Topic outline

  • General

  • Unit :1 First and Second Republics of Rwanda

    Key unit competence

    Examine the achievements and failures of the First and the Second

    Republics in Rwanda


    This unit is about the history of Rwanda during the First and the

    Second Republics. This period deals with the history of Rwanda

    from 1962, the year during which the country of Rwanda regained

    its independence up to 1990, the year that was marked by the

    beginning of the Liberation War. This war opened a new era which

    would be marked by many political and socio-economic changes

    and would be won by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) in 1994

    after stopping the genocide that was perpetrated against the Tutsi.

    This victory contributed to the collapse of the Second Republic and

    Rwanda opened a new page of its history with the coming of RPF

    to power.

    This unit will examine various achievements of the First and the

    Second Republics in Rwanda in political and socio-economic areas.

    At the same time, it will focus on the failures of the two regimes

    and factors that led to their collapse.

    Links to other subjects

    This unit can be linked to other subjects like General Studies and

    Communication Skills and Economics.

    Main points to be covered in this unit

    Achievements and failures of the First Republic, 1962–1973

    ࿤ Political evolution: The new institutions of the Republic of Rwanda

    ࿤ From multipartism to monopartism

    ࿤ Management of the problem of Inyenzi incursions: the beginning

    of genocide against the Tutsi.

    ࿤ Economic evolution: Perpetuation of the colonial economic model

    ࿤ Development of economic infrastructure

    ࿤ Socio-cultural evolution: Education and health systems

    ࿤ Failures and reasons for the fall of the First Republic

    Achievements and failures of the Second Republic 1973–1990

    ࿤ Political evolution: New political institutions

    ࿤ Economic evolution

    ࿤ Priority investment in infrastructure

    ࿤ Socio-cultural evolution: Health and education

    ࿤ Failures and reasons for the fall of the Second Republic 

    Achievements of the First Republic 1962–1973

    Activity 1

    1. What kind of regime was adopted at the time of the

    independence of Rwanda?

    2. Describe the political institutions that were established on

    the eve of the acquisition of independence of Rwanda.

    3. Explain the different means that the Mouvement

    Démocratique Républicain–PARMEHUTU (MDR–

    PARMEHUTU) used to eliminate opposition political parties.

    4. Why was the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain–

    PARMEHUTU (MDR-PARMEHUTU)–the only political party

    which presented candidates for presidential and legislative

    elections in 1965?

    Activity 2

    1. Account for the reactions of the First Republic towards the

    problem of Rwandan refugees.

    2. How were the Tutsi who lived in Rwanda treated during the

    attacks of Inyenzi.

    3. What happened to the leaders of the Rassemblement

    Démocratique Rwandaise–RADER–and the Union

    Nationale Rwandaise–UNAR–after the attack of the

    Inyenzi on December 24th, 1963 in Bugesera?

    Activity 3

    Carry out research on the economic evolution of Rwanda during

    the First Republic based on the perpetuation of the colonial

    economic model and find answers to the following questions.

    Present the results of your findings to the class.

    1. Explain the major economic issues that Rwanda faced after

    the acquisition of its independence.

    2. Identify and evaluate the strategies and measures that the

    government of President Grégoire Kayibanda adopted to

    address these problems.

    Activity 4

    Carry out research on the development of economic infrastructure

    planned and/or implemented by the First Republic of Rwanda

    and answer the following questions. Present the results of your

    study to the class.

    1. What are the main achievements of the First Republic of

    Rwanda in the area of banking?

    2. In the framework of the Five-Year Development Plan (1966–

    1971) some projects which aimed to macadamise the road

    axes linking the country of Rwanda to the outside world had

    been conceived. Priority was given to which roads?

    3. Which infrastructures did the First Republic of Rwanda set

    up and also inaugurate?

    4. What were the achievements of the First Republic of

    Rwanda in rural development?

    Activity 5

    Conduct research on the socio-cultural evolution during the First

    Republic of Rwanda and answer the following questions. Present

    the results of your findings to the class.

    1. Assess the achievements of the First Republic of Rwanda

    in education.

    2. Evaluate the achievements of the First Republic of Rwanda

    in health.

    Activity 6

    Conduct research on the failures and reasons for the fall of the

    First Republic and answer the following questions. Present the

    results of your findings to the class.

    1. What were the major failures of the First Republic of


    2. Identify the factors that contributed to the fall of the First

    Republic of Rwanda.

    Political evolution

    Rwanda just after independence

    At the time of recovering Rwanda’s independence, Grégoire

    Kayibanda bullied his way into political prominence and was more

    than willing to use ethnic terror and divisions to maintain his rule.

    By independence day on July 1st, 1962, Rwanda had no constitution.

    PARMEHUTU leaders had prepared a document to be used as a

    constitution during the coup d’état of Gitarama. But this text was

    not published in the official Gazette of Ruanda-Urundi. Moreover,

    the colonial authority continued thereafter to dictate laws for the

    new authorities. 

    The parliament had the power to supervise the actions of the

    president of the republic and his government (Article 73). Under

    the First Republic, three legislatures were elected: in 1961, 1965

    and 1969, until the dissolution of the parliament following the July

    5th, 1973 coup d’état.

    From Multipartism to Monopartism

    The 1962 constitution devoted its article 10 to a multiparty system.

    However, the ruling party, MDR PARMEHUTU, turned itself into

    a ‘state party’, behaving just like a single party from 1963 after

    eliminating and assimilating other political parties.

    MDR PARMEHUTU fused with the state and the two institutions

    became one and the same at all administration levels. It means that

    the president of the republic was at the same time the president

    of MDR PARMEHUTU party. At the level of prefectures, the préfets

    were leaders of PARMEHUTU. The same applied in communes

    and the lower administrative levels.

    MDR PARMEHUTU used different mechanisms to monopolise

    political power. The party utilised intimidation tactics, arbitrary

    arrests and violence against opponents. At times although not

    often, it also tried to negotiate. In fact in such circumstances that

    APROSOMA disappeared in 1961, after the defection of its leaders

    to MDR PARMEHUTU. These included Aloys Munyangaju and

    Germain Gasingwa.

    RADER and UNAR on the other disappeared

    due to the killing of their leaders. These

    included Prosper Bwanakweli, Ndazaro

    Lazare and Karinda Callixte from RADER;

    and Michel Rwagasana, Afrika, Burabyo,

    Joseph Rutsindintwarane, Gisimba,

    Mpirikanyi and Ndahiro Denis from UNAR

    who were murdered in 1963. They were

    executed in the prison of Ruhengeri when

    Inyenzi had just launched major attacks

    and had penetrated Bugesera up to


    After recruiting some opposition leaders

    in its ranks and killing others, MDR

    PARMEHUTU transformed itself into a single party. In 1965, MDR

    PARMEHUTU was the only party which presented candidates for

    presidential and legislative elections.

    The Inyenzi incursions

    The first challenge faced by the First Republic was the problem

    of refugees. The attitude of the government of the First Republic

    varied with time.

    At the beginning of the 1960s, the provisional government had

    shown concern and established a state secretariat for refugees. But

    after every Inyenzi attack, the Tutsi inside the country would be

    killed. Survivors would seek asylum outside the country.

    The major attacks of Inyenzi were the following:

    ࿤ The December 21st, 1961 attack from Uganda via Kinigi

    targeting individuals in Ruhengeri, Kigali and Gitarama.

    ࿤ The April 1962, attack from Uganda targeting the eastern parts

    of the country.

    ࿤ The July 3rd to 4th, 1962, attack from Goma by approximately

    80 to 100 Inyenzi. Four of the captured Inyenzi, were executed

    in Ruhengeri prison.

    ࿤ The December 24th, 1963 attack in Bugesera. Attackers came

    from Burundi, via Kirundo and Nemba. After some successes,

    the Inyenzi were stopped and defeated by the National Guard

    commanded by two Belgian officers Dubois and Florquin. After

    the Bugesera attacks (1963–1964), President Kayibanda  warned the Inyenzi that: “If they try to conquer Kigali by

    fighting, it would be the total and quick end of the Tutsi”.

    ࿤ The last main Inyenzi attacks took place in Cyangugu and

    Gikongoro prefectures (Bugarama in 1964, Nshili in 1966 and

    Bweyeye in 1966) and in Kibungo prefecture (Butama in 1966).

    After the Bugesera attack, many Tutsi were killed at Gikongoro

    prefecture and the deaths were estimated between 8,000 and

    10,000. In the same period, Kayibanda ordered the execution of

    27 leaders of UNAR and RADER who had been imprisoned in

    Ruhengeri prison without any form of legal procedure whatsoever.

    The attack on Rwanda launched in Bugesera was under the

    command of François Rukeba, one of the main UNAR activists.

    This ill-prepared attack failed, and many Tutsi fell victim to the

    massacres which were organised in retaliation. The word Inyenzi,

    which literally translates to cockroach, was first used in the 60s. It

    was initially used to designate UNAR movements as they organised

    incursions into Rwanda. Its meaning later extended to the entire

    Rwandan Tutsi population. Occasional incursions into Rwandan

    territory continued to occur in Rwanda until 1967. Between 1959

    and 1967, nearly 20,000 Tutsis were killed during the repression

    against UNAR, and 200,000 others fled the country.

    Economic evolution

    Economic problems

    At independence, many government offices were in Bujumbura

    which had been the colonial capital of Ruanda-Urundi. Rwanda

    was under-equipped. There were a few infrastructures. The country

    did not have a radio, an airport, permanent roads, a telephone

    system, hotels, a university or any other institution of higher

    learning. Everything had to come through Bujumbura or through

    Belgian Congo.

    In addition, Rwanda lacked the financial means. It had only one

    donor: Belgium. As a result Rwanda was dependent on foreign

    donors for most of her needs.

    Another economic problem faced by Rwanda was the poor

    functioning of the monetary and customs union between Rwanda

    and Burundi. Moreover, the two countries did not have very good

    relations because they had two different political regimes: Rwanda

    was a republic while Burundi was a constitutional monarchy.

    The country was going through an extremely difficult crisis including

    the deficits in the balance of payments because in 1962 prices

    rose by 50 per cent and by 1964, prices had risen by 300 per

    cent. The Rwandan currency depreciated while agricultural and

    mineral production declined. This resulted in a big fall in exports

    and a big gap in foreign exchange.

    To address this situation, Rwanda asked for assistance from

    western countries and from international organisations like the

    International Monetary Fund (IMF). Rwanda’s western donors were

    mainly Belgium and United States of America (USA). Belgium and

    IMF had just granted Rwanda a little more in terms of loans while

    the USA had donated food and some money to buy equipment.

    Besides external assistance, the government of Rwanda took other

    measures to get the country out of the economic crisis. It reduced

    expenses of all ministries including funds allocated to education.

    Another proposed solution was the First five year economic

    development plan of 1966–1971. The plan was based on an

    analysis of the economic and social conditions, and challeges that

    Rwanda had to face in order to define its economic development.

    Plans were made to construct tarmac roads linking the country to

    all her neighbours in the frame-work of the five-year development

    plan (1966-1971). The following roads were to be built:

    ࿤ Kigali–Gatuna

    ࿤ Kigali–Rusumo

    ࿤ Kigali–Butare

    ࿤ Ruhengeri–Cyanika

    It is essential to note that before the coup d’état that brought the

    First Republic in 1973 to an end, construction had only started

    on the Kigali- Gatuna road in 1971. The construction of this road

    was completed in 1977. In addition, the Rusumo bridge at the

    Akagera River linking Rwanda and Tanzania and the bridge over

    Nyabarongo River were constructed.

    In rural development, the emphasis was placed on the reclamation

    of marshlands in order to improve agricultural production and the

    distribution of improved seeds and plants in some parts of the

    country. New crops like rice were introduced. Some cattle dips

    were put in place to fight ticks.

    Socio-cultural evolution

    Education system

    The First Republic made very few achievements in education and

    health. The First Republic tried to give free education and health


    At independence, Rwanda had a few secondary schools such as

    Groupe Scolaire d’Astrida in Butare, Ecole Technique Officielle de

    Kicukiro, College Sainte André in Kigali and College du Christ Roi

    in Nyanza.

    By 1962 there were 23 secondary schools and this number

    increased to 63 schools in 1972. The number of pupils in primary

    schools increased from 261,306 in 1962 to 425,000 pupils

    in 1972 due to the double shift system. The budget allocated

    to education also increased from 168,264,000 Frw in 1962 to

    563,194,000 Frw in 1972.

    The first national university was opened on November 3rd 1963

    in Rwanda. It was started by a Canadian priest called Levesque

    with 50 students distributed in three faculties: medicine, arts and

    sciences. It was launched at Ruhande in Butare (Huye District

    today) with the assistance of Switzerland and Canada. By 1971–

    1972, the enrolment had reached 470. The Institut Pédagogique

    National (IPN) was started in 1966. Despite these efforts in

    education, no tangible fruits were evident as indicated by the small

    numbers produced during this period.


    In the health sector, the First Republic also tried to make some efforts.

    The focus was put on the construction of new dispensaries whose

    number increased from 67 to 142 in 1972. Steps were also taken

    to address malnutrition and poor conditions of hygiene. As a remedy,

    some medical centres were constructed to provide health education

    in order to sensitise people on how to prevent certain diseases.

    Breastfeeding mothers were provided with child care skills. The

    government also set up nutrition centres for malnourished children.

    To take care of disabled children, a centre for physically handicapped

    children was built at Gatagara. A psychiatry centre for the mentally

    handicapped was built at Ndera. This centre known as Caraes

    Ndera was run by the Brothers of Charity. In preventive medicine,

    vaccination campaigns were initiated between 

                      1965 and 1970.

    Reasons for the Fall of the First Republic

    Institutionalisation of discrimination against Tutsi

    From 1959 onwards, the Tutsi population was targeted, causing

    hundreds of thousands of deaths. A population of almost two

    million Rwandans were refugees for almost four decades. The First

    Republic, under President Grégoire Kayibanda, institutionalised

    discrimination against the Tutsi and periodically used massacres

    against the Tutsi as a means of maintaining the status quo.

    In 1965, Rwanda was declared a one-party state under MDR/

    PARMEHUTU, which was the architect of the racist ideology. The

    regime of Kayibanda did not manifest a good will to repatriate the

    refugees. Instead, the state killed the Tutsi whenever the Inyenzi

    attacked the country.

    Transfer of ethnicism to regionalism

    In 1965, PARMEHUTU won every seat in the National Assembly.

    In spite of this achievement, this party experience had started

    to internal tensions since 1963. These tensions fell into two


    There were inter-personal rivalries and disagreements in the

    distribution of jobs as the party organs and state structures came

    closer and closer. There was increasing discontent among emerging

    cadres, students and individuals with primary and secondary education. Very fierce local political competition was combined

    with rivalries at national level. Bourgomasters and prefects

    competed intensely. Whereas the former drew upon their clientele

    networks and the legitimacy as elected officials, the latter used

    state structures and party influence. Divisions emerged due to the

    struggle for jobs. The state decided to expose ethnic divisions so as

    to unify the regime.

    The purges which began in February 26th 1973 were initially

    provoked by students, but also encouraged and led by political

    authorities. Along with PARMEHUTU, the authorities aimed at

    uniting the regime by defining a common enemy. Northern soldiers

    (particularly Lieutenant Colonel Alexis Kanyarengwe, the Chief of

    Police, who was from Ruhengeri) who, planned to cause a political

    crisis, also targeted the Tutsi population (“Mututsi mvira aha”).

    The purges, initially involved the posting of lists of Tutsi students

    and staff, asking them to leave universities and companies. This

    problem later run out of control.

    Consequently, Grégoire Kayibanda punished several northern

    dignitaries by dismissing them from jobs and removing them

    from locations associated with power: Lieutenant Colonel Alexis

    Kanyarengwe was appointed director of the Nyundo Seminary while

    Major Nsekalije was assigned to a tea cooperative in Byumba. All

    the general secretaries of the government ministries were replaced,

    as well as nine of the ten prefects. The divide between the south

    and the north was firmly established.

    From February–March 1973, purges were organised in schools

    and in public administration against the Tutsi population. Tutsi

    students appeared on lists posted in all secondary schools and at

    the university of Rwanda and signed ‘Mouvement des Étudiants’

    (‘Students’ Movement’) or ‘Comité de Salut Public’ (‘Committee

    of Public Safety’). They felt threatened and had to flee from these


    In mid-February, the movement reached the National University of

    Rwanda in Butare and the secondary school of Kabgayi managed

    by the Josephite brothers. This movement, which had started in

    schools, spread to public administration and private companies.

    In ministries, hospitals, banks and shops, the Committee of Public

    Safety posted lists identifying the Tutsi. Private individuals were

    requested to fire their Tutsi servants. From the towns, this spread

    to the countryside. In the prefectures of Gitarama and Kibuye, the

    houses of the Tutsi were burned down and they were told to leave.

    Different explanations are given for the source of this turmoil.

    Though orders were given through the administration, they may

    have originated from people close to Grégoire Kayibanda. They

    may also have come from Alexis Kanyarengwe, the Chief of Police,

    who was from Ruhengeri.

    Afterwards, the names of some ministers appeared on the lists

    drawn up in Kigali. In Gitarama, several rich Hutu traders’ stores

    were attacked and looted, as well as the residences of certain

    politicians, including that of Rwasibo Jean Baptiste. On March 22,

    Grégoire Kayibanda made a pacification speech and announced

    the creation of a ministerial commission in charge of inspecting


    Another cause of the rivalry between the north and the south was

    that PARMEHUTU members of the south especially in Gitarama,

    the home area of President Kayibanda tended to dominate

    PARMEHUTU and government power at the expense of the northern

    region. For example, in the last government formed by President

    Grégoire Kayibanda in 1972, there were six ministers out of

    eighteen. One third came from Gitarama, the region of Kayibanda.

    Kayibanda was accused of behaving like a monarch who played

    around, and causing misunderstanding in the government.

    There was a failed coup attempt by Nyatanyi Pierre the chief of

    cabinet under President Kayibanda and Muramutsa Joachim,

    commandant of the Kanombe unit. Because these two officers were

    from the north the coup was seen as a coup of the north against

    the south. The two officers were imprisoned only to be pardoned

    later by President Habyarimana when he took over power in the

    coup d’état of 1973.

    Towards the fall of the First Republic

    The first signs of the decline of the First Republic appeared in October

    1968, when a parliamentary commission of inquiry report on the

    administration of the country was rejected by the majority of the

    members of the parliament. This was because of interpersonal and

    regional differences in the ranks of PARMEHUTU. The report had

    serious accusations against President Kayibanda. The accusations

    in the report included favouritism and nepotism, intimidation,

    misuse of political power and impunity which characterised the

    political and public life of the regime. 

    As a result of this report, members of parliament were divided into

    two camps. Some supported the report while others opposed it. The

    supporters of the report were suspended from the decision making

    organs of the party. They were also prevented from contesting the

    legislative elections of 1969.

    Another factor that contributed to the reinforcement of regional

    divisions was the constitutional amendment of May 18th, 1973 by

    the National Assembly. This amendment increased the duration of

    presidential terms of office from five to seven years, and allowed

    Grégoire Kayibanda to stand for a third term. Although, the

    National Assembly supported the amendment of the constitution,

    the country was already divided according to the two main regions:

    north and south. The north wanted to take power while the south

    wanted to keep it.

    In order to solve the problem of discontent in political and military

    ranks that was linked to regionalism, President Kayibanda resorted

    to violence and ethnic cleansing of the Tutsi. Kayibanda wanted

    to hide the regional divisions in the country by turning public and

    international attention to what had been considered as a lesser evil

    or no evil at all.

    In carrying out this plan, Tutsi children were chased out of schools

    and the few Tutsi in minor administrative positions were dismissed,

    and others murdered. These crimes were planned and carried out

    by top ranking officials in the government.

    This impunity degenerated into regional confrontation. The Hutu

    of the north started to resent and fight the Hutu of the central

    part of the country favoured by President Kayibanda. It was under

    these circumstances that Habyarimana Juvenal, the minister of

    defence decided to intervene militarily. He overthrew Kayibanda in

    the coup d’état of 5th July 1973. Kayibanda and many officials in

    his regime were thrown into prison. They faced court martial. They

    were sentenced to death or given long prison sentences.

    Achievements of the Second Republic(1973–1990)

    Activity 7

    Research on the political evolution of Rwanda during the Second

    Republic and find answers to the following questions. Present the

    results of your findings to the class.

    1. Identify and explain the political and institutional changes

    made after the coup d’état of July 5th, 1973.

    2. What were the new political institutions set up by the

    Second Republic?

    Activity 8

    Research on the economic evolution of Rwanda during the Second

    Republic and find answers to the following questions. Present the

    results of your findings to the class.

    1. Identify the benefits which Rwanda expected to gain from

    regional integration during the Second Republic.

    2. What were the causes of the economic crisis that hit

    Rwanda from 1986?

    3. What measures were adopted to address the above crisis?

    4. Evaluate the achievements of the government of Rwanda in

    economic infrastructure during the Second Republic.

    Activity 9

    Discuss the strategies adopted by the government of Rwanda

    to reduce infant mortality, to promote and achieve curative care

    and preventive education.

    Activity 10

    Conduct a study on the socio-cultural evolution of Rwanda

    during the Second Republic and write an essay on one of the

    following topics. Afterwards, read your essay to the class.

    1. What were the reasons that led to the failure of the

    1978/1979 education reform?

    2. Comment on how the ethnic and regional balance was

    applied by the Second Republic.

    Activity 11

    Write an essay on reasons for the fall of the Second Republic.

    Political evolution

    On July 5th, 1973, President Kayibanda was overthrown in a

    coup d’état led by Major General Habyarimana Juvenal. The latter

    was assisted by the following senior military officers: Lieutenant

    Colonel Alexis Kanyarengwe, Majors Aloys Nsekarije, Benda Sabin,

    Ruhashya Epimaque, Gahimano Fabien, Jean Népomuscéne

    Munyandekwe, Bonaventure Ntibitura, Serubuga Laurent, Buregeya

    Bonaventure and Simba Aloys.

    The coup leaders dissolved the National

    Assembly, suspended the 1962 constitution and

    banned all political activity. They at the same

    time put in place what they called a National

    Peace and Unity Committee composed of 11

    senior officers to replace the ousted government.

    Given the state of insecurity the country was

    going through before the coup d’état of 5th July

    1973, this committee was greeted with a lot

    of hope, even among the Rwandan refugees.

    In President Habyarimana’s declaration on July

    5th, 1974, much was said about national peace

    and unity. He castigated regionalism, public

    immorality, and corruption.

    On July 5th 1975, Major General Juvénal Habyarimana etablished

    Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement

    (MRND). The Party’s main objective was to unify, encourage and

    intensify efforts of all Rwandans to enhance economic, social and

    cultural development in an atmosphere of national peace and unity.

    In 1977, the Commission for Administration and Institutional Affairs

    of Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement

    (MRND) prepared a new constitution. In October 1978, the

    constitution was adopted by government and the MRND Central


    On the December 20th 1978, the new constitution was adopted by

    the population in a referendum with a reported 89 per cent of the

    votes. At the same time Habyarimana was elected through universal

    suffrage as president of Rwanda with a 99 per cent majority.

    Article 7 of the constitution declared Rwanda a single party

    state under the MRND where every citizen was a member right

    from birth. In reality, this was the establishment of a one party

    political system. The president of the MRND party had to be the

    sole presidential candidate. The new constitution abolished the

    National Assembly and replaced it with The National Development

    Council (NDC). The first National Development Council or Conseil

    National pour le Développement( CND) was elected in 1983.

    At the diplomatic level, the Second Republic made international

    openness and cooperation one of its main priorities. Rwanda

    therefore increased the number of its diplomatic representatives


    On December 19th, 1983 Juvénal Habyarimana was re-elected

    president of Rwanda with 99.98 per cent of the votes. After five

    years, on December 19th, 1988 Juvénal Habyarimana was reelected again for five years winning 99.8 per cent of the votes.

    In June 1990, French President François Mitterrand gave a speech

    at La Baule in France in which he announced that French aid

    would be conditional upon democratisation in Africa. Following

    this speech, Rwanda experienced a slight opening up towards a

    multi-party system.

    Thus, on July 5, 1990, during his

    traditional July 5 speech, the day of

    the Second Republic’s 17th anniversary,

    Juvénal Habyarimana was in position

    to announce these political changes:

    the separation of the party bodies

    from state structures, and the possible

    implementation of a multi-party system,

    though he remained very vague about the

    details of how this would be implemented.

    On September 1st 1990, thirty-three

    Rwandan intellectuals published a

    manifesto ‘for a multi-party system and


    On September 25th, 1990 Juvénal Habyarimana named the

    Commission Nationale de Synthèse CNS or (National Synthesis

    Committee), in charge of developing the first draft for a constitution

    allowing many political parties.

    Economic evolution

    Under the Second Republic, the Second Five-year period of the

    economic, social and cultural development plan which covered

    the period from 1977 up to 1981 was implemented. This plan had

    four missions:

    ࿤ Ensuring food security of the population and address the

    population growth rate.

    ࿤ Promotion of human resource management.

    ࿤ Improvement of the social conditions of individuals and the


    et Artisanal Integré (CERAI). These professional schools admitted

    students who had missed secondary school enrollment for 3 years.

    In such schools, students could learn professional skills such as

    woodwork, electricity, masonry and plumbing.

    From 1982 to 1986, the Third Five-year period of the economic,

    social and cultural development plan was also adopted with the

    following aims:

    ࿤ To improve food security for the population in terms of both

    quality and quantity.

    ࿤ To promote jobs at sustainable wage levels that cover the basic

    needs while emphasising training programmes in order to

    increase labour productivity.

    ࿤ To improve the population’s health conditions, promote access

    to shelter and produce goods for mass consumption.

    ࿤ To develop external relations and encourage the fairness of

    international trade conditions.

    The Rwandan diplomatic representation in foreign countries

    increased. In 1979, Rwanda had hosted the Sixth Franco – African

    Conference. In 1976, Rwanda had just been a co-founder of the

    Communauté Economique des Pays des Grand Lacs (CEPGL).

    It was also host to the headquarters of the Kagera River Basin

    Organisation (KBO).

    The Second Republic made a great effort in agriculture. Cash crops

    especially tea, coffee and pyrethrum were promoted by the increase

    in acrage cultivated and the creation of factories. These include

    the tea factories of Shagasha, Mata, Gisovu, and Nyabihu, and the

    pyrethrum factory processing in Ruhengeri.

    The government of the Second Republic focused a particular

    attention on food crops like maize, rice, soya beans, sugarcane,

    etc. Some factories were also set up to process these crops like the

    Maïserie de Mukamira, Sucrerie de Kabuye, and others.

    Emphasis was also put on the creation of agricultural projects.

    In almost all former prefectures, there were such projects like

    Développement Global de Butare (DGB), Projet Agricole de

    Gitarama(PAG), Développement Rural de Byumba (DRB) and Crête

    Congo Nil.

    Regarding animal husbandry, the accent was placed on rearing one

    cow in a cowshed and planting reeds and other kinds of grasses to

    feed the cows. To improve the existing breeds of cows, strategies

    such as the importation of bulls, artificial insemination, research,

    fighting cattle diseases, etc were adopted.

    Concerning infrastructural development, the following infrastructure

    were put in place by the Second Republic:

    ࿤ Asphalting of the following routes:






    ࿤ Construction of several buildings to serve as offices, for different

    ministries and hospitals; for example King Faisal Hospital,

    ࿤ Extension of electricity network

    ࿤ Construction of Kanombe Airport

    ࿤ Construction of Amahoro National Stadium

    From 1980 to 1986, the country enjoyed economic growth due

    to a combination of positive external and internal factors. This

    included good climate high prices of coffee, tea and minerals, and

    a considerable flow of external capital into the country.

    However, from the end of 1986, the situation deteriorated and the

    economy of Rwanda gradually declined. The causes of the economic

    crisis in Rwanda during this period included the following:

    ࿤ The drastic fall of the world coffee and tin prices

    ࿤ The over devaluation of the Rwandan franc

    ࿤ The poor management of public funds

    ࿤ The demographic explosion prevailing in Rwanda since 1940,

    hence the reduced yields from land.

    To address this economic crisis, the government of Rwanda applied

    the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) dictated by the Bretton

    Woods Institutions (International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World

    Bank) with a view to stabilising the economy and benefiting from

    financial support of those institutions. 

    Socio-cultural evolution


    Under the Second Republic, many attempts were made to expand

    the health sector. The dispensaries were transformed into health

    centres and more medical personnel were trained.

    The government also put in place a policy which aimed at creating

    nutrition centres in order to educate parents on nutrition and


    Government improved hygiene conditions by putting emphasis on

    the most vulnerable groups such as women and children. In order

    to find a solution to hygiene related-problems, the government

    established nutritional centres at health centres. Thus it achieved

    curative care and preventive education, including vaccination,

    nutrition, maternal and child protection.

    In 1979 the government established the Broad-Based Vaccination

    Programme (PEV/BVP) whose objective was to reduce infant

    mortality through vaccination against certain targeted diseases

    which included tuberculosis, whooping cough, tetanus, polio,

    measles and diphtheria.

    In 1987, the government established the Programme National de Lutte

    contre le SIDA (PNLS) or National Programme for the Fight against

    AIDS whose objective was to control, prevent, reduce and conduct

    research on AIDS. In the same year, the government launched the

    Programme National de Lutte contre le Paludisme (PNLP)or National

    Programme for Fight against Malaria. In 1989 the Programme for

    Acceleration of Primary Health Care (PASSP) was also put in place. 

    This programme aimed at encouraging community participation in

    self-reliance and management of health services at their health



    In this sector, the following were the achievements of the Second


    Many reforms were made at all levels of education in Rwanda.

    Among these was the construction of new primary and secondary


    During the school year of 1978–1979, primary education was

    revised. The primary cycle changed from 6 years to 8 years. Training

    in professional skills was introduced in Primary 7 and Primary 8,

    and Kinyarwanda became a language of instruction from P 1 up

    to P 8.

    At the secondary education level, the Ordinary Level was reduced

    and specialisations sections introduced in the second year of

    secondary education. But this reform failed due to lack of:

    ࿤ teaching materials

    ࿤ qualified teachers in the newly introduced subjects

    ࿤ appropriate evaluation methods for the reform.

    So, in 1991, these reforms were revised, the primary education

    cycle was brought back to 6 years.

    At university level, the Institut Pédagogique National (IPN) was

    fused with some departments of the National University of Rwanda.

    The new campus of Nyakinama was created in 1980–1981 as

    the result of this fusion. Besides, the duration of studies in most

    faculties was reduced from 5 to 4 years.

    Reasons for the Fall of the Second Republic

    The imprisonment and killing of the politicians of                                the First Republic

    During the two years that followed the coup, the former ‘leaders’

    of the First Republic were assassinated or imprisoned. From

    1974 – 1977, 58 people — individuals who were either close to

    Grégoire Kayibanda and public figures of the First Republic — were

    assassinated upon orders from Théoneste Lizinde, chief of security

    at the interior ministry. According to some sources, the repression

    affected up to 700 people.

    Lack of freedom of speech and press

    The Second Republic was against multipartism. Whoever attempted

    to criticise the regime was intimidated or imprisoned. For instance,

    on September 18th, 1990 the trial of the priest André Sibomana,

    who was the director of the bi-monthly publication Kinyamateka,

    and three of his journalists opened in Kigali after the publication of

    articles denouncing corruption in the government. On July 3th and

    6th, 1990 the Cour de Sûreté de l’État (State Security Court) had

    Vincent Rwabukwisi, the editor-in-chief of Kanguka arrested. He

    was accused of having interviewed King Kigeri V Ndahindurwa in

    exile in Nairobi and of plotting with refugees.

    Beside these cases, other examples of violation of human rights are

    the murder of the former chief editor of Kinyamateka newspaper,

    Father Sylvio Sindambiwe and Nyiramutarambirwa Felicula, a

    former member of parliament.

    Economic crisis

    By the end of the 1980s, the regime was becoming ineffective.

    The falling price of coffee caused a severe crisis in the country and

    fueled discontent.

    From 1986, there was a fall in the prices of coffee and tin. Coffee

    represented 75 per cent of the national economy.

    In January 1988, one-sixth of the Rwandan population was

    affected by a famine which killed 250 people.

    In 1989, coffee prices decreased by 50 per cent. There was an

    increase in credits from 189 million US dollars up to 941 million

    and reduction of foreign currency reserves from 144 million US

    dollars up to 30 million.

    The Rwandan Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 330 US dollars

    fell to 200 US dollars in 1990. In 1989, the national social budget

    was reduced to 40 per cent.

    In 1991, Rwanda signed an agreement with the World Bank to

    implement a Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP) which led to the

    devaluation of the Rwandan franc on two occasions: its value fell

    by 40 per cent in November 1990, then again by 15 per cent

    in June 1992. Though the SAP was only partially implemented,

    the main effect of the devaluation was inflation, which reached

    19.2 per cent in 1991 and an increase in demand because of the

    liberation war.

    Institutionalisation of ethnic and regional balance or quota system

    The regime of Habyrimana was not a model of democracy as its

    leaders claimed. The regime forced people into a single party system

    and partisan politics based on ethnic and regional segregation.

    The regime led to growth of the Rukiga-Nduga conflict which was

    characterised by the exclusion of Tutsi and Hutu of Nduga from

    schools and key posts in national leadership positions like during

    Kayibanda regime.

    This discrimination which was institutionalised by the Second

    Republic from 1981 was known as “ethnic and regional balance

    or quota system”. The system saw Tutsi children excluded from

    secondary and tertiary education. This policy also tended to

    discriminate against the Hutu from all other parts of the country,

    especially the south. These areas were allocated fewer places

    in secondary schools and in university, in the national army,

    administration and diplomatic service on the basis of ethnic and

    regional belonging. The best and numerous positions in all fields

    were reserved for the Hutu from the north.

    This policy applied in all government institutions was a serious

    violation of, especially, the right to education. This culminated into

    the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. The policy excluded bright

    and gifted children just because they were Tutsi.

    Enrollment in Public Secondary schools in September 1989 by

    In the table above, only three prefectures had their places increased.

    These were Gisenyi with + 396 places, Kigali with + 35 places

    and Ruhengeri with + 10 places. Other prefectures lost their

    available places like Butare which lost 140 places. That shows the

    unfairness in the distribution of places in secondary schools and

    university due to regionalism and ethnieism. The places reserved

    for Tutsi were effectively reduced in each prefecture.

    Centralisation of power in the hands of a small group of people

    Between 1985 and 1990 most of the leadership positions were

    reserved for Hutus. Power was held by elites from the north-west

    of the country, in contrast with the pro-southern orientation of the

    First Republic. One-third of the 85 most important governmental

    positions were given to persons born in the prefecture of Gisenyi.

    After ten years of economic growth, the economic crisis and

    regional favouritism destabilised the government. Rivalry for posts

    increased, power struggles became more fierce, and mafia-type

    behaviour and structures thrived. One of the main power centres

    was known as the Akazu. It was organised around Agathe Kanziga

    — Juvénal Habyarimana’s wife—and her brothers. In April 1988,

    the assassination of Colonel Stanislas Mayuya, who was considered

    the likely successor of the president, was carried out by this power


    Division among Rwandans from the north-west began in the

    1980s. It started when two highly regarded senior military officers,

    Colonel Alexis Kanyarengwe and Major Théoneste Lizinde were

    accused of plotting a coup d’état. Lizinde was accused of killing

    some politicians who had served in the First Republic from the

    south. This misunderstanding divided the politicians and people

    from the north. As a result, political power was monopolised by a

    small part of the north-west from Bushiru in the ex-commune of

    Karago. Finally, power was concentrated in the hands of President

    Habyarimana, his immediate family, and his in-laws. This was

    termed Akazu meaning “from one single household”.

