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{{short description|1922-1962 League of Nations/United Nations mandate in East Africa}}

.|flag = |national_anthem = ||p1 = German East Africa|flag_p1 = Reichskolonialflagge.svg|s1 = Kingdom of Burundi|flag_s1 = Flag of Burundi (1962-1966).svg|s2 = Republic of Rwanda|flag_s2 = Flag of Rwanda (1962-2001).svgBujumbura>UsumburaFrench language>French (official)Also: Kinyarwanda, Kirundi and Swahili Catholic Church>CatholicismAlso: Protestantism, Islam and othersCongolese franc#First franc, 1887–1967>Belgian Congo franc (1916–60)Ruanda-Urundi franc (1960–62)|event_pre = Belgian invasion|date_pre = April 1916|event_start = Mandate created|date_start = 20 July|year_start = 1922|event1 = Administrative merger with Belgian Congo|date_event1 = 1 March 1926|event2 = Mandate becomes Trust Territory|date_event2 = 13 December 1946|event3 = Rwanda gains autonomy|date_event3 = 18 October 1960|event4 = Burundi gains autonomy|date_event4 = 21 December 1961|event_end = Independence|date_end = 1 July|year_end = 1962Burundi}}{{flag|Rwanda}}}}Ruanda-Urundi{{efn|In Dutch the name is sometimes seen in its phonetic rendering as .}} ({{IPA-fr|ʁɥɑ̃da.yʁœ̃di}}) was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium between 1922 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African Campaign during World War I, the territory was under Belgian military occupation from 1916 to 1922 and later became a Belgian-controlled Class B Mandate under the League of Nations from 1922 to 1945. After the disestablishment of the League and World War II, Ruanda-Urundi became a Trust Territory of the United Nations, still under Belgian control. In 1962, the mandate became independent as the two separate countries of Rwanda and Burundi.


Ruanda and Burundi were two independent kingdoms in the Great Lakes region before the Scramble for Africa. In 1894, they were annexed by the German Empire and eventually became two districts of German East Africa. The two monarchies were retained as part of the German policy of indirect rule, with the Ruandan king (mwami) Yuhi V Musinga using German support to consolidate his control over subordinate chiefs in exchange for labour and resources.{{sfn|1914–1918 Online Encyclopedia|2016}}

Belgian military occupation, 1916–22

File:Eastafrikaoccupation1916.jpg|thumb|left|A Belgian CongoBelgian CongoWorld War I broke out in 1914. German colonies were originally meant to preserve their neutrality as mandated in the Berlin Convention, but fighting soon broke out on the frontier between German East Africa and the Belgian Congo around Lakes Kivu and Tanganyika.{{sfn|1914–1918 Online Encyclopedia|2016}} As part of the Allied East African Campaign, Ruanda and Urundi were invaded by a Belgian force in 1916.{{sfn|1914–1918 Online Encyclopedia|2016}} The German forces in the region were small and hugely outnumbered. Ruanda was occupied over April–May and Urundi in June 1916. By September, a large portion of German East Africa was under Belgian occupation reaching as far south as Kigoma and Karema in modern-day Tanzania and as far eastwards as Tabora.{{sfn|1914–1918 Online Encyclopedia|2016}} In Ruanda and Urundi, the Belgians were welcomed by many Africans who were opposed to the autocratic behaviour of the kings.{{sfn|1914–1918 Online Encyclopedia|2016}} The territory captured was administered by a Belgian military occupation authority ("Belgian Occupied East African Territories") pending an ultimate decision about its political future. An administration, headed by a Royal Commissioner, was established in February 1917 at the same time as Belgian forces were ordered to withdraw from the Tabora region by the British.

League of Nations mandate, 1922–46

File:The christian church in Huye.jpg|thumb|left|The Cathedral of Our Lady of Wisdom at ButareButareThe Treaty of Versailles divided the German colonial empire among the Allied nations. German East Africa was also partitioned, with Tanganyika allocated to the British and a small area allocated to Portugal. Belgium was allocated Ruanda-Urundi which represented only a fraction of the territories occupied by the Belgian forces in East Africa, even though it had originally been hoped that Belgian claims in the region could be traded for Portuguese territory in Angola to expand the Congo's access to the sea. The League of Nations officially awarded Ruanda-Urundi to Belgium as a B-Class Mandate on 20 July 1922. The mandatory regime was also controversial in Belgium and it was not approved by Belgium's parliament until 1924.William Roger Louis, Ruanda-Urundi 1884-1919 (Oxford U.P., 1963). Unlike colonies which belonged to its colonial power, a mandate was theoretically subject to international oversight through the League's Permanent Mandates Commission (PMC) in Geneva, Switzerland.After a period of inertia, the Belgian administration became actively involved in Ruanda-Urundi between 1926 and 1931 under the governorship of Charles Voisin. The reforms produced a dense road-network and improved agriculture, with the emergence of cash crop farming in cotton and coffee.{{sfn|Pedersen|2015|p=256}} However, four major famines did ravage parts of the mandate after crop failures in 1916–1918, 1924–26, 1928–30 and 1943–44. {{citation needed span|The Belgians were far more involved in the territory than the Germans, especially in Ruanda. Despite the mandate rules that the Belgians had to develop the territories and prepare them for independence, the economic policy practised in the Belgian Congo was exported eastwards: the Belgians demanded that the territories earn profits for the motherland and that any development must come out of funds gathered in the territory. These funds mostly came from the extensive cultivation of coffee in the region's rich volcanic soils.|date=September 2017}}File:Kisanga-mijn Ruandese arbeiders einde-jaren 1920.JPG|thumb|Ruandan migrant workers at the Kisanga mine in Katanga (Belgian CongoBelgian CongoTo implement their vision, the Belgians used the existing indigenous power structure. This consisted of a largely Tutsi ruling class controlling a mostly Hutu population, through the system of chiefs and sub-chiefs under the overall rule of the two Mwami. The Belgian administrators believed that the Tutsi were superior and deserved power. While before colonization the Hutu had played some role in governance, the Belgians simplified matters by further stratifying the society on ethnic lines. Hutu anger at the Tutsi domination was largely focused on the Tutsi elite rather than the distant colonial power.Peter Langford, "The Rwandan Path to Genocide: The Genesis of the Capacity of the Rwandan Post-colonial State to Organise and Unleash a project of Extermination". Civil Wars Vol. 7 n.3 Musinga was deposed by the administration as mwami of Ruanda in November 1931 after being accused of disloyalty. {{sfn|Pedersen|2015|p=253–5}} He was replaced by his son Mutara III Rudahigwa.Although promising the League it would promote education, Belgium left the task to subsidised Catholic missions and mostly unsubsidised Protestant missions. Catholicism expanded rapidly through the African population in consequence. As late as 1961, shortly before independence arrived, fewer than 100 Africans had been educated beyond the secondary level. The policy was one of low-cost paternalism, as explained by Belgium's special representative to the Trusteeship Council: "The real work is to change the African in his essence, to transform his soul, [and] to do that one must love him and enjoy having daily contact with him. He must be cured of his thoughtlessness, he must accustom himself to living in society, he must overcome his inertia."Mary T. Duarte, "Education in Ruanda-Urundi, 1946-61, " Historian (1995) 57#2 pp 275-84

