerged, clean, prosperous, and peaceful. Was that the Kigali of the horror headlines and the genocide? It could not have been.
Kigali was part of German East Africa from 1899 to 1916. In 1923 it passed to Belgian control as part of the Ruanda-Urundi territory administered by Belgium for the League of Nations from 1923 to 1946 and the United Nations from 1946 to 1962. When the trust territory was divided in 1962 to form the independent nations of Rwanda and Burundi, Kigali became the capital of Rwanda.
In April 1994 Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira were killed in a suspicious plane crash near Kigali. After the crash, violence erupted in Kigali between Rwanda's two main ethnic groups, the Hutu and Tutsi. Under the terms of a peace accord reached in 1993 between Habyarimana and the Tutsi-dominated rebel movement, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the United Nations had already sent peacekeeping troops to Rwanda. However, at the height of the violence, the UN forces, lacking a mandate to protect civilians, abandoned the capital, and many residents were killed or forced to flee. The killing in Rwanda was so bad that thousands of people lay dead littering the streets – the total is estimated to be more then 1.000.000 people mostly of Tutsi origin that were butchered in 100 days and 90% of the Rwanda population was displaced in refugee camps all over the region.
As peace arrived its citizens returned gradually, and the city’s damaged infrastructure and buildings were repaired – to make place of what one can see today – a bustling, friendly and astonishing enough one of the safest cities of Africa!
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