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Ethnic conflicts have troubled Rwanda for over 50 years, resulting in nearly continuous warfare and bloodshed. Prior to 1959, a monarchy led by the minority Tutsi ethnic group dominated the region’s politics, persecuting the majority Hutus. That year, the Hutus rebelled and overthrew the Tutsi government before imposing a violent retribution on thousands of Tutsi civilians, driving 150,000 of them into exile. The children of these banished Tutsis formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and returned to Rwanda in 1990, sparking a civil war. The RPF eventually defeated the Hutu regime, but they first had to endure the genocidal murder of nearly 800,000 of their Tutsi compatriots in April 1994.



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