Happy Birthday to Rwanda and Burundi!

Children in a Rwandan primary school. *Photo from Wikipedia

July 1 is Independence Day of Rwanda and Burundi, celebrates the independence from Belgium in 1962.

Belgian forces took control of Rwanda and Burundi in 1916, during World War I, beginning a period of more direct colonial rule. Belgium ruled both Rwanda and Burundi as a League of Nations ‘mandate’ called Ruanda-Urundi. The territory was under Belgian military occupation from 1916 to 1922 and later became a Belgian-controlled Class B Mandate (former German territories in West and Central Africa which were deemed to require a greater level of control by the mandatory power) 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.

Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a sovereign state in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Burundi, officially the Republic of Burundi, is a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa, bordered by Rwanda to the north.

*Reference: Wikipedia