    Glorification of Habyarimana and dictatorship

    As years went by, President Habyarimana started developing a

    personality cult. This was done through political mobilisation and

    glorification of the President by his political party using animation 

    and his portrait which appeared everywhere in public and private


    In addition to this personality cult, President Habyarimana set up a

    dictatorship. There was a single party, the Revolutionary National

    Democratic Movement (MRND), and power was concentrated in

    the hands of a small group of President Habyarimana’s family. No

    single decision could be made whatsoever without the dictator’s


    Opposing the return of refugees

    In June–July 1986, the Central Committee of MRND, the highest

    decision-making body in the Habyarimana regime, examined

    the problem of Rwandan refugees scattered around the world,

    especially in the neighbouring countries. As a solution, the Central

    Committee resolved that the refugees were not to return into the

    country. The Central Committee strongly advocated that refugees

    should find a way of integrating into their countries of asylum.

    According to the Central Committee, Rwanda was overpopulated

    and incapable of receiving and accommodating her own people

    back. Only those who had the capacity to cater for themselves, it

    was decided, should apply individually for consideration to return

    to Rwanda.

    It was in that context that they declared that any refugee who

    wished to return should show proof of his or her financial capacity

    to support himself/herself once allowed to repatriate to Rwanda.

    Habyarimana himself advocated that a child of a refugee should

    not be called a refugee and so he started negotiations with Uganda

    to reintegrate Rwandan refugees. In February 1989, President

    Habyarimana established a special commission for refugees’

    problems and met Uganda government officials.

    This position of President Habyarimana and his government

    prompted the refugees to call for an international conference in

    Washington in August 1988 in which they rejected this position

    and reaffirmed their inalienable right to return to their homeland.

    This was one of the causes of the National Liberation War which

    sarted on October 1st, 1990.

    The year 1962 was marked by the recovery of Rwanda’s

    independence. This was preceded by ethnic turmoil from 1959 that

    led thousands of Rwandans to become refugees in neighbouring

    countries. The First Republic that replaced Belgian colonial rule

    failed to reunite Rwandans who had been divided by the colonisers.

    Instead, the regimes of Kayibanda and Habyarimana perpetuated

    the colonial policy which relied on divisionism.

    After the establishment of the First Republic, Rwanda was faced

    with many problems. The country was insecure due to the incursions

    launched by Inyenzi from neighbouring countries. The response of

    Rwandan leaders was the killing of thousands of Tutsi who had

    remained in the country. Another major issue was the economic

    crisis. At independence, Rwanda had no adequate resources to

    insure its financial self-reliance.

    Despite these financial limitations, some economic and social

    infrastructures such as banks, roads, bridges, schools, and

    hospitals were set up by the First Republic. However, due to a

    number of factors including the divisions between the Rwandans

    from the north and those from south, the domination of the

    main administrative posts by the people from Gitarama in the

    government of Kayibanda, and insecurity caused by the killing of

    the Tutsi who had become the scapegoat in the rivalries between

    the Bakiga and Banyenduga, the First Republic was deposed by

    Juvénal Habyarimana who set up the Second Republic in 1973.

    This regime was not different from that of Kayibanda in the approach

    to social relations. Although, it supported unity of the Banyarwanda

    in the beginning, later it introduced the policy of ethnic and regional

    balance or quota system. This aimed at excluding Tutsi and Hutu

    of Nduga from schools and main administrative posts.

    The Second Republic registered some achievements. Infrastructure

    like roads, football stadiums, bridges, administrative offices, and

    Kanombe airport, were built and rehabilitated. Schools, health

    centres, and hospitals were also built.

    However, the Habyarimana regime was characterised by bad

    governance. There was corruption, dictatorship, nepotism,

    mismanagement and embezzlement of the public funds, violence

    against the opposition and journalists, arbitrary imprisonments, and political assassinations. There was an economic crisis from

    1987 onwards, and unwillingness to address the problem of

    Rwandan refugees.

    For all the above problems, the Habyarimana regime was fought

    by Rwandan people from both outside and inside the country. The

    Rwanda Patriotic Front launched the October 1990 Liberation War

    which ended in the removal of the Habyarimana regime in July



    Diaspora: the dispersion or spreading of something

    that was originally localised (as a people or

    language or culture)

    Embezzlement: the fraudulent appropriation of funds or

    property entrusted to your care but actually

    owned by someone else

    Intrigues: a crafty and involved plot to achieve your

    (usually sinister) ends

    Manipulate: influence or control shrewdly or deviously

    Nepotism: favouritism shown to relatives or close friends

    by those in power (as by giving them jobs)

    Quota: a proportional share assigned to each participant

    Rift: a personal or social separation (as between

    opposing factions, e.g. “they hoped to avoid a

    rift in relations”

    Scapegoat: someone who is punished for the errors of others

    Scattered: occurring or distributed over widely spaced

    and irregular intervals in time or space

    Status quo: the existing state of affairs

    Turmoil: disturbance usually in protest or violent


    Revision questions

    A. Multiple Choice Questions

    1. Before her independence Rwanda was colonised by

    a) France

    b) Belgium

    c) Germany and Belgium

    d) None of these

    2. Two senior officers planned a coup d’état against President

    Kayibanda but it aborted

    a) Biseruka and Kanyarengwe

    b) Nsekarije and Simba

    c) Nyatanyi and Muramutsa

    d) None of these

    3. The National University of Rwanda was established in

    a) 1961

    b) 1957

    c) 1963

    d) 1964

    4. MRND was founded in

    a) 1971

    b) 1975

    c) 1976

    d) 1978

    5. The quota system was introduced in Rwanda by

    a) Lizinde Theoneste

    b) President Habyarimana

    c) President Kayibanda

    d) None of these

    B. Fill in the Blanks

    1. The post of the president of republic of Rwanda was first given

    to .....................................................................

    2. On July 5th 1973, ......................... was overthrown from power in

    a coup d’état led by Major General Habyarimana Juvenal.

    3. In 1965, the PARMEHUTU won every seat in the National ....


    4. Alexis Kanyarengwe was appointed director of the Nyundo .....


    5. In 1991, Rwanda signed an agreement with the World Bank to

    implement a .................. which led to the devaluation of the

    Rwandan franc.

    C. Answer True or False

    1. President Kayibanda was elected by the parliament for all the

    mandates during which he ruled Rwanda.

    2. Inyenzi was a name given to an army that attacked Buganda

    from Rwanda in 1960s.

    3. Rwanda recovered its independence on July 24th, 1961.

    4. President Kayibanda was elected for the second mandate in


    5. The following roads; Kigali-Gatuna, Kigali-Rusumo, KigaliButare, Ruhengeri-Cyanika were constructed by the First


    Revision questions

    1. Describe the new political institutions put in place in Rwanda

    on the eve of her independence.

    2. Evaluate the socio-economic achievements of the First Republic.

    3. Account for the methods used by Kayibanda to fight against the

    Inyenzi rebels.

    4. Explain why Grégoire Kayibanda failed to unify the Rwandan


    5. Assess the economic and social infrastructures built by the

    Second Republic.

    6. Identify the advantages that Rwanda expected from the regional


    7. Identify and explain the causes of the economic crisis that hit

    the Second Republic of Rwanda from 1987.

    8. Explain reasons for the failure of the 1978/1979 education


    9. Outline the features of the ethnic and regional balance policy

    during the Second Republic?

    10.Evaluate the failures of the first and second republics.

    11.Examine the factors that led to the downfall of the Kayibanda

    and Habyarimana regimes.

    Files: 2URLs: 2
  • Unit 2 Genocide Denial and Ideology in Rwanda and Abroad

    Key unit competence

    Explain measures of preventing genocide from happening again in

    Rwanda and elsewhere


    In 1994, a genocide was perpetrated against the Tutsi. Before,

    during and after that genocide, its perpetrators set up ways of

    denying it. Even the international community hesitated to consider

    the massive killing of the Tutsi as genocide.

    Three forms of the denial of genocide against the Tutsi have been

    identified: literal genocide denial, interpretative and implicatory

    genocide denial. Literal genocide denial consisted of refusal to

    accept that Rwanda genocide had taken place. The interpretative

    genocide denial aims at saying that in Rwanda there had been

    a double genocide. The implicatory genocide denial supports the

    opinion that the Rwanda Patriotic Army also participated in the


    Genocide denial and genocide ideology are unbearable. The

    government of Rwanda set up different strategies to combat it

    including law n°18/2008 of 23/07/2008 relating to the punishment of the crime of genocide ideology. At the international level, different

    conferences were organised and the problem of genocide, its denial

    and ideology were examined in order to search for ways of fighting


    Links to other subjects

    Conflict transformation in General Studies and Communication


    Main points to be covered in this unit

    ࿤ Forms and channels of genocide denial and ideology of genocide


    ࿤ Ways of fighting against different forms and channels of genocide

    denial and ideology

    Forms and channels of Genocide Denial and Ideology

    Activity 1

    Define the following concepts: ideology, genocide ideology and

    genocide denial. Present the results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 2

    Carry out research on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and

    then discuss different ways used to deny this genocide. Present

    the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 3

    Carry out research on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and

    then explain the three forms of denial of that genocide. Present

    the results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 4

    Carry out research on the 1994 genocide against Tutsi and

    analyse how the banal denial was manifested in Rwanda and

    abroad. Present the results of your study to the class.

    Activity 5

    Conduct a study on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and

    demonstrate with examples how the literal genocide denial was

    manifested in Rwanda and abroad. Present the results of your

    study to the class.

    Activity 6

    Conduct a research on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi

    and show how the interpretative form of genocide denial was

    manifested in Rwanda and abroad. Present the results of your

    study to the class.

    Activity 7

    Carry out research on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and

    show how the implicatory form of genocide denial manifested

    in Rwanda and abroad. Present the results of your findings to

    the class.

    Definition of Concepts

    Definition of the terms “ideology”, “genocide ideology” and

    “genocide denial”

    Definition of the concept “ideology”

    An ideology is an organised collection of ideas. The word ideology

    was used in the late 18th century to define a “science of ideas”. 

    An ideology is a comprehensive vision, or a set of ideas proposed by

    the dominant class to all members of a society. The main purpose

    behind an ideology is to introduce change in society through a

    normative thought process. Ideologies tend to be abstract thoughts

    applied to reality and, thus, make this concept unique to politics.

    Ideologies are very common in the world of politics and have been

    used; for example, to provide guidance and to persuade.

    Definition of the concept “genocide ideology”

    Genocide ideology is a collection of thoughts characterised

    by conduct, speeches, documents and other acts aiming at

    exterminating or inciting others to exterminate people basing on

    ethnic group, origin, nationality, region, colour, physical appearance,

    sex, language, religion or political opinion, committed in normal

    periods or during war.

    Definition of the term “genocide denial” in Rwanda

    Genocide denial is an attempt to deny or minimise statements of

    the scale and severity of an incidence of genocide for instance the

    denial of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi and the holocaust.

    Where there is near universal agreement that genocide occurred,

    genocide denial is usually considered as a form of illegitimate

    historical revisionism. However, in circumstances where the

    generally accepted facts do not clearly support the occurrence of

    genocide, the use of the term may be an argument by those who

    argue that genocide occurred.

    Some ways used to deny the 1994 genocide against Tutsi

    ࿤ The minimisation of genocide in any behaviour exhibited publicly

    and intentionally in order to reduce the weight or consequences

    of the genocide against Tutsi.

    ࿤ Minimising how the genocide was committed.

    ࿤ Altering the truth about the genocide against the Tutsi in order

    to hide the truth from the people.

    ࿤ Asserting that there were two genocides in Rwanda: one

    committed against the Tutsi and the other against Hutu or

    saying there had been acts of mutual killing, etc. 

    Forms of Genocide Denial and its manifestation
    in Rwandan Ssociety and Abroad

    In 1994, the Hutu extremists in Rwanda’s government then in

    power, planned, organised for and guided through public institutions

    genocide against the Tutsi and Hutu opposed to the genocide plan.

    Simultaneously, they also organised how after committing it they

    could deny it as it happens in all the cases of genocide. This is the

    last stage (8th) in the process of genocide. To deny here means

    to deny something that was collectively organised and involved

    targeted, deliberate killings of specific groups of unarmed civilians

    identified on the basis of origin, and usually targeting those with

    suspect political loyalties and their relatives.

    The 1994 genocide against the Tutsi was committed according

    to ‘home-made’ Rwandan plans already underway by as early as

    1992 as it has been suggested by the historical and legal record,

    of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and of numerous

    studies. Since 1994, the genocide denial has taken three main

    forms: Literal genocide denial, interpretative and implicatory

    genocide denial. In the case of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi,

    all these three forms of genocide denial are more or less linked to

    one another.

    Literal genocide denial involves negating the facts of genocide,

    silencing talk of genocidal plans and killings. Literal denial becomes

    harder to sustain once evidence emerges that genocide plans

    were made and executed right across Rwanda. Following this,

    interpretative genocide denial reframes or relabels, the events of

    the genocide, viewing them as part and parcel of civil war, rather

    than genocide. Subsequently, implicatory genocide denial becomes

    prevalent, and involves explicit counter-accusations that genocide

    was planned by those previously viewed as saving the victims. The

    Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) government is thus accused of

    planning genocide, not only in Rwanda but also in eastern Congo,

    now Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A double genocide

    thesis is part of both the interpretative and implicatory forms of

    genocide denial. All the three forms of denial tend to reinforce two

    parallel and mutually incompatible accounts of the 1994 genocide

    against the Tutsi, of the past, and tend to further polarise political

    and public opinion, reinforcing divisions over the past, present and

    future direction of the country. 

    Banal denial

    This kind of denial is manifested through the films in which French

    soldiers seen rescuing, Belgian or French missionaries refuse to do

    so towards the thousands of Tutsi that were being killed. These

    powerful film sequences convey one key quality of everyday denial

    in the sense that rescuing the expatriates while abandoning the

    Tutsi to their killers constitutes one of the very flagrant aspects of

    the genocide denial.

    Some researchers like Freud have demonstrated that some forms

    of silence or fantasy serve to protect an individual’s ego from

    deep-rooted fears and memories, including from memories of

    trauma. Denial in this every day, individual sense signals the failure

    to accept reality, but also has a certain logic since it makes escape

    during a psychologically impossible situation possible. Some

    interpersonal forms of denial thus appear normal psychological

    responses to abnormal situations.

    The soldier’s turning up the music is an example of banal denial;

    his being under orders to save only non-Rwandans, and white

    expatriates in particular, is something else; it is collective denial.

    In a wider sense, the term ‘denial’ refers to something societywide, something organised. In collective forms of denial, like

    genocide denial, individual, more banal responses through denial

    may also be instrumentalised.

    Another scholar, Cohen, focuses rather on how to analyse social and

    collectively organised forms of denial, of which genocide denial is

    a prime example. He suggests that when entire societies, including

    governments, and social groups, move to ignore past atrocities, to

    minimise the significance of human suffering, then this constitutes

    collective denial, and can even involve official denial by the state.

    Collective genocide denial has serious long-term consequences for

    criminal justice which cannot be equated with more banal forms of

    individual denial, analysed by Freud as coping mechanisms. Whilst

    genocide denial has both individual and collective manifestations

    even before the genocide became reality, denial of its true purpose

    can be shown to be part and parcel of the logic of extremist Hutu

    power political ideology, at least from 1990, and perhaps even

    from the time of the first attacks on the Tutsi in 1959,with Belgian


    Through a set of historical spirals of conflicting claims about which

    group is the original, real or ultimate victim, these three broad

    forms of genocide denial can however be roughly equated with

    three broad phases of recent Rwandan history.

    Literal denial

    Although literal denial was predominant in the early post-genocide

    years in Rwanda, it has not yet disappeared. Literal denial involves

    either the full intention to deceive or forms of self-deception that

    result in disbelief, silence or claiming not to know.

    Knowledge may be directly denied, sometimes even in the face of

    clear evidence to the contrary. Silence, indifference and treating

    evidence as if it does not merit serious consideration, are all

    strategies of literal genocide denial.

    Literal genocide denial was mainly confined to the private sphere

    during the early post-genocide years. It still appears in some

    research, in internet blogs, and among the lawyers of those accused

    of genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

    Interpretative denial

    Arguably, this becomes the dominant form of genocide

    denial in post-genocide Rwanda. Interpretative genocide

    denial involves re-categorising evidence that is established,

    and goes beyond negating, ignoring or silencing talk of

    genocide. Higher moral goals are often invoked in cases

    of interpretative denial, such as: revolutionary struggle, 

    ethnic purity, western civilisation’, or in the case of Rwanda,

    legitimate self-defence and a striving for ethnic-based selfdetermination.

    Interpretative genocide denial involves use of euphemisms, and the

    relativising of atrocities by one’s own side as an understandable

    response to the threat of the ‘other side.’ Like literal genocide

    denial, interpretative genocide denial can form part of international

    scholarly discourse, or be part of public popular opinion. In the

    media, the most common expression of interpretative denial was

    to present the genocide of Tutsi as simply part of a wider ‘civil war’

    of all against all, rather than a targeted genocide.

    Implicatory denial

    This third form of genocide denial consists of retaliatory counteraccusations, and explicit justification for one’s position, through

    anticipatory counter–accusation against the other party.

    Implicatory genocide denial has been aimed at restoring a sense of

    self-worth among those accused of genocide crimes. By claiming,

    for example, that the Rwanda Patriotic Front really started the

    genocide themselves, by shooting down the plane carrying the

    presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on 6 April 1994, implicatory

    genocide denial tries to prove that if genocide was committed, it

    was not by those accused but by the ‘other side’ in a civil war.

    The aim is also to exonerate all atrocities and lay the blame on

    others. In implicatory denial, the other side is always guilty of lies,

    propaganda, ideology, disinformation or prejudice, and thus of

    triggering the genocide.

    Those accusing the RPF in this way seek to exonerate themselves

    from any responsibility for genocide themselves. Implicatory denial

    has arisen mainly since 2003, and mainly through legal institutions

    in France and Spain, and on internet sites of the political opposition

    to the Rwanda Patriotic Front. In more details, each of these three

    basic forms of genocide denial can be presented.

    Literal denial 1994–1998

    At first, silence was the most common form of literal genocide

    denial. Silence remains salient well after the initial post-genocide

    years, sometimes in a surprising crude fashion. At a conference organised at the Peace Palace in The Hague, on Peace and Stability

    in the Great Lakes Region, silence of this kind was evident.

    Up to the late 1994s, during scholarly conferences, in various

    academic journals, in the media, and elsewhere, the events of April

    to July 1994 were still called a civil war, ethnic massacres or other

    terms that avoided use of the of the word “genocide”. Those who

    termed it genocide were still in a minority at that time, and were

    even claimed to be propagating a genocide myth.

    Transitional government members mostly stuck to the literal denial

    narrative of the April–July 1994 period. They even claimed to have

    done nothing wrong, and that most of those killed were Hutu, killed

    by the ‘ethnic’ enemy, the Rwanda Patriotic Army.

    This literal genocide denial was in line with the ideology that

    Hutu power ideologies represented the heroic little men against

    a cunning enemy, the Tutsi, who it was claimed were determined

    to slaughter every last Hutu man, woman and child. Killings

    were presented as mostly spontaneous, to centuries of feudal

    oppression by Tutsi overlords. Literal denial was evident during the

    early years of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in the

    accounts used by defence lawyers. Genocide was thus transformed

    into something else—killings based on mutual and long-standing

    ethnic hatred, or ancient rivalries of clans and castes. The fact that

    genocide had been planned well in advance was denied, and so

    it could be claimed that the killings were just killings, and not a

    deliberate genocide of a minority, the Tutsi.

    In 1997 one organisation, called Africa Direct, organised a

    conference in London entitled ‘The Great Genocide Debate’.

    The programme and presenters suggested that since there were

    massacres on ‘all sides’ in Rwanda in 1994, this was a civil war

    and not genocide. Aidan Campbell, in the now defunct Trotskyist

    magazine, Living Marxism, claimed this too.

    At the same time Luc de Temmerman, the Belgian defence lawyer

    of some leading genocide suspects at the International Criminal

    Tribunal for Rwanda, simply claimed: “…there was no genocide.

    It was a situation of mass killings in a state of war, everyone was

    killing their enemies”.

    This civil war thesis was common in the media too, especially

    in the early post-genocide years. The situation changed when the former minister Jean Kambanda set a historical precedent being

    the first accused person to acknowledge and affirm his guilt for

    the crime of genocide before an international criminal tribunal. He

    therefore became the first political leader to take responsibility for

    the deliberate planning of genocide, and for its implementation.

    Although he much later appealed, this was a turning point and

    marked an end to widespread individual literal denial among

    perpetrators, who would now find it much harder to sustain

    silence in the face of such a senior administrators’ admissions of

    responsibility. As head of the provisional government, his guilty

    plea departed from the prevalence of literal genocide denial among

    the others appearing at the International Criminal Tribunal for

    Rwanda at that time.

    Through the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a

    broadly-shared legal and academic consensus emerged that

    genocide had indeed taken place in Rwanda, and was targeted

    against the Tutsi population and those who supported them. The

    International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda proceedings, from each

    region of the country, witness and expert testimony soon filtered

    into academic research, and literal genocide denial started to be

    challenged and gradually gave way to more subtle, interpretative

    forms of genocide denial after 1998 or so. Since then, it was

    obvious to most impartial observers, to most legal experts and to

    emerging historians of the genocide period to conclude that what

    happened in Rwanda in 1994 was the intent to destroy the Tutsi

    as a people.

    The historical evidence of genocide was thus overwhelming, and

    the one-sided killings of April 6–July 1994 within Rwanda started

    to be widely referred to as genocide.

    In response, a gradual shift took place from literal to more

    interpretative forms of genocide denial. These started with the

    familiar argument that this was not one-sided genocide but twosided civil war, 

    an argument later developed into the so-called double genocide thesis.

    Interpretative denial 1998–2003

    Civil war in Rwanda as elsewhere provides a convenient cover for

    one-sided genocide to be planned and implemented. In the case

    of Rwanda, the evidence is that the machinery of genocide was geared around targeted killings well before 6 April 1994, when

    killings started, triggered by the shooting down of the president’s


    Interpretative denial involves distancing, and sometimes even

    victim-blaming, as in this statement to an African Rights

    researcher: “It wasn’t genocide, but rather a civil war. The people

    defended themselves. It was bad luck if you were Tutsi because it

    meant certain death, and therefore you were eliminated”.

    Several key elements of interpretative denial appear in this single

    statement. First, the speaker regards genocide as simply part of

    war and claims those who died were not targeted but were simply


    The general effect of his words is to suggest that perpetrators were

    not responsible for the outcome of the killings of the unfortunate

    victims. Interpretative genocide denial can thus appear to

    render victims responsible for their own deaths.

    The statement shows how literal denial says it was not genocide.

    For instance, Rene Lemarchand has claimed that the genocide

    against the Tutsi was a retributive genocide, a punishment for past

    atrocities committed by the Tutsi elsewhere. However, in that case,

    he is viewing motivations for genocide as somehow genuine causes.

    The double genocide thesis goes further than the civil war argument,

    and moves from interpretative towards more implicatory forms

    of genocide denial. The double genocide thesis is not supported

    by empirical evidence about patterns of killings inside Rwanda

    between April and July 1994. Verwimp’s study, for example,

    confirms that killings in Rwanda during this period fitted with

    the definition of genocide as an organised, systematic attempt to

    eliminate a specific and targeted population.

    Interpreting data in order to ‘prove’ the double genocide thesis is part

    of interpretative genocide denial, therefore. And such accusations

    of double genocide started even before the genocide began. In fact,

    there is no doubt that genocide denial has been a political weapon

    of perpetrators even before the genocide against the Tutsi took place

    in 1994. Legal instruments alone are not enough to tackle genocide

    denial, and yet such instruments also can be instrumentalised

    in a highly polarised political climate when open criticism and

    implicatory denial may, from some angles, look surprisingly similar. 

    Some scholars suggest that marked social conflicts between classes

    and castes were not invented by European colonisers, and were

    already firmly embedded into Rwanda’s pre-colonial social fabric.

    Implicatory denial: 2003 onwards

    Implicatory denial explicitly accuses the other of being behind

    the genocide all along and thus seeks to lay the blame on others

    instead of those already accused of genocide. Implicatory denial

    turns around the existing legal and political accusations of victims,

    prosecutors and researchers, and suggests that those who claimed

    to end the genocide and to support victims of genocide are in reality

    perpetrators of genocide themselves.

    The general message is that things are not always what they seem,

    a message conveyed by theories that the Rwanda Patriotic Front

    was involved in a conspiracy at the start of the genocide. At an

    individual level, a perpetrator engaged in this kind of implicatory

    denial claims the survivors associations only exist to persecute the

    Hutu in general, and the prisoners in particular.

    Implicatory denial thus involves accusing victims in some cases,

    and the Rwanda Patriotic Front government in other cases, of being

    the real perpetrators behind the scenes.

    Ways of Fighting Against Different Forms and channels 
    of Genocide Denial and Ideology

    Activity 8

    Conduct research on the 1994 genocide against Tutsi and

    discuss different ways that have been proposed to fight against

    the different forms and channels of genocide denial and ideology

    at the African level. Present the results of your discussion to the


    Activity 9

    Conduct research on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and

    debate the different ways that had been proposed to fight

    against the different forms and channels of genocide denial and

    ideology at national level. Present the results of your findings

    to the class.

    At African level

    Before speaking of the strategies or ways of fighting against the

    different forms and channels of genocide denial and ideology, it is

    essential to reflect on the real or perceived causes of genocide. In

    fact, the perceived or real causes of genocide provide the foundation

    for the peddling of genocide ideology by extremists in our society.

    What then is genocide ideology? Whether genocide is an actual

    ideology or not is debatable but it is certainly a developing stream

    of ideas rooted in fear and thirst for power usually in the context

    of a history where the people are of different origin. Genocide is

    an extermination or destruction of the other who has been part

    of a whole but is now being separated and targeted as an enemy

    (and man’s spontaneous reaction to the enemy, as we have learnt

    through history, is to eliminate the enemy).

    So the genocide ideology begins with the process of identification

    and stigmatisation of the ‘other’ that is, labelling of the ‘other’

    and eventually the separation of the ‘other’ from the rest of ‘us’.

    The cumulative process of segregation of the ‘other’ is initiated

    by the political leadership and disseminated through various

    means including addressing the public at political rallies, teaching

    students at schools, universities and other institutions of learning

    and indoctrinating the general public including party militants

    through the radio and television broadcasts and dissemination of

    disinformation and propaganda through print and electronic media.

    The ‘other’ is presented by ‘us’ as dangerous, unreliable, and, like

    a dangerous virus, must be destroyed.

    The separation of ‘us’ from the ‘other’ or ‘them’ is through racial or

    ethnic segregation which may then result in internment, lynching,

    proscription or exile. The process of separation begins when political

    leaders start to brand a section of their own population as the

    ‘other’, ‘these people’, ‘enemy of the state’, ‘enemy of the people’, ‘security risk’, ‘rebel sympathiser’, ‘accomplice’, ‘cockroaches’

    ‘Inyenzi’, or similar derogatory remarks. Cultural or racial branding

    like ‘atheist’, ‘communist’, ‘Muslim’, ‘Christian’ or ‘white’, ‘black’ or

    ‘Arab’ have also been known to have been used. The result of the

    separation of ‘us’ from the ‘other’ by the political leadership is the

    process through which genocide ideology evolves.

    These examples of the early warning signals at the formative

    stages of genocide ideology are not exhaustive. Extremists are very

    resourceful people and are constantly inventing new ways and

    vocabularies for identifying, stigmatising and dehumanising the

    ‘other’. Once the ‘other’ is sufficiently stigmatised and dehumanised,

    it becomes easy, and even necessary for ‘us’ to massacre ‘them’

    without any sense of guilt or remorse. Every African will recognise

    some or all of these processes either in their own national histories

    or elsewhere.

    Yet, it is not possible to construct the ‘other’ before establishing the

    identity of the ‘us’. The political leadership ensures that the public

    understands that the ‘us’ is more superior, intelligent and deserving

    of a better life, with higher dignity and respect than the useless and

    backward ‘others’. How can the law then deal with such situations

    and discourage or prevent the use of political demagoguery?

    It is important to understand how the ‘ideology’ of genocide becomes

    part of the dominant discourse of a society where the ‘other’ is

    terrorised by the ‘us’ into silence. The hand of the state is never

    far from any genocide or mass killings. The state plays a major

    role, either as active participant or silent supporter, accomplice

    or collaborator. To commit the crime of genocide, considering the

    scope and magnitude of mass murder that is required for it, also

    needs a monopoly of arms, of propaganda, of terror, of resources

    and of power. Only the state in modern history possesses such

    resources. To that extent, without the participation, complicity,

    collaboration or corroboration of the state, it is most unlikely

    that any group of individuals can commit the crime of genocide.

    Crimes of genocide have, in the past, been committed when the

    state refuses, declines or fails to meet its responsibility under both

    national and international law.

    The first duty of the state is to protect its entire citizenry without

    discrimination. Genocide or mass killing is either a failure of

    the state in the sense of an omission to protect or it is an act of the state as in commission of genocide and other crimes

    against humanity. However, as demonstrated at the International

    Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, the participating citizenry

    is not entirely blameless either. The active participation of the

    Interahamwe (comprised not of drunken ill-disciplined men but

    of highly politicised, well-trained, armed youth responsive to the

    interim government’s demands) in the Rwanda genocide is well


    The challenge of the law must be the establishment, through

    active parliamentary law or judicial law making, of laws and

    decisions that address the complex circumstances that permit

    ordinary people to turn against each other in mass killing sprees,

    and to identify mechanisms for acting on early warning signals

    to emerging discrimination and discriminatory practices of the

    state and its functionaries as well as the people themselves. Good

    governance demands that states’ have a ‘Best Practice’ standard

    operating procedure to which all member states of the African

    Union must comply with the possibility of effective sanctions for


    After the Second World War the international community

    recognised the dangers of these practices and adopted laws to

    prevent the development of a genocide ideology. However, after

    Europe’s pogroms, genocides and holocausts against each other

    and against the people they had colonised, they adopted the 1948

    Genocide Convention but not much appeared to have changed as

    is demonstrated by mass killings in the former Yugoslavia.

    For Africa, if the experiences of Rwanda, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra

    Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo or Somalia are anything

    to go by, then Africa has a long way to go notwithstanding that the

    law has a definition for genocide.

    Africans must also sit down and agree to stop killing one other. At

    the street level, the discourse on the subject by ordinary citizens

    is at a different level. It is wrapped in the grasp of ‘victimhood’,

    packaged by the finery of racial, ethnic, religious and geographical

    trimmings. It is propelled by talk of ‘marginalisation’, ‘ethnic, racial

    or religious discrimination’, of ‘lack of equal access to the national

    cake’. It speaks the language of power and counter-force, through

    legal as well as undemocratic and unlawful means. It is this arena

    of discourse that the state must seriously address. 

    What politicians say to the people, what professional and civil

    society leaders interpret from the actions of political leaders, what

    idioms and sound-bytes the media exploits and what language

    religious and cultural leaders utilise in sensitising people about

    the dangers of targeting and segregation of the ‘other’ should be

    the stuff of concern to African leaders – both political and civic.

    The lessons of Rwanda relate to ensuring that all Africans do not

    have to undergo pogroms in order to emerge from the fire of sociopolitical change.

    Besides, countries have to adopt the good governance and anticorruption principles. What socio-legal, political and cultural

    mechanisms should also be adopted to further promote unity a life

    that is, at the very least, in consonance with human dignity.

    Ethnicity will not disappear anytime soon in Africa given our racist

    colonial history, and the selective rewarding of a few against the

    interests of the majority.

    There is an on-going challenge with privatisation, globalisation,

    and death of socialism and shunning of socialist ideals, the

    marginalisation of egalitarian ideas rooted in social worth and

    equity and the rejection of most African customs, values and family

    structures. These factors have exacerbated or halted prompt and

    effective response to genocide ideology.

    These differences, including focusing on individual rather than

    group rights, have been taken to an extreme length, resulting in

    breeding segregationist ideals leading to power struggles, coups,

    election rigging and denial of political space to the ‘other’ as the

    ‘us’ continues to monopolise state power and the means of inflicting

    violence on the ‘other’.

    Continued control of state power using all means necessary

    often results in an acute politicisation of ethnicity and the rise of

    repression on the one hand and resistance on the other. The signs

    are always there for the keen observer to notice. When political

    and military leaders begin to address a section of society as

    cockroaches, pigs, criminals, backward elements, and biological

    substance, it is important that these utterances are taken seriously

    as warning signs suggesting that part of the population is being

    classified as the ‘other’. 

    These express classifications are a prelude to genocide, signifying

    that genocide is being gradually implanted in the minds of the

    unsuspecting population. Left to continue unabated, unchallenged

    and unrestrained, this behaviour will snowball into a fully-fledged

    genocide ideology.

    In view of the human rights jurisprudence read together with the

    jurisprudence developed at the International Criminal Tribunal for

    Rwanda, International Criminal Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia and

    Special Court for Sierra Leone, the courts should take greater

    liberty in interpretation of social policies, read into legislation the

    requirement for social justice and re-interpret law in consonance

    with social equity and fair distribution of natural and other resources

    in order to counter the development of genocidal ideologies.

    Efficient nation building and the treatment of citizens on an equal,

    fair and non discriminatory basis, the essence of good governance,

    is a positive counter mechanism to the rise of segregationist ideas.

    All ethnic groups in a state should in theory and practice feel

    represented in government and other state institutions. Loyalty

    must be to the state and not to particular ethnic groups or only

    to governments of the day simply because the leadership of that

    government is military. Leaders must therefore treat their citizens

    in a manner that they themselves would wish to be treated after

    they have left office.

    Abuse of judicial process by prosecuting the ‘other’, or opposition

    leaders or former heads of state without sufficient evidence or

    reasonable cause undermine efforts to fight genocide ideology.

    Governments have to make efforts to eradicate such bad practice.

    It is also important and necessary to domesticate decisions and

    judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In

    fact, knowledge of conditions that lead to genocide is helpful

    and can be used to fight genocide ideology. It is our collective

    responsibility to ensure that at the national level, the jurisprudence

    of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is understood and

    used as one of the tools for effectively fighting genocide ideology.

    African governments must recognise the state’s internal propensity

    for abuse of the monopoly of power and its use against the people.

    To counter this inherent difficulty, it is suggested that constitutions

    of different countries and their laws establish adequate and selfmanaging monitoring and checking mechanisms that act as an 

    early warning system to the rise of a genocidal ideology or any

    other tendency that can lead to crimes against humanity. Such

    a system, with the assistance and support of the African Union

    for example, should incorporate within it independent institutions

    through which the citizens can intervene to raise the alarm against

    segregation and targeting of a section of the population as the


    The African judiciary must be equipped with additional powers

    to interpret and restrain actual or potential mischief brewing in

    the society. African states would benefit by creating propaganda

    mechanism aimed at warning the people that state functionaries

    can also become monsters.

    Such self-governing mechanisms arouse citizen consciousness

    to remain vigilant against the self as well as against others who

    profit from death and destruction. Domesticating international

    jurisprudence taken from African situations like Rwanda, Sudan,

    Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone, to name but

    a few, and establishing national and regional policies, with laws

    against hate speech, anti-discriminatory behaviour, for equitable

    measures in resource allocations, checking of abuse of power,

    controlling ethnic, religious or other segregationist mass social

    arrangements is perhaps one of the best ways of telling ourselves

    “Never again”.

