Blessed with natural beauty and rich vegetation, Rwanda is often called the "land of a thousand hills" (le pays des mille collines). A proud people, the Banyarwanda (Rwandans) possess a centric view of the world, believing that Imana (God) favors Rwanda, as conveyed through the saying "Imana yirirwa ahandi igataha i Rwanda" (God spends the day some place else but goes back home to Rwanda to sleep) and the fact that Rwanda means "the universe." However, this idyllic view of Rwanda sharply contrasts with the sad history of ethnic strife that has unfolded in the country since the 1950s: the 1959 Hutu Revolution followed by years of anti Tutsi pogroms, undemocratic regimes, the civil war of 1990 to 1994, and, more significantly, the April July 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and Hutu who opposed the killings. This new edition of Historical Dictionary of Rwanda, through its chronology, introductory essays, appendixes, maps, bibliography, and hundreds of cross referenced dictionary entries on important persons, places, events, and institutions and significant political, economic, social, and cultural aspects, provides an important reference on this central African country.
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