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Africa :: Rwanda
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Rwanda
  • Introduction :: RWANDA

  • In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed up to a million of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias, and established an RPF-led government of national unity. Approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and former Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, the former Zaire) and formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF did in 1990. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda in 2009 staged a joint military operation with the Congolese Army in DRC to rout out the Hutu extremist insurgency there, and Kigali and Kinshasa restored diplomatic relations. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009 and assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.
  • Geography :: RWANDA

  • Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
    2 00 S, 30 00 E
    Africa
    total: 26,338 sq km
    land: 24,668 sq km
    water: 1,670 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 149
    slightly smaller than Maryland
    total: 930 km
    border countries (4): Burundi 315 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 221 km, Tanzania 222 km, Uganda 172 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible
    mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east
    lowest point: Rusizi River 950 m
    highest point: Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m
    gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land
    agricultural land: 74.5%
    arable land 47%; permanent crops 10.1%; permanent pasture 17.4%
    forest: 18%
    other: 7.5% (2011 est.)
    96.25 sq km (2007)
    9.5 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.15 cu km/yr (33%/11%/55%)
    per capita: 17.25 cu m/yr (2005)
    periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga Mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo
    volcanism: Visoke (elev. 3,711 m), located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the country's only historically active volcano
    deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; widespread poaching
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
    landlocked; most of the country is savanna grassland with the population predominantly rural
  • People and Society :: RWANDA

  • noun: Rwandan(s)
    adjective: Rwandan
    Hutu (Bantu) 84%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 15%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%
    Kinyarwanda only (official, universal Bantu vernacular) 93.2%, Kinyarwanda and other language(s) 6.2%, French (official) and other language(s) 0.1%, English (official) and other language(s) 0.1%, Swahili (or Kiswahili, used in commercial centers) 0.02%, other 0.03%, unspecified 0.3% (2002 est.)
    Roman Catholic 49.5%, Protestant 39.4% (includes Adventist 12.2% and other Protestant 27.2%), other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 1.8%, animist 0.1%, other 0.6%, none 3.6% (2001), unspecified 0.5% (2002 est.)
    12,661,733
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    0-14 years: 41.83% (male 2,670,040/female 2,626,646)
    15-24 years: 18.86% (male 1,193,523/female 1,193,953)
    25-54 years: 32.72% (male 2,077,406/female 2,065,261)
    55-64 years: 4.07% (male 239,924/female 274,829)
    65 years and over: 2.53% (male 131,613/female 188,538) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 78.1%
    youth dependency ratio: 73.1%
    elderly dependency ratio: 5%
    potential support ratio: 20.1% (2015 est.)
    total: 18.7 years
    male: 18.4 years
    female: 18.9 years (2014 est.)
    2.56% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    33.75 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    8.96 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    0.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    urban population: 28.8% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 6.43% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    KIGALI (capital) 1.257 million (2015)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 58.19 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 61.68 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 54.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    total population: 59.67 years
    male: 58.11 years
    female: 61.27 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    4.53 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    51.6% (2010/11)
    11.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    1.6 beds/1,000 population (2007)
    improved:
    urban: 80.7% of population
    rural: 68.3% of population
    total: 70.7% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 19.3% of population
    rural: 31.7% of population
    total: 29.3% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 61% of population
    rural: 64.4% of population
    total: 63.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 39% of population
    rural: 35.6% of population
    total: 36.2% of population (2012 est.)
    2.85% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    195,400 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    4,500 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
    3.3% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    11.7% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    5.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 70.5%
    male: 73.2%
    female: 68% (2015 est.)
    total: 10 years
    male: 10 years
    female: 10 years (2013)
    total number: 783,113
    percentage: 35% (2000 est.)
    Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa
  • Government :: RWANDA