    At national level

    The law related to the punishment of the crime of genocide ideology

    has to be applied not only to punish but also to discourage all

    the persons in Rwanda found guilty with the crime of genocide


    Apart from punishing, a campaign of sensitisation has to be led

    to educate the Rwandans about the evils of the genocide ideology

    and denial and the negative impact on the policy of the unity and

    reconciliation, the pillar of the development of the country.

    Rwandan and foreign scholars have also to write to combat

    genocide ideology and denial spread in different written documents

    like the media of different types, books, and internet. 

    The decent conservation of existent genocide memorials of the

    genocide against the Tutsi and the construction of others will

    constitute a permanent evidence to challenge the revisionists of

    the genocide against Tutsi.

    Recognising the massive killing of the Tutsi as genocide was not

    easy. Main perpetrators of the genocide planned before hand how

    to deny that they had prepared for a genocide against the Tutsi.

    Three forms of genocide denial had been used in most cases.

    The first form, the literal genocide denial involved negating the facts

    of genocide, silencing talk of genocidal plans and killings. Literal

    denial has been combated by showing evidence which proved that

    genocide had been planned and was executed right across Rwanda.

    The second form, interpretative genocide denial viewed the

    events of the genocide as a civil war, rather than genocide,

    whereas the implicatory genocide denial advanced the idea that

    the genocide was planned by those previously seen as saving the

    victims. Therefore, the Rwanda Patriotic Front government was

    accused of having planned the genocide, not only in Rwanda but

    also in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The thesis of a

    double genocide was also part of the interpretative and implicatory

    forms of genocide denial.

    All these forms of the genocide denial were fought and the

    international community finally accepted that in Rwanda a genocide

    had been committed against the Tutsi in 1994. Testimonies given

    and confessions made by the prisoners at the International Criminal

    Tribunal for Rwanda at Arusha played a great role in this struggle

    against genocide denial.

    However, even if the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi has been

    recognised as such, there are still many people who still deny

    it. Different ways of fighting genocide denial and ideology have

    been proposed at the African and national levels. These include

    the respect of international conventions, adoption of the good

    governance and anti-corruption principles and establishment of

    related institutions, and the punishment of the crime of genocide



    Banal: repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse

    Discourse: extended verbal expression in speech or writing

    Fantasy: fiction with a large amount of imagination in it

    Inconsonance: a state which is characterised by the absence

    of harmony

    Indoctrinating: teach doctrines (a belief or system of beliefs)

    accepted as authoritative by some group or

    school; teach uncritically

    Internment: the act of confining someone in a prison (or as

    if in a prison)

    Labelling: assign a label to; designate with a label (mark)

    Lynching: putting a person to death by mob action

    without due process of law

    Plea: (law) a defendant’s answer by a factual matter

    Pogrom: organised persecution of an ethnic group

    (especially Jews)

    Spree: a brief indulgence of your impulses, a period of

    activity, especially a criminal activity

    Trigger: put in motion or move to act

    Revision questions

    1. Define the following terms: genocide denial, genocide ideology

    2. Describe different forms of genocide denial that have been

    manifested in Rwanda and outside the country.

    3. What are the strategies adopted by the government of Rwanda

    to fight the genocide denial and ideology.

    4. Find out, what the African community has already done to

    prevent genocide denial and ideology from spreading.

  • Unit 3: Origin of Islam and its Impact in West Africa

    Key unit competence

    Explain the origin of Islam, its role in the expansion of West African

    empires and its impact


    Islam was founded by Muhammad Ibn Abdullah in Saudi Arabia in

    622 ad. Islam is a monotheist religion and its followers are called

    Muslims. This religion has five pillars: charity to the poor, fasting

    during Ramadhan, making a pilgrimage to Mecca, praying five

    times a day, and cleanliness.

    Islam was spread in Asia before being imposed on the people of

    North Africa by Arabs between 639 and 708 ad. From this region,

    Islam spread to West Africa. Different methods were used to spread

    Islam. These included the Trans Saharan Trade and jihads. The

    spread of Islam was influenced by religious fanatics and commercial


    In West Africa, jihads mainly aimed at purifying Islam and

    converting the pagans. At the end of the jihads, immense regions

    of West Africa were transformed into Muslim empires and were

    ruled according to the Sharia. 

    Links to other subjects

    Migration in Geography, wars and conflicts in General Studies and

    Communication Skills, commercial relations in Economics

    Main points to be covered in this unit

    ࿤ Origin of Islam

    ࿤ Role of Islam in the expansion of empires of West Africa

    ࿤ Spread of Islamic civilisation and its effects

    ࿤ Causes and consequences of Jihad movements

    ࿤ Role of Islam in the expansion of empires in West Africa

    ࿤ Spread of Islamic civilisation and its effects

    ࿤ Causes of jihad movements

    ࿤ Examples of jihad leaders

    ࿤ Consequences of jihad movements

    Birth of Islam and its Spread in West Africa

    Activity 1

    Carry out research on the origins of Islam and answer the

    following questions. Present results of your findings to the class.

    1. Locate on a map the two main cities of Medina and Mecca.

    2. Explain the following terms: Islam and Muslim.

    3. Who is the founder of Islam?

    4. Describe the childhood of the founder of Islam.

    Activity 2

    Carry out research on the founding of Islam and answer the

    following questions. Present the results of your findings to the


    1. Who was Khadijah?

    2. Describe the main events in the founding of Islam.

    3. Explain the following terms: Hegira, Kaaba and Caliph.

    Activity 3

    Carry out research on the Koran and pillars of faith and answer

    the following questions. Present the results of your findings to

    the class.

    1. Explain each of the five pillars of Islam.

    2. List down the other obligations of Muslims.

    3. Explain the following terms; Koran, Sura.

    4. Identify the role played by angel Gabriel in the founding of


    Activity 4

    Carry out research on the spread of Islam and answer the

    following questions. Present the results of your study to the


    1. Which methods did the followers of Muhammad use to

    spread Islam?

    2. List down the regions that were conquered by Muslims up

    to the 15th century.

    Activity 5

    Examine the factors that favoured the Arabs in their conquests.

    Present the results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 6

    Conduct research on the spread of Islam in West Africa. Present

    the results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 7

    Conduct research on the first five methods that were used in

    the spread of Islam in West Africa. Present the results of your

    findings to the class.

    Activity 8

    Conduct research on the effects of the spread of Islam in West

    Africa. Present the results of your findings to the class.

    Origin of Islam

    The religion of Islam started in Saudi Arabia in the Middle East

    in 622 ad. The word Islam means the act of submitting, or giving

    oneself over, to God (Allah); the followers of Islam are called

    Muslims, which means believers.

    Islam was founded by an Arab merchant named Muhammad Ibn

    Abdullah. He came to be known as the Prophet of Allah or God.

    Muhammad the founder of Islam

    In 571 ad, a child named Muhammad was born to a poor widow

    in Mecca. When he was six, his mother died and he went to live

    with his poor uncle. He worked as a camel driver when he reached

    his teens. At the age of 25, he married a rich 40 year old widow

    named Khadijah, who ran a rich caravan.

    According to Islam, the prophet Muhammad received many divine

    revelations during his life. These revelations were written down and

    together make up the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam.

    Muhammad was very successful in the caravan business. Then

    he became troubled by the drinking, gambling and corruption in

    Mecca. He began to spend a lot of time alone in a cave on a hillside

    outside the city. There, he thought and fasted and he decided that

    all the Meccans had been led to evil by their belief in false gods. 

    He concluded that there was only one God, Allah, the same God as

    the God of the Jews and Christians.

    In 610 ad, when he was about 39 years old, Muhammad had

    a revelation or vision. In 613 he began to preach to the people

    of Mecca, telling them that the only God was the all-powerful

    Allah before whom all believers were equal. In 620, Muhammad

    preached to a group of pilgrims from Yatrib. They invited him to

    come to Yatrib and be their leader. 

    The al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, holds the holiest

    shrine of Islam, the Kaaba. As the birthplace of Islam’s founder,

    the Prophet Muhammad, Mecca is considered as a holy city. It is

    a pilgrimage point for Muslims worldwide, who are expected to

    visit the city at least once in there life if they are able to do so.

    During the summer of 622 several hundred of Muhammad’s

    followers fled from Mecca to Yatrib. The year 622, called Anno

    Hegira or “The year of the Flight”, became the first year of the

    Muslim calendar. Yatrib became Medina al Munawara, the City of

    the Prophet. From Medina, Muslims launched attacks on Meccan

    caravans and defeated the Meccans in battle. Finally, in 630,

    Muhammad returned in triumph to Mecca where he destroyed the

    idols in the Kaaba and dedicated the black stone to Allah.

    Medina, in western Saudi Arabia, is a sacred city that only Muslims

    are permitted to visit. The Prophet Muhammad took refuge in

    Medina after fleeing Mecca in 622 ad, and the city’s numerous

    mosques remain a destination for large numbers of Muslims on

    their annual pilgrimage. The income derived from visiting pilgrims

    forms the basis of Medina’s economy.

    In 632 ad, after 10 years, Muhammad fell ill and died. He was

    succeeded by a leader called Khalifa or Caliph, successor. The first

    Khalifa was Abu Bakar, Muhammad’s father – in-law. The Khalifa ruled

    from Medina. Mecca in Saudi Arabia became the holy city of Islam.

    Koran and Pillars of faith

    The heart of Islam is the Koran (Qur’an) or Muslim holy scriptures.

    Muslims believe it was directly revealed to Muslims by Allah. The

    Koran is written in Arabic, and consists of 114 chapter, called

    Suras. Each chapter is divided into verses called Ayat (singular Aya

    which means sign or proof). It contains stories, legends, philosophy,

    and the advice given to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.

    This beautifully decorated page comes from a Qur’an of the late

    8th Century or early 9th Century. Muslims believe that the Qur’an

    is an infallible transcription of God’s message to Muhammad.

    As the messenger of God and seal of the prophets, Muhammad

    was charged with the responsibility of relaying this message to

    all believers. Divided into 114 suras, or chapters, the Qur’an is

    meant to be recited or chanted as part of Islamic worship.

    The Koran identifies the basic beliefs of Islam and tells how good

    Muslims should live. It describes the pillars of faith, or the five

    duties all Muslims must fulfill.

    1. The confession of faith (shahada), “There is no god but God,

    Muhammad is the messenger of God, Allah” (La ilala illa Allah;

    Muhammadun rasulu Allah).

    2. To pray five times a day while facing Mecca at dawn, noon, late

    afternoon, sunset and evening (salat).

    3. To give charity to the poor (zakat)

    4. To fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of

    Ramadhan (sawm)

    5. To do pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca two months after Ramadhan.

    Every able bodied Muslim is obliged to make pilgrimage to

    Mecca, at least once in their lifetime.

    Spread of Islam

    When Muhammad died in 632, his followers needed a new leader.

    A group of Muslims chose a new leader whom they called Khalifa.

    The first Khalifa was Abu Bakar and the next three Khalifas were

    elected for life. They kept in close touch with the people and took

    advice from their most trusted friends.

    For this reason, they were called the Rightly Guided Caliphs. They

    honoured Muhammad’s wish to carry the word of God to other people.

    They did this by fighting jihads or holy wars, against infidels or non

    believers. They sent Muslims warriors into Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Persia,

    Egypt, North Africa and south Europe; and conquered them.

    In the 7th and 8th centuries, the religion of Islam spread through

    conversion and military conquest throughout the Middle East and

    North Africa. By 733, just 100 years after the death of Muhammad,

    the Islamic state stretched from India in the east to Spain in the


    Their conquest of Spain brought them into Europe. They advanced

    into France where they were defeated at Tours in 732 by

    Charlemagne, the king of the Franks.

    In Spain, the Muslims established their own society at Cordoba and

    Granada. But these communities were conquered by Christians in


    The Arabs were successful in their conquests for many reasons:

    ࿤ Islam, as their religion, united them.

    ࿤ They believed those who died while fighting infidels went to

    paradise, which encouraged them to fight so hard.

    ࿤ The Arabs were fearless fighters and were led by strong leaders.

    ࿤ Their leaders planned and carried out surprise attacks on their


    ࿤ They were skilled in fighting using camels and horses.

    ࿤ They promised protection to the people who surrendered without

    a fight and allowed them to keep their land.

    Spread of Islam in West Africa

    Activity 9

    Carry out research on the methods used to spread Islam in

    West Africa. Present the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 10

    Analyse the first five effects of the spread of Islam in West

    Africa. Present the results of your analysis to the class.

    Activity 11

    Analyse the last five effects of the spread of Islam in West

    Africa. Present the results of your analysis to the class.

    Activity 12

    Carry out research on jihad movements in West Africa and

    answer the following questions. Present the results of your

    research to the class.

    1. What is a jihad?

    2. Which regions of West Africa experienced jihads?

    3. Who were the main jihad leaders in West Africa?

    4. Discuss the main causes of the jihad movements in West


    Activity 13

    Examine the reasons why Uthman Dan Fodio declared a jihad in

    Hausaland. Present the results of your study to the class.

    Activity 14

    Conduct research on the jihad movements in West Africa and

    describe the course of the jihad fought by Uthman Dan Fodio

    in Hausaland. Present the results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 15

    Conduct research on jihad movements in West Africa and

    comment on the life of Al Hajj Umar before his jihads. Present

    the results of your research to the class.

    Activity 16

    Conduct research on jihad movements in West Africa and

    analyse the reasons that encouraged Al Hajj Umar to declare

    a jihad on infidels in the Sudan. Present the results of your

    research to the class.

    Activity 17

    Conduct research on the reasons for the success of jihads in

    West Africa. Present the results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 18

    Carry out research on the consequences of jihads in West

    Africa. Present the results of your findings to the class.

    Islam started slowly in Arabia and later spread to other parts of

    the world including the African continent. It first spread in North

    Africa by about the 14th century. By 1850, it had spread to most parts of West Africa through the early trade contacts between the

    Arabs and the Berbers and the Turkish occupation of North and

    West Africa.

    Methods used in the spread of Islam in West Africa

    Islam spread in West Africa in the 19th century through both

    peaceful means and by force (jihads). The following methods were


    ࿤ Commercial activities: Trade between North Africa and West

    Africa involved the Berbers who were Muslims. They converted

    the West Africans to Islam. This trade is also known as the

    Trans Saharan Trade. Sahara refers to Dar-Al-Islam, meaning

    the country of Islam.

    ࿤ Migration: Due to hot climate, some communities from North

    Africa and the Sahara migrated to western Sudan and the forest

    region of West Africa e.g. the Berbers, the Wolof, the Serere and

    the Fulani who were mainly Muslims. They integrated with the

    people of West Africa who also joined Islam.

    ࿤ Muslim missionaries: Muslim fanatics came to West Africa

    to convert people to Islam through preaching and building

    mosques. For example, a Creole missionary Muhammad Shita

    converted many people and built mosques in Freetown, Furah

    Bay and Lagos.

    ࿤ Education: Muslim schools were built in West Africa and many

    Arab scholars arrived to teach Islamic principles to the children

    of West Africa who eventually converted to the faith.

    ࿤ Conversion of local leaders: Some African kings and chiefs who

    joined Islam encouraged their subjects to convert. Those who

    got interested in leadership joined Islam as a symbol of loyalty.

    ࿤ Jihads: Muslim fanatics declared a holy war in order to reform

    Islam which was declining in the region e.g. the Fulani jihads in

    Hausaland, Macina, Tukolar, and the Mandika Empire etc.

    ࿤ Prestige: Those who made pilgrimages to Mecca came back

    with wealth, and new ideas. They were considered heroes in

    their communities. This inspired others to convert in order to

    enjoy such status.

    ࿤ Muslim solidarity: Islam was based on the simple theology of

    brotherhood which won the admiration of other non-Muslims

    who joined in order to be integrated into the society by sharing

    the brotherhood in problems and happiness.

    ࿤ Similarity with African culture: Islam tolerated similar African

    practices. It accepted polygamy, discourage immorality and it

    also tolerated traditional African religion.

    ࿤ Oppression from African leaders: People from the Hausa states

    faced a lot of oppression and brutality from their leaders. They

    decided to join the jihad movements, hence they voluntarily

    accepted Islam faith.

    Effects of the spread of Islam in West Africa

    The spread of Islam affected West Africa as follows:

    ࿤ The rulers who undertook pilgrimages to Mecca brought with

    them technology and scholars from the Muslim world. These

    influenced and changed the political, economic and social life

    in West Africa.

    ࿤ Many people abandoned their traditional ways and adopted

    Islamic practices such as attending Juma prayers, fasting and

    pilgrimages to Mecca.

    ࿤ Islam introduced literacy as well as Islamic education; for

    example, Arabic language and scripts were taught. As a result

    the cities of the Niger became great centres of learning, e.g.

    Timbuktu University.

    ࿤ Islam helped to unite empires with different tribes, culture,

    language and customs. Different ethnic groups united under one


    ࿤ The leaders employed educated Muslims such as secretaries,

    administrators and judges. These were conversant with Arabic

    writing and reading.

    ࿤ The coming of Islam increased and strengthened trade links

    between West and North Africa; the Arab World and Europe.

    ࿤ Islam gave rise to the growth of small states which developed

    into large empires which used the Islamic system of government

    and laws.

    ࿤ The Sharia was law introduced into West African states.

    ࿤ It discouraged slave trade among Muslims in West African states

    though in western Sudan it encouraged slavery.

    ࿤ It affected African culture by eroding African traditional cultural

    practices like taking alcohol, taming dogs, etc. So many Africans

    abandoned their traditional ways.

    Jihad Movements in West Africa

    A jihad is an Islamic religious movement or a holy war that is

    fought by fanatic Muslims against those who do not believe in their

    faith. It aims at spreading, purifying and strengthening Islam.

    The 19th century saw a wave of jihads or Islamic movements in

    northern Sudan. Although, the causes were religious, they had a

    mixture of political, economic and intellectual causes.

    The first jihads in West Africa took place in Guinea in Futa Jallon in

    1720s. They were led by Ibrahim Musa. In the 1770s there was

    yet another jihad in Senegal in Futa Toro led by Sulayman Bal. In

    1808, Uthman Dan Fadio started holy wars in the Hausa states

    (Daura, Kano, Katsina, Zaria, Rano, Gobir and Hiram). Other West

    African jihadists were Seku Ahmadu of Macina, Al Hajj Umar of

    Tukolor and Ahmed Bello.

    Causes of Jihads in West Africa

    ࿤ To purify Islam: After the decline of Mali and Songhai, there

    was a decline in Islam in western Sudan. Islam was mixed with

    pagan practices. Therefore, there was a need to revive Islam.

    ࿤ To stop unfair judgments in courts of law: There was a lot of

    corruption and bribery in the courts which were against the

    teaching of Islam.

    ࿤ Local political competition: The Fulani were discriminated.

    The Fulani leaders of the jihads aimed at overthrowing the

    government of the Hausa people and to establish a government

    favourable to their people.

    ࿤ Widespread belief in the Mahdi (Saviour): According to the

    Muslims, a Madhi was supposed to emerge during the 13th

    century of the Islamic calendar. This started from 1785 to 1882.

    ࿤ To overthrow pagan governments: The jihadists wanted to

    establish governments based on Islamic rule. Strict Muslims in

    West Africa could not tolerate rule by pagans. Muslims were also

    forced to go to war against fellow Muslims which was contrary

    to Islamic practice.

    ࿤ To spread Islam: This was aimed at the people who had resisted

    conversion to Islam. Thus they would be forced to join Islam.

    ࿤ Desire to spread Islamic education: Through the conversion of

    pagans who were against Islamic education, the jihadists hoped

    to build an ideal Islamic society through education. 

    ࿤ Overtaxation: Governments in western Sudan imposed heavy

    taxes on the Fulani town merchants while the Fulani pastoralists

    or nomads were opposed to the heavy taxation.

    ࿤ Methods used to collect taxes: The tax collectors were harsh.

    They whiped and imprisoned the people who failed to pay.

    Some of the property was confiscated. This is why the people

    welcomed Islam.

    ࿤ Defence of African independence: The West Africans joined

    jihads in order to protect their independence and fight against

    slave trade. This was because according to Sharia, no Muslim is

    supposed to enslave or sell another Muslim.

    Therefore, the time was right for a revolution that only needed

    someone to start it. This was provided by the arrival of men filled

    with religious zeal and reformist ideas and with the ability to lead

    and organise. For example, Uthman Dan Fodio, Al Hajji Umar,

    Seku Ahmadu among others. 

    Uthman Dan Fodio

    The first jihad in western Sudan took place in Hausaland in 1804.

    This jihad was led by Uthman Dan Fodio. He was a Fulani and a

    scholar. He was born in 1754 at Martha in Gobir.

    He received Islamic education from various teachers but finally he

    ended up in Agades under the famous Islamic teacher Jibril Ibn

    Umar. At the age of 20, he started his career as a writer and teacher

    in Senegal. From here, he started missionary tours in Hausaland,

    especially Zamfara, Kebbi and Daura.

    In his preaching and writing, he attacked all unreligious tendencies.

    He condemned corrupt and unjust governments, and illegal

    taxation. He insisted on complete acceptance of the spiritual and

    moral values of Islam.

    He soon mobilised a large number of followers. Most of these

    believed that he was the Mahdi or the saviour. His fame attracted

    the administration of Sultan Bawa, the leader of Gobir. He was

    employed as the tutor of the Sultan’s son. All these increased

    Fodio’s influence.Because of this influence, he successfully negotiated with Sultan

    Bawa of Gobir to release all Muslim prisoners. He also requested

    the king to grant freedom of worship and also exempt Muslims

    from un-Islamic taxes.

    Unfortunately, Bawa was succeeded by Sultan Nafata and later

    Yunfa who did not support Uthman Dan Fodio. Because of Uthman’s

    growing influence, Yunfa arranged the assassination of Fodio but

    he managed to escape.

    Along with his brother Abdullah and son Mohammed Bello, Fodio

    escaped to Gudu outside Gobir.

    At Gudu, many Fulani tribesmen joined him and he was elected

    commander of the faithful, Amir Al Munimin. He then, declared a

    jihad on the non believers in 1804 and confronted Yunfa’s army.

    After a prolonged fight, Yunfa’s army was defeated and he was

    killed at Akolawa. Serious resistance against Fodio’s army collapsed

    in 1809. Immediately, Fodio declared the Sokoto Caliphate and he

    became the undisputed caliph.

    Once the conquest period was over, Fodio returned to his work of

    writing books since he was basically an Islamic scholar.

    He divided the empire between his son and his brother. Mohammed

    Bello his son was in charge of the eastern region and Abdullah

    his brother the western region. Fodio died in 1817 and his son

    Mohammed Bello was recognised as the caliph of the Sokoto


    Al Hajj Umar was born in 1794 in Futa Toro. His father was a

    Tukolor scholar. Umar belonged to the Tijaniyya brotherhood and

    his first teacher was Abd Al Karim. Umar was also a disciple of

    Uthman Dan Fodio.

    In 1825, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Tijani authorities

    were impressed with the works of Umar and he was appointed

    the Khalifa or religious leader of the Tijaniyya in western Sudan

    in 1831. He was charged with the duty of reviving and spreading

    Islam in the region.

    While away, he was impressed by the reformist ideas of the day.

    He witnessed Mohammed Ali’s revolution in Egypt. He also spent

    sometime in Bornu, Sokoto.

    In Sokoto, he was impressed by the leadership possibilities opened

    by jihad. He married the daughters of both Alkanem of Bornu and

    Mohammed of Sokoto.

    He witnessed the expansion and spread of Islam through a jihad.

    He was also convinced that the revival and purification and spread

    of Islam would be possible through embracing Tijaniyya ideas.

    In 1838, he returned home with even greater inspiration and

    determination to purify and spread Islam.

    He settled at a place called Fouta Djalon. From here he made

    extensive tours, teaching, preaching and converting.

    In his book “Rinah”, he attacked evil and illegal tendencies. He

    condemned mixed Islam. He appealed to the masses, assuring

    them of favoured treatment on the day of judgement as members

    of the Tijaniyya. His teachings were well received by the ordinary

    persons. These had been alienated by the Quadiriyya. His fame as

    a scholar and teacher attracted a large following. He was regarded

    as the Mujahidin (soldiers fighting in support of their strong Muslim


    His growing fame and influence alarmed the Quadiriyya scholars

    and Fouta Djalon political authorities. In 1851, he fled to Dinguiray.

    Here, he established an armed camp with his faithful disciples as

    well as students attracted from West Africa. These were mainly

    from the lower classes.

    He equipped the army with European weapons bought from the

    coastal towns of West Africa. He even established a workshop of

    gun smiths who could repair guns. At a later stage, Al Hajj Umar

    was able to manufacture some of these arms, thus supplying his


    In 1852, Umar declared a holy war on infidels in the Sudan. In

    1854, he conquered the Wangara states. By 1857, he was ready

    to attack the Bambara of Segu. Nevertheless, this brought him into

    conflict with the Muslim state of Massina.

    After this, Umar diverted his attention against French imperialists.

    This was a mistake that he would regret later. By 1863, the Tukolor

    Empire extended from Futa Djalon to Timbuktu.

    In February 1863, Al Hajj Umar was killed in the famous Massina

    uprising. This was spear-headed by the Quadiriyya leaders who

    were opposed to his Tijaniyya principles. But the empire under his

    eldest son and successor Ahmadi Bin Sheikh, survived till it was

    over-run by the French in 1893.

    Umar strengthened Islam expanded the borders of the Tukolar

    Empire, and promoted Islamic literacy. For example, he set up new

    centres of Islamic education in western Sudan.

    Lastly, in his efforts he made the Tijaniyya sect more popular than

    the Quadiriyya. Today, the Tijaniyya is more dominant in West


    Success of Jihads in West Africa

    The jihad leaders succeeded in their holy wars due to the

    following factors:

    ࿤ Disunity among non-Islamic states in West Africa against fanatic


    ࿤ Jihad movement in West Africa enjoyed good leadership.

    ࿤ These jihads were led by elites who had very convincing rhetoric

    or persuasive speech that won then big numbers of followers.

    ࿤ The possession of fire arms by the jihadists.

    ࿤ The hope to gain economic achievements. The non-Muslims

    who were poor supported the jihads with hope of raiding for


    Consequences of Jihads in West Africa

    ࿤ The jihads led to closer contacts with the outside world. This was

    true with Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. In fact a pilgrimage

    made by Al Hajji Umar to Mecca in 1825 further exposed the

    Sudan to the outside world.

    ࿤ They led to the spread and revival of Islamic culture for example

    the way of dressing with items such as the veil, the turban and

    the daily prayers and the hijja.

    ࿤ Literate Muslim officials were employed by kings and emperors

    as clerks, secretaries, judges, auditors, inspectors and teachers.

    This strengthened Islamic way of life.

    ࿤ Large and powerful Islamic states were formed under Muslim

    rulers like Uthman Dan Fodio of Sokoto, Muhammad Bello of

    Sokoto, Seku Ahmad of Macina, Al Hajji Umar of Tokolar and Al

    Kanemi of Dinguiray.

    ࿤ They caused clashes and conflicts between the pagans and the

    Muslims. For example there was enslavement of non-Muslims as

    permitted by the Koran. This led to tribal wars and antagonism.

    ࿤ Strong states emerged to resist European infiltration. Jihads

    united the masses and their leaders against French colonialists.

    ࿤ A centralised system of administration was introduced and

    managed according to the Koran.

    ࿤ There was the stabilisation and efficient management of the

    economy in the Islamic states. They abolished unlawful taxes

    and levied taxes as stipulated in the holy Koran.

    ࿤ They led to the decline of the African traditional religions. This

    is because leaders of traditional religion and people who refused

    to change to Islam were executed.

    ࿤ The jihads, checked the spread of Christianity in West Africa.

    This is because the Christian Missionaries were not allowed to

    enter Muslim lands.

    Islam is a monotheist religion that was founded by Mohammed in

    Saudi Arabia in 622 ad. After his return to Mecca from Medina,

    Mohammed was occupied with the spread of Islam within the

    neighboring countries. After his death, his successors called caliphs

    continued to expand Islam and conquered almost the whole part

    of the Middle East.

    With the occupation and conversion of the Ottomans or Turks,

    Islam had found the dynamic people who contributed later to its

    expansion to North Africa and Europe.

    Once Islam was adopted by North Africans namely the Berbers, it

    then spread to West Africa through firstly, the Trans Saharan Trade

    and secondly, the jihad movements. The jihads aimed at purifying

    Islam, stopping unfair judgments in courts of law, spreading

    Islamic education, overthrowing pagan governments. The main

    jihad leaders were Uthman Dan Fadio in the Hausa States, Seku

    Ahmadu of Macina, Al Hajj Umar of Tukolor and Ahmed Bello.

    The spread of Islam to West Africa led to the spread and revival

    of Islamic culture. Other effects include, the decline of African

    traditional religions, the creation of a new order of administration

    known as a centralised system of administration and administration

    in accordance to the requirement of Koran, large and powerful

    political states were formed as Islamic were.


    Antagonism: the relations between opposing principles,

    forces or factors, e.g. the inherent antagonism

    of capitalism and socialism

    Bribery: the practice of offering something (usually

    money) in order to gain an illicit advantage

    Creole: of or relating to a language that arises from

    contact between two other languages and has

    features of both or a person whose parents

    have different races

    Elitism: the attitude that society should be governed by

    an elite group of individuals

    Enslavement: the act of making slaves of your captives or the

    state of being a slave

    Gunsmith: someone who makes or repairs guns

    Hegira: the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in

    622 which marked the beginning of the Muslim

    era; the Muslim calendar begins in that year

    Infidel: a person who does not acknowledge your god

    Retrieving: get or get back; recover the use of or go for and

    bring back

    Tutor: a person who gives private instruction

    Zeal: excessive fervour to do something or accomplish

    some end

    Revision questions

    A. Multiple Choice Questions

    1. The following are the pillars of Islam except:

    a) Confession of faith (shahada

    b) Praying five times a day at down, noon, late afternoon,

    sunset and evening; they pray facing Mecca (salat)

    c) Giving charity to the poor (zakat)

    d) Fasting from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of

    Ramadhan (sawm)

    e) Fighting a jihad war 

    2. The following are Hausa States except:

    a) Daura,

    b) Kano,

    c) Katsina,

    d) Zaria,

    e) Bornu

    3. The success of Jihads in West Africa was due to the following


    a) Disunity among non-Islamic States in West Africa against

    fanatic Muslims

    b) Jihad movement in West Africa enjoyed good leadership;

    c) These jihads were led by elites who had very convincing

    rhetoric or persuasive speech that won then big numbers

    of followers

    d) The possession of fire arms by the jihadists

    e) All of them.

    4. The causes of jihads in West Africa are the following

    a) To purify Islam

    b) Methods used to collect taxes

    c) Defence of African independence

    d) Over taxation

    e) Methods used to collect taxes

    f) All of them

    5. The Arabs were successful in their conquests for many reasons

    except the following:

    a) They believed those who fought infidels went to paradise,

    which encouraged fighting.

    b) The Arabs were fearless fighters and were led by strong


    c) Their leaders planned and carried out attacks on their

    enemies completely by surprise.

    d) They were skilled in fighting using camels and horses.

    e) They ensured the protection to the people who gave in

    without a fight and allowed them to keep their land.

    f) The possession of nuclear bombs.

    B. Fill in the Blanks:

    1. In 610 ad, when he was about 39 years old, Muhammad had

    a revelation or__________.

    2. The Muslims call their God with the name of __________.

    3. In Saudi Arabia, the holiest shrine of Islam is called __________.

    4. Finally, in 630, Muhammad returned in triumph to Mecca;

    where he destroyed the idols in the Kaaba and dedicated the

    black stone to__________.

    5. The first Khalifa was Abu Bakar, Muhammad’s __________.

    6. Jihads were launched to stop unfair judgments in courts of law.

    These courts were full of __________and __________ which

    were against the teaching of Islam.

    7. Uthman Dan Fodio went on missionary tours through out

    Hausaland especially __________, __________and __________.

    C. Answer True or False

    1. Islam has five pillars including fighting a holy, a jihad war

    against infidels.

    2. Eating pork is not forbidden by Islam Religion.

    3. The successors of Muhammad have the title of caliph.

    4. Only two jihad leaders existed in West Africa.

    5. Yatrib was the former name of Medina.

    6. In West Africa two brotherhoods were in a great antagonism:

    Quadiriyya and Tijaniyya.

    Open questions

    1. Describe the birth and spread of Islam.

    2. Account for the means used in the spread of Islam in West


    3. Analyse the factors for the success of jihadists in West Africa.

    4. Examine the causes of the outbreak of the jihad movements in

    West Africa.

    5. Evaluate the achievements of the jihad leaders: Uthman Dan

    Fodio and Al Hajj Umar.

    6. Examine the effects of the jihad movements in West Africa. 

  • Unit 4: European Domination and Exploitation of Africa in the 19th Century

    Key unit competence

    Describe European domination, exploitation in Africa and its

    consequences in the 19th century.


    In the 19th century, due to a number of factors many European

    countries conquered and began to control the African continent.

    After the occupation of the so-called dark continent, European

    countries used different methods to exploit their colonies. This

    included taxation, forced cash crop growing, forced labour, land

    alienation, development of legitimate trade, and discouraging of


    Such European practices negatively affected African countries in

    diverse ways. Economically, the European colonial methods led

    to the following effects: forced labour, migration of labour force,

    resettlement of Africans, over exploitation of Africans and over

    dependence of the African economy on Europeans.

    At the socio-political level, the domination of Africa by European

    masters also negatively affected African countries. Colonisation led

    to the disruption of the traditional African cultures and introduction

    of Christianity, the creation of new political and administrative

    entities and the authoritarian rule.

    Links to other subjects

    Migration in Geography, wars and conflicts in General Studies and

    Communication Skills, commercial relations in Economics.

    Main points to be covered in this unit

    ࿤ European domination in the 19th century

    ࿤ Colonial methods of African exploitation

    ࿤ Consequences of European domination and exploitation of Africa

    in the19th century

    European Colonial Methods used in the Economic Exploitation of African Countries

    Activity 1

    Carry out research on the colonial conquest and domination of

    Africa and answer the following questions. Then, present the

    results of your findings to the class.

    1. What are the main factors that motivated European

    imperialists to come to Africa?

    2. Explain the different reasons that led Otto von Bismarck

    to convene a diplomatic summit of European powers in

    the late nineteenth Century.

    Activity 2

    Explain the European colonial methods of taxation and forced

    cash crop growing in the economic exploitation of Africa.

    Present the results of your discussion to the class. 

    Activity 3

    Analyse the European colonial methods of forced labour and

    land alienation in the economic exploitation of the African

    countries. Present the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 4

    Examine the use of legitimate trade in the economic exploitation

    of African countries. Present the results of your discussion to

    the class.

    Activity 5

    Discuss the colonial method of discouraging industrialisation

    in the economic exploitation of African countries. Present the

    results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 6

    Describe the colonial transport policy in the economic

    exploitation of Africa. Present the results of your discussion to

    the class.

    Activity 7

    Discuss the colonial education policies in the economic

    exploitation of the African countries. Present the results of your

    discussion to the class. 

    The Colonial Conquest and Domination of theAfrican continent

    Between the 1870s and 1900, Africa faced European imperialist

    aggression, diplomatic pressures, military invasions, and eventual

    conquest and colonisation. At the same time, African societies put

    up various forms of resistance against the attempt to colonise their

    countries and impose foreign domination.

    By the early twentieth century, however, much of Africa, except

    Ethiopia and Liberia, had been colonised by European powers.

    European imperialists push into Africa was motivated by three

    main factors: economic, political, and social.

    Colonisation developed in the nineteenth century following the

    collapse of the profitability of the slave trade, its abolition and

    suppression, as well as the expansion of the European capitalist

    industrial revolution.

    The imperatives of capitalist industrialisation—including the

    demand for assured sources of raw materials, the search for

    guaranteed markets and profitable investment outlets—spurred

    the European scramble and the partition and eventual conquest

    of Africa. Thus the primary motivation for European intrusion was


    The Scramble for Africa

    But other factors played an important role in the process. Britain,

    France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain were competing

    for power within European power politics. One way to demonstrate

    a country’s power was through the acquisition of territories around

    the world, including Africa. The social factor was the third major 

    element. As a result of industrialisation, major social problems

    emerged in Europe: unemployment, poverty, homelessness, social

    displacement from rural areas, and so on. These social problems

    developed partly because not all people could be absorbed by the

    new capitalist industries. One way to resolve this problem was

    to acquire colonies and export this “surplus population.” This led

    to the establishment of settler-colonies in Algeria, Tunisia, South

    Africa, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, and central African areas

    like Zimbabwe and Zambia. Eventually the overriding economic

    factors led to the colonisation of other parts of Africa.

    Thus it was the economic, political, and social factors and forces

    that led to the scramble for Africa and the attempts by European

    commercial, military, and political agents to declare and establish

    control in different parts of Africa through commercial competition,

    the declaration of exclusive claims to particular territories for

    trade, the imposition of tariffs against other European traders, and

    claims to exclusive control of waterways and commercial routes in

    different parts of Africa.

    This scramble was so intense that there were fears that it could

    lead to inter-imperialist conflicts and even wars. To prevent this,

    the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck convened a diplomatic

    summit of European powers in the late nineteenth century. This

    was the Berlin Conference, held from November 1884 to February

    1885. The conference produced a treaty known as the Berlin

    Act, with provisions to guide the conduct of the European interimperialist competition in Africa. Some of its major articles were

    as follows:

    ࿤ Notification (notifying) other powers of a territorial annexation

    ࿤ Effective occupation

    ࿤ Freedom of trade in the Congo basin

    ࿤ Freedom of navigation on the Niger and Congo Rivers

    ࿤ Freedom of trade to all nations

    ࿤ Suppression of slave trade by land and sea

    This treaty, drawn up without African participation, provided the

    basis for the subsequent partition, invasion, and colonisation of

    Africa by various European powers.

    Causes of scramble and partition

    Need for raw materials for European industries

    There was need for raw materials to supply European industries

    which had grown as a result of industrial revolution. The raw

    materials included gold, diamonds, copper, iron ore, cotton, coffee,

    cacoa, tea and palm oil.

    Market for the manufactured goods

    There was mass production of goods by European industries and

    European countries could not provide market to all the commodities.

    European countries were also practicing protectionism in order to

    protect their markets. They thus came to Africa to get markets; e.g.

    the occupation of Senegal by the French.

    Need for areas where to invest their surplus capital

    European countries had accumulated a lot of capital from their

    industrial products; they had to look for areas outside Europe

    where they could invest their surplus capital.

    Need to control economically strategic areas to improve trade

    In order to be sure of their improvement of trade, the European

    countries were ambitious to control the economically strategic

    areas. For example, the occupation of Egypt by the British was for

    such reasons.

    Discovery of minerals in most parts of Africa

    This encouraged the Europeans to come and control some parts of

    Africa in order to be the masters of those areas rich in minerals.

    There was gold in Ghana, diamonds and gold in South Africa,

    copper and diamonds in Congo.

    To give protection to European traders and trading companies

    European traders asked their home governments to come and

    occupy areas in Africa where they operated in order to protect them

    from hostile tribes and chiefs who had created insecurity to their


    To resettle high population from Europe and provide them with jobs

    The need to settle the unemployed, criminals and people who

    were suffering from chronic diseases and undesirable in Europe

    forced European countries to get lands to settle them in Africa.

    E.g. Occupation of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and South Africa

    respectively by the French and the British.

    To control strategic areas

    European countries got involved in occupying strategic areas for

    their defense; e.g the occupation of the Suez Canal and the straight

    of Gibraltar by Britain.

    British occupation of Egypt in 1882

    Britain got interested in controlling the Suez Canal in 1882 after

    pushing France out. The French decided to avenge against the

    British by occupying the Upper Nile and the land from Senegal to

    Djibouti in the east. To pre-empt this plan, the British took over

    Kenya, Uganda and Sudan before the French could come in.

    French occupation of Tunisia and Morocco

    The French occupation of Tunisia and Morocco due to their

    proximity to Europe, astride the Mediterranean Sea and the straight

    of Gibraltar encouraged other powers to join the race for colonies.

    Growth of nationalism and jingoism

    Colonisation was a sign of prestige and glory for the Europeans and

    in order to show their power, Europeans had to occupy large areas

    as colonies. This was why the great European powers got large

    lands in Africa.

    Compensation for major losses

    Britain had lost America after the American war of independence in

    1776. Their pride, prestige and major source of their raw materials

    and wealth was lost. France lost Alsace and Lorraine to Prussia in

    1871 after the 1870 – 1871 Franco-Prussian war. After achieving

    some degree of stability, the French Prime Minister Jules Ferry

    began to look for colonies in Africa as compensation.

    Activities of King Leopold II of Belgium in Congo

    He took over Congo for himself and not for Belgium his country.

    As means of counteracting Leopold’s activities, the French took

    over Gabon and Congo (Brazzaville) while British also declared the

    lower Niger regions as their protectorate.

    The activities of Pierre Savrogna de Brazza in Congo and Ivory Coast

    He was a French explorer who signed colonial treaties with African

    local leaders. This forced other European powers to also look for

    colonies in Africa.

    The influence of the 1884–1885 Berlin Conference

    It had given a green light to colonisation by outlining procedures for

    the partition of Africa.

    Humanitarian factors

    Humanitarians in Europe urged their countries to occupy territory in

    Africa to stop slave trade and improve the way of living for Africans.

    Colonial Methods of African Exploitation


    It was the main method of generating revenue for supporting

    colonial administration. The commonest were the hut and gun

    taxes. The method of collection was brutal and harsh, and often

    caused resistance wars. For instance, the Hut Tax War of 1898 in

    Sierra Leone.

    Taxation was also important to force or condition Africans either to

    grow cash crops or to work on European farms. This was because

    in order to get money for paying taxes these were the only possible

    alternatives. In some areas like the Congo Free State and Angola,

    taxes were paid in form of natural products and animals. Failure to

    pay taxes in these areas would lead to confiscation of property and

    sometimes mutilation.

    Forced cash crop growing

    To meet the primary demand for colonisation of Africa, cash crop

    growing had to be boosted. Some crops like rubber were grown

    traditionally, some were grown such as pyrethrum by Europeans

    while others like coffee and cotton were grown by Africans under

    the supervision of Europeans. These cash crops were needed to

    supply raw material to industries in Europe.

    Europeans did not encourage the production of food. Forced labour

    undermined the production of food crops. This led to famine in

    African societies which had been traditionally self sufficient in

    food. The African economies were developed as producers of raw

    materials in form of cash crops and minerals, and as consumers of

    European manufactured goods.

    Forced labour

    Africans were forced to work on European farms, mines and

    construction sites of colonial offices and roads. Their labour was

    either paid cheaply or not paid at all. In the Portuguese colonies of

    Angola and Mozambique there was a unique form of forced labour

    called contract labour. Africans were rounded up and taken to

    Principle and Sao Tome to work in sugar cane plantations.

    Due to this forced labour, African societies experienced famine. A

    lot of time was spent on work for Europeans.

    Land alienation

    This was the most evil form of exploitation of natural resources.

    Africans in settler colonies were hit hardest by this practice, for

    example in Kenya, South Africa, Rhodesia, Algeria, Angola and

    Mozambique. In some areas of Africa, Africans were forced to settle

    in reserve camps leaving fertile and mineralised plots of lands to

    Europeans. This policy caused resistance in many areas of Africa. 

    In Rwanda, the church alienated huge chunks of land to build

    churches, schools and people were forced out of their land.

    Development of legitimate trade

    After realising the benefits of slave trade and its abolition, they

    introduced legitimate trade. This form of trade is said to have

    brought peace and stability as it eliminated the raids and suffering

    caused by slave trade.

    Legitimate trade was monopolised by Europeans who transferred

    all the profits to their countries. They paid low prices for African

    products and highly priced their exports to Africa. Worse still,

    the legitimate trade involved the exchange of high valued African

    products like gold, copper, diamonds, cotton, coffee, rubber, and

    palm oil among others. Exports to Africa included beads, used

    clothes, bangles, spices and glassware.

    In Rwanda, the European trader named Borgrave d’Altena purchased

    cows at very low prices so as to supply beef to the colonialists.

    Discouraged industrialisation

    To control the monopoly for trade in raw materials and market

    for their manufactured goods in Africa, Europeans extremely

    discouraged manufacturing industries. In Egypt, Lord Cromer

    established processing plants for cotton lint while cotton cloth

    production was done in Britain.

    Cromer also set up tariffs on locally manufactured foods and on

    imported coal. He also set up heavy fines on smokers to kill the

    tobacco industry.

    In Senegal, the French never set up any industries to the extent

    that even groundnuts were exported in the shells. Only primary

    processing industries were set up to reduce the volume of raw

    materials. The prices for raw materials were very low while the

    manufactured goods from Europe were sold at high prices. This

    was a clear indication of colonial exploitation.

    Development of road and railway transport

    To support legitimate trade, road and railway transport networks

    were established. These networks connected the interior of African

    colonies to the coast. 

    Roads were mainly established in areas rich in resources where

    colonialists had direct gains. The main purpose was to facilitate

    the effective exploitation of raw materials.

    In Togo, Germany constructed railway lines and named them

    according to the produce they were meant to carry such as Cotton

    line, Palm oil line and Iron line.

    In Rwanda, the railway project planned by the Germans from Dares-Salaam via Tabora to Rusumo stopped because of World War I.

    Education system

    The colonial education system was controlled by Christian

    missionaries. In the colonial schools, Africans were trained to

    serve as lower cadres, known as “colonial auxiliaries”. The main

    products of these schools best suited the posts of houseboys, house

    girls and clerks. They could not make engineers, doctors and other

    professional careers.

    The colonial education system produced people who liked European

    ways of life. As a result they exploited fellow Africans. In Rwanda,

    education was exclusively given to the sons of chiefs. In French,

    Portuguese and Italian colonies education was used for assimilation


    Liberal subjects such as, political science, literature and history

    were neglected in order to keep Africans away from forming

    revolutionary movements against colonialists. To colonialists, the

    best subjects fit for Africans were bible study, reading and writing

    of languages.

    Consequences of European domination and exploitation of African countries

    Activity 8

    Organise a debate on the consequences of migration as a result

    of the colonial economy. Present the results of your debate to

    the class.

    Activity 9

    Organise a debate on the following consequences of the

    colonial economy: exploitation of Africans and dependence of

    the African economy on Europeans. Present the results of your

    debate to the class.

    Activity 10

    Discuss the consequences of colonial infrastructures. Thereafter,

    present the results of your debate to the class.

    Activity 11

    Carry out research on the disruption of the traditional African

    cultures and introduction of Christianity as a consequence of

    colonial domination. Present the results of your debate to the class.

    Activity 12

    Debate on the creation of new political and administrative

    entities. Present the results of your debate to the class.

    Activity 13

    Debate on the introduction of authoritarian rule. Present the

    results of your debate to the class.

    Consequences of colonial economy


    The colonial powers used forced labour in the exploitation of Africa.

    This economic policy was introduced in order to exploit Africa.

    All adults were subjected to forced labour. Those who failed to

    accomplish it were punished. Africans were also beaten or had

    their properties confiscated. 

    As result of this forced labour, some Africans resisted European

    colonialists. Others preferred to migrate to the neighbouring

    countries where the situation was quite different. E.g. Some

    Rwandans migrated to Uganda which was under British control.

    Others were forced to migrate to Democratic Republic of Congo as

    workers in mines.

    Resettlement of Africans

    Another consequence of colonial economic policies was the

    resettlement of Africans due to land alienation. They were displaced

    from their fertile soils to provide space for colonial economic

    projects such as infrastructure.

    Exploitation of Africans

    All colonial economic policies resulted in the exploitation of

    Africans. Examples include taxation and labour policies.

    Dependence of African economy on Europeans

    The over dependence of the African economy was due to poor

    colonial economic policy. This policy discouraged industralisation

    and also destroyed local African industry. The African economy

    was reduced to a market for European goods. The Europeans got

    the raw materials at low prices while their manufactured goods

    were sold at high prices in Africa.

    Development of infrastructure

    Europeans colonialists succeeded in the development of

    communication lines. Railways were constructed in many parts of

    Africa to connect the interior of Africa to the coast. The aim was to

    facilitate the economic exploitation of Africa. Communication lines

    only extended to areas rich in resources; for example, minerals.

    Consequences of European domination in Africa

    Disruption of traditional African cultures and introduction of Christianity

    Colonialism affected African societies in various ways. It disrupted

    the traditional tribal cultures and religions and introduced

    Christianity and subjugated Africans to European rule.

    The introduction of Christianity led to suppression of many ancient

    practices, although some survived. Some had already been

    introduced to the Caribbean islands by African slaves. Tribes often

    competed for colonial industrial products. In some cases, tribes

    still warred among each other as before colonialism. An aristocratic

    class of European managers and directors sprang up to operate

    the colonies. Like the American Indians, many African tribes lost

    their lands, were mistreated, or became second-class citizens in a

    segregated society.

    Creation of new political and administrative entities

    European colonisation of Africa led to the demise of old African

    kingdoms and empires and the emergence of new political entities.

    Some of the old societies were reconstructed and new African

    societies were founded on different ideological and social premises.

    Consequently, African societies were in a state of flux, and many

    were organisationally weak and politically unstable. They were

    therefore too weak to resist the European invaders.

    As a result of poor technology, Africans were defeated by colonalists.

    African forces in general fought with bows, arrows, spears, swords,

    old rifles, and cavalries while the European forces, fought with

    more deadly firearms, machines guns, new rifles, and artillery

    guns. Thus in direct encounters European forces often won the day.

    However Africans put up the best resistance with the resources

    they had.

    By 1900 most of Africa had been colonised by European powers.

    After the conquest of African states, the European powers set about

    establishing colonial state systems.

    The introduction of authoritarian rule

    The colonial state was established to facilitate effective control and

    exploitation of the colonised societies. As a result of their origins

    in military conquest and because of the racist ideology of the

    colonialists, the colonial states were authoritarian. Because they

    were imposed and maintained by force, without the consent of

    the governed, the colonial states never had the effective legitimacy

    of normal governments. Second, they were authoritarian because

    they were administered by military officers and civil servants

    appointed by the colonial power. While they were all authoritarian,

    bureaucratic state systems, their forms of administration varied, 

    partly due to the different national administrative traditions and

    specific imperialist ideologies of the colonisers and partly because

    of the political conditions in the various territories that they


    During the 19th century, some European countries were interested

    in the colonisation of Africa. The main reason for their scramble for

    African continent was the search for raw material and market for

    their manufactured products. In order to exploit African countries,

    Europeans used different methods including taxation, forced cash

    crop growing, forced labour, land alienation, development of

    legitimate trade, discouraging of industrialisation, development of

    road and railway transport, and the education system.

    The activities of Europeans in Africa had a great impact on African

    societies. The dimensions of that impact are both socio-political

    and economic. This includes migration of labour force, resettlement

    of Africans, development of communication infrastructures, the

    introduction of authoritarian rule, disruption of the traditional

    African cultures and introduction of Christianity.


    Bangle: jewelry worn around the wrist for decoration

    Disparity: inequality or difference in some respect

    Frenzied: 1. affected with or marked by frenzy or mania

    uncontrolled by reason.

    2. excessively agitated; distraught with fear or

    other violent emotion

    Interplay: reciprocal action and reaction or interaction

    Intrusion: 1. entry to another’s property without right or


    2. entrance by force or without permission or


    Mutilation: an injury that causes disfigurement or that

    deprives you of a limb or other important body


    Rubber: an elastic material obtained from the latex sap

    of trees (especially trees of the genera hevea

    and ficus) that can be vulcanised and finished

    into a variety of products

    Scramble: to move hurriedly

    Stake: put at risk or place a bet on

    Revision questions

    1. What are the main reasons for European colonisation of Africa?

    2. Explain the term “scramble”.

    3. Describe the features of the colonial economy.

    4. The colonial African economy was said to be unfair. Explain

    how true this assertion is.

    5. The colonial activities in Africa were only profitable to Africans

    to a small extent. Discuss.

  • Unit 5: Impact of Colonial Rule on African Societies

    Key unit competence

    Assess the political, economic and social transformations brought

    about by colonial rule in Africa


    The 19th and 20th centuries have been marked by the domination

    and exploitation of Africa by European countries. The coming of

    Europeans to Africa was aimed at the economic gains they expected

    to obtain from selling their manufactured commodities and the raw

    materials they intended to get from African countries.

    Europeans had to establish their control in order to achieve their

    economic objectives. This resulted in European domination of

    Africans. In most cases, the colonial activities benefited Europeans

    and not the Africans. Consequently, this impacted African societies


    Links to other subjects

    Wars and conflict in General Studies and Communication Skills

    and migration in Geography

    Main points to be covered in this unit

    ࿤ Colonial activities in Africa

    ࿤ Impact of colonial rule in Africa

    Colonialism and Capitalism

    Activity 1

    Define the terms colonialism and capitalism and then present

    your work to the class.

    Activity 2

    With examples discuss the different types of colonialism and

    present the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 3

    Examine the following negative effects of Colonisation on

    African societies: loss of independence and division of African

    peoples. Present the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 4

    Evaluate the following negative effects of Colonisation on the

    African societies: loss of political power, killings, and sexual

    abuse. Present the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 5

    Assess the following negative effect of Colonisation on African

    societies: Change of African ways of life. Present the results of

    your discussion to the class.

    Activity 6

    Organise a debate on the following negative effect of Colonisation

    on African societies: Exploitation of African resources. Present

    the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 7

    Discuss the following negative effect of Colonisation on the

    African societies. Introduction of taxes and forced labour.

    Present the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 8

    Explain the following negative effect of Colonisation on the

    African societies: extraversion of the African economy. Present

    the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 9

    Account for the following negative effect of Colonisation on the

    African societies: colonialism retarded development. Present

    the results of your discussion to the class.

    During the 19th century and early 20th century, imperialism started

    in Europe as a result of industrialisation in order to sustain economic

    prosperity. Protectionist policies in many countries limited the

    markets and the demand for manufactured products.

    Therefore, the European powers considered imperialism as a

    means to secure foreign markets and guarantee consumption

    for their products by monopolising trade with their colonies.

    Additionally, the rapid industrialisation made it necessary to seek

    cheap sources of raw materials to supply their businesses at home.

    These economic interests, and nationalism, called for the building 

    of huge worldwide empires, where imperial powers established

    their control over vast territories, including most of Asia, Africa,

    Polynesia, and the Americas.

    Colonialism aimed at the economic exploitation of colonised nations

    to benefit the mother country. As colonial states began controlling

    the economy of the colonised territory, the economic interests of the

    colonised were ignored. Instead, colonialists wanted to maximise

    their profits and gains, regardless of the consequences on the

    colonised areas. In most cases, the colonial economic policies had

    negative effects.

    In order to have a common understanding of the aims of colonial powers

    in Africa, the definitions colonialism and capitalism are essential.

    Definition of the Concepts: Colonialism and Capitalism

    Colonialism and capitalism cannot be understood separately

    especially when it is a matter of finding answers to the impact that

    the two practices had on African society.

    Colonialism is the policy and practice of a power in extending

    control over weaker people or areas. Colonialism is also defined

    as a relationship of domination between an indigenous (or forcibly

    imported) majority and a minority of foreign invaders.

    The fundamental decisions affecting the lives of the colonised

    people are made and implemented by the colonial rulers in pursuit

    of interests that are often defined in a distant capital. Rejecting

    cultural compromises with the colonised population, the colonisers

    are convinced of their own superiority and of their mandate to rule.

    Capitalism is defined as the possession of capital or wealth; a

    system in which private capital or wealth is used in the production

    or distribution of goods; the dominance of private owners of capital

    and of production for profit.

    This definition shows that capitalism is a system in which only

    those with the rights to capital and machinery can produce for the

    whole society while the rest of the people who have no business

    skills or interests remain dependent on the owners of capital who

    decide on the fate of the lives of the masses. This is the same as colonialism whereby the political, social and economic powers are

    in the hands of the minority colonial administrators.

    Types of Colonialism

    Historians often distinguish between two overlapping forms of


    Settler colonialism involves large-scale immigration, often motivated

    by religious, political, or economic reasons.

    Exploitation colonialism involves fewer colonists and focuses

    on access to resources for export, typically to the mother

    country. This category includes trading posts as well as larger

    colonies where colonists would constitute much of the political

    and economic administration. However they rely on indigenous

    resources for labour and material. Prior to the end of the slave

    trade and widespread abolition, when indigenous labour was

    unavailable, slaves were often imported to the Americas, first by

    the Portuguese Empire, and later by the Spanish, Dutch, French

    and British.

    Plantation colonies would be considered exploitation colonialism.

    However, colonising powers would utilise either type for different

    territories depending on various social and economic factors as

    well as climate and geographic conditions.

    Surrogate colonialism involves a settlement project supported by

    a colonial power, in which most of the settlers do not come from

    the ruling power.

    Internal colonialism refers to inequalities in power between areas of

    a nation state. The source of exploitation comes from within the state.

    Negative Effects of Colonisation on African Societies

    Loss of African independence

    African communities lost their independence because they ceased

    to be self-governing states. They were brought under colonial

    administration either through peaceful signing of agreements or

    military conquest.

    Division of African tribes

    People from the same tribes were divided by colonial boundaries

    drawn arbitrarily. They lived under different political, economic and

    social systems. For instance, a big group of Banyarwanda lives in

    the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Europeans caused conflicts among social groups. For example, the

    Belgian rulers of Rwanda-Urundi provided identity cards indicating

    social groups.

    In addition, the partitioning of colonies of imperial powers created

    territories that encompassed numerous ethnic, linguistic, and

    religious groups into single political entities. The partitioning did

    not correspond to the historical, cultural, or ethnic boundaries

    of pre-colonial African societies. Such states had diverse ethnic

    populations which were forced to join single political entities.

    The artificially-formed states had no historic or cultural similarities

    to legitimatise their existence. This has led to political

    instability based on ethnic, religious, and linguistic differences.

    Countries deeply divided among ethnic lines, a result of imperialism,

    not only led to the political instability of the former colonies, but

    also, in some cases, led to serious violence. In Kenya the

    competition of two different ethnic groups for the control of the

    government has led to a situation comparable to a civil war.

    Change of African lifestyle

    The arrival of Europeans in Africa introduced radical change in African

    societies. History has proven that the changes that Europeans brought

    did not do any good to Africans. The environment became that of

    “survival of the fittest” which the indigenous people were not used to.

    The colonial conquest had a twofold impact: it forcibly seized rural

    means of production, and it pursued agrarian commercialisation.

    African communal life has suddenly turned out to be individualistic.

    The people had to adapt to the changes although not all societies

    could completely transform successfully. Most of the land was

    taken by Europeans through tricky treaties that illiterate chiefs and

    kings blindly signed. For example, some Nama and Herero Chiefs

    like Samuel Maherero signed treaties and entered into land sale

    business that in the end resulted in the loss of huge chunks of land.

    Exploitation of African resources

    The long-term well-being of the colonised nation was of no interest

    for the imperial state. Any form of sustainable development

    was unnecessary for colonialists. This is the reason why deforestation is a serious problem for many nations which had

    been under colonial rule.

    Colonial powers, in their quest for economic prosperity,

    disregarded the need for the sustainable management of forest

    areas and established minimally-regulated lumber industries. These

    sought only short-term profits for colonialists and their mother

    country. Thus, unsustainable overexploitation of natural resources

    followed. The effects are clear. The environmental degradation

    caused by the self-interest of colonialists is now difficult to reverse.

    It is connected with the rampant poverty and hunger in former


    Introduction of taxes and forced labour

    Africans were forced to pay taxes like hut tax, gun tax and later on

    poll tax was introduced by the colonial government to force Africans

    to provide labour for colonial governments and for European settlers

    and to make their colonies financially self-reliant.

    Africans were frequently forced to provide labour for European

    settlers and for government building and agricultural programmes.

    Forced labour resulted in widespread African discontent and

    migration to areas where the Africans hoped to get paid work.

    Distortion of the African economy

    Colonial investment and construction focused on the development

    and construction of communication lines, railways, plantations

    and mines. However, these investments did not contribute to the

    economic transformation of the colonies into industrialised nations.

    These investments were only intended to support the exploitation

    of natural resources and agricultural capacities. Colonialists

    established an economy which depended on the export of a few

    selected natural resources and agricultural products. This exposed

    the economy to market price fluctuations.

    The unwillingness of imperial powers to reinvest the profits

    gained from their colonies in colonial industrial development

    kept colonies under a weak agricultural economy. This also deprived

    them of their natural resources. 

    Retarding of development

    In colonies with centralised states and white settlement colonialism

    retarted development. In centralised states colonialism not only

    blocked further political development, but also indirect rule made

    local elites less accountable to their citizens.

    After independence, these states were ruled by selfish rulers. These

    states suffered from racism, stereotypes and misconceptions which

    have caused problems, especially in Burundi and Rwanda.

    In settler colonies, there was exploitation of the people and loss of

    land. This caused the impoverishment of Africans. The evolution

    and spread of technology plus the absence of slavery makes it likely

    that, without colonialism, African ways of life would have slowly

    improved. Increase in inequality and the racial and ethnic conflicts

    intensified by colonialism, show that African countries would be

    better off today if they had not been colonised.

    All in all, there is no country today in sub-Saharan Africa that is

    more developed because it was colonised by Europeans. 

    Positive Effects of Colonisation on the African Societies

    Activity 10

    Discuss the following positive effect of Colonisation on African

    societies: development of the education system. Present the

    results of your discussion to the class. 

    Activity 11

    Organise a debate on the following positive effect of Colonisation

    on African societies: development of modern transport

    infrastructures. Present the results of your discussion to the


    Activity 12

    Assess the following positive effects of Colonisation on the

    African societies: Introduction of new crops and agricultural

    methods. Present the results of your discussion to the class.

    Activity 13

    Find out the benefits of the modern medicine introduced in

    Africa by Europeans. Present your findings to the class.

    Positive Effects of Colonisation on AfricanSocieties

    Development of education system

    The colonial governments supported education services which

    were mainly managed by missionaries. The missionaries founded

    the first primary and secondary schools which still play leading

    role in development. The colonial governments carried the financial

    burden of supporting mission schools.

    Development of modern transport infrastructure

    The modern transport and communication network and facilities

    were developed in many parts of Africa. Railway networks and

    roads, and bridges were built. Motor vehicles, bicycles, steamers

    and air planes were introduced.

    Introduction of new crops

    New cash crops were introduced and promoted. They included

    cotton, tea, coffee, sisal, rubber, pyrethrum and wheat. Experiments

    were made on new species of both crops and livestock which were

    adapted to the local conditions.

    Africans adopted the new agricultural methods introduced by

    the colonial governments such as plantation farming, cash crop

    growing and terracing, etc.

    Development of the health system

    Europeans introduced modern medicine in Africa. They constructed

    hospitals, health centres and dispensaries. They also organised

    programmes to fight against killer diseases by vaccination. These

    diseases include polio, pneumonia, measles, tuberculosis, leprosy

    and small pox.

    The colonisation of Africa by European countries during the 19th

    and 20th centuries led to negative and positive consequences.

    These effects resulted from the activities of European colonial

    masters. The few positive colonial effects on African societies

    include the introduction of new agricultural methods and new crops

    in Africa, development of modern transport and communication

    lines, introduction of modern education and the development of the

    modern health system.

    It should be noted that colonisation was generally marked by

    the preoccupation of serving European interest, leaving aside the

    African cause. Thus, the European relations with Africans during the

    colonial period were at a large scale negative. The latter comprised

    the extraversion of the African economy, introduction of forced

    labour, introduction of taxes, over exploitation of African resources,

    loss of land, loss of Africans’ judicial power, disruption of African

    governments, loss of African identity and the disappearance of

    African civilisations, etc.


    Cluster: a group of similar things

    Predatory: living by or given to victimising others for

    personal gain

    Plausible: reasonable, valid, and truthful

    Surrogate: providing or receiving parental care though not

    related by blood or legal ties

    Modus Vivendi: a temporary accommodation of a disagreement

    between parties pending a permanent

    settlement or a manner of living that reflects

    the person’s values and attitudes

    Revision questions

    1. Define the concepts of colonialism and imperialism and find

    out the differences.

    2. Describe the types of colonialism.

    3. In what way was the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi a result

    of colonialism?

    4. Demonstrate how the modus Vivendi of Africans was far

    different on eve of the colonial period from that of after the

    arrival of Europeans.

    5. Explain at least ten negative effects of colonisation on African


    6. Find out and explain at least six positive effects of colonisation

    on African societies.

  • Unit 6 Major European Events: 1836 – 1878

    Key unit competence

    Evaluate the major events that took place in Europe between 1836

    and 1878, their causes, course and effects.


    The history of Europe from 1836 up to 1878 was characterised

    by many revolutions and wars. Congresses were organised and

    treaties signed to address the conflicts.

    The 1848 revolutions affected diplomatic relations in Europe. The

    congress system was weakened. It had been formed as an alliance

    to maintain the peace in Europe. The success of these revolutions

    inspired other people for example Italians, Germans and Greeks

    who were under foreign domination to fight for their independence.

    The weakness and collapse of the Congress system in Europe led to

    conflicts between the European powers as a result of disagreement

    on the Eastern question of 1815–1878. During the Berlin Congress

    of 1878, organised by the German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck,

    European powers redefined the diplomatic principles and revised

    their diplomacy. As a result of this congress, Bismarck maintained

    peace in Europe until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

    Links to other subjects

    This unit can be linked to other units like Wars and conflicts in

    General Studies and Communication and Skills.

    Main points to be covered in this unit

    ࿤ Causes and effects of the 1848 European revolutions

    ࿤ Reasons for the success and the failure of the 1848 European


    ࿤ Reasons why the 1848 European revolutions did not take place

    in some countries

    ࿤ Italian unification

    ࿤ German unification

    ࿤ Eastern question

    ࿤ Berlin Congress

    Part One

    The 1848 European Revolutions

    Activity 1

    Carry out research on the possible reasons for the outbreak

    of the 1848 revolutions in Europe. Present the results of your

    research to the class.

    The 1848 European revolutions were a series of uprisings in Europe.

    The revolutions were started by the middle class and nobility who

    demanded constitutional and representative governments, and by

    workers and peasants who revolted against capitalist practices that

    were responsible for poverty.

    The revolutions broke out in France, Austria, and the Italian and

    German states. People rose against conservative governments

    and demanded for political, social and economic reforms. Those

    revolutions were also against the negative consequences of the

    Vienna settlement and Metternich system.

    Despite the violent efforts of governments to crash the revolutions,

    new revolutionary ideas such as democracy, liberalism, nationalism

    and socialism gained popularity.

    Causes of the 1848 Revolutions

    The need to end the unfair decisions of the Vienna Settlement

    The Vienna Settlement aimed at safeguarding against future French

    aggression and formed buffer states by bringing the Italian and

    German states under the control of Austria. This did not respect the

    principle of nationalism. For this reason the Italians and Germans

    revolted in 1848.

    The oppressive regime of Metternich

    Metternich the chancellor of Austria used a harsh-spy network that

    terrorised people. This forced, the Germans and Italians to rise up

    for independence.

    The collapse of the Congress System

    The success of the 1830 Belgian revolution marked the end of the

    Congress System. This provided an opportunity for the oppressed

    people to revolt against their leaders.

    The growth of nationalism

    Because of nationalistic feelings, the German and Italian states

    rose up to demand for respective national unifications. Elsewhere

    in Europe people demanded for constitutional rule and an end to


    The rise of new personalities in European politics

    They included Mazzini and Garibaldi of Italy, Louis Kossuth of

    Hungary, Von Bismarck and Stephen Baron of Prussia and Louis

    Blanc and Lamartine in France. New personalities mobilised

    support against the oppressive rulers of Austria.

    The effects of epidemic diseases

    The poor people were affected by diseases like cholera, typhoid

    and tuberculosis and died in large numbers. The leaders provided

    no solution to the situation. They became unpopular leading to the

    outbreak of the 1848 revolutions.

    The negative effects of the rapid population growth

    In eastern and central Europe the rapid population growth led to

    urban congestion, food shortage and unemployment. The masses

    blamed this on their respective governments. This led to the

    revolutions of 1848.

    The corruption and inefficiency of the rulers

    In many states of eastern and central Europe, the rulers were

    corrupt and inefficient. This compelled the masses to revolt against

    Louis Philippe for instance in 1848.

    The influence of socialist ideas

    Socialist ideas were initiated by Karl Marx. Socialists argued

    that capitalism was responsible for unemployment, inflation and exploitation of the employees. This encouraged the people to join

    the 1848 revolutions.

    The success of the previous revolutions

    The French revolution of 1789 and the 1830 Belgian revolution

    encouraged the outbreak of the 1848 revolutions. The oppressed

    people believed their struggle would be successful like in France

    and in Belgium.

    The negative impact of industrialisation

    The spread of industrialisation to many European countries created

    many economic and social problems like unemployment, low

    wages, long hours of work, poor accommodation, rural-urban

    migration, inflation, and starvation. These problems forced the

    poor populations in urban areas to join the 1848 revolutions.

    The long term effects of the 1789 French revolution

    The French revolution had left behind strong ideas of liberty,

    equality and fraternity. It had also overthrown dictatorship and

    bad governance in France. Therefore, people in different European

    states in 1848 were guided by those ideas and wanted to achieve

    what the French had witnessed in 1789.

    The Common Characteristics of the 1848

    Activity 2

    Examine the characteristics of the 1848 European

    revolutions. Present your work to the class.

    All the 1848 revolutions were urban based, meaning that they were

    concentrated in cities and towns, while the countryside remained


    Many of the 1848 revolutions were led by educated people like

    professors, doctors, lecturers, lawyers, journalists and even teachers

    who understood the weaknesses of their home governments. E.g. Mazzini in Italy, Louis Blanc and Lamartine in France and Kossuth

    in Hungary.

    The revolutions of 1848 lacked foreign assistance because they

    occurred at the same time and each country was busy suppressing

    its own revolution. This also explains why they were defeated.

    Almost all the revolutions of 1848, except in France, were against

    the unfairness of the Vienna Settlement which restored bad

    leaders, neglected the principles of nationalism, and encouraged

    domination of small countries by the big powers.

    The 1848 revolutions took place at the same time: from January

    to March 1848.

    The revolutions took place in less industrialised and agricultural

    states like Italy, German, Hungary and France.

    All of them had an element of the French revolution of 1789: the

    demand for constitutional changes.

    All the revolutions failed, except in France where King Louis

    Philippe was removed.

    The revolutions, except the revolution in France, were organised

    and carried out against the common enemy: Metternich of Austria

    and his spy network system.

    The revolutions were partly caused by the effects of natural

    disasters like bad weather, epidemics, starvation and scarcity.

    This explains why there were no revolutions in Britain where these

    natural disasters did not occur.

    The revolutions except in France lacked the support of the

    national armies. For instance in Germany, Italy and Hungary the

    revolutionaries were not supported by their national armies. This

    was due to the ignorance of revolutionaries about the use of the

    army. In Italy, and Austria the soldiers feared to participate because

    their kings were dictators.

    The revolutions had similar effects such as loss of lives, destruction

    of property and exiling of the leading politicians except in France.

