Space Program of Rwanda
------The Rwandan Space Agency------
Level = 0 Development: Very Low
What has been going on in Rwanda?
What kind of space power do they have?
Does Rwanda have space weapons?
What are they planning over there?
Population: 9,500,000 / Language: French / GDP: $600 / Cities: Kigali
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Rwanda experienced Africa's worst genocide in modern times, but the country's recovery was marred by its intervention in the conflict in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
The country has been beset by ethnic tension associated with the traditionally unequal relationship between the dominant Tutsi minority and the majority Hutus.
Although after 1959 the ethnic relationship was reversed, when civil war prompted around 200,000 Tutsis to flee to Burundi, lingering resentment led to periodic massacres of Tutsis.
The most notorious of these began in April 1994. The shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana, and his Burundian counterpart, near Kigali triggered what appeared to be a coordinated attempt by Hutus to eliminate the Tutsi population.
In response, the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) launched a military campaign to control the country. It achieved this by July, by which time at least 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus had been brutally massacred.
Some two million Hutus fled to Zaire, now the DR Congo. They included some of those responsible for the massacres, and some joined Zairean forces to attack local Tutsis. Rwanda responded by invading refugee camps dominated by Hutu militiamen.
Meanwhile, Laurent Kabila, who seized control of Zaire and renamed it the DR Congo, failed to banish the Hutu extremists, prompting Rwanda to support the rebels trying to overthrow him.
Rwanda withdrew its forces from DR Congo in late 2002 after signing a peace deal with Kinshasa. But tensions simmer, with Rwanda accusing the Congolese army of aiding Hutu rebels in eastern DR Congo.
Rwanda has used traditional "gacaca" community courts to try those suspected of taking part in the 1994 genocide. But key individuals - particularly those accused of orchestrating the slaughter - appear before an International Criminal Tribunal in northern Tanzania.
The country is striving to rebuild its economy, with coffee and tea production being among its main sources of foreign exchange. Nearly two thirds of the population live below the poverty line.
Full name: Republic of Rwanda
President: Paul Kagame
In August 2003 Paul Kagame - who had been selected by MPs as president in 2000 - claimed a landslide victory in the first presidential elections since the 1994 genocide.
Rwanda's Space Infrastructure
Rwanda is one of the world's poorest countries, and its space program is not suprisingly, nonexistent. Not only does it not have an agency, but also no infrastructure in which one would arise. The National University of Rwanda has no space related educational architecture, lacking astrophysics and astronautics, favoring instead a focus on agriculture and medicine. The government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.
Rwanda has no history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has any launch capability.
Rwanda lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it. It has no functioning university with an astrophysics or astronautics program, and nonexistant industry.
Rwanda operates no satellites and, not having an orbital presence, has no space power.
The government of Rwanda in Kigali has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.
Timeline of Events in Rwanda
...From the Past to the Future
1300s - Tutsis migrate into what is now Rwanda, which was already inhabited by the Twa and Hutu peoples.
1600s - Tutsi King Ruganzu Ndori subdues central Rwanda and outlying Hutu areas.
Late 1800s - Tutsi King Kigeri Rwabugiri establishes a unified state with a centralised military structure.
1858 - British explorer Hanning Speke is the first European to visit the area.
1890 - Rwanda becomes part of German East Africa.
1916 - Belgian forces occupy Rwanda.
1923 - Belgium granted League of Nations mandate to govern Ruanda-Urundi, which it ruled indirectly through Tutsi kings.
1946 - Ruanda-Urundi becomes UN trust territory governed by Belgium.
1957 - Hutus issue manifesto calling for a change in Rwanda's power structure to give them a voice commensurate with their numbers; Hutu political parties formed.
1959 - Tutsi King Kigeri V, together with tens of thousands of Tutsis, forced into exile in Uganda following inter-ethnic violence.
1961 - Rwanda proclaimed a republic.
1962 - Rwanda becomes independent with a Hutu, Gregoire Kayibanda, as president; many Tutsis leave the country.