United Nations trust territory, 1946–62

The League of Nations was formally dissolved in April 1946, following its failure to prevent the Second World War. It was succeeded, for practical purposes, by the new United Nations (UN). In December 1946, the new body voted to end the mandate over Ruanda-Urundi and replace it with the new status of "Trust Territory". To provide oversight, the PMC was replaced by the United Nations Trusteeship Council. The transition was accompanied by a promise that the Belgians would prepare the territory for independence, but the Belgians felt the area would take many decades to be ready for self-rule and wanted the process to take enough time before happening.Independence came largely as a result of actions elsewhere. African anti-colonial nationalism emerged in the Belgian Congo in the late 1950s and the Belgians became convinced they could no longer control the territory. Unrest also broke out in Ruanda where the monarchy was deposed in the Rwandan Revolution (1959–1961). The Belgian Congo was granted independence in 1960, beginning a period of instability in the region known as the Congo Crisis. After two more years of hurried preparations, Ruanda-Urundi became independent on 1 July 1962, broken up along traditional lines as the independent Republic of Rwanda and Kingdom of Burundi. It took two more years before the government of the two became wholly separate.{{clear}}

Colonial governors

(File:Ruana-Urundi. Landscape with a group of native people from the northern part of Urundi, 1928. (9422840698).jpg| Landscape with a group of native people from the northern part of Urundi, 1928.|thumb|A 1928 photograph from northern Urundi)Ruanda-Urundi was initially administered by a Royal Commissioner (commissaire royal) until the administrative union with the Belgian Congo in 1926. After this, the mandate was administered by a Governor (gouverneur) located at Usumbura (modern-day Bujumbura) who also held the title of Vice-Governor-General (vice-gouverneur général) of the Belgian Congo. Ruanda and Urundi were each administered by a separate resident (résident) subordinate to the Governor.{{div col}}
Royal Commissioners (1916–26)
  • (November 1916 – May 1919)
  • (May 1919 – August 1926)

Governors (1926–62)
  • (August 1926 – February 1929)
  • (February 1929 – July 1930)
  • (July 1930 – August 1932)
  • (August 1932 – July 1946)
  • (July 1946 – August 1949)
  • (August 1949 – January 1952)
  • {{interlanguage link|Alfred Claeys-Boúúaert|fr}} (January 1952 – March 1955)
  • (March 1955 – January 1962)
For a list of residents, see: List of colonial residents of Rwanda and List of colonial residents of Burundi.
Kings (abami) of Ruanda

Kings (abami) of Urundi
{{div col end}}

See also





Further reading

  • WEB, {{harvid, 1914–1918 Online Encyclopedia, 2016, |last1=Samson |first1=Anne |title=Ruanda and Urundi |url= |website=1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War |accessdate=28 January 2019 |date=2016}}
  • BOOK, Chrétien, Jean-Pierre, The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History, 2003, Zone Books, New York, 9781890951344, English trans., registration,weblink
  • BOOK, Gahama, Joseph, Le Burundi sous administration Belge: la période du mandat, 1919-1939, 1983, Karthala, Paris, 9782865370894, 2nd rev.,
  • BOOK, Louis, William Roger, William Roger Louis, Ruanda-Urundi 1884-1919, 1963, Clarendon Press, Oxford,
  • BOOK, Newbury, Catharine, The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860-1960, 1994, Columbia University Press, New York, 9780231062572,
  • BOOK, harv, Pedersen, Susan, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, 2015, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 978-0-19-957048-5,
  • BOOK, Rumiya, Jean, Le Rwanda sous le régime du mandat belge, 1916-1931, 1992, Éd. L'Harmattan, Paris, 9782738405401,
  • BOOK, Vijgen, Ingeborg, Tussen mandaat en kolonie: Rwanda, Burundi en het Belgische bestuur in opdracht van de Volkenbond (1916-1932), 2005, Acco, Leuven, 9789033456213,
  • JOURNAL, Botte, Roger, Rwanda and Burundi, 1889-1930: Chronology of a Slow Assassination, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 1985, 18, 2, 289–314, 217744,

External links

{{League of Nations mandates}}{{Rwanda topics}}{{Authority control}}{{Coord|-2.7|29.9|type:country_region:RW_dim:300km|display=title}}

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