    The Effects of the 1848 Revolutions

    Activity 3

    Analyse the effects of the 1848 revolutions in Europe. Present

    the result of your analysis to the class.

    The 1848 revolutions which occurred mainly in central and eastern

    Europe resulted in positive and negative effects:

    The 1848 revolutions caused loss of lives on a large scale. More

    than 500 people were killed in France. In Berlin over 300 and

    3000–5000 in Austria. In Hungary 13 generals and 1000 other

    politicians were killed.

    The 1848 revolutions caused many demonstrations against

    Metternich who fled to exile in London. This led to the decline and

    collapse of his system.

    Apart from Metternich, many other people were forced into exile.

    These included Louis Philippe, Mazzini, Kossuth, Garibaldi, Prince

    Metternich and Charles Albert. In addtion, ordinary people rose to

    high positions.

    The 1848 revolutionary movements contributed to the Italian and

    German unification in 1871 because the Metternich system which

    posed obstacles to the unification had collapsed. In addition the

    revolutions led to the rise of new men who provided able leadership

    that led to the unifications. These included Otto Von Bismarck

    and Stephen in Germany, and Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont,

    Gavainag and Louis Blanc in France.

    The revolutions ended feudalism and serfdom. In September 1848,

    Emperor Francis I of Austria passed the Emancipation Act under which

    peasants were permitted to own land. Serfdom was also brought to

    an end in Hungary. This improved lives of peasants in Europe.

    This marked the end of privileges for the nobles and clergy in many

    parts of Europe.

    The 1848 revolutions taught revolutionaries a lesson that for any

    revolution to be successful it should be militarily strong instead of

    relying solely on intellectual ideas.

    The 1848 revolutions were successful for a short time in some

    states. For example in Hungary, Lajos Kossuth established the

    Hungarian republic and a parliament at Budapest in March 1849;

    the Frankfurt Assembly was established in May 1848 for the

    German states; in Italy, Garibaldi and Mazzini set up a Roman

    republic in 1849. However, these republics were shortly lived.

    The 1848 revolutions in central Europe marked the awakening of

    various peoples to national consciousness. In that year the Germans

    and the Italians started their movements for the unification and

    creation of nation-states.

    Although the attempts at revolution failed in 1848, the movements

    gathered strength in subsequent years. After a long struggle, an

    Italian kingdom was created in 1861 and a German empire in 1871.

    Other European peoples who agitated for national independence

    in 1848 include the Poles, the Czechs, the Hungarians, and the

    Christian peoples in the Balkans under the rule of the Ottoman


    The 1848 revolutions led to the success of socialism in Europe.

    The socialists successfully organised the workers and peasants

    to fight against capitalism. Although socialism was suppressed,

    it later dominated eastern Europe, divided Europe into the two

    ideologies of communism and capitalism up to 1989 and beyond.

    The 1848 revolutions also led to the rise of dictatorial governments

    and the politics of revenge in the countries where they failed. For

    example in Hungary and Austria, the constitutional reforms were

    canceled. General Haynau forced Kossuth into exile and killed

    many Hungarians. In Bohemia Winschgratz killed many Czech

    rebels as revenge.

    The Success of the 1848 Revolutions

    Activity 4

    Debate the different factors which made the 1848 revolutions

    successful in some European countries. Consider France as a

    case study. Present the outcome of your debate to the class.

    Factors for the success of the 1848 Revolutions in France

    Good leadership: Louis Blanc and Alphonse Marie Lamartine were

    good leaders who mobilised the masses and demanded for change

    during the 1848 revolution in France.

    Support from the army: Like during the previous revolution of

    1789, the revolutionaries in France were supported by the army.

    This support encouraged the revolutionaries to succeed.

    War experience: Most of the revolutionaries who fought in the

    February revolution in France had also participated in the 1789

    revolution where they got experience in fighting. This enabled them

    to be successful in the 1848 revolution.

    Support from the masses: Due to the poor social conditions, effects

    of the bad weather and outbreak of epidemic diseases, the masses

    supported the revolutionaries who promised them rapid reforms.

    Nationalism and unity: Like in 1789, the people were strongly

    united. They were determined to overthrow Louis Philippe who had

    became unpopular.

    Financial support from the middle class: Due to the economic

    problems France was facing which included unemployment, low

    wages, inflation, corruption and embezzlement of public funds, the

    middle class preferred to support the revolutionaries who promised

    better conditions.

    Failure of the 1848 Revolutions

    Activity 5

    While the 1848 revolutions succeeded in France, they failed in

    other countries. Analyse the reasons for the failure and present

    the summary of your assessment to the class.

    The 1848 revolutions failed in most of the European states like

    Austria, Hungary, Italian and German states, except in France. The

    failure of these revolutions was due to the following factors:

    The revolutions were not supported by the peasants and lacked

    foreign support because most countries were facing the same


    As a result of economic hardships, the revolutionary leaders and

    their supporters were very poor and could not finance a prolonged

    struggle or afford to purchase fire arms.

    Ideological conflicts and lack of proper common strategy weakened

    the revolutions. For example in Germany the northern states wanted

    a little Germany under Prussia while the southern states wanted a

    big Germany under Austria.

    Austria had a song army led by efficient army commanders like

    General Windschgratz who defeated revolutionaries in Vienna and

    Hungary, and Raditsky who defeated the Italian revolutionaries at

    Novaro and Custozza.

    The revolutionaries failed to fulfill the promise made to their

    supporters. They concentrated on talking and failed to deliver what

    they had promised, for example in the German and Italian states.

    Poor mass mobilisation also contributed to the failure of the

    revolutions. They were urban centred and failed to involve people

    in rural areas.

    Religious differences among the revolutionaries weakened the

    revolutions. In Germany the southern states supported Austria,

    a fellow Catholic state, while the northern states which were Protestant supported Prussia. Charles Albert, a Catholic did not

    want to attack Austria while Pope Pius IX supported Austria against

    the revolutionaries.

    The dismissal of liberal ministers in September 1848 by King

    Fredrick William IV also played a role in the failure of the revolution

    in Prussia.

    Unfair representation in the constituent assembly mainly in Prussia

    also contributed to the failure of the revolutions in the German


    Why the 1848 European Revolutions did not

    take Place in some Countries

    Activity 6

    Analyse why some countries did not experience the 1848

    revolutions. Present the results to the class.

    The 1848 revolutions mainly affected the central areas of Europe

    which were under the control of Metternich and did not extend to

    all European countries. Britain, Belgium, Holland and Russia did

    not experience revolutions due to the following reasons:

    In Belgium, a revolution was not possible because of the

    constitutional arrangements achieved as a result of the 1830

    revolution. For instance, the right to vote was already extended to

    include members of the middle class. There was also improvement

    in public works.

    Britain and Belgium had already established the parliamentary

    system. Many constitutional changes had taken place and they

    were also easily implemented by parliament without the use of

    force like in other countries.

    In Britain the parliamentary system had focused on improving

    working conditions. The working day was already shortened. The

    working conditions of women and children were also addressed. 

    In 1834, the British parliament passed a law to improve the living

    conditions of the poor.

    Britain was a more advanced industrialised society. It was able to

    meet the needs of the growing population, especially employment,

    compared to other European countries where the effects of

    industrialisation caused political instability.

    By 1846 Britain had a law to improve the living conditions in

    slums. Improvements in sanitation, drainage, street lighting and

    medical services led to better conditions of living in comparison to

    central Europe.

    Britain was also never affected by the Vienna settlement which

    created a lot of political dissatisfaction in Europe. This helped

    Britain to escape the revolutions of 1848.

    Part Two
    The Italian Unification

    Activity 7

    Analyse the political situation in Italy before 1815 and prepare

    an essay to present to the class.

    Italian unification refers to the amalgamation or union of various

    Italian states to form one Italian kingdom in 1871. The various

    states that formed a united Italy include Piedmont, Lombardy,

    central states of Parma, Modena and Tuscany, Naples and Sicily,

    Nice, Venetia, Savoy and the papal states.

    Before 1815, Italians were under the control of Austria. In 1805,

    Napoleon I forced Austria out of Italy in the famous “Italian

    Campaign”. He divided the Italian states in three parts: the kingdom

    of Italy in the north, kingdom of Naples in the south and central

    Italian states. Many Italians had admired Napoleon for his victories

    over the Austrians, and for the republican ideas that took root in

    the parts of Italy under French control during the Napoleonic wars.

    After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, the Italian states

    had high hopes for regaining their independence and freedom.

    However, by the Vienna Settlement these Italian states were put

    under foreign domination as follows:

    ࿤ Lombardy, Venetia, Parma, Modena and Tuscany under Austria.

    ࿤ Papal states under Pope Pius IX.

    ࿤ Naples and Sicily under the Spanish King.

    ࿤ Piedmont and Sardinia were left under the Italian King Victor

    Emmanuel II.

    The Italian nationals hated foreign domination and they started

    several nationalistic movements. In 1820, a secret society called

    Carbonari Movement was formed by Giuseppe Mazzini. He believed

    that Italy should not only be independent, but also a united republic.

    However, due to the lack of massive mobilisation, the movement

    failed to unify Italy before 1850. Even the 1848 revolutionaries

    failed to unify the Italian states until 1871.

    Factors that had Delayed the Italian Unification before 1850

    Activity 8

    Examine the obstacles to Italian unification. Present your work

    to the class.

    Several obstacles explain why the Italian unification failed before


    Economic backwardness: The Italian economy lacked industries,

    it was poor, and transport and communication networks were not

    well developed. Therefore, without a strong economic base, Italian

    unification was always frustrated.

    Austria and Metternich system: Austria had a very large, well

    trained, organised and equipped army which was effectively

    commanded. Metternich had established a strong spy network,

    and used a policy of divide and rule. The Italians were not militarily

    strong by 1848 and that is why the Carbonari Movement and the

    Young Italian Movement failed to unify Italy.

    The Vienna Settlement of 1815: The Vienna settlement negatively

    affected the unification of Italy, because the peacemakers enlarged

    the Italian states and again put them under foreign control. This

    made unification difficult.

    Lack of strong leaders: Italian unification delayed because of lack

    of capable leaders. The leaders who had tried like Mazzini and

    Garibaldi did not get support from the nobles and clergy because

    they were from peasant families.

    Problem of Pope Pius IX: Pope Pius IX did not have the vision of

    a united Italy. He was greatly opposed to the unification of Italy

    because he did not want the two Catholic countries to go to war.

    However, he had encouraged liberalism and nationalism to grow

    throughout the Italian peninsula.

    Foreign interference: In 1848 Mazzini and Garibaldi attacked the

    papal states and formed the Roman republic. But in 1849, France

    under Napoleon III intervened and the pope was restored by the

    French troops under General Cudinol.

    Geographical terrain: The Italian terrain made movement and

    communication difficult. Communication across the rivers

    was impossible as they freeze in winter. So, the movements of

    nationalists spreading the ideas of unification were hindered.

    High level of illiteracy: About 90 per cent of Italians were not

    educated and therefore had no political ideas which made it difficult for the masses to understand the struggle for unification. This is

    why, the struggle for unification only took place around urban areas

    as the rural people were not actively involved.

    Ideological differences: Many Italians lacked a common stand

    while others served in the army. They had no common language

    which made it hard to criticise and mobilise other Italian states for


    Divisions among Italian nationalists: The Italians in piedmont

    supported monarchism and used French as their language, while

    Garibaldi and Mazzini who spoke Italian supported republicanism.

    As a result they did not unite in their struggle and they were


    Lack of secrecy: As a result of Metternich’s spy network, the Austrian

    police penetrated the secret societies by pretending to support the

    Italian cause. The Austrian Secret Police was so effective that it

    leaked the plans and activities of the Italian movements before

    hand and as a result they were suppressed.

    Military weaknesses: The Italians were militarily weak; they lacked

    good weapons, military leaders, military bases and good military


    Anti-reform leaders: The leaders who led the different stages

    during the early days of the unification never wanted to support

    the struggle for the unification. In addition, some Italian kings

    collaborated with Austrian rulers to persecute Italian nationalists

    who wanted unification.

    Negative attitude of European powers: Some European powers

    had a negative attitude towards the Italian unification. France

    feared an independent Italy as her neighbour. Austria never wanted

    to allow Italians to get independence because Italy was her colony,

    while Britain was indifferent about Italian unification.

    Violet methods: The leaders of the unification process used a lot

    of force to achieve their goal. This forced Austrian rulers to also

    react violently. The use of violence scared away many Italians

    who supported the unification struggle. This weakened the Italian


    Factors that Facilitated the Italian Unification Process of 1850–1870

    Activity 9

    Analyse the factors that favoured Italian unification by 1871.

    Present the results of your analysis to the class.

    The unification of Italy which was finally completed in 1871 was

    as a result of a number of factors. These factors include:

    Collapse of the Congress system: After 1856, there were no more

    congresses in Europe because the big powers fought each other

    during the Crimean War. Therefore, the revolutionary struggles in

    Italy could not easily be suppressed due to the lack of unity among

    European powers.

    Downfall of Metternich: As a leader of the Austrian Empire,

    Metternich had used Austrian spies and army to stop Italian

    unification. However, in 1848 he was overthrown and exiled to

    London. The collapse of Metternich’s system enabled Italian

    freedom fighters to succeed.

    Eatablishment of an internal base in Italy: Before 1848, there was

    lack of an internal base for the unification struggle. However, after

    1849, Piedmont was used as an internal base to coordinate the

    unification activities. Therefore, the return of the nationalists from

    exile to operate from Italy allowed unification activities to move


    Support from foreign countries: During the Italian unification

    process, the foreign powers supported Italy in the following ways:

    ࿤ France: The Italians received direct assistance from France in

    1859 by which Lombardy was liberated from Austria. However,

    Garibaldi disliked this because Italy lost Nice to France.

    ࿤ Britain: Britain extended loans which helped Piedmont to

    overcome the economic crisis. Britain also maintained the

    policy of non-intervention which helped Garibaldi to liberate

    Naples and Sicily in 1860.

    ࿤ Belgium: Like Britain, Belgium had financially supported the

    struggle for Italian Unification.

    ࿤ Prussia: In 1866 Prussia assisted in the liberation of Venetia

    from Austria.

    Emergence of capable leaders after 1848: Before 1850, Italian

    leaders failed to lead unification. After 1850 new leaders who

    provided strong leadership emerged. Victor Emmanuel and Cavour

    strengthened the army and the economy and secured foreign

    assistance. In addition Charles Albert helped emancipate Venitia

    and Rome.

    Change of government in Britain: This favoured the unification in

    Italy because the coming to power of Gladstone as prime minister

    of Britain and Lord John Russell helped the Italians as they assisted

    them in the liberation of Parma, Modena and Tuscany through a

    referendum in 1860.

    Activities of the Carbonari and the Young Italian Movement:

    The Carbonari and Young Italian Movement established a strong

    foundation for the unification of Italy. They encouraged the growth of

    nationalism, unity and the idea for independence. They mobilised

    Italians against Austrian foreign rule. Those activities united

    Italians, prepared them for the struggle and reduced ostacles to


    The 1870 – 1871 Franco-Prussian war: During this war, Napoleon

    III was forced to withdraw the French troops from Rome in 1870.

    This enabled the Italian patriots to take over Rome and this marked

    the completion of the Italian unification in 1871.

    Role of the Italian scholars: The Italian philosophers, lecturers,

    teachers and writers wrote publications which encouraged

    nationalism, they condemned Austrian domination and revealed

    atrocities committed against the Italians. This created the spirit

    of nationalism and Italian nationalists decided to fight against the

    Austrian domination.

    Role of Pope Pius IX: Pope Pius IX rose to power in 1848 and

    unlike Pope Grégoire he was a liberal. He supported libralism

    and nationalism and liked the idea of Italian unification. It also

    weakened Metternich who was an obstacle to unification.

    Role of press: The Risogrimento which was a newspaper

    introduced by Cavour exposed Austrian atrocities against Italians

    and sensitised Italians about the importance of unity. 

    Reform of Piedmont’s economy: By 1860, the economy of Piedmont

    had been reformed and grown to the level of competing with the

    Austrian economy and to challenge Austria. It became possible to

    access adequate resources to support unification. Piedmont also

    became strong enough to lead the unification process.

    Reduction of the powers of the Catholic Church in Italy: The

    Catholic Church was a big barrier in the unification of Italy because

    it was opposed to fighting Austria a fellow Catholic country. In

    1850, Camillo Benso di Cavour brought to an end the powers of the

    Catholic Church. He stopped church control of politics, education,

    and land. Thus, this allowed many liberal Catholics to fight against

    Austria without condemnation from the Catholic Church.

    Outbreak of the Franco–Prussian war of 1870–1: It was fought

    between France and Prussia. Due to this war, France was forced

    to withdraw her soldiers from Rome to go and fight in Prussia in

    1870. This provided an opportunity for liberation forces to take

    over control of Rome. This marked the completion of the Italian

    unification in 1871.

    The Role Played by Giuseppe Mazzini in Italian Unification

    Activity 10

    Evaluate the role played by Giuseppe Mazzini during the

    struggle for Italian unification from 1850 up to 1870. Present

    your work to the class.

    Giuseppe Mazzini (22 June 1805 10 March 1872), nicknamed

    “The Beating Heart of Italy”, was an Italian politician, journalist

    and activist for the unification of Italy.

    His efforts helped create the independent and unified Italy

    composed of several separate states, that had been dominated by

    foreign powers.

    Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian revolutionary who fought to oust

    the Italian nobles and expel the Austrians from his country. He lived in France where he organised uprisings in Italy. While in exile

    he was sentenced to death in absentia in 1832.

    He helped define the modern European movement for popular

    democracy in a republican state.

    He bitterly resented the absorption of his native republic of Genoa

    into the kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in 1815.

    In 1827 he joined the revolutionary Carbonari Movement, but

    after his imprisonment at Savona (1830-31) he abandoned that

    organisation as ineffective.

    Exiled, he founded the Young Italy Movement (La Giovine Italia) in

    Marseille, France, in July 1831. It established branches in many

    Italian cities. Mazzini argued that through coordinated uprisings,

    the people could drive the Italian princes from their thrones and

    oust the Austrians from the Italian peninsula.

    He used propaganda to mobilise and sensitise the Italians. This

    is why they called him a “Prophet of the Italian unification”. By

    1833 his movement had about 60,000 members.

    On March 8,1848, Mazzini launched a new political

    association, the Associazione Nazionale Italiana in Paris.

    The high point of Mazzini’s career was the revolutions of 1848-49,

    when he returned to Italy and was elected one of the leaders of the

    new Roman republic. But when the republic fell in July 1849 to an

    invading French army, Mazzini once again had to flee.

    His efforts to spark republican uprisings in Mantua (Mantova)

    (1852) and Milan in 1853 were unsuccessful. The leadership

    of the Italian nationalist movement was taken over by Camillo di

    Cavour of Sardinia-Piedmont who supported a liberal monarchy.

    Mazzini came back to Italy during the wars of 1859 and 1860 but

    took no pleasure in seeing the establishment in 1861 of a unified

    Italian kingdom rather than a republic.

    In 1862 he again joined Garibaldi during his failed attempt to free

    Rome. In 1866 Venetia was ceded by France, which had obtained

    it from Austria at the end of the Austro-Prussian war, to the new

    kingdom of Italy, which had been created in 1861 under the Savoy

    monarchy. In 1867 he refused a seat in the Italian Chamber of

    Deputies. He was still plotting to gain Venice and Rome when he

    was jailed in Gaeta from August to October 1870 at the time King

    Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was seizing Rome. 

    In failing health, Mazzini retired to Pisa, where he died on March

    10, 1872.

    The Role Played by Giuseppe Garibaldi in Italian Unification

    Activity 11

    Evaluate the role played by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the

    struggle for Italian unification from 1850 up to 1870. Present

    your work to the class.


    Garibaldi was a central figure in the Italian Risorgimento. He

    personally commanded and fought in many military campaigns

    that led eventually to the formation of a unified Italy. He generally

    tried to act on behalf of a legitimate power, which does not make

    him exactly a revolutionary. He joined the Young Italian Movement

    in 1833 and become a follower of Mazzini.

    In 1848, after a long period in exile in Tunisia, Brazil, Cuba, Uruguay

    and USA, Garibaldi returned to Italy. Together with Mazzini they

    participated in the 1848 revolution in the papal states, leading

    to the formation of the Roman republic where he was appointed

    general by the provisional government of Milan in 1848.

    Emmanuel defeated Garibaldi at the battle of Aspromonte on

    August 29, 1862. Garibaldi was wounded and captured in that

    battle but was soon pardoned and released.

    Despite the Aspromonte incident, the government went to Garibaldi

    again in 1866. Italy had made an alliance with Prussia to defeat the

    Austrians. Italy was promised Venice if the alliance was victorious.

    Garibaldi successfully invaded Tyrol with a volunteer force. 

    This was one of the few Italian victories in a war won primarily on the

    strength of the Prussian army. Venice became part of Italy in 1866.

    In 1867 Garibaldi again raised a volunteer force with the aim of

    annexing the papal states to the kingdom of Italy. After a number

    of initial engagements, he was defeated by combined papal and

    French forces at the battle of Mentana on November 3, 1867. He

    was taken prisoner to Varignano, near La Spezia but was held for

    only a short time.

    In 1870 he offered his services to the French government and

    fought with his two sons in the Franco-Prussian war. Rome was

    annexed to Italy in October 1870, and Garibaldi was elected a

    member of the Italian parliament in 1874. In his last years he

    sympathized with the developing socialist movement in Italy

    and other countries. Garibaldi’s autobiography, Autobiography of

    Giuseppe Garibaldi, was published in 1887.

    In 1879 he founded the League of Democracy, which advocated

    universal suffrage, abolition of ecclesiastical property, emancipation

    of women, and maintenance of a standing army.

    The Role Played by Camillo Benso di Cavour in Italian Unification

    Activity 12

    Evaluate the role played by Benso di Cavour during the struggle

    for Italian unification from 1850 up to 1870. Present your

    work to the class.

    Sardinia, a position he maintained (except for a six-month

    resignation) throughout the second Italian war of independence

    and Garibaldi’s campaigns to unite Italy.

    Between 1838 and 1842 Cavour began several initiatives in

    attempts to solve economic problems in his area. Firstly he

    experimented with different agricultural techniques on his estate,

    such as the use of sugar beet, and was one of the first Italian

    landowners to use chemical fertilisers. He also founded the

    Piedmontese Agricultural Society. 

    Cavour’s long term goal was to expel Austrian power from Italy

    and expand Italy by annexing Lombardy and Venetia to Sardinia. In

    1858, he negotiated a secret deal with Napoleon III who promised

    to support Sardinia in case it faced a war with Austria.

    A year later, he provoked that war. With the French help, Piedmont

    - Sardinia defeated Austria and annexed Lombardy.

    After his death on June 6, 1861, his successors completed his

    dream by negotiating with Bismarck and Italy acquired Venetia in

    a Peace Treaty that ended the Austro-Prussian war in 1866.

    He is remembered for the following contributions during Italian


    He founded a newspaper called Risorgimento which means

    “resurrection” or “renewal”. In his newspaper, he published the

    need for constitutional and parliamentary democracy. He also

    exposed the oppressive administration of Austrian rulers. This

    created nationalism and attracted support for independence from


    He solicited for funds from foreign powers especially from Britain

    and France.

    He improved the economy of Piedmont by signing commercial

    treaties with Britain, France and Belgium which made it easy for

    Piedmont to benefit from free trade with European countries.

    He carried out military reforms in Piedmont which strengthened the

    military base of Piedmont. This helped address military obstacles

    to Italian unification.

    He abolished the powers of the pope and Catholic Church in Italy

    by stopping the church from controlling politics, education and

    land. This encouraged the liberal Catholics to support the idea of


    He reconciled revolutionary fighters like Mazzini, Garibaldi and

    King Victor Emmanuel II.

    He introduced political reforms like drafting of the constitution

    for Piedmont which created a political base that favoured the

    unification of Italy.

    He fought against illiteracy and ignorance in Italy by introducing

    learning centres in Piedmont. These schools acted as mobilisation

    centres for supporting the unification struggle.

    He improved the economy, trade and transport of Piedmont by

    encouraging agriculture, industrialisation, building of roads,

    railways, telegraph lines and canals. This partly solved economic

    backwardness and supported the movement of nationalists and


    He is credited for introducing civil reforms in land, education and

    finance in the state of Piedmont which reduced the power and

    influence of the church.

    Cavour engaged European powers to provide diplomatic support

    for the unification. He supported the allies against Russia in the

    crimean war. He also supported France and Prussia against Austria.

    This helped him get support against Austria which was an obstacle

    to Italian unification.

    The Role Played by Victor Emanuel II in Italian Unification

    Activity 13

    Examine the role played by King Victor Emmanuel II in the

    struggle for Italian unification from 1850 up to 1870. Present

    your work to the class.

    King Victor Emanuel II (14 March 1820 – 9 January 1878) was

    the eldest son of Charles Albert, Prince of Carignano and Maria

    Theresa of Austria. His father succeeded a distant cousin as king

    of Sardinia in 1831. 

    Lastly, he continued with the struggle for the unification of Italy

    after the death of Cavour in 1861. His role led to the liberation of

    Rome and Venetia which completed the unification. He is credited

    for the following contributions:

    He accepted leadership of the struggle for Italian unification as

    proposed by Cavour.

    He appointed Cavour to various ministerial positions which enabled

    Cavour to introduce economic and political reforms that helped the

    Italians to attain their independence.

    He accepted to use Piedmont as the centre of the unification; hence

    he solved the problem of lack of an internal base from which the

    Italians achieved their unification.

    His foreign policy won for Piedmont foreign support and prestige.

    He allied with Bismarck in 1866, and agreed to remain neutral

    when Bismarck fought Austria and in return he would be supported

    to liberate Venetia.

    After the withdrawal of Cavour from the struggle in 1859, Victor

    Emmanuel maintained the gains of the struggle. This encouraged

    the central states to join Piedmont.

    He marched his troops to occupy Rome after France had withdrawn

    her soldiers to go and fight in the Franco - Prussian war of 1870– 1871.

    Roles of Foreign Powers

    Activity 14

    Assess the role of the foreign powers in the Italian unification.

    Present the results of your assessment to the class.

    Besides the roles played by Italian nationalists to attain the Italian

    unification, foreign powers also supported the Italians during their

    struggle for their unification. 

    They inspired the Italians as united monarchies like Britain and

    France among others.

    Britain and France supported the Piedmontees to annex the central

    duchies of the Italian states i.e. Parma, Modena and Tuscany in


    France provided military support of 200 000 troops to Piedmont in

    the liberation of Lombardy from Austria in 1859.

    Britain remained neutral during the liberation of Lombardy in 1859,

    Venetia in 1866 and Rome in 1870. This allowed the Italians to

    carry out the liberation.

    Prussia assisted the Italians in the liberation of Venetia in 1866

    when Austria was defeated in the Austro-Prussian war.

    Disagreement between the great powers served the interests of the

    Italians. These included Russia vs. Austria from 1820 onwards,

    Britain, France and Turkey vs. Russia in the Crimean War of 1854–

    1856, and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871.

    Foreign powers provided financial support. Britain and Prussia

    financed some of the expeditions of Piedmont.

    France, Britain and Switzerland provided asylum to Italian

    revolutionaries and patriots.

    There was neutrality of the foreign powers following the invasion

    and the annexation of the papal states (Rome).

    Some European powers like France, Britain and Belgium concluded

    economic ties and exchange of technology with Piedmont.

    Different Stages in the Italian Unification

    Activity 15

    Describe the different stages taken to achieve the Italian

    unification by 1871. Present your work to the class.

    The Prombières pact and liberation of Lombardy

    After the 1856 Paris treaty, France delayed to assist Italians.

    However an attempt by an Italian patriot called Felice Orsini to

    assassinate Napoleon III, forced Napoleon III to form a military

    alliance with Cavour.

    In 1858, Cavour and Napoleon III of France signed a secret military

    agreement at Prombières known as the Pact of Plombières. Cavour

    and Napoleon III agreed to a joint war against Austria. Piedmont

    would gain the Austrian territories of Lombardy and Venetia and

    some territories of the former Venetian Commonwealth in the

    Adriatic, as well as the duchies of Parma and Modena, while

    France would be rewarded with Piedmont’s territories in Savoy and

    Nice. Central and southern Italy, being largely under-developed and

    of little interest to the wealthier north, would remain largely as it

    was, although it was suggested that the emperor’s cousin Prince

    Napoleon would replace the Habsburgs in Tuscany. To allow the

    French to intervene without appearing as aggressors, Cavour was

    to provoke the Austrians by encouraging revolutionary activity in


    By this first stage, Austrian troops under Emperor Francis Joseph

    I had been defeated by the French forces led by Napoleon III

    at the battle of Solferino on June 24th, 1859. The Piedmontese

    forces commanded by Victor Emmanuel II later had the better of

    the Austrians at San Martino. The Austrians accepted to sign the

    armistice of Villafranca on July 12th 1859 and Piedmont annexed

    Milan and Lombardy. Austria left the peninsula and there was a

    creation of a confederation of seven states of northern Italy.

    The revolt of the central states and their annexation to Piedmont

    In December 1859, Tuscany, Parma, Modena, and the papal

    states were unified into the United Provinces of Central Italy,

    and, encouraged by the British, began seeking annexation by the

    kingdom of Sardinia. Cavour, who triumphantly returned to power

    in January 1860, wished to annex the territories, but realised that

    French cooperation was necessary. Napoleon III agreed to recognise

    the Piedmontese annexation in exchange for Savoy and Nice. On

    March 20, 1860, the annexations occurred. Now the kingdom of

    Sardinia controlled most of northern and central Italy.

    Liberation of Naples and Sicily and annexation to Piedmont

    Garibaldi, a native of Nice, was deeply resentful of the French

    annexation of his home city. He hoped to use his supporters to

    regain the territory. Cavour, terrified of Garibaldi provoking a war

    with France, persuaded Garibaldi to instead concentrate his forces

    on the Sicilian rebellions. On May 6, 1860, Garibaldi and his force

    of about a thousand Italian volunteers landed near Marsala on the

    west coast of Sicily.

    Garibaldi’s army attracted bands of rebels, and the combined

    forces defeated the opposing army at Calatafimi on May 13. Within

    three days, the invading force increased to 4,000 men. On May

    14, Garibaldi proclaimed himself dictator of Sicily, in the name of

    Victor Emmanuel. With the support of the population he captured

    Palermo, the capital of sicily at the end of May.

    Garibaldi then crossed over to the mainland and entered Naples

    where he declared himself dictator of the two sicilies, a territory

    that covered Italy and the Island of sicily.

    After organising a plebiscite in both southern Italy and Naples,

    Garibaldi handed over the territory to Victor Emmanuel whom he

    gave the title of king of Italy.

    Garibaldi then retired to the Island of Caprera, while the remaining

    work of unifying the peninsula was left to Victor Emmanuel.

    Liberation of Venetia

    In the Austro-Prussian war of 1866 known as The Seven Weeks

    War, Austria contested with Prussia the position of leadership among

    the German states. The kingdom of Italy seized the opportunity to

    capture Venetia from Austrian rule and allied itself with Prussia.

    Austria tried to persuade the Italian government to accept Venetia

    in exchange for non-intervention. However, on April 8, 1866 Italy

    and Prussia signed an agreement that supported Italy’s acquisition

    of Venetia, and on June 20, 1866 Italy declared war on Austria.

    Victor Emmanuel led the Italian army but it was defeated by the

    Austrian army at the battle of Custrea on June 24. Garibaldi’s

    volunteers defeated an Austrian force in the battle of Bezzecca,

    and moved toward Trento.

    Meanwhile, Prussian Prime Minister Bismarck saw that his own

    ends in the war had been achieved, and signed an armistice with

    Austria on July 27, 1866. Italy officially laid down its arms on

    August 12, 1866.

    Prussia’s success on the northern front obliged Austria to cede

    Venetia. Under the terms of a Peace Treaty signed in Vienna on

    October 12, 1866, Emperor Franz Joseph had already agreed

    to cede Venetia to Napoleon III in exchange for non-intervention

    in the Austro-Prussian war and thus Napoleon III ceded Venetia

    to Italy on October 19, 1866 in exchange for the earlier Italian

    acquiescence to the French annexation of Savoy and Nice.

    Annexation of Rome

    Victor Emmanuel negotiated the removal of the French troops from

    Rome through a treaty, with Napoleon III in September 1864, by

    which the emperor agreed to withdraw his troops within two years.

    The pope was to expand his own army during that time so as

    to be self-sufficient. In December 1866, the last of the French

    troops departed from Rome. After their withdrawal, Italy excluding

    Venetia and Savoy, was freed from the presence of foreign soldiers.

    In July 1870, the Franco-Prussian war began. Napoleon III recalled

    his army from Rome.

    In September Victor Emmanuel took over control of Rome after the

    French withdrawal. A plebisute was held that supported annexation

    of Rome by the kingdom of Italy. This marked the completion of the

    unification of Italy.

    The German Empire and Otto Von Bismarck

    Activity 16

    Examine the contributions of Otto Von Bismarck to the rise and

    consolidation of the German Empire. Present your work to the


    The German Empire was born in 1871 after the defeat of France

    during the Franco-Prussian war. It was proclaimed at the Hall of

    Mirrors in France by Emperor William I and survived for 47 years 

    under the three emperors. These include William I who reigned

    from 1871 up to 1888, Emperor Fredrick William III in 1888 and

    Kaiser William II who reigned from 1888 up to 1918. Bismarck

    was chancellor from 1871 until 1890.

    Otto von Bismarck was born in 1815, in a wealthy family in the

    Prussian province of Saxony. His father, was a junker estate owner

    and a former Prussian military officer. Bismarck was well educated

    and fluent in English, French, Italian, Polish, and Russian.

    He was a conservative German statesman who dominated European

    affairs from the 1860s to 1890. After a series of short victorious

    wars he unified numerous German states into a powerful German

    Empire under Prussian leadership, and then created a “balance of

    power” that preserved peace in Europe from 1871 until 1914.

    In 1871, Otto von Bismarck was chancellor of the German Empire,

    but retained his Prussian offices (including those of ministerPresident and Foreign Minister). 

    Bismarck’s domestic and foreign policies 1871–1890

    Internal policy

    Bismarck’s internal policy had the following features:

    The policy against Catholics: The Catholics were not in good

    relationship with the new German Empire because it was led by

    Protestant Prussia. They wanted to teach the dogma of papal

    infallibility in schools while Bismarck could not accept this.

    To solve this problem, Bismarck introduced the May Law in 1873

    by which he expelled stubborn Catholics from Germany, imprisoned

    and killed some Catholic bishops, took over the authority to appoint

    priests and bishops, withdrew the German ambassador from the

    Vatican, and forced Catholic schools to sit examinations set by the


    However, this law caused much criticism from socialists so that he

    was forced to repeal it.

    The constitution of 1871: Bismarck introduced a new constitution

    which guaranteed the freedoms and rights for all the Germans and

    provided for two assemblies in the parliament, i.e. the Bundesrat

    (lawmaking body) and the Reichstag (for debating and suggesting

    amendments to the laws).

    The policy against socialists: The socialists were another problem

    in the new empire of Germany. They demanded the abolition of

    capitalism, introduction of state socialism and for more powers to

    vote in the parliament.

    To solve this problem, Bismarck introduced the exceptional laws in

    which he exiled the stubborn socialists, arrested and killed some of

    them, and banned socialist meetings and newspapers.

    However, these laws failed and Bismarck was forced to withdraw

    them. He introduced sickness insurance in industries, old age

    insurance for workers, laws against child labour and the public

    employment board to supervise the working conditions.

    Military reorganisation: Bismarck introduced compulsory military

    service and built new military industries to produce new military

    equipment. He also nominated able military commanders. This

    strengthened the German army which helped him to prevent a war

    of revenge from France.