1963 - Some 20,000 Tutsis killed following an incursion by Tutsi rebels based in Burundi.
1978 - New constitution ratified; Habyarimana elected president.
1988 - Some 50,000 Hutu refugees flee to Rwanda from Burundi following ethnic violence there.
1990 - Forces of the rebel, mainly Tutsi, Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invade Rwanda from Uganda.
1991 - New multi-party constitution promulgated.
1993 - President Habyarimana signs a power-sharing agreement with the Tutsis in the Tanzanian town of Arusha, ostensibly signalling the end of civil war; UN mission sent to monitor the peace agreement.
1994 April - Habyarimana and the Burundian president are killed after their plane is shot down over Kigali; RPF launches a major offensive; extremist Hutu militia and elements of the Rwandan military begin the systematic massacre of Tutsis. Within 100 days around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus are killed; Hutu militias flee to Zaire, taking with them around 2 million Hutu refugees.
"A small number of major players could directly have prevented, halted or reduced the slaughter of Rwandans"
1994-96 - Refugee camps in Zaire fall under the control of the Hutu militias responsible for the genocide in Rwanda.
1995 - Extremist Hutu militias and Zairean government forces attack local Zairean Banyamulenge Tutsis; Zaire attempts to force refugees back into Rwanda.
1995 - UN-appointed international tribunal begins charging and sentencing a number of people responsible for the Hutu-Tutsi atrocities.
Intervention in DR Congo
1996 - Rwandan troops invade and attack Hutu militia-dominated camps in Zaire in order to drive home the refugees.
1997 - Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed rebels depose President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire; Laurent Kabila becomes president of Zaire, which is renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo.
1998 - Rwanda switches allegiance to support rebel forces trying to depose Kabila in the wake of the Congolese president's failure to expel extremist Hutu militias.
2000 March - Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, resigns over differences regarding the composition of a new cabinet and after accusing parliament of targeting Hutu politicians in anti-corruption investigations.
"Rwandans have rejected ethnic divisions"
2000 April - Ministers and members of parliament elect Vice-President Paul Kagame as Rwanda's new president.
2001 October - Voting to elect members of traditional "gacaca" courts begins. The courts - in which ordinary Rwandans judge their peers - aim to clear the backlog of 1994 genocide cases.
2001 December - A new flag and national anthem are unveiled to try to promote national unity and reconciliation.
2002 April - Former president Pasteur Bizimungu is arrested and faces trial on charges of illegal political activity and threats to state security.
2002 July - Rwanda, DR Congo sign peace deal under which Rwanda will pull troops out of DR Congo and DR Congo will help disarm Rwandan Hutu gunmen blamed for killing Tutsi minority in 1994 genocide.
DR Congo pull-out
2003 May - Voters back a draft constitution which bans the incitement of ethnic hatred.
2003 August - Paul Kagame wins the first presidential elections since the 1994 genocide.
2003 October - First multi-party parliamentary elections; President Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front wins absolute majority. EU observers say poll was marred by irregularities and fraud.
2003 December - Three former media directors found guilty of inciting Hutus to kill Tutsis during 1994 genocide and receive lengthy jail sentences.
2004 March - President Kagame rejects French report which says he ordered 1994 attack on president's plane, which sparked genocide.
2004 June - Former president, Pasteur Bizimungu, is sentenced to 15 years in jail for embezzlement, inciting violence and associating with criminals.
2005 March - Main Hutu rebel group, FDLR, says it is ending its armed struggle. FDLR is one of several groups accused of creating instability in DR Congo; many of its members are accused of taking part in 1994 genocide.
2005 July - Government begins the mass release of 36,000 prisoners. Most of them have confessed to involvement in the 1994 genocide. It is the third phase of releases since 2003 - part of an attempt to ease overcrowding.
2006 January - Rwanda's 12 provinces are replaced by a smaller number of regions with the aim of creating ethnically-diverse administrative areas.
TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE