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Flag of Ruanda-Urundi
Location of Ruanda-Urundi

Ruanda-Urundi was a colonial territory, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium from 1916 to 1962. The region was occupied by troops from the Belgian Congo during the East African campaign in World War I and was administered by Belgium under military occupation from 1916 to 1922. It was subsequently awarded to Belgium as a Class-B Mandate under the League of Nations in 1922 and became a Trust Territory of the United Nations in the aftermath of World War II and the dissolution of the League. In 1962 Ruanda-Urundi became the two independent states of Rwanda and Burundi.


  • Our mission has been favorably impressed by the material develpment brought about the native welfare fund. I have personaly observed how the native population apreciates Belgium's efforts in this direction and how it has understood the benefits of derived by Ruanda-Urundi from the activities of this institution.
  • After having elaborated a vast plan of action for the benefit of the native but, to a large extent, outside his knowledge and comprehension, we must gradually obtain his acceptance and make him ever more conscious of it, as well as actively engaged in his own uplift. Gaining the native conscious and active acceptance of our civilizing ideal must be the primary object of our task of teaching and education in Belgian Africa.
  • The British exploited differences between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the sub‐continent, creating deep resentments and divisions that persist today due to the 1947 Partition. Similarly, differences between the Hutus and Tutsis that led to the Rwandan genocide were created and exploited by Belgian colonizers.
  • Burundians, Rwandans, and outside specialists of the region disagree almost totally on the nature of precolonial social…[and on] the impact of colonization...There is no scholarly consensus on answers to these questions.

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