    Administrative policy: Bismarck introduced a federal government

    in which he allowed states to control their own local affairs in

    education, religion and culture among others. The central

    government controlled taxation, army, trade and foreign affairs

    among others.

    External policy

    After the German unification with the defeat of France during the

    Franco-Prussian war, the main aim of Bismarck’s foreign policy 

    was to focus on the isolation of France and prevent her from getting

    allies and preventing a war of revenge. To do so, he implemented

    the following policies:

    Maintaining an occupation army in France: After the defeat of

    France in 1871, Otto Von Bismarck sent an army to occupy France

    with the purpose of ensuring that France paid the war reparation

    and to intimidate France so that she did not fight the war of

    revenge. In 1873, he withdrew this army which showed that he

    was a peacemaker in Europe.

    Formation of the Dreikaiserbund in 1872: This was a league based

    on agreement of the three emperors of Austria, Russia and Germany

    formed in 1872. This term Drei Kaiser bund is a German term that

    means the three (drei) emperors (kaiser) and league (bund).

    The objective of this agreement was to allow Bismarck capture the

    friendship of Austria and Russia in order to isolate France. In this

    agreement, all members accepted to support one another in case

    of a war from a non-member. It was to be renewed every year. By

    this league, Bismarck succeeded in keeping France isolated and

    therefore prevented the French war of revenge.

    Maintaining good relationship with Britain: In order to keep good

    terms with Britain, Bismarck sent his son Herbert Bismarck to

    London as an ambassador. This way he won the attention of Britain

    and ensured that Britain could not ally with France, leading to the

    isolation of France.

    Calling of the 1878 Berlin Congress: In 1878, there was a crisis

    in the Balkans resulting into potential conflicts between Britain and

    Austria on one side and Russia on the other side. Bismarck who

    now never wanted to lose friendship with both sides got involved

    and called the Berlin congress to settle the conflict.

    In this congress, Bismarck tried to support British interests in the

    region, he supported Austrian control in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    and also supported France in Tunisia.

    Consequently, Bismarck succeeded in preventing war between

    Britain, Austria and Russia but he was under the risk of losing

    Russia because he never supported her. He also succeeded in

    diverting French attention in Tunisia and prevented any war of

    revenge from France.

    Formation of the Dual alliance in 1879: After the 1878 Berlin

    Congress, Bismarck feared the possible alliance between Russia

    and France. He concluded an agreement with Austria in 1879

    known as the dual alliance.

    In this alliance, Austria agreed to support Germany if France,

    Russia and any other power attacked her. In case France alone

    attacked Germany, Austria would remain neutral. Equally, Germany

    accepted to support Austria if Russia and France and any other

    power attacked her, while in case Austria was attacked by Russia

    alone, Germany would remain neutral. This alliance enabled

    Germany to maintain a strong relationship with Austria up to 1914.

    The formation of the Triple alliance in 1882: This alliance was an

    agreement between Germany, Austria and Italy. The triple alliance

    was signed because Bismarck never wanted France to ally with

    Italy and he wanted to convince Italy to abandon Tunisia for France

    as one way to divert French attention from the war of revenge.

    In this triple alliance, Germany, Austria and Italy accepted to

    support one another in case of war from a non-member. Again,

    Bismarck succeeded in isolating France in Europe.

    Renewal of the Dreikaiserbund in 1883: Attempts to renew this

    agreement had been failing since 1878 due to misunderstandings

    between Russia and Germany in the 1878 Berlin Congress. However,

    Tsar Alexander II who had refused to renew the Dreikaiserbund

    died and was replaced by Tsar Alexander III who accepted to renew

    the Dreikaiserbund with Bismarck.

    As a result, Tsar Alexander III promised to support Germany in case

    of war with France. Bismarck also promised to assist Alexander III to

    recover Bulgaria. By this renewal of the Dreikaiserbund, Bismarck

    succeeded in winning back Russia to his side hence leaving France

    further isolated.

    Calling of the Berlin Conference (1884–1885): This conference

    was called by Bismarck in order to prevent any war between

    European powers during the partition of Africa. He also called this

    conference to announce that Germany had intentions of occupying

    some territories in Africa like other European powers. But

    strategically, he called the conference to divert French attention to

    her colonies through the principle of effective occupation. 

    Factors that Delayed German Unification

    Activity 17

    Examine the factors that delayed German unification. Present

    your work to the class.

    Attempts to form the German-speaking populations into a federation

    lasted for nearly a century. Unification exposed religious, linguistic,

    social, and cultural differences between and among the inhabitants

    of the new nation.

    After the Napoleonic era, the Vienna settlement created The

    German Confederation of States. States like Bohemia, Moravia,

    Württemberg, Saxony, Hanover, Holstein, Schleswig, Baden,

    Hesse, Silesia and Posen among others were subjected to foreign

    rule except Prussia which remained under the control of the German

    King Frederick William I.

    The German states that were under Austrian foreign rule, were

    brought together to form a single German state in 1871. However,

    before attaining this unification, the Germans had encountered the

    following obstacles:

    Economic hardships: The Germans were poor with no industries,

    low income and low levels of education. Such an economic status

    could not challenge Austria.

    Role of Prince Metternich of Austria: Metternich had spies in

    Germany and in 1819 he passed The Carlsbad Decrees that

    stopped political activities in German universities. This made it

    impossible for the Germans to unify themselves. Germans were not

    willing to identify with in the revolutionary movement in order to

    liberate Germany and this was because of the fear of Austrian spies.

    Effect of the Reformation: The reformation which was championed

    by Martin Luther in 1517 led to the breakup of the Catholic

    Church and, consequently, the Protestant Church. This divided

    the Germans. The northern Germans were Protestants. While the

    southern states were Catholic. These religious differences were a

    hindrance to German unification.

    Lack of strong army: Germany didn’t have a well trained single

    army for all states to fight Austria. All states except Prussia never

    had an army and even the Prussian army was too weak to challenge

    Austrians. This delayed German’s unification.

    Lack of foreign support: The Germans did not get external support

    like the Italians and this made it difficult for them to address the

    major obstacle which was Austrian military strength.

    Social class differences: The difference between the poor working

    class and the middle class undermined the success of the German

    unification. On December 15, 1848 the middle class supported

    Austria against the Frankfurt parliament members who wanted a

    socialist revolution.

    Poor mass mobilisation: Before the year 1860, majority of the

    Germans were not informed about the importance of the German

    unification because of poor mobilisation due to the lack of mass

    media to sensitise the people.

    Opposition from the conservatives: The conservative Prussian

    junkers and liberals at the May 1848 Frankfurt Assembly ignored

    the establishment of a strong army against Austria and concentrated

    more on patriotic issues.

    Lack of good leadership: The German states agreed to unite

    but lacked strong leaders who would challenge Metternich and

    Austria. Frederick William IV believed in unification but he was a

    supporter of Austria while leaders of other states wanted to remain


    Factors that enabled German unification

    Activity 18

    Discuss the factors that enabled the Germans to achieve their

    unification in 1871. Present the outcomes of your discussion

    to the class.

    The collapse of the Congress system by 1830 left Austria with no

    foreign assistance to check German nationalism.

    The downfall of Metternich and his system which were the greatest

    obstacles in 1848 favoured unification because his successors

    were weak. They were not strong enough to maintain Metterich’s

    regressive system.

    Military reforms like increasing the Prussian army from 500,000

    to 750 000 under the effective command of Von Roon and Von

    Moltke provided military power to challenge Austrian control of

    German states.

    Improvements in the Prussian education system greatly solved the

    problem of ignorance and disunity that had hindered the unification

    among the Germans.

    Prussia introduced reforms in industry, transport and military

    theology from 1860 onwards. This enabled her to finance the

    unification activities and also get modern weapons of war.

    Improvements in transport, trade, agriculture, industry and

    military technology strengthened Prussia’s economy and army

    which helped support unification activities, especially wars with

    Denmark, Austria and France.

    The rise of King William I in 1855 in Prussia. He appointed

    Bismarck a minister president in 1861 who used his position to

    fight for German unification. William also strengthened the army

    and the economy and this supported unification efforts.

    The 1848 revolutions exposed the weaknesses of the army and

    disunity as obstacles to unification. This enabled the Germans to

    address the obstacles to unification.

    Foreign support enabled unification efforts because in 1863

    Bismarck allied with Austria and Russia to defeat Denmark.

    With Napoleon III of France and Alexander II of Russia, Bismarck

    defeated Austria in 1866. With Belgium and the southern German

    states Bismarck defeated France in 1871.

    Mistakes and military weakness of the German enemies favoured

    unification. For example, the annexation of Schleswig by Denmark

    violated the 1852 London Treaty and left Denmark isolated in

    international affairs making it easy to defeat Denmark.

    Role of Field Marshal Von Roon and Von Maltke who commanded

    the Prussian army that defeated Denmark in 1864, Austria in

    1866 and France in 1871 contributed to success of the German


    Improvements in the transport and communication network like

    the construction of roads, railways and bridges facilitated the

    movements of Germans patriots from one place or state to another

    while spreading the propaganda and message of unification. This

    also explains the success of German unification.

    Role Played by Otto Von Bismarck in German Unification

    Activity 19

    Evaluate the role played by Otto Von Bismarck in the struggle

    for German unification, from 1850s to 1871. Present your

    work to the class.

    To achieve the German unification, Bismarck played the following


    He advised King William I of Prussia not to resign and encouraged

    him to implement fundamental reforms in Prussia.

    He suppressed the Prussian liberals from the Frankfurt parliament.

    They had spent much time in making speeches and opposed the

    coalition of a strong army.

    He carried out fundamental reforms in the Prussian educational

    system which reduced on the illiteracy levels that had hindered

    mobilisation efforts.

    He increased the Prussian army from 500,000 to 750,000 under

    the efficient command of Field Marshal Von Moltke and Von Roon.

    He won diplomatic relations with European statesmen and states

    like Benjamin Disraeli of Britain in 1861 and in 1863 with Russia

    which enabled Prussia to defeat her enemies without Russia and

    Britain interfering.

    He prepared Germany for the 1866 Austro-Prussian war through the

    Biarritz treaty with Napoleon III by which France promised neutrality

    hence facilitated the German unification in 1871.

    In 1864 he defeated Denmark in an attempt to liberate Schleswig

    which was added to Prussia in 1865 following the August 1865

    Gerstein convention.

    Through his efforts, Prussia defeated Austria at Sadowa in 1866

    and this resulted into the liberation of Holstein.

    In 1869 he completed the unification of the northern German

    states and, as a result, a new constitution was promulgated which

    eliminated Austria from German affairs.

    In the 1870 – 1871 Franco-Prussian war was led by Von Bismarck,

    Prussia defeated France at Sedan and the German unification was

    officially proclaimed at Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors.

    Stages in the German Unification

    Activity 20

    Describe the different stages taken by the Germans to attain

    their unification in 1871. Present your work the class.

    Defeat of Denmark and annexation of Schleswig

    From the late 15th century, Schleswig-Holstein was controlled

    by Denmark. In 1852, the great powers had agreed to continue

    this status, but in 1863 the Danish king, Christian IX, annexed

    Schleswig-Holstein and integrated it more closely into Denmark.

    Bismarck feared the Schleswig-Holstein question would unite

    German nationalists and also strengthen liberal and parliamentary

    forces in Prussia. He also had a conflict between Prussia and

    Austria, that would allow foreigners to intervene and determine the

    fate of the German states. Bismarck took the lead in denouncing

    Denmark’s behaviour. He also turned to Austria and stressed the

    merits of Austrian-Prussian cooperation both to pre-empt the

    German nationalists and to forestall possible action by Britain,

    France, and Russia.

    Austria was convinced by Bismarck’s arguments and issued a joint

    demand with Prussia in January 1864 that Denmark restore the

    status quo. When Denmark refused, a joint Austrian-Prussian force

    occupied Holstein, and then invaded Schleswig. The Danish army

    was easily crushed by the combined Austrian and Prussian forces.

    Denmark’s refusal to compromise, combined with the fact that its

    position was not legal, kept the rest of Europe from intervening.

    By midsummer 1864 the fighting was over. By the Gerstein

    Convention, of August 1865, Holstein was given to Austria as a

    reward while Schleswig was added to Prussia. 

    Defeat of Austria and annexation of Holstein

    In 1866, Bismarck planned a war against Austria by forming the

    German Confederation which eliminated Austria. He had asked

    the Italians to unite with Germany against a common enemy and

    promised that at the end of the war he would hand over Venetia

    to Italy.

    Besides, Bismarck secretly met Napoleon III and requested him to

    remain neutral in case war broke out between Austria and Prussia.

    Napoleon was promised territories along River Rhine but with no

    written document. Russia had insured Bismarck support because

    he had chased the Russian rebels who were in Prussia.

    In June 1866, Austria declared war on Prussia. Prussia defeated

    Austria at the battle of Königgrätz. The king and his generals

    wanted to push on, conquer Bohemia and march to Vienna, but

    Bismarck, worried that Prussia might be defeated or that France

    might intervene on Austria’s side, decided to make peace with


    By the Peace of Prague of 1866, the German Confederation

    was dissolved; Prussia annexed Schleswig, Holstein, Frankfurt,

    Hanover, Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), and Nassau; and Austria

    promised not to intervene in German affairs.

    To strengthen Prussian influence, Prussia and several other north

    German states joined the North German Confederation in 1867. King

    Wilhelm I served as its president, and Bismarck as its chancellor.

    Annexation of south German states

    After the victory in Austro-Prussian war and creation of North

    Rhine Confederation, Bismarck planned for the annexation of

    German states south of Rhine River. He had disappointed and

    humiliated Napoleon III by refusing to respect the agreement of

    1865. Napoleon III requested Bismarck to support him to annex

    Belgium and Luxembourg. However, his request was rejected.

    Bismarck used this opportunity to publicise French intentions to

    the German states. As a result he won the economic and military

    alliance with southern German states.

    At this stage, the unification of Germany was almost completed

    because all German states were now under a single administration

    by 1868.

    Isolation and defeat of France in the Franco – Prussian war


    A suitable situation for war arose in 1870, when the German Prince

    Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was offered the Spanish

    throne, which had been vacant since 1868. France blocked the

    candidacy and demanded assurances that no members of the House

    of Hohenzollern become king of Spain. To provoke France into

    declaring war with Prussia, Bismarck published the Ems Telegram, a

    carefully edited version of a conversation between King Wilhelm and

    the French ambassador to Prussia. This conversation had been edited

    so that each nation felt that its ambassador had been disrespected,

    thus provoking anger on both sides in favour of war.

    France mobilised and declared war on 19 July. The German states

    saw France as the aggressor. Swept up by nationalism and patriotic

    fanaticism, they rallied to Prussia’s side and provided troops. The

    Franco-Prussian war (1870) was a great success for Prussia. The

    German army under the command of the king but controlled by

    Helmuth von Moltke, won victory. France was defeated at the

    battle of Sedan.

    By the Frankfurt Treaty, all the southern states and the French

    provinces of Alsace and Loraine were annexed to the northern

    German states to form the United German Empire. King William of

    Prussia was proclaimed German emperor on 18 January 1871 in

    the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.

    Similarities and Differences in Italian and German Unification

    Activity 21

    Compare and contrast the Italian unification to the German

    unification. Present the results of your work to the class.


    Both unifications had Austria as a common obstacle in their

    unification struggle.

    Both unifications had the Franco-Prussian war as the final event

    after which they concluded the unification.

    Both unification struggles were an attempt to overthrow the

    arrangement of the 1815 Vienna Settlement which had put both

    German and Italian states under foreign domination.

    Both unifications used force and violence to accomplish the goal.

    Both unifications were held and delayed by the Metternich system

    where it was not possible to organise revolutions.

    In both unifications, there was one state that led the struggle. That

    was Piedmont in Italy and Prussia in German.

    In both unifications there was one outstanding leader who played

    a big role, Cavour in Italy and Bismarck in Germany.

    Both unifications were frustrated by their kings, Charles Albert of

    Piedmont and Frederick William I of Prussia.

    To some extent, all the unifications used diplomacy by their leaders;

    Bismarck and Cavour.

    Both unifications were achieved in the same year: 1871.


    While the unification of Italy was achieved mainly through foreign

    assistance, that of Germany was achieved by the military strength

    of the Prussian army.

    The unification of Germany was supported by the economic unity

    of the German states as a result of the customs union which was

    established by 1844. This was not the case in Italy.

    The sensitivity of the pope’s position, which was an obstacle in the

    Italian unification was absent in the German unification.

    The Italian unification struggle took a long time (1859 – 1871)

    while the German unification struggle took a shorter time (1864

    – 1871).

    The Italian unification was achieved at the expense of some Italian

    states like Nice which was given to France while no German state

    was lost during unification efforts.

    In the German unification, the capital of Prussia, Berlin, remained

    the capital of the united Germany while the capital of Piedmont

    Turino was changed and Rome became the capital of united Italy.

    Part Three
    The Eastern Question

    Activity 22

    Analyse the factors that led to decline of the Ottoman Empire

    in 1820s. Present your work to the class.

    The Eastern Question was a term by European powers to refer to

    the problems in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) from 1815 to 1878.

    During this period various European powers struggled to control

    Turkish territories.

    From the 14th century, Turkey became aggressive and conquered a

    large area that included part of north Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco,

    Algeria and Libya), and eastern Europe (such as Romania, Bulgaria,

    Serbia, Greece and Crete). It further expanded to cover Walachia,

    Moldavia and Arabian states up to Mesopotamia and the Indian Ocean.

    Within these boundaries, Turkey had many nationalities including

    Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians, and Africans. This made Turkey a

    very heterogeneous nation with many races.

    Most of these were Christians under Muslim rule. They took

    advantage of internal administrative problems to demand for their


    The Eastern Question started with the decline of the Ottoman

    Empire and this decline was due to the following factors:

    Big size: The Ottoman Empire had become too large to be effectively

    controlled by one administration based at Constantinople. This

    encouraged the captured states to break away and get their


    Growth of nationalism: This was prompted by the desire of

    different nationalities to struggle for independence from Turkey. For example, Serbia and Egypt became independent in 1805, Algeria

    in 1807, and Greece in 1832.

    Financial crises: The Turkish administrators were corrupt and

    embezzled funds which led to a financial crisis, and the decline of

    the empire.

    Decline of military strength: The empire had lost its military

    strength by the end of the 18th century. That was why revolts like

    the 1821 Greek war of independence were successful.

    Religious differences: The Muslims leaders exposed Christians to

    a lot of suffering and discrimination in education, administration

    and unfair taxation. Most of the revolts against Turkey were caused

    by the persecution of Christians. Revolts of Christians in Greece

    and Bulgaria weakened Turkey. The persecutions attracted the

    attention of the Christian countries of Russia, Austria and France.

    Their intervention worsened the problem leading to the success of

    the revolts in Greek and Bulgaria.

    Influence of French revolutionary ideas: The states under the

    Turkish domination took advantage of the success of the French

    revolution to also demand for their independence.

    Presence of powerful rival states: The interests of the big powers

    also contributed to the collapse of the Turkish Empire. Britain

    competed with Turkey in international trade while Austria and

    France were opposed to the influence of Turkey over the many

    states that it controlled.

    Weak leaders: After its expansion to the Middle East, the Ottoman

    empire was ruled by weak sultans such as Muhammad and Abdul

    Al Madjid.

    Rise of influential personalities: Popular leaders in Greece like

    Prince Alexander Hypslant and Capdistrious who challenged the

    sultans of the Ottoman Empire led to conflicts.

    European selfish interests: European major powers like Britain,

    France and Russia aimed to break up the Ottoman Empire so as to

    expand their influence.

    Russia constantly attacked Turkey and even exaggerated the

    problems in Turkey to the extent of referring to Turkey as “the

    sick man of Europe”. This was because of the various political,

    economic, military and administrative weaknesses. Russia and other foreign powers incited and supported the Greeks, the Wallachians,

    Moldavians, Bosnians and Bulgarians to revolt against Turkey.

    The Greek War of Independence

    Activity 23

    Examine the reasons for the Greek war of independence against

    Turkey. Present your work to the class.

    Nationalism: The Greeks were part of the Ottoman Empire since

    the 14th century when the Turks conquered and colonised them. By

    the beginning of the 19th century, nationalism had grown in Greece.

    In 1821 the Greeks started demanding for their independence in

    one of the districts called Morea where the Christians started killing

    Muslims and Muslims reacted by killing Christians. This led to the

    war for Greek independence.

    The Greeks revolted against Turkish administration because of the

    desire for self rule and liberation from Turkish domination.

    Greek ancient glory: The Greeks are credited with the beginning

    of modern civilisation. They believed in their superiority over the

    Turkish colonial masters. They revolted against Turkey in order to

    revive their ancient glory.

    Level of literacy: Greece was the most civilised of Turkey’s colonies.

    The Greeks were well educated. Because of their education, they

    were able to organise a rebellion against the Turkey.

    Religious persecutions: The Ottoman Empire consisted of different

    religious groups that often turned against one another and the

    Muslim leaders of the empire did not respect other religions. There

    was no freedom of worship and many Christians were killed by the

    Muslims. The Greeks rose up in 1821 in order to get freedom of


    Influence of the French revolution of 1789: The success of the

    French revolution and the spread of revolutionary ideas in the

    empire inspired the Greeks to revolt. The Greek nationalists used

    the revolutionary ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity to mobilise

    the Greeks to fight for their independence.

    Foreign assistance: The Greeks were supported by other European

    countries like France, Britain and Russia which inspired them to

    fight Turkey for their independence.

    Collapse of the Congress System: The Congress System which was

    formed in 1815 as an association to fight the forces of nationalism

    and liberalism, had by 1821 started to collapse. The Greeks took

    advantage of this demand for their independence.

    Unfair taxation: The Muslims imposed unfair taxation on Greeks.

    Greeks paid a lot of taxes and Muslims benefited at the expense

    of taxpayers. The Greeks rose up to get their independence and to

    stop unfair taxation.

    Weaknesses of Turkey: In the 19th century, the Turkish military and

    political control weakened. This encouraged the Greeks to revolt

    against Turkish domination. The Greeks had also acquired naval

    supremacy over the Ottoman Empire and this encouraged them to

    go in for war to gain their independence.

    Birth of a secret society: This was known as Heteria Philika, or

    the association/society of friends, lead by Alexandros Ypsilantis

    and Capodistrous. It was founded in 1814 with the major aim

    of driving the Turkish administration from Greece. By 1821, the

    society had become the official mouthpiece of the Greek war of

    independence with over 20,000 members.

    Course of the Greek War of Independence

    Activity 24

    Describe the course of the Greek war of independence and

    present the result of your work to the class.

    In March 1821, Ypsilantis organised a revolt in Moldavia and

    Wallachia against the Turkish Ottoman Empire. His aim was to

    first liberate the two islands before embarking on Greece. He also

    wanted to divert Turkish attention to the two islands and give the

    Greeks chance to declare their independence. They massacred

    many Turkish officials and nationals.

    However, this revolt failed due to poor organisation and lack of

    full support from Wallachia. The result was that Ypsilantis was 

    defeated and fled to Austria where he was imprisoned for seven

    years by Metternich. Meanwhile, the Greeks massacred about 25

    000 Muslims. The sultan of Turkey retaliated by massacring about

    30 000 Greeks and hanged Bishop Gregorios in Constantinople on

    easter day. 

    In 1825, Tsar Alexander I of Russia called the Saint Petersburg

    Congress which was only attended by four powers over the Greek

    crisis and therefore failed to solve the crisis. The failure of the Saint

    Petersburg Congress to settle the Greek revolt and the continued

    massacring of Christians by Muhammad Ali gave Russia chance to

    openly assist the Greeks. Britain and France which were against

    this idea later joined Russia to assist the Greeks because they did

    not want to see Russia acting alone and increase her influence in

    the Balkan region to their disadvantage.

    Despite protests from Austria and Prussia which sympathised with

    Turkey, Britain, France and Russia signed a treaty with Turkey

    in which Greece was granted self rule, but under the Turkish

    overlordship. This treaty, however, insured that force had to be

    applied if Turkey failed to accept the terms. Turkey refused to

    accept these terms expecting support from Prussia and Austria.

    As a result, the French sent troops to Greece, the Russians marched

    an army to Turkey, and the British fleet sailed to Alexandria, Egypt.

    However, hostilities did not end until Russia and the Ottomans

    signed the treaty of Adrianople on September 14, 1829, and the

    Ottomans agreed to give up control of Greece. Britain, France, and

    Russia proclaimed Greece’s independence in the London Protocol, 

    signed in February 1830. In treaty of Constantinople in 1832, the

    powers formalised their protection of Greece. This treaty included

    only southern mainland Greece and the Peloponnesus, excluding

    vast areas that are now part of Greece, but its signing was of


    Effects of the Greek War of Independence

    Activity 25

    Evaluate the consequences of the Greek war of independence.

    Present your work to the class.

    The Greek war of independence led to massive loss of life as it led

    to the death of soldiers and civilians.

    The Greeks got their independence in 1832. The Greeks together

    with the French and the British defeated the Turks at the battle

    of Navarino Bay in 1827 and in 1832 Greek independence was


    The war forced the sultan of Turkey to get conditional support from

    Egypt. It was agreed that at the end of the war Egypt was to be

    rewarded with Syria.

    It contributed to the decline of Turkey and that was why Tsar

    Nicholas of Russia referred to Turkey as “a sick man of Europe”.

    It led to the Syrian question which was a result of sultan’s failure to

    reward Mohamed Ali of Egypt for his assistance against the Greeks.

    This forced Mohamed Ali to occupy Syria by force. This led to war

    between Turkey and Egypt.

    The Greek war increased the rise of nationalism in Turkey. The

    success of the Greek war of independence encouraged other small

    states in the Ottoman Empire to demand for independence like in

    Wallachia, Moldavia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Bosnia.

    The war led to the collapse of the Congress system. When the

    European powers met at Verona in 1822 and at Saint Petersburg

    in 1825, they were divided over the Greek war. Russia, France and

    Britain supported the Greeks while Austria and Prussia supported

    the Turks.

    The war increased Russian influence in the Balkans through

    different treaties signed with Turkey like the treaty of Adrianople

    in 1829 and the Unkiaar Skelessi treaty in 1833 in which Russia

    gained military control of some Turkish territories.

    The Greek war of independence led to hostility between European

    powers against Russia. Britain and France were not happy with the

    increase of Russian influence in the Balkans. Russian interests in

    Turkey also threatened the British and French economic interests

    in Turkey. Later this led to the Crimean war.

    The Syrian Question

    Activity 26

    Examine the causes of the Syrian question in 1832–1841.

    Present your work to the class.

    The Syrian question or the Second Egyptian–Ottoman War or

    Second Turco-Egyptian War lasted from 1832 until 1841 and was

    fought mainly in Syria. This is why it is called the (second) Syrian

    war. It was a conflict between the Sultan Mahmud II of Ottoman

    Turkey and Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt over the control of Syria,

    Morea and Damascus from 1832 to 1841. This war was caused

    by the following factors:

    The Greek war of independence: This war forced the sultan

    of Turkey, Mahmud II to request Egypt in 1822 to support him

    to suppress the Greek revolt in Morea. He promised him some

    territories as reward for this assistance. This is how Muhammad

    Ali Pasha of Egypt got involved in the Balkan affairs, leading to

    conflicts with sultan in Syria.

    The failure of Sultan Mahmud II of Turkey to honour his promise to

    Muhammad: Muhammad accepted to help the sultan in return for

    the territories of Morea, Damascus, Syria and Palestine. However,

    after the war with the Greeks, the sultan of Turkey failed to fulfill

    his promise. This caused the war between him and Muhammad

    resulting in the Syria question.

    The military weaknesses of Turkey: Turkey had become militarily

    weak and this encouraged the sultan of Egypt to send his army to

    occupy Syria. This resulted in the Syrian question.

    The economic strength of Egypt: Egypt was economically stronger

    than Turkey and this enabled her to arm her soldiers and capture

    Syria. Egypt also wanted to use Syria as her economic base in Turkey.

    The success of the Greek war of independence: The Greeks

    achieved their independence after defeating combined forces of the

    Turkey and Egypt. So, the sultan of Turkey did not see any reason

    to reward Egypt. This forced Egypt to capture Syria, leading to the

    Syrian question.

    The London treaty of 1827: This granted self-governance to

    Greece which meant that Muhammad Ali had not fully assisted

    the sultan to defeat the Greeks. The sultan of Turkey therefore

    refused to give Syria to Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt, leading to

    misunderstanding between them.

    Course of the Syrian Question

    Activity 27

    Describe the course of the Syrian question. Present your work

    to the class.

    The Syrian question was caused by the failure of the sultan to

    Turkey respect the promise that he had made to Muhammad Ali

    after the Greek war of independence. He had promised Egypt the

    territories of Syria and Damascus as a reward for Egyptian military

    support against the Greeks.

    Muhammad Ali decided to occupy Syria by force. In 1832 Egyptian

    troops overran Syria. The Egyptian invasion forced Mahmud II to

    seek Russian assistance. Russian forces poured into the Balkans

    and this worried Austria, Britain and France. The three powers

    fearing Russian expansion were forced to put pressure on the

    sultan Mahmud II to surrender Syria to Muhammad Ali, which the

    Sultan did in April 1833.

    This was confirmed by the treaty of Unkiar Skellessi of July

    1833. This treaty placed the Ottoman Empire under the exclusive

    protection of the Russians. This allowed them to dominate the

    straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles. Britain, wanted to nullify any

    Russian gains, by seeking to internationalise the straits.

    Russia influenced the sultan to include a secret clause in the treaty

    which stated that the straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles would

    be closed in times of war to all ships except those of Russia. Thus

    Russia militarily and politically benefited to the disappointment of

    other European powers.

    On June 29, 1839 an invading Ottoman army was again destroyed

    in Syria by Muhammad’s general, Ibrahim Pasha at the battle

    of Nezib, putting him in possession of the whole of Syria. This

    threatened to place Istanbul and the entire eastern Mediterranean

    under his control. After the battle, the Ottoman fleet defected to

    Muhammad Ali. Britain, Russia and Austria promised to support

    the Ottoman Empire and to force Muhammad Ali (who had the

    support of France and Spain) to withdraw from Syria. Britain,

    Russia, France and Prussia signed the Straits Convention of London

    in 1841 by which the Syrian question was settled.

    Muhammad Ali was forced to denounce his claims in Syria. He was

    confirmed as the hereditary ruler of Egypt and Turkey recovered

    Crete and Arabia. This convention also forced Russia to denounce

    the treaty of Unkiar Skellessi of 1833. Turkey would close the

    straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles to the warships of all nations

    including Russia so that no state threatened her. This was a great

    diplomatic victory for the British Prime Minister Lord Palmerstone.

    Russia and France lost in the Syrian question and they were not

    to disturb Europe again. The situation remained calm and there

    was no war in the region up to 1853 when the Crimean war

    broke out in the Balkan region.

    Effects of the Syrian Question

    Activity 28

    Assess the impact of the Syrian question. Present the outcomes

    of your assessment to the class.

    It increased Russian imperialism in the Balkans: After taking Syria

    by force, Egypt threatened Constantinople and in order to save the

    city, Turkey requested for help from Russia. This enabled Russia to

    intervene in the Balkans.

    It led to the unpopularity of Louis Philippe in France: Philippe had

    achieved glory by helping Muhammad Ali of Egypt to control Syria.

    However, he later withdrew his troops from Egypt and this made

    the glory seekers unhappy with Louis Philippe and discredited him

    in France.

    Big powers intervention in the Balkans: This was when those

    big powers come as saviors, because Russia wanted to protect

    Constantinople while France and Britain wanted to stop Russia

    from dominating the Balkans.

    Rivalry and suspicion between European powers: Russian influence

    increased in the Balkans as a result of the Syrian question through

    the treaty of Unkiar Skelessi which allowed Russia to intervene in

    Balkan affairs. As a result, up to the 1870s, Britain and Austria

    threatened to declare war on Russia.

    Poor relations between Egypt, France and Britain, Russia, Austria

    and Prussia: The expulsion of France and Egypt by big powers from

    Syria in 1841 after signing the Straits Convention, caused tension

    among European powers.

    It worsened the conditions of the Ottoman Empire: It was another

    blow to the empire after the Greek war of independence which had

    hit the life of the empire. It weakened the Ottoman Empire because

    many small states also demanded for independence.

    Hatred between Egypt and Turkey: The two countries never

    reconciled until Turkey totally disintegrated in 1914.

    The Crimean War

    Activity 29

    Examine the causes of the Crimean war of 1854–1856. Present

    the result of your work to the class.

    The Crimean war was fought between Russia and the allied forces

    of the United Kingdom, France, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia.

    It began on the Crimean peninsula in 1853. The allies objected to

    expanding Russian power in the Black Sea area and to the seizing

    of land from the Ottoman Empire. Russia was defeated in 1856.

    The war was part of a long-running contest between the major

    European powers for influence over territories of the declining

    Ottoman Empire. Most of the conflict took place in the Crimean

    peninsula, but there were smaller campaigns in western Anatolia,

    Caucasus, the Baltic Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the White Sea.

    The Crimean War is known for the logistical and tactical errors

    during the land campaign on both sides (the naval side saw a

    successful allied campaign which eliminated most of the ships of

    the Russian navy in the Black Sea). Nonetheless, it is sometimes

    considered to be one of the first modern wars as it “introduced

    technical changes which affected the future course of warfare,”

    including the first tactical use of railways and the electric telegraph.

    It is also famous for the work of Florence Nightingale and Mary

    Seacole, who pioneered modern nursing practices while caring for

    wounded British soldiers.

    Causes of the war

    Many factors contributed to the outbreak of the Crimean war.

    The violation of 1841 Straits Convention: Russia had violated

    this convention by capturing Wallachia and Moldavia which were

    Turkish territories.

    Guardianship of the holy places of Jerusalem and Bethlehem:

    France and Russia were struggling to control the holy places of

    Jerusalem and Bethlehem which made the outbreak of the Crimean

    war inevitable. The sultan of Turkey Abd al-Madjid refused to give

    the control of the holy lands to Russia, and gave them to France.

    This prompted Russia to invade the Turkish territories of Wallachia

    and Moldavia, leading to the Crimean war.

    Napoleon III of France: He wanted to revenge for his uncle’s defeat

    in the 1812 Moscow campaign and this led to the Crimean war

    where France got a chance of fighting with Russia in 1854.

    The refusal of Tsar Nicholas of Russia to recognise Napoleon III as

    an emperor: Napoleon III greatly detested the idea of Tsar Nicholas

    referring to him as “My friend” instead of “My dear brother” as was

    the norm of saluting fellow emperors in Europe. This worsened the

    conflict between them and lead to the war.

    The collapse of the Congress system: The idea of the congress

    system was promoted by Metternich. However, the 1830 and

    1848 revolutions led to the fall of Metternich and eventually

    the collapse of the congress system. European matters could no

    longer be diplomatically solved and that is why the conflict among

    European powers ended in war.

    Protection of British commercial interests: This forced the British

    ambassador in Constantinople to encourage the sultan of Turkey to

    stand firm in his decision to give the right to protect the holy places

    to France and not Russia. This forced Russia to occupy Turkish

    territories, leading to the war.

    The weakness of Turkey as the “sick man of Europe”: Turkey

    mistreated her subjects and this led to revolts. Those revolts

    attracted the attention of the big powers who intervened in the

    empire’s affairs. Besides, at the end of the 18th century the captured

    states of Turkey began breaking away. This encouraged Russia to

    occupy Wallachia and Moldavia leading to war in 1854.

    The Russian occupation of Wallachia in July 1853: Moldavia

    and Wallachia were semi independent provinces of the Ottoman

    Empire under the sultan of Turkey. Russia occupied them to force

    the sultan to accept her claim of protecting the holy places. The

    sultan protested Russian occupation and declared war against

    Russia in October 1853. France and Britain joined Turkey and they

    shifted the war from Wallachia and Moldavia to the Crimean Island

    in Russia.

    The role of some personalities: Strafford the British Ambassador in

    Constantinople encouraged the sultan of Turkey to give holy places to

    France and not Russia and this led to the war.

    The Sinope massacre 1853: It was the most immediate event

    that led to the Crimean war. When Turkey declared war on Russia,

    she reacted by bombing a Turkish warship at Sinope, a Turkish

    province, in the Black Sea, killing many Turks on board. This

    attracted France and Britain to help Turkey by declaring war on

    Russia in March 1854.

    Course of the Crimean War

    Activity 30

    Describe the course of the Crimean war, and then present your

    work to the class.

    The war in the Danubian provinces: March – August 1854

    The Danube campaign was opened when the Russians occupied

    the Danubian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia in May

    1853, bringing their forces to the north bank of the river Danube.

    In response, the Ottoman Empire also moved their forces up to the

    river. This established monopolies at Vidin in the west, and Silistra,

    in the east, near the mouth of the Danube.

    An Anglo-French naval expedition went to the Baltic in August but

    this was not effective and the area was in any case irrelevant to the

    causes of the war. Troops were also sent to Gallipoli to make a thrust

    into the Balkans. However, in August the Russians withdrew from

    Moldavia and Wallachia because Austria threatened to intervene, but never actually intervened because she was internally too weak

    to risk war. Austria remained neutral in the Crimean war.

    The war in the Crimea: September 1854–January 1855

    The Crimean campaign opened in September 1854 with the

    landing of the allied force of 50,000 soldiers at Eupatoria, north of

    Sevastopol. After crossing the Alma River on September 30, 1854,

    the allies under the command of the British and French generals,

    Raglan and Saint Arnauld moved on to invade Sevastopol. The

    Russian army retreated to the interior. A Russian assault on the

    allied supply base at Balaclava was repulsed on October 25, 1854.

    The failure of the British and French to follow up the battle of

    Balaclava led directly to another and much more bloody battle—

    the battle of Inkerman. On November 5, 1854, the Russians

    attempted to raise the siege at Sevastopol with an attack against

    the allies near the town of Inkerman which resulted in another

    victory for the allies.

    Meanwhile, at Sevastopol, the allies had surrounded the city

    with entrenchments and, in October 1854, unleashed an all–

    out bombardment (the first of many) against the city’s defenses.

    Winter, and a deteriorating supply situation on both sides, led to

    a halt in ground operations. Sevastopol remained invested by the

    allies, while the allied armies were hemmed in by the Russian

    army in the interior.

    The war in the Crimea: January–September 1855

    In February 1855 the Russians attacked the allied base at Eupatoria,

    where an Ottoman army had camped and was threatening Russian

    supply routes. The battle saw the Russians defeated, and led to

    a change in command. On the allied side the emphasis of the

    siege shifted to the right-hand sector of the lines, against the

    fortifications on Malakoff hill. In March there was fighting over

    the fort at Mamelon, located on a hill in front of the Malakoff.

    Several weeks of fighting saw little change in the front line, and the

    Mamelon remained in Russian hands.

    In April the allies staged a second all-out bombardment, leading

    to an artillery duel with the Russian guns, but no ground assault

    followed. In May the allies landed a force at Kerch, to the east,

    opening another front in the Crimea in an attempt to outflank the Russian army. The landings were successful, but the force made

    little progress thereafter. In June a third bombardment was followed

    by a successful attack on the Mamelon, but a follow-up assault on

    the Malakoff failed with heavy losses. During this time the garrison

    commander, Admiral Nakhimov, suffered a fatal bullet wound and

    died on 30 June 1855.

    In August the Russians again attacked the base at Balaclava. The

    resulting battle of Tchernaya was a defeat for the Russians, who

    suffered heavy casualties. September saw the final assault. On 5th

    September another bombardment was followed by an assault on 8th

    September resulting in the capture of Malakoff by the French, and

    the collapse of the Russian defenses. The city fell on 9th September

    1855, after about a year-long siege.

    At this point both sides were exhausted, and there were no further

    military operations in the Crimea before the onset of winter. In

    1856, the Crimean war ended with the signing of the Paris Peace

    Treaty between Russia and the allied powers.

    Effects of the Crimean War

    Activity 31

    Analyse the effects of the Crimean war in European politics.

    Present the results of your work to the class.

    The war and the treaty had political, social and economic effects

    on Europe.

    The war marked the highest loss of lives and massive destruction

    of property in the history of Europe, 300,000 – 375,000 on the

    side of the allied powers and 220,000 troops dead on the side of


    It marked the foundation of the nursing profession by English nurses,

    Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, and the establishment of

    the Red Cross Society 1864. This improved on medical services.

    During the Crimean war, from 1853 to 1856, many British

    soldiers died from wounds and disease. Florence Nightingale set

    up a hospital near the battlefront and helped reduce the death rate

    among the sick and wounded.

    The Russian revolution of 1917 broke out because the Tsar’s

    regime became unpopular due to the defeat.

    The war led Alexander II the successor of Nicholas I to start off

    efforts to overcome Russia’s backwardness so as to achieve high

    levels of development like other European powers, especially in

    agriculture and industry.

    The Italian unification efforts were boosted because Cavour was

    able to get assistance from France that helped in the liberation of


    Napoleon III’s prestige and popularity increased in France because

    of victory over Russia, their traditional enemy.

    The Orthodox Christians in the Balkans were exposed to harsh

    treatment under Turkish rule.

    The war marked the final collapse of the Congress System since the

    powers in the alliance fought against each other.

    Free navigation on big waters like Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea

    and Danube River was guaranteed as a result of this war.

    The independence of Turkey was guaranteed and was temporarily

    saved from Russian imperialism.

    Tsar Nicholas I of Russia was forced to resort to fundamental

    reforms mainly in agriculture and industry.

    The war led to the manufacture and use of more sophisticated

    weapons that were to be used during the world war II.

    Because of siding with Russia, Austria lost the support of France

    and Britian and this paved the way for the unification of Germany

    and Italy.

    The war attracted visitors from different parts of Europe. This

    changed the outlook towards political and social life in Turkey.

    The 1856 Paris Treaty and its Impact on Europe

    Activity 32

    Assess the impact of the 1856 Paris Peace Treaty on European

    politics. Present your work to the class.

    The Paris Peace Treaty of 1856 was a document that concluded

    the Crimean war of 1854–1856. It was signed by France, Britain,

    Turkey and Russia under the chairmanship of Napoleon III of

    France. It had the following impact on Europe.

    The Paris Peace Treaty ensured the integrity and independence of

    the Turkish Empire and admitted Turkey to the concert of Europe.

    This treaty forced the sultan of Turkey to grant fair treatment to

    his Orthodox Christian subjects and temporarily checked Russian

    ambitions in the Balkans.

    The Paris Peace Treaty also revised the Straits Convention of 1841

    declaring the Black Sea neutral. It also made territorial adjustments

    by giving Bessarabia to Moldavia from Russia.

    The treaty internationalised the navigation of Danube River and

    increased Napoleon III’s prestige and popularity both in France and

    in Europe.

    The treaty recognised Italy and Italy got support for her unification.

    The treaty humiliated Russia following her territorial losses and

    worsened relations between the European powers with Russia.

    Finally, the treaty led to the disintegration of the Turkish Empire by

    granting self governance to Moldavia and Wallachia. 

    The the Berlin Congress of 1878

    Activity 33

    Evaluate the reasons that led to the calling of the 1878 Berlin

    congress. Present your work to the class.

    The congress of Berlin, which lasted from June 13, 1878 to July

    13, 1878, was an assembly of representatives from Germany,

    Russia, Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Italy, and the Ottoman

    Empire. Delegates from Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro

    attended the sessions concerning their states, but were not

    members of the congress. It was presided over by the German

    chancellor Otto Von Bismarck and called to resolve the problem

    of the Eastern Question by renegotiating the treaty of San Stefano.

    That treaty, which had concluded the Russo-Turkish war in 1878,

    imposed extremely harsh terms on the Ottoman Empire. The other

    European powers objected.

    After winning the Russo-Turkish war, Russia by the San Stefano

    treaty of 1878 imposed extremely severe terms on the Ottoman

    Empire. Other European powers, notably Austria-Hungary and

    Britain, were alarmed at the growth of Russia’s power and of the

    independent states created in the Balkans by the treaty. Concerned

    for their own interests in the Middle East, they insisted that the

    treaty be modified. Count Gyula Andrássy, foreign minister of

    Austria-Hungary, invited the European powers concerned to meet

    at Berlin.

    Reasons for the calling of Berlin Congress

    The failure of the Paris Peace Treaty of 1856 to settle revolts

    within the Balkans forced Otto Von Bismarck to organise the Berlin

    Congress in 1878.

    Sultan Abd al-Madjid of Turkey failed to treat Christians fairly as

    promised during the Paris Peace Treaty of 1856.

    Russian interests in the Ottoman Empire and the signing of the

    treaty of San Stefano in 1878 contributed to the calling of the


    There was need to settle territorial disputes among the European

    powers; for example, those between Russia, Turkey and Austria in

    the Balkans.

    The congress was aimed at saving the Ottoman Empire from

    disintegrating as a result of Russia’s imperialism.

    The congress was also called to address the commercial rivalry

    between Russia, Britain and Russian imperialism which threatened

    Britain’s trade.

    Rebellions like in Bosnia and Herzegovina which were crashed

    with extreme brutality attracted the attention of the great powers.

    This led to the calling of the congress.

    There was need to address the complaints of different states which

    were struggling for independence. These included Serbia, Romania

    and Bulgaria which had been subjected to the oppressive rule of

    the Ottoman Turks for a long time.

    Bismarck wanted to maintain good relations with Austria-Hungary

    and Russia so as to maintain the balance of power in Europe.

    Bismarck’s desire to promote German supremacy and glory after

    unification in Europe also contributed to the calling of Berlin

    Congress in 1878.

    Impact of the Berlin Congress on Europe

    Activity 34

    Assess the impact of the Berlin congress on European affairs.

    Present your work to the class.

    France was given Tunisia in North Africa to compensate her for

    the loss of Alsace and Loraine during the 1870–1871 Franco –

    Prussian war.

    The congress forced the Turkish sultan to promise better treatment

    to his Christian subjects.

    The San Stefano treaty which was imposed on Turkey by Russia in

    March 1878 was brought to an end in order to save the Ottoman

    Empire from disintegrating.

    Otto Von Bismarck who chaired the Berlin Congress gained

    international influence as a peace loving figure.

    Italy lost her territory of Tunisia in North Africa which was handed

    over to France.

    Russia lost control over Bosnia, Herzegovina and Bulgaria.

    The congress ignored and suppressed nationalism in Bosnia and

    Herzegovina. This increased the conflicts in the Balkans in later


    The relationship between Russia and Germany became worse as

    Russia refused to the renew the Dreikaiserbund League of 1872–

    1873 between Russia, Germany and Austria because Russia felt

    that Germany and Austria were not true friends.

    It greatly led to the outbreak of the 1912–1913 Balkan wars which

    left a lot of damages in central Europe.

    The Balkan wars broke out in two phases; the first in 1912 and the

    second in 1913. The first were organised by the Balkan Christians

    in mainly Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece against the

    oppressive policies of the Turkish Sultan. The second broke out

    mainly due to conflicts among the Christian states over sharing the

    disintegrating Ottoman Empire. 

    There was peace in Europe for about 30 years, from 1878 to 1914

    when world war I broke out.

    The period 1836–1878 was marked by great events in the history

    of Europe. It was a period dominated by revolutions, where almost

    all European countries were affected. Other major events were the

    unifications achieved by the Italians and the Germans in 1871 after

    defeating Austria. This inspired other oppressed people to demand

    for their independence. This led to the outbreak of a series of wars

    in the Balkans. For example, the Greek war of independence.


    Abdicate: to give up the position of being king or queen.

    Absorption: the process of a smaller country, group, etc.

    becoming part of a larger country or group.

    Activist: a person who works to achieve political or

    social change, especially as a member of an

    organisation with particular aims.

    Armistice: a formal agreement during a war to stop

    fighting and discuss making peace.

    Atrocity: a cruel and violent act, especially in a war.

    Bankruptcy: the state of being bankrupt; without enough

    money to pay what you owe.

    Buffer state: a small country between two powerful states

    that helps keep peace between them.

    Capitulation: act of agreeing to do something that you have

    been refusing to do for a long time. Act of

    ending resistance or accepting defeat.

    Claim: to demand or ask for something because you

    believe it is your legal right to own or to have it.

    Complain: to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not

    satisfied with somebody/something.

    Confederation: an organisation consisting of countries,

    businesses, etc. that have joined together in order to help each other.

    Conservative: opposed to great or sudden change; showing

    that you prefer traditional styles and values.

    Convince: to make somebody/yourself believe something is true

    to persuade somebody to do something

    Dissatisfaction: a feeling that you are not pleased and satisfied.

    Divert: to make somebody/something change direction

    To take somebody’s thoughts or attention away

    from something

    Entrenchment: the fact of something being firmly established.

    Extravagancy: state of being extravagant; spending a lot more

    money or using a lot more of something than

    you can afford or than is necessary.

    Federation: a country consisting of a group of individual

    states that have control over their own affairs

    but are controlled by a central government for

    national decisions, etc.

    Forestall: to prevent something from happening or

    somebody from doing something by doing

    something first.

    Infallibility: act of never being wrong, never making mistakes

    or always doing what it is supposed to do.

    Interference: act of helping people by addressing problems

    they face.

    Nation-state: group of people with the same culture, language,

    etc. who have formed an independent country.

    Peacemaker: a person who tries to encourage people or

    countries to stop arguing or fighting and to

    make peace.

    Peninsula: an area of land that is almost surrounded by

    water but is joined to a larger piece of land.

    Persecution: act of treating somebody in a cruel and unfair

    way, especially because of their race, religion

    or political beliefs.

    Plebiscite: a vote by the people of a country or a region on

    an issue that is very important.

    Resign: to officially tell somebody that you are leaving

    your job, an organisation, etc.

    Slum: an area of a city that is very poor and where

    the settlements are dirty and in bad condition.

    Supremacy: a position in which you have more power,

    authority or status than anyone else.

    Unification: act of unity; to join people, things, parts of a

    country, etc. together so that they form a single

    unit or country.

    Uprising: a situation in which a group of people join

    together in order to fight against the people

    who are in power.

    Revision questions

    1. Account for the outbreak of the 1848 revolutions.

    2. What were the effects of the 1848 revolutions?

    3. What were the common characteristics of the 1848


    4. Explain why Britain escaped the 1848 revolutions.

    5. All the 1848 revolutions in Europe failed with the exception

    of France. Why?

    6. Explain the factors which delayed the Italian unification.

    7. Why was the struggle for Italian unification successful between

    1850 and 1871?

    8. Explain the contribution of Camillo Benso di Cavour in the

    Italian Unification.

    9. Examine the role played by foreign powers in the unification

    of Italy.

    10. Assess the role of King Victor Emmanuel II in the unification

    of Italy.

    11. Explain the obstacles to the German unification before 1860.

    12. Account for the success of the unification of Germany.

    13. Describe the role played by the Prince Otto von Bismarck in

    the German unification.

    14. Compare and contrast the Italian unification with German


    15. Why did Tsar Nicholas II of Russia describe the Turkish Empire

    as the ‘sick man of Europe’?

    16. Account for the outbreak of the Greek war of independence

    in 1821.

    17. Assess the impact of the 1821–1832 Greek war of

    independence on Europe.

    18. What were the causes of the Crimean war of 1854–1856?

    19. What were the effects of the 1854–1856 Crimean war?

    20. Assess the significance of the 1856 Paris Peace Treaty in


    21. What were the reasons for summoning the Berlin Congress in


    22. Assess the impact of the Berlin Congress of 1878 on Europe.

  • Unit 7: National Duties and Obligations

    Key unit competence

    Analyse the national duties and obligations


    National Itorero Commission, Imihigo contract performances,

    umuganda community activities and community policing are

    some of the several other home-grown solutions chosen by the

    government of Rwanda to overcome problems in its recent history.

    After the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, the government of

    Rwanda decided to rebuild Rwanda and her economy using

    Rwandan cultural values and practices.

    It is in this regard that Itorero was restored in 2007 whereas

    Imihigo was initiated in 2006. To these two national duties

    and obligations, umuganda has also been added to enhance

    socio-economic development by using the Rwandan culture of

    volunteerism. Since peace is a major order of development, the

    government has introduced community policing which engages the

    community in ensuring peace.

    All these home-grown solutions have already helped the country

    to make tremendous achievements even if some challenges

    encountered in carrying out these policies are yet to be overcome.

    Links to other subjects

    This unit can be linked to other subjects like General Studies and

    Communication Skills

    Main points to be covered in this unit

    ࿤ Background of national duties and obligations

    ࿤ Structure of national duties and obligations

    ࿤ Role played by national duties and obligations in the development

    of the country

    ࿤ Contributions of Rwandan citizens and non-citizens towards

    national duties and obligations (Itorero, community policing,

    Imihigo and Umuganda)

    ࿤ Challenges faced during the implementation of national duties

    and obligations

    Activity 1

    Carry out research on national duties and describe the historical

    background of Itorero ry’Igihugu (National Itorero Commission).

    Thereafter, present the results of your findings to the class.

    1. Define the term “Itorero ry’Igihugu”.

    2. Describe the background of Itorero ry’Igihugu.

    Activity 2

    Analyse the specific objectives of Itorero ry’Igihugu. Present the

    results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 3

    Research on national duties and explain the vision and the

    mission of National Itorero Commission and evaluate the

    achievements of the National Itorero Commission. Present the

    results of your study to the class.

    Activity 4

    Conduct research on national duties and obligations and explain

    Rwanda’s national taboos. Present the results of your findings

    to the class.

    Activity 5

    Carry out a study on national duties and obligations and

    describe the background of Umuganda. Present the results of

    your findings to the class.

    Activity 6

    Evaluate the achievements of Umuganda activities. Present the

    results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 7

    Define the concept of Imihigo and describe its background.

    Present the results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 8

    Evaluate the impact of Imihigo. Present the results of your

    findings to the class.

    Activity 9

    Examine Imihigo challenges. Present the results of your findings

    to the class.

    Activity 10

    Assess the implementation of Imihigo. Thereafter, present the

    results of your findings to the class.

    Activity 11

    Describe the structure of the community policing and evaluate

    its contribution in ensuring security.

    Activity 12

    Explain the day-to-day activities of community policing


    Itorero ry’Igihugu

    In precolonial Rwanda, the Itorero was a cultural school. It was

    also the channel through which the nation conveyed messages

    on national culture to the people. This included information on

    language, patriotism, social relations, sports, dances and songs,

    and defence of the nation. It also played the role of a national

    forum for grooming leaders. Itorero trainees would delve deeply in

    discussions relating to national programmes and Rwanda’s cultural

    values with the aim of reaching a common vision and instilling in

    themselves the virtues of humility, good conduct, and common

    understanding of what the country would expect of them, and the

    role of interdependence in the building of healthy socio-economic


    Today, the Itorero is a Rwandan civic education institution which

    teaches Rwandese to preserve their culture by believing in national

    unity, social solidarity, patriotism, integrity, bravery, tolerance,

    and the dos and don’ts of the society. Through Itorero Rwandans

    are also informed of government policies and programmes. This

    strengthens ownership of government programmes and promotes

    the role of the population in their implementation.

    Historical background of Itorero ry’Igihugu

    Itorero ry’Igihugu was a school in which a sense of patriotism,

    voluntarism and commitment to service was developed. Its

    activities included, military training, sports, and artistic expression

    which reflected patience, patriotism, heroism, and keeping secrets,

    recitals and music. Consequently, young people grew up with a

    good understanding and attachment to their culture. It was also

    through Itorero ry’Igihugu that future leaders were trained. They

    were taught cultural taboos, virtues of hard work, voluntarism,

    mutual aid and collaboration with others. It was through the

    activities of Itorero ry’Igihugu that Rwanda as a nation expanded

    and developed. Itorero was for boys. Girls were educated in

    urubohero where they learned to perform household activities like

    the art of making mats. During colonial rule these institutions were

    suppressed, and replaced by schools which exclusively focused

    on the cultural aspects of music and dancing. The suppression of

    institutions such as Itorero ry’Igihugu which brought Rwandans

    together in a non-discriminatory manner led to the development

    of divisions that partly led to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

    Between May 1998 and March 1999, the consultative meetings

    in Urugwiro recommended the revival of cultural values to promote

    good behaviours of citizens. It is in this spirit that the Rwanda

    government decided to draw from the Rwandan culture some home

    grown solutions to address challenges in governance, the economy

    and social welfare.

    The idea of re-establishing Itorero ry’Igihugu was adopted during

    the leadership retreat that took place in Akagera in February 2007.

    It is in this perspective that the cabinet meeting of 12th November

    2007 decided to revive Itorero ry’Igihugu and use it to instill a

    new mindset among Rwandans for speedy achievement of the

    development goals enshrined in Vision 2020.

    Itorero ry’Igihugu was later revived at the official launch presided

    upon by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Rwanda on

    16/11/2007 in the parliament buildings.

    Rationale behind Itorero ry’Igihugu

    Before colonialism, Itorero ry’ Igihugu functioned as a school in

    which Rwandans would be mentored in Rwandan culture, and the

    values and taboos involved. This encouraged mutual respect, soc

    cohesion, national unity, patriotism, integrity, harmony and other

    virtues. These teachings were intended to help the young people

    to understand and uphold their culture. Intore, would be mainly

    trained in debating matters of national interest and in Rwandan

    cultural values.

    Itorero ry’Igihugu has the objective of training self-respecting

    citizens who are identified by their national values, and are eager

    to quickly embrace innovations that have positive impact on their

    social welfare. Itorero ry’Igihugu also aims at cultivating visionary,

    patriotic, and exemplary leaders who promote the well-being

    of people at all levels of governance. A culture of selflessness

    and volunteerism is also being revived and entrenched among

    Rwandans. The mediation committees, Gacaca’s people of

    integrity, community health counselors, the National Youth Council

    members, Women Council members and counselors at various

    administrative levels constitute groups of volunteers in the service

    of the nation.

    What the Itorero ry’igihugu teaches is unique because it is based

    on principles and values of Rwandan culture. On the other hand,

    Urugerero (National Service) has much in common with what takes

    place in other countries. Participating in Itorero is the obligation of

    every Rwandan, regardless of status and social group. Participants

    include children from the age of seven years and the youth from

    18 to 35 years. For the latter age group, participating in Urugerero

    is obligatory.

    Specific objectives of Itorero ry’Igihugu

    ࿤ Equip Rwandans with the capacity to analyse their problems in

    order to find solutions.

    ࿤ Promote the Kinyarwanda language.

    ࿤ Mentor Rwandans in collective action, team spirit and promotion

    of innovation and performance contracts.

    ࿤ Mentor Rwandans to understand and participate in the

    implementation of national programmes.

    ࿤ Educate Rwandans to be physically fit, clean in their homes,

    protect the environment, strengthen democracy, engage in

    constructive debate, enforce the law, and fight corruption and


    ࿤ Educate Rwandans in building and promoting the culture

    of peace based on mutual trust, respect, humility, respect 

    of human rights, and protection against discrimination and

    genocide ideology.

    ࿤ Educate Rwandans to be efficient in service delivery, courageous,

    and to deliver goods and efficient services.


    Rwandans should:

    ࿤ Have a shared mindset and values to promote their unity and


    ࿤ Be aware of the goals of the country, ways to achieve them and

    their contribution in implementing them.

    ࿤ Be self confident in solving their problems.

    ࿤ Have a shared vision to strive for self development and pride to

    develop their country.


    To mentor Intore with:

    ࿤ Values based on Rwandan culture.

    ࿤ Motivation for positive change.

    ࿤ A desire to promote opportunities for development using

    Rwandan cultural values; identify taboos that inhibit the

    development of the country; fight violence and corruption;

    eradicate the culture of impunity; strengthen the culture of

    peace, tolerance, unity and reconciliation; and eradicate

    genocide ideology and all its roots.

    ࿤ Respect for dignity (ishema) and the heroic aspects (ibigwi) of

    Rwandan culture and Rwanda’s national values.

    ࿤ Speed and respect for time: A country in hurry.

    ࿤ Customer service mentality: Constant improvement and


    ࿤ Quality of delivery: High standards, spirit of excellence, efficiency.

    ࿤ Completion or aiming at results: we finish what we start.

    ࿤ Self respect: National pride.

    Rwanda’s national taboos

    ࿤ Inattention to results: status and ego.

    ࿤ Avoidance of accountability: missed deadlines.

    ࿤ Lack of commitment: ambiguity.

    ࿤ Fear of conflict: artificial harmony.

    ࿤ Lack of trust: invulnerability.

    Achievements of the National Itorero Commission

    From November 19th, 2007, Itorero ry’Igihugu was launched in

    all the districts. In December 2007, a ceremony to present Intore

    regiments at district level to the president of the republic of Rwanda

    and other senior government officials took place at Amahoro

    stadium. Each district’s regiment presented their performance

    contract at that colorful ceremony which was marked by cultural

    festivals. Each district’s Intore regiment publically announced its

    identification name. At the national level, all the 30 district intore

    regiments constitute one national Itorero, but each district regiment

    has its Identification Name. Each district regiment may have an

    affiliate sub-division which can also carry a different identification


    The Itorero for Rwandan diaspora has the authority to develop its

    affiliated sub-division. From November 7th 2007 up to the end of

    2012, Itorero ry’ Igihugu trained 284,209 Intore.

    In order to enable each Intore to benefit and experience change

    of mindset, each group chooses its identification name and sets

    objectives it must achieve. Those projected objectives must be

    achieved during or after training, and this is confirmed by the

    performance contracts that have to be accomplished. With this

    obligation in mind, each individual also sets personal objective that

    in turn contributes to the success of the corporate objectives.

    The number of Intore who have been trained at the village level is

    814,587. Those mentored at the national level carry out mentoring

    in villages, schools, and at work places. In total, 1,098, 599

    Rwandans have been mentored.

    Achievements made through Urugerero Programme

    Plans to implement Urugerero (National Service) started toward the

    end of 2012 and the actual implementation started in 2013. Despite

    this short time however, Urugerero programme has started to yield

    impressive results. Students who completed secondary school in

    2012 went through Itorero mentorship between 30/11 and 17/12/

    2012. Upon completion of the prescribed course, participants

    were given certificates. Later, they had to join Urugerero where

    they participated in various activities designed to promote social

    cohesion, community wellness and national development. Intore

    mentored at that time totalled 40,730. Among them, 19,285 

    were female, while 21,445 were male. However, those who joined

    Urugerero were 37,660, with 18,675 female participants.

    According to the policy of Itorero ry’ Igihugu, volunteerism refers to

    any unpaid communal work, voluntarily undertaken in the service

    of the nation. Volunteerism is reflected in various community works

    such as Umuganda, Ubudehe and contributions to a common

    cause. Other voluntary activities are from community mediators,

    various councils, community health workers, Community Policing

    Committees/CPCs, and Red Cross volunteers.

    Actual Urugerero activities started on 17/1/2013, but they were

    officially launched on 22/1/2013. The activities included general

    community sensitisation, collection of essential data base, and

    community work in support of vulnerable groups.

    The pioneer group of Urugerero achieved the following:

    ࿤ Sensitising Rwandans on the eradication of genocide and its

    ideology and encouraging them to participate in activities

    organised to commemorate the genocide committed against

    Tutsi in 1994.

    ࿤ Sensitising the community on the importance of mutual health

    insurance, adult literacy, fighting against drug abuse, legalising

    marriages especially for families that are cohabitating, and

    environmental protection.

    ࿤ Organising meetings at village levels aimed at educating the

    community on Rwandan cultural values, unity, patriotism, and


    ࿤ Educating the population on personal hygiene and cleanliness

    of their environment.

    ࿤ Collecting data on different categories of people for example,

    the illiterate, those who had not yet registered for mutual health

    insurance, and those legible for paying tax . Making inventories of

    the districts’ property, school dropouts, children of school going

    age who are not yet in school, and illegal marriages.

    Some groups of Intore in Urugerero opted to demonstrate how

    speedy and exceptional service could be rendered while working

    with various public offices. This was done in health centres, cell

    offices, and District offices, especially in the issuing of documents,

    data entry in computers and customer care.

    Activities relating to manual community work include vegetable

    gardening for family consumption, construction of shelters for 

    vulnerable families, participation in the construction of cell offices

    and landscaping of their compounds.

    In environmental protection, Intore constructed terraces and

    planted trees as a measure of preventing soil erosion.

    Activities relating to the promotion of the volunteer services

    in National Development Programmes: In Rwandan culture,

    “volunteerism” means rendering a sacrificial and selfless service

    out of love either to a national cause or to a needy neighbour.

    Below, we look at the outcome, outputs and activities relating to

    fraternity, national identity and participation in national programmes

    through Urugerero.


    As part of efforts to reconstruct Rwanda and nurture a shared

    national identity, the government of Rwanda drew on aspects of

    Rwandan culture and traditional practices to enrich and adapt

    its development programmes to the country’s needs and context.

    The result is a set of home grown solutions from culturally owned

    practices translated into sustainable development programmes.

    One of these home grown solutions is Umuganda.

    Modern day Umuganda can be described as community work.

    On the last Saturday of each month, communities come together

    to do a variety of public works. This often includes infrastructure

    development and environmental protection. Rwandans between

    18 and 65 years of age are obliged to participate in Umuganda.

    Expatriates living in Rwanda are encouraged to take part. Today

    close to 80 per cent of Rwandans take part in monthly community


    As part of Vision 2020 development programme, the government

    implemented Umuganda a community service policy. It was

    designed to help supplement the national budget in construction

    and the repair of basic infrastructure. The work done is organised by

    community members and is done voluntarily and without pay. The

    projects completed through Umuganda include, the construction

    of schools, feeder roads, road repair, terracing, reforestation, home

    construction for vulnerable people, erosion control, and water


    The goals of Umuganda:

    ࿤ Supplement national resources by doing specific activities.

    ࿤ Instill a culture of collective effort in the population.

    ࿤ Resolve problems faced by the population using locally available


    ࿤ Restore the dignity of manual labour.

    Planning for Umuganda is done in council meetings at the cell level.

    It is the responsibility of local leaders as well as national leaders to

    mobilise the population to participate in Umuganda. Community

    members meet and agree on the date (usually a weekend) and

    the activity. Participation in Umuganda is compulsory for all ablebodied citizens. This policy is expected to lead to a more cohesive

    society as all the members come together to complete a project that

    benefits the community. The word Umuganda can be translated as

    ‘coming together for common purpose to achieve an outcome’. In

    traditional Rwandan culture, members of the community would call

    upon their family, friends and neighbours to help them complete a

    difficult task.


    Successful projects include the building of schools, medical

    centres and hydro electric plants as well as rehabilitating wetlands

    and creating highly productive agricultural plots. The value of

    Umuganda to the country’s development since 2007 has been

    estimated at more than US $60 million.

    Professionals in the public and private sectors also contribute to

    umuganda. They include engineers, medics, IT specialists, and

    statisticians, among others.

    The military personnel also participate in social activities like the

    building of schools and hospitals. This inspires the population to

    be very active as well.

    Umuganda value has increased from Rwf12 billion in 2012 to

    Rwf17 billion in 2015 and Rwf19 billion in 2016. With the increase

    in monetary activities, Umuganda has seen Rwandans build over

    400 offices of micro finance institutions commonly known as

    Umurenge Sacco, and 11,000 classrooms for the country’s ‘twelve

    year basic education’ which has increased school enrolment to

    over 95 per cent of children in Primary Schools.


    Imihigo is the plural Kinyarwanda word of Umuhigo, which means

    to vow to deliver. Imihigo also includes the concept of Guhiganwa,

    which means to compete. Imihigo describes the pre-colonial

    cultural practice in Rwanda where an individual sets targets or

    goals to be achieved within a specific period of time. The person

    must complete these objectives by following guiding principles and

    be determined to overcome any possible challenges that arise.

    Imihigo is one of the home grown solutions. In 2000, a shift in

    the responsibilities at all levels of government as a result of a

    decentralisation programme required a new approach to monitoring

    and evaluation. Local levels of government were now responsible

    for implementing development programmes which meant that the

    central government and people of Rwanda needed a way to ensure


    In 2006, Imihigo (also known as performance contracts) was

    introduced to address this need. Since its introduction, Imihigo has been credited with improving accountability and quickening the

    pace of citizen centred development activities and programmes.

    The practice of Imihigo has now been extended to ministries,

    embassies and public service staff.

    In the application of Imihigo, the districts are responsible for

    implementing programmes under this broad agenda while

    central government assumes the task of planning and facilitation.

    Planning ensures that the national objectives of growth and

    poverty reduction are achieved. The decentralisation policy is

    also designed to deepen and sustain grassroots-based democratic

    governance. It promotes equitable local development by enhancing

    participation and strengthening the local government system,

    while maintaining effective functional and mutually accountable

    linkages between central and local governments. This entails

    enhancing participation, promoting the culture of accountability,

    and fast-tracking and sustaining equitable local development as

    a mechanism to enhance local fiscal autonomy. It also means

    employment and poverty reduction and enhancing effectiveness

    and efficiency in the planning, monitoring, and delivery of services.

    The principle of subsidiary underpins the decentralisation policy,

    which is designed to ensure transparency and accountability for

    local service delivery through participation in planning. This also

    applies to civil society, faith-based organisations, the private sector,

    and development partners.

    Impact of Imihigo

    Rwanda has made tremendous progress in socio-economic

    advancement in the last decade. Over the Economic Development

    and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) 1 period, the average

    real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate was 8.2 per cent

    and poverty was reduced from 56.7 per cent to 44.9 per cent

    between 2006 and 2011. Access to education and health services

    has become universal with 96 per cent of school-aged children

    now enrolled in primary schools, and 90 per cent coverage of

    health insurance. These achievements illustrate the impact of

    development policies on the framework of a vision resting on

    home-grown solutions. This diverse set of instruments embraces

    participation and consensus based on culture and national identity,

    as guiding principles.

    Within the commitment of evidence-based policy making,

    the impact, scope and documentation of Home-Grown

    Initiatives/ Solutions (HGI/S) is systematically pursued. It

    is against this background that the Rwanda Governance

    Board (RGB) was mandated by the cabinet meeting held on

    4th November 2011 to conduct monitoring, research and

    policy dialogues on the home-grown initiatives and solutions.

    One of the most prominent HGI/S has been the Imihigo, or

    performance contract policy in public administration reform.

    Imihigo has been implemented since 2006 as a tool to accelerate

    national development. Over the years, the practice has evolved

    into a tool for effective planning, implementation, performance

    evaluation and accountability for all public institutions and staff.

    More specifically, findings from Imihigo are used to inform the

    government of Rwanda about the following:

    Performance: Provide feedback on the delivery of outputs and the

    impact on the beneficiaries.

    Accountability: Whether public spending is addressing the

    appropriate priorities and making a difference in the lives of citizens.

    Knowledge: Increasing knowledge about what policies and

    programmes work, enabling the government at central and local

    levels to build an evidence base for future policy development and

    the identification of ways to improve effectiveness.

    Decision-making: Providing evidence to enable policy-makers,

    planners and finance departments to agree on the need for


    Co-ordination: Identifying key stakeholders expected to be involved

    in specific areas/programmes/projects, extent of participation and


    Beneficiaries’ satisfaction: The extent to which beneficiaries are

    happy with government interventions and the level of consultation.

    Imihigo challenges

    Problems of measurements

    There is no standard for measuring the value of Umuganda. The

    first issue has to do with the output on increasing the value and participation in Umuganda. For instance, some districts measure

    its value based on the number of people participating on the day

    multiplied by the daily labour (mostly farming) rate applicable in

    that district. Other districts attempt to estimate the financial cost of

    achievements on the day of Umuganda. In both cases Umuganda

    lasts only three hours. A key defect in the first approach is that

    calculations are based on a full day’s work rate when Umuganda only

    lasts an average of three hours. The output can be overestimated.

    Budget versus needs

    There is a clear discrepancy between allocated budget and the

    magnitude of citizen needs at the local administrative level.

    Harmonising citizen’s needs with the available budget is the key

    challenge. While there are always several competing needs for a

    limited budget, appropriate apportionment implies that the limited

    resources should respond to the most pressing demands.

    Competing agendas

    There are competing agendas between the central and local

    government. Urgent assignments from line ministries and other

    central government agencies interfere with local planning. Despite

    efforts for joint planning meetings between the central and local

    levels, unplanned for requests from the central government

    consume local resources (finances and time) particularly when the

    demands are not accompanied with implementing funds. In some

    instances, money to implement an inserted item will be promised

    but not delivered when it comes to the implementation phase or

    local authorities are told to insert items and are then told to get

    resources from private sources.

    Low ownership of Imihigo

    Imihigo should be based on the needs of citizens at the local level

    and national development priorities. However, Imihigo ownership

    is relatively low among the intended beneficiaries. There is a

    “dependency syndrome” where citizens depend on government to

    provide them with free or subsidised goods. Citizens also compete

    for lower categories of Ubudehe in order to become eligible for free

    healthcare and Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP). These

    programmes are responsible for low ownership of Imihigo. 

    Understaffing and low capacity

    Lack of staff, insufficient financial means, lack of data base to

    facilitate planning, monitoring, and evaluation and heavy workload

    constitute major challenges in local governments. Many districts

    posts are occupied by staff without the required skills. There are

    also challenges in staff recruitment and low staff retention in

    sectors and the cells.

    These shortages affect the implementation of Imihigo. District staff

    is overloaded and they may not have enough time to implement

    Imihigo targets. Local government staff also lack skills in monitoring

    and evaluation. This is necessary for Imihingo to be effective.

    Delays in funds disbursement

    Some of the key challenges to Imihigo are delays in funds

    disbursement, be it from the central government or from development

    partners. Delays in funds disbursement are the most important

    factor affecting service delivery at local government level, equally

    important as insufficient staff. There are two related issues that

    make it difficult to implement Imihigo targets in a timely manner.

    First, there is a discrepancy between the fiscal year and the period

    of Imihigo signing. This challenge comes from the relationship

    with stakeholders most of whom use the calendar which starts in

    January against the district’s fiscal year which starts in July. As a

    result time is lost before Imihigo can be effectively implemented.

    More specifically, Imihigo are usually signed 2-3 months after the

    fiscal year has started. This means that almost a quarter is lost.

    Issues in implementation of Imihigo

    ࿤ The lag between the passing of the budget and the Imihigo

    translates to a loss of the first quarter in implementation.

    ࿤ Most Imihigo are implemented in the last quarter due to delays

    in either the transfer of financial resources to the districts or

    delays on the part of the district to request for disbursement.

    ࿤ Shifting priorities take away resources (time, finances) from

    implementing Imihigo.

    ࿤ Some targets are included in Imihigo without adequate control

    of the sources of funds for implementation.

    ࿤ In some situations, Imihigo without proper local contextualisation

    are difficult to implement. A good example was when the evaluators found farmers in some hilly parts of the country using

    land tillers on terraces in efforts that were clearly designed to

    reach the target of agricultural mechanisation. The tool was not

    appropriate for the terrain.

    ࿤ Some targets were not achieved due to a third party such as

    those in charge of water, electricity and road construction where

    delays in implementation were related to lack of control over the

    operations of Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA)

    and Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA).

    ࿤ There are challenges in establishing measurement standards

    from one district to another. An output that requires building

    households for the vulnerable may have a house value ranging

    between 2m and 15 million. There is an assumption that an

    implemented item meets requisite standards and yet these

    may not be in place. Guidance from the central government for

    standard setting should be strengthened as well as a team for

    quality assurance to ensure implemented items meet the quality


    ࿤ Some achievements were inflated. A good example is an output

    for building a house claimed to be 60 per cent complete when

    a site visit would place it at a far less per centage.

    ࿤ There are challenges in common planning for district transboundary items such as feeder road construction.

    ࿤ Understaffing and high turnover at the local administration level

    calls for improved capacity building and need to improve the

    environment for service delivery.

    Community Policing

    When Rwanda National Police (RNP) was established in 2000,

    it adopted the community policing strategy to build ties and work

    closely with members of the community to fight crime. Since then,

    the department for community policy has reduced crime throughout

    the country. The department is run on a philosophy that promotes

    proactive partnerships with the public to address public safety

    issues such as social disorder and insecurity.

    Traditionally, the police respond to crime after it occurs. On top of

    that, the police cannot be everywhere at all times and, therefore,

    relies on routine patrols, rapid response to calls for service, arrests

    and follow-up investigations.

    Community policing, therefore, was adopted to encourage citizens

    to participate in crime-solving.

    It is focused on the prevention of crime and disorder, by partnering

    with the public to increase police visibility in all communities so as

    to solve, prevent and reduce crime.

    Community policing enables the police to engage citizens in

    reporting incidents or to use volunteers to provide timely reports

    that help in anti-crime operations.

    Before and during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, citizens

    were always scared and full of mistrust for law enforcing agencies.

    Law enforcers were used by politicians to intimidate citizens and

    this gave them a bad reputation because citizens saw them as part

    of the problem, rather than protectors.

    This negative view of the police had to be quickly addressed by

    providing services professionally and being open and approachable.

    This strategy has improved police response to crime, because many

    reports are now provided by community members. This shows that

    they trust the police.

    Unlike the previous law enforcers who served the criminal desires of

    a genocidal regime, the police now serve the citizens professionally

    and ensure that they have a say in the security of their communities.


    The Rwanda Governance Scorecard produced by the Rwanda

    Governance Board in 2016, presented results from a nationwide

    survey, which indicated that 92 per cent of the citizens trust the

    Police. This is an indicator of professional services, discipline and


    It is when the community and the police work together for their

    common good that citizens will trust the police.

    Once the citizens trust the officers, they will provide them with

    information to help prevent or solve crimes and to arrest criminals. 

    This has enabled the police to serve communities better and to

    fulfill its mission of making the people living in Rwanda feel safe

    and secure.

    The day-to-day activities of community policing initiatives

    Conducting investigations has always been paramount in police

    missions. For this reason, the police have used community policing

    to build strong investigative activities countrywide so as to get

    credible information from citizens.

    The police also work with groups such as Community Policing

    Committees (CPCs), Youth Volunteers in Crime Prevention, as well

    as individual citizens in general.

    CPCs were introduced in 2007 and they are made up of ordinary

    citizens chosen by the community. They operate in cells and sectors

    to collect information that helps in crime prevention. They also

    sensitise residents about the need to collectively overcome crime.

    The Youth Volunteers in Crime Prevention is an organisation that

    has over 7,000 young men and women spread throughout the

    country. They aim at promoting security and participating in crime

    prevention. They have been influential in aiding Police operations

    and also in sensitising fellow youth against crime.

    On a regular basis, they partner with Police District Community

    Liaison Officers (DCLOS) to immediately respond to information

    about criminality and to lay strategies for approaching the

    challenges in society.

    The DCLOs are heavily involved in community issues in order to

    make policing more effective.

    The police also work together with motorists’ associations to ensure

    that road safety is respected. They also link with the business

    community to protect the country against economic crimes.

    Community policing programmes

    The police have an understanding with authorities of all the 30

    districts of Rwanda. One of their mandates under this agreement is

    to ensure that all strategies, including that of community policing,

    are fully operational.

    The police also work with the Ombudsman’s office, prosecution and

    other public entities to ensure that cases are properly documented

    and information on justice is properly shared. Through such

    initiatives, citizens gain more trust in the ability of the police to

    maintain law and order and to follow up on the information they

    provide with professionalism.

    Community policing helps the police to address problems such

    as drug abuse, human trafficking and gender-based violence.

    Every district faces its unique challenges, but through community

    policing the police identify the root causes of these challenges and

    find solutions.

    In cases involving drug abuse and gender based violence, police

    get information from responsible members of society and use it in

    operations to raid homes.

    The issue of human trafficking is not intense in Rwanda, but the

    police is always aware of this threat. Citizens across the country 

    volunteer information whenever such cases occur and police acts

    immediately to rescue victims.

    On top of that, the police reach out to citizens during social events like

    Umuganda and sensitisation campaigns to discuss crime prevention.

    During these events, real problems are dissected and solutions are


    Community policing has become so popular in Rwanda that citizens

    are always willing to contribute ideas on how to maintain public


    The National Itorero Commission has helped Rwandans to

    strengthen their unity and also initiated the youth and adult persons

    into the culture of volunteerism. The community activities carried

    out in umuganda have also added value to the achievements of the


    The Imihigo performance contracts have also played a great role

    in boosting the implementation of governmental programmes.

    Community policing has helped to improve the keeping of law and



    Accountability: 1. responsibility to someone or for some activity

    2. a list of matters to be taken up (as at a meeting)

    Agenda: a plan for matters to be attended to

    Disbursement: 1. the act of spending or disbursing money

    2. amounts paid for goods and services that may

    be currently tax deductible (as opposed to

    capital expenditures)

    Ombudsman: a government official who investigates

    complaints by private persons against the


    Overloaded: fill to excess so that the function is impaired

    Taboo: 1. behaviour or action that is not allowed in a


    2. a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other

    South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or

    mention of something because of its sacred


    Revision questions

    1. Describe the background of the following national duties and


    a) Itorero ry’Igihugu.

    b) Imihigo.

    c) Umuganda.

    d) Community policing.

    2. Evaluate the achievements of the National Itorero Commission.

    3. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Imihigo performance


    4. What is the role played by community policing in the security

    of Rwanda?

    5. Assess the role played by umuganda in the socio-economic

    development of Rwanda.

  • Unit 8: National and International Judicial Systems and Instruments

    Key unit competence

    Analyse the national, international judicial systems and instruments

    and how justice has been delayed and denied in Rwandan society


    The international judicial system is dominated by the international

    Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    In Rwanda, the judicial system is divided into ordinary and

    specialised courts. The ordinary courts are headed by the high

    council of the judiciary. This was established by the Rwandan

    Constitution of 4/06/2003, article 157 and 158, as amended. It is

    the supreme organ of the judiciary.

    Links to other subjects

    This unit can be linked to justice and democracy in General Studies

    and Communication Skills

    Main points to be covered in this unit

    ࿤ Concepts of judicial systems

    ࿤ National and international judicial systems and instruments.

    ࿤ Structure and organisation of national and international judicial

    systems and instruments

    ࿤ Different ways in which justice in Rwanda has been delayed

    and denied

    Concepts of Judicial Systems

    Activity 1

    Explain the concepts of the judicial systems, and then present

    your work to the class.

    The judicial or court system interprets and applies the law on

    behalf of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for

    the resolution of disputes.

    In some nations, under the doctrine of separation of powers,

    the judiciary does not make law (which is the responsibility of

    the legislature) or enforce law (which is the responsibility of the

    executive), but rather interprets law and applies it to the facts of

    each case.

    In other nations, the judiciary can make law, known as common

    law, by setting precedent for other judges to follow, as opposed

    to statutory law made by the legislature. The judiciary is often

    tasked with ensuring equal justice under the law.

    In many jurisdictions, the judiciary has the power to change laws

    through judicial review. Courts with judicial review power may

    annul the laws and rules of the state which are incompatible

    with a higher norm, such as primary legislation, the provisions of

    the constitution or international law. Judges are responsible for the

    interpretation and implementation of a constitution, thus charged

    with creating the body of constitutional lawin common law countries.

    In some countries the judiciary includes legal professionals and

    institutions such as prosecutors, state attorneys, ombudsmen, public

    notaries, judicial police service and legal aid officers. These

    institutions are sometimes governed by the same administration

    that governs courts. In some cases the judiciary also administers

    private legal professions such as lawyers and private notary offices.

    National Judicial Systems and Instruments

    Activity 2

    Analyse the Rwanda national judicial systems. Thereafter,

    present the outcomes of your work to the class.

    After the High Council of the Judiciary, there is the Supreme Court

    as the coordinating organ of justice in Rwanda. It was instituted

    for the first time by the constitution of January 28th, 1962. It

    was composed of five members appointed by the president of

    the republic. It was also composed of five sections: Department

    of Courts and Tribunals, the Court of Appeals, the Constitutional

    Court, the Council of State and the Audit Office.

    According to the constitution of December 28th, 1978, the Supreme

    Court with five sections was replaced by four high jurisdictions

    which were separated from each other. These included the Court

    of Appeals, the Constitutional Court (composed of the Court of

    Appeals and the Council of State) and the Audit Office.

    During the post-genocide period (from 1994 to 2003) the

    Fundamental Law established the Supreme Court which consisted

    of five sections: the Department of Courts and Tribunals, the

    Court of Appeals, the Constitutional Court, the Council of State

    and the Auditor’s Office. With the April 18th 2000 reform to the

    Fundamental Law, it was provided with the sixth section named

    Department of “Gacaca jurisdictions”.

    Apart from the Supreme Court, there is a High Court with the

    chamber of international crimes, the chamber of Nyanza in

    southern province, the chamber of Rusizi in western province, the

    chamber of Rwamagana in the eastern province and the chamber

    of Musanze in northern province. There are intermediate and

    primary courts in the districts of Nyarugenge, Gasabo, Nyagatare,

    Ngoma, Muhanga, Huye, Nyamagabe, Rusizi, Karongi, Rubavu,

    Gicumbi and Musanze.

    The specialised courts include the Commercial High Court at

    Nyamirambo with its branches at Musanze and Huye, and the

    military courts.

    International Judicial Systems and Instruments

    Activity 3

    Analyse the international judicial systems and their instruments.

    Present your work to the class.

    The ICJ was established in 1945 by the UN Charter. The court

    started its work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court

    of International Justice. The statute of the International Court of

    Justice, similar to that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional

    document constituting and regulating the court.

    The court covers a wide range of judicial activity. Chapter XIV of

    the United Nations Charter authorises the UN Security Council to

    enforce the court’s rulings. However, such enforcement is subject

    to the veto power of the five permanent members of the council.

    The International Criminal Court (ICC orICCt) is an intergovernmental

    organisation and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in

    the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute

    individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against

    humanity, and war crimes The ICC is intended to complement

    The Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty which serves as the ICC’s

    foundational and governing document. The states which become

    party to the Rome Statute are member states of the ICC. Currently,

    there are 124 states which are party to the Rome Statute and

    therefore members of the ICC.

    The establishment of an international tribunal to judge political

    leaders accused of international crimes was first proposed

    during the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 following the First

    World War by the Commission of Responsibilities. The issue

    was addressed again at a conference held in Geneva under the

    auspices of the League of Nations in 1937. This resulted in the

    conclusion of the first convention stipulating the establishment of a

    permanent international court to try acts of international terrorism.

    The convention was signed by 13 states, but none ratified it and it

    never entered into force.

    Following the Second World War, the allied powers established

    two ad hoc tribunals to prosecute axis power leaders accused of war

    crimes. The International Military Tribunal, which sat in Nuremberg,

    prosecuted German leaders while the International Military Tribunal

    for the Far East in Tokyo prosecuted Japanese leaders. In 1948

    the United Nations General Assembly first recognised the need

    for a permanent international court to deal with atrocities of the

    kind prosecuted after the Second World War. At the request of the

    General Assembly, the International Law Commission (ILC) drafted 

    two statutes by the early 1950s. These were abandoned during

    the Cold War which made the establishment of an international

    criminal court politically unrealistic.

    In 1994, the ILC presented its final draft statute for the International

    Criminal Court to the General Assembly and recommended that a

    conference be convened to negotiate a treaty that would serve as

    the Court’s statute. To consider major substantive issues in the draft

    statute, the General Assembly established the Ad Hoc Committee

    on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, which

    met twice in 1995. After considering the committee’s report,

    the General Assembly created the Preparatory Committee on the

    Establishment of the ICC to prepare a consolidated draft text.

    From 1996 to 1998, six sessions of the Preparatory Committee

    were held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City,

    during which NGOs provided input and attended meetings under

    the umbrella organisation of the Coalition for an ICC (CICC). In

    January 1998, the Bureau and coordinators of the Preparatory

    Committee convened for an Inter-Sessional meeting in Zutphen in

    the Netherlands to technically consolidate and restructure the draft

    articles into a draft.

    Finally, the General Assembly convened a conference in Rome

    in June 1998, with the aim of finalising the treaty to serve as

    the court’s statute. On 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute of the

    International Criminal Court was adopted by a vote of 120 to

    7, with 21 countries abstaining. The seven countries that voted

    against the treaty were China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, the United

    States, and Yemen. Following 60 ratifications, the Rome Statute

    entered into force on 1 July 2002 and the International Criminal

    Court was formally established. The first bench of 18 judges was

    elected by the Assembly of States Parties in February 2003. They

    were sworn in at the inaugural session of the court on 11 March


    The court issued its first arrest warrants on 8 July 2005, and the

    first pre-trial hearings were held in 2006. The court issued its first

    judgment in 2012 when it found Congolese rebel leader Thomas

    Lubanga Dyilo guilty of war crimes related to using child soldiers.

    Structure and Organisation of the International 
    Judicial Systems

    Activity 4

    Describe the structure and organisation of the international

    judiacial systems. Thereafter, present your work to the class.

    The structure and organisation of the International Court of Justice

    The ICJ is composed of fifteen judges elected to nine-year terms

    by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council from a

    list of people nominated by the national groups in the Permanent

    Court of Arbitration. The election process is set out in Articles 4–19

    of the ICJ statute. Five judges are elected every three years to

    ensure continuity within the court. Should a judge die in office, the

    practice has generally been to elect a judge in a special election to

    complete the term.

    No two judges may be nationals of the same country. According

    to Article 9, the membership of the court is supposed to represent

    the “main forms of civilisation and of the principal legal systems

    of the world”. Essentially, that has meant common law, civil

    law and socialist law (now post-communist law).

    There is an informal understanding that the seats will be distributedby

    geographic regions so that there are five seats for western countries,

    three for African states (including one judge of Francophone civil

    law, one of Anglophone common law and one Arab), two

    for eastern European states, three for Asian states and two for Latin

    American and Caribbean states. The five permanent members

    of the United Nations Security Council (France, Russia, China,

    the United Kingdom, and the United States) always have a judge

    on the court, thereby occupying three of the western seats, one

    of the Asian seats and one of the eastern European seats. The

    exception was China, which did not have a judge on the court from

    1967 to 1985 because it did not put forward a candidate

    Article 6 of the statute provides that all judges should be

    “elected regardless of their nationality among persons of high

    moral character” who are either qualified for the highest judicial

    office in their home states or known as lawyers with sufficient

    competence in international law. Judicial independence is dealt

    with specifically in articles 16–18. Judges of the ICJ are not able

    to hold any other post or act as counsel. In practice, members of

    the court have their own interpretation of these rules and allow

    them to be involved in outside arbitration, hold professional

    posts as long as there is no conflict of interest. A judge can be

    dismissed only by a unanimous vote of the other members of the

    court. Despite these provisions, the independence of ICJ judges

    has been questioned. For example, during the Nicaragua Case, the

    United States issued a communiqué suggesting that it could not

    present sensitive material to the court because of the presence of

    judges from eastern bloc states.

    Judges may deliver joint judgments or give their own separate

    opinions. Decisions and advisory opinions are by majority. In the

    event of an equal division, the President’s vote becomes decisive.

    Judges may also deliver separate dissenting opinions.

    Generally, the court sits as full bench, but in the last fifteen years,

    it has on occasion sat as a chamber. Articles 26–29 of the statute

    allow the court to form smaller chambers, usually of 3 or 5 judges,

    to hear cases. Two types of chambers are provided for in article

    26. These are chambers for special categories of cases, and ad

    hoc chambers to hear particular disputes. In 1993, a special

    chamber was established, under Article 26(1) of the ICJ statute, to

    deal specifically with environmental matters.

    Organisation of the International Criminal Court

    The ICC is governed by an assembly of states parties, which is

    made up of the states which are party to the Rome Statute. The

    assembly elects officials of the court, approves its budget, and

    adopts amendments to the Rome Statute. The court itself, however,

    is composed of four organs: the Presidency, the judicial divisions,

    the Office of the Prosecutor, and the registry.

    The presidency is responsible for the proper administration of the

    court (apart from the Office of the Prosecutor). It comprises the

    president and the first and second vice-presidents—three judges of

    the court who are elected to the presidency by their fellow judges

    for a maximum of two three-year terms.

    The judicial divisions consist of the 18 judges of the court,

    organised into three chambers; the pre-trial chamber, trial chamber

    and appeals chamber which carry out the judicial functions of the

    court. Judges are elected to the court by the Assembly of States

    Parties. They serve nine-year terms and are not generally eligible

    for re-election. All judges must be nationals of states party to the

    Rome Statute, and no two judges may be nationals of the same

    state. They must be “persons of high moral character, impartiality

    and integrity who possess the qualifications required in their

    respective states for appointment to the highest judicial offices”.

    The Office of the Prosecutor is responsible for conducting

    investigations and prosecutions. It is headed by the chief

    prosecutor, who is assisted by one or more deputy prosecutors. The

    Rome Statute provides that the Office of the Prosecutor shall

    act independently. No member of the office may seek or act on

    instructions from any external source, such as states, international

    organisations, non-governmental organisations or individuals.

    The Registry is responsible for the non-judicial aspects of the

    administration and servicing of the court. This includes, among other

    things, the administration of legal aid matters, court management,

    victims and witnesses matters, defence counsel, detention unit, and

    the traditional services provided by administrations in international

    organisations, such as finance, translation, building management,

    procurement and personnel. The Registry is headed by the registrar,

    who is elected by the judges to a five-year term.

    Ways in which justice has been denied and delayed in Rwanda

    Activity 5

    Discuss different ways in which justice has been denied and

    delayed in Rwanda. Thereafter, present the results of your

    discussion to the class.

    During the First and the Second Republics, the culture of impunity

    was prevailing in Rwanda. The Tutsi were targeted and killed and

    the perpetrators of these crimes were not punished. Moreover, the

    properties of the Tutsi were either destroyed or confiscated. For

    instance in 1963, more than 8,000 Tutsi were killed in Gikingoro.

    In the same period, Kayibanda ordered the execution of 27 leaders

    of UNAR and RADER who had been imprisoned in Ruhengeri

    without any form of legal procedure. In 1973, a big number of

    Tutsi were chased from their jobs and schools. Their killers however

    remained unpunished.

    During the Liberation War which started on October 1st, 1990,

    the Tutsi were attacked by government soldiers and Interahamwe.

    Many Tutsi in Bugesera, Kibuye, Ngororero, Murambi in Byumba,

    the Bagogwe in Ruhengeri and Gisenyi and the Bahima of Mutara

    were killed. The people who committed these crimes did not face


    After the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, justice faced the problem

    of delay due to the following reasons:

    ࿤ Absence of laws punishing the crime of genocide:

    ࿤ There was lack of competent judiciary tribunals and judges

    because many of them had either been killed during the 1994 

    genocide against the Tutsi or had fled the country. In addition,

    the few judges who remained were not skilled enough.

    ࿤ The situation was complicated by the big number of genocide

    prisoners. It was difficult to judge all the criminals in a

    short time. This is why in 2005 the government of Rwanda

    introduced the Gacaca courts to judge the perpetrators of the

    1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

    ࿤ Many countries which host the genocide criminals refuse to

    judge them or to send them to Rwanda; for example, France.

    The judicial system interprets and applies the law in the name of

    the state. This system also provides a mechanism for the resolution

    of disputes.

    In countries which apply the doctrine of separation of powers,

    the judiciary does not make laws. It rather interprets the law and

    applies it to the facts of each case.

    The international judicial system is controlled by the International

    Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    In Rwanda, the judicial system is divided into two kinds of courts:

    ordinary and specialised courts. The ordinary courts are headed

    by the High Council of the Judiciary. This is established by the

    Rwandan Constitution of 4/06/2003 in article 157 and 158. It is

    the supreme organ of the judiciary.


    Dispute: an argument or a disagreement between two

    people, groups or countries; a discussion about

    a subject where there is disagreement.

    Doctrine: a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a

    religion, political party, etc.

    Guilty: being responsible for something bad or illegal.

    Jurisdiction: the authority that an official organisation has

    to make legal decisions about somebody/something.

    Substantive: dealing with real, important or serious matters.

    Unanimous: a decision or an opinion agreed or shared by

    everyone in a group.

    Veto: the right to refuse to allow something to be

    done, especially the right to stop a law from

    being passed or decision from being taken.

    Workload: the amount of work that has to be done by a

    particular person or organisation.

    Revision questions

    1. Analyse the ways in which justice has been denied and delayed

    in Rwanda.

    2. Explain the organisation of the International Court of Justice.

  • Unit 9: Dignity and Self - Reliance

    Key unit competence

    Identify lessons that can be learnt from successful self-reliance

    policies of African leaders.


    Dignity means receiving respect from people and an individual’s

    belief in his ability to do what is good. Self-reliance means making

    personal choices, rather than allowing other people to decide

    for you. It also means being independent. People have to avoid

    expecting foreign assistance from developed countries.

    Dignity and self-reliance are the two ways suggested by the

    government in order to address socio-economic and political

    problems. This does not mean opposing international cooperation

    Rwandans, just do not want to be dependant on foreign aid.

    Self-reliance provides self-confidence and pride. This leads to

    sustainable and durable development.

    With the concept of dignity and self-reliance. Rwandans can make

    individual choices. This means that Rwanda is on the right course

    of development.

    Links to other subjects

    Nationalism in General Studies

    Main points to be covered in this unit

    ࿤ Examples of African leaders whose self-reliance policies succeeded

    ࿤ Factors for the success of self-reliance policies of some African


    ࿤ Lessons learnt from successful self-reliance policies of African leaders

    Examples of African Leaders whose SelfReliance Policies Succeeded

    Activity 1

    Carry out research on African self-reliance and then analyse

    the success of some African leaders. Present your work to the


    Self-reliance in Kenya under Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya

    Following Kenya’s independence in 1963, the first prime minister,

    and later first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta adopted

    “Harambee” as a concept of pulling the country together to build

    the new nation. He encouraged communities to work together

    to raise funds for all sorts of local projects, pledging that the

    government would provide their startup costs. Under this system, 

    wealthy individuals wishing to get into politics could donate large

    amounts of money to local harambee activities, thereby gaining

    legitimacy. However, such practices were never institutionalised

    during Kenyatta’s presidency.

    Ujamaa policy in Tanzania

    Ujamaa (‘familyhood’ in Swahili) was the concept that formed the

    basis of Julius Nyerere’s social and economic development policies

    in Tanzania after it gained independence from Britain in 1961.

    ࿤ The creation of a one-party system under the leadership of

    the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in order to

    consolidate the cohesion of the newly independent Tanzania.

    ࿤ The institutionalisation of social, economic, and political equality

    through the creation of a central democracy.

    ࿤ The abolition of discrimination based on ascribed status.

    ࿤ The nationalisation of the economy’s key sectors.

    ࿤ The villagisation of production, which essentially collectivised

    all forms of local productive capacity.

    ࿤ The fostering of Tanzanian self-reliance through two dimensions:

    the transformation of economic and cultural attitudes.

    Economically, everyone would work for both the group and for

    him/herself; culturally, Tanzanians had to free themselves from

    dependence on developed countries. For Nyerere, this included

    Tanzanians learning to do things for themselves and learning to be

    satisfied with what they could achieve as an independent state.

    ࿤ The implementation of free and compulsory education for

    all Tanzanians in order to sensitise them on the principles of


    ࿤ The creation of a Tanzanian rather than tribal identity through

    the use of Swahili.

    Julius Nyerere’s leadership of Tanzania commanded international

    attention and attracted worldwide respect for his consistent

    emphasis on ethical principles as the basis of practical policies.

    Tanzania under Nyerere made great strides in vital areas of social

    development. Infant mortality was reduced from 138 per 1000

    live births in 1965 to 110 in 1985; life expectancy at birth rose

    from 37 in 1960 to 52 in 1984; primary school enrolment was

    raised from 25per cent (only 16per cent of females) in 1960 to

    72per cent (85per cent of females) in 1985 (despite the rapidly

    increasing population); adult literacy rate rose from 17per cent in

    1960 to 63per cent by 1975 (much higher than in other African

    countries) and continued to rise.

    A major change in the structure of

    Zambia’s economy came with the Mulungushi Reforms of April

    1968 where Kaunda declared his intention to acquire an equity

    holding (usually 51per cent or more) in a number of key foreignowned firms, to be controlled by his Industrial Development

    Corporation (INDECO).

    By January 1970, Zambia had acquired majority holding in the

    Zambian operations of the two major foreign mining interests,

    the Anglo American Corporation and the Rhodesian Selection 

    Trust (RST). The two became the Nchanga Consolidated Copper

    Mines (NCCM) and Roan Consolidated Mines (RCM), respectively.

    Kaunda also announced the creation of a new parastatal body,

    the Mining Development Corporation (MINDECO), while the Finance

    and Development Corporation (FINDECO) enabled the Zambian

    government to gain control of insurance companies and building

    societies. Major foreign-owned banks, such as Barclays, Standard

    Chartered and Grindlays Bank successfully resisted takeover. In

    1971, INDECO, MINDECO, and FINDECO were brought together

    under an omnibus parastatal, the Zambia Industrial and Mining

    Corporation (ZIMCO), to create one of the largest companies in

    sub-Saharan Africa, with Francis Kaunda as chairman of the board.

    The management contracts under which day-to-day operations of

    the mines had been carried out by Anglo American and RST were

    terminated in 1973. In 1982, NCCM and RCM were merged into

    the giant Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Ltd (ZCCM).

    Mandela’s vision

    Mandela’s administration inherited a country with a huge disparity in wealth and services between white and black communities. 

    In a population of 40 million, around 23 million lacked electricity or adequate sanitation; 12 million lacked clean water supplies, with 2 million children not in school and a third of the population illiterate. 

    There was 33 per cent unemployment, and just under half of the population lived below the poverty line.

    Government financial reserves were nearly depleted, with a fifth

    of the national budget being spent on debt repayment, meaning

    that the extent of the promised Reconstruction and Development

    Programme (RDP) was scaled back, with none of the proposed

    nationalisation or job creation. Instead, the government adopted

    liberal economic policies designed to promote foreign investment,

    adhering to the “Washington consensus” advocated by the World

    Bank and International Monetary Fund.

    Under Mandela’s presidency, welfare spending increased by 13

    per cent in 1996/97, 13 per cent in 1997/98, and 7 per cent

    in 1998/99. The government introduced parity in grants for

    communities, including disability grants, child maintenance 

    grants, and old-age pensions, which had previously been set at

    different levels for South Africa’s different racial groups. In 1994,

    free healthcare was introduced for children under six and pregnant

    women. The provision extended to all those using primary level

    public sector health care services in 1996. By the 1999 election,

    the ANC could boast that due to their policies, 3 million people were

    connected to telephone lines, 1.5 million children were brought into

    the education system, 500 clinics were upgraded or constructed, 2

    million people were connected to the electricity grid, water access

    was extended to 3 million people, and 750,000 houses were

    constructed, housing nearly 3 million people.

    The Land Restitution Act of 1994 enabled people who had lost their

    property as a result of the Natives Land Act, 1913 to claim back their

    land, leading to the settlement of tens of thousands of land claims.

    The Land Reform Act 3 of 1996 safeguarded the rights of labour

    tenants who live and grow crops or graze livestock on farms. This

    legislation ensured that such tenants could not be evicted without a

    court order or if they were over the age of 65. The Skills Development

    Act of 1998 provided for the establishment of mechanisms to finance

    and promote skills development at the workplace.

    The Labour Relations Act of 1995 promoted workplace democracy,

    orderly collective bargaining, and the effective resolution of labour

    disputes. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997 improved

    enforcement mechanisms while extending a “floor” of rights to all

    workers. The Employment Equity Act of 1998 was passed to put an

    end to discrimination and ensure the implementation of affirmative

    action in the workplace.

    He reformed the education system by constructing several

    primary, secondary and tertiary institutions such as Ghana


    He introduced scientific methods of farming like irrigation,

    mechanised farming, use of fertilisers and pesticides.

    He Africanised the civil service by replacing European expatriates

    with Africans.

    He emphasised the need to respect African culture and supported

    local artists to compose African songs and plays.

    He ended sectarian and regional tendencies by defeating all the

    sectarian parties in the 1954 and 1956 elections. After winning

    them, he called for unity.

    Factors for Success of Self-Reliance Policies of some African Leaders

    Activity 2

    Account for the success of self-reliance policies of some African

    leaders. Afterwards, present your findings to the class.

    Some African leaders were successful in their self-reliance policies

    due to many factors including:

    Favourable population mindset: In many countries, the African

    leaders took advantage of the situation because it was immediately

    after the achievement of African independence. The Africans

    massively supported their new African leaders, leading to the

    success of their policies.

    Negative effects of colonialism: Africans had for long suffered

    from colonial constraints. This is why self-reliance policies were

    successful in many African countries.

    Economic crisis after the independence: The economic crisis was

    among the immediate problems faced by Africans. Self-reliance

    was seen as solution to these problems. This led to their success

    because they were supported by the population.

    Recovery of African identity: During colonisation, all African

    initiatives were undermined by Europeans. When Africans

    recovered their independence, their leaders wanted also to

    recover the African identity by implementing internal solutions to

    their problems. It was due to this that they found these policies


    Sign of obedience to their own leaders: Another factor for the

    success of the self-reliance policies is that Africans accepted them

    as one way to express their obedience to their new leaders.

    Lessons Learnt from Successful Self-Reliance

               Policies of African Leaders

    Activity 3

    Analyse lessons from the success of the self-reliance as initiated

    and achieved by some African leaders. In the classroom, present

    the results of your analysis. 

    The success of self-reliance in some African countries inspires

    other developing countries and especially other African countries.

    We also learn about the importance of dignity. The need to

    encourage Africans to be proud of our continent, our culture and


    We appreciate the importance of home growth solutions. It is a

    testimony that only Africans can find solutions to their problems.

    The success of self-reliance supports respect of human rights

    and the campaign against racial discrimination. During European

    colonial rule, Africans were denied their rights. They were

    considered unable to manage their own affairs.

    On the dawn of independence African leaders initiated policies

    aiming at achieving self-reliance. For instance, the first president

    of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta adopted harambee as a concept of pulling

    the country together to build the nation while Julius Nyerere used

    ujamaa to achieve social and economic development in Tanzania.

    Rwanda emphasised home grown solutions in order to address

    socio-economic and political problems. The two concepts of dignity

    and self-reliance guide the implementation of home grown solutions.

    Home grown solutions such as umuganda, ubudehe, Gacaca, and

    Agaciro development funds have been used to address problems

    in Rwanda.


    Grid: a pattern of regularly spaced horizontal and

    vertical lines

    Pledging: promise solemnly and formally or give as a


    Takeover: a sudden and decisive change of government

    illegally or by force

    Revision questions

    1. Identify three African leaders and explain their self-reliance


    2. Describe factors for the success of self-reliance policies of some

    African leaders.

    3. What are the lessons from successful self-reliance policies of

    African leaders?