  • conventional long form: Republic of Rwanda
    conventional short form: Rwanda
    local long form: Republika y'u Rwanda
    local short form: Rwanda
    former: Ruanda, German East Africa
    republic; presidential, multiparty system
    name: Kigali
    geographic coordinates: 1 57 S, 30 03 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    4 provinces (in French - provinces, singular - province; in Kinyarwanda - intara for singular and plural) and 1 city* (in French - ville; in Kinyarwanda - umujyi); Est (Eastern), Kigali*, Nord (Northern), Ouest (Western), Sud (Southern)
    1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)
    Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
    several previous; latest adopted by referendum 26 May 2003, effective 4 June 2003; amended several times, last in 2010 (2013)
    mixed legal system of civil law, based on German and Belgian models, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Paul KAGAME (since 22 April 2000)
    head of government: Prime Minister Anastase MUREKEZI (since 24 July 2014)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 9 August 2010 (next to be held in 2017)
    election results: Paul KAGAME reelected president; Paul KAGAME 93.1%, Jean NTAWUKURIRYAYO 5.1%, Prosper HIGIRO 1.4%, Alvera MUKABARAMBA 0.4%
    description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate or Senat (26 seats; 12 members indirectly elected by local councils, 8 appointed by the president, 4 appointed by the Political Organizations Forum - a body of registered political parties, and 2 selected by institutions of higher learning; members serve 8-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (80 seats; 53 members directly elected by proportional representation vote, 24 women elected by special interest groups, and 3 selected by youth and disability organizations; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: Senate - NA; Chamber of Deputies - last held on 16-18 September 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
    election results: Chamber of Deputies percent of vote by party - RPF 76.2%, PSD 13%, PL 9.3%, other 1.5%; seats by party - RPF 41, PSD 7, PL 5, 27 members indirectly elected
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 12 judges; normally organized into 3-judge benches)
    note: the Gacaca Court was established in 2001 by the National Unity Government to try cases of genocide against the Tutsis
    judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the president of the republic after consultation with the Cabinet and the Superior Council of the Judiciary (a 14-member body of judges, other judicial officials, and legal professionals), and approved by the Senate; court president and vice president appointed for 8-year nonrenewable terms; tenure of other judges NA
    subordinate courts: High Court of the Republic; commercial courts including the High Commercial Court; intermediate courts; primary courts; Gacaca and military specialized courts
    Liberal Party or PL [Protais MITALI]
    Party for Progress and Concord or PPC [Christian MARARA]
    Rwandan Patriotic Front or RPF [Paul KAGAME]
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Vincent BIRUTA]
    IBUKA (association of genocide survivors)
    ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CEPGL, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Mathilde MUKANTABANA (since 5 July 2013)
    chancery: 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 418, Washington, DC, 2000
    telephone: [1] (202) 232-2882
    FAX: [1] (202) 232-4544
    chief of mission: Ambassador Erica BARKS-RUGGLES (since 26 January 2015)
    embassy: 2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie, Kigali
    mailing address: B. P. 28, Kigali
    telephone: [250] 596-400
    FAX: [250] 596-591
    three horizontal bands of sky blue (top, double width), yellow, and green, with a golden sun with 24 rays near the fly end of the blue band; blue represents happiness and peace, yellow economic development and mineral wealth, green hope of prosperity and natural resources; the sun symbolizes unity, as well as enlightenment and transparency from ignorance
    traditional woven basket with peaked lid; national colors: blue, yellow, green
    name: "Rwanda nziza" (Rwanda, Our Beautiful Country)
    lyrics/music: Faustin MURIGO/Jean-Bosco HASHAKAIMANA
    note: adopted 2001
  • Economy :: RWANDA

  • Rwanda is a rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture and some mineral and agro-processing. Tourism, minerals, coffee and tea are Rwanda's main sources of foreign exchange. The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda's fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and temporarily stalled the country's ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy to pre-1994 levels. GDP has rebounded with an average annual growth of 7%-8% since 2003 and inflation has been reduced to single digits. Nonetheless, a significant percent of the population still live below the official poverty line; 45% of the population now lives below the poverty line, compared to 57% in 2006. Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with demand, requiring food imports In recognition of Rwanda's successful management of its macro economy, in 2010, the IMF graduated Rwanda to a Policy Support Instrument (PSI). Africa's most densely populated country is trying to overcome the limitations of its small, landlocked economy by leveraging regional trade; Rwanda joined the East African Community and is aligning its budget, trade, and immigration policies with its regional partners. The government has embraced an expansionary fiscal policy to reduce poverty by improving education, infrastructure, and foreign and domestic investment and pursuing market-oriented reforms. Energy shortages, instability in neighboring states, and lack of adequate transportation linkages to other countries continue to handicap private sector growth. The Rwandan Government is seeking to become regional leader in information and communication technologies. In 2012, Rwanda completed the first modern Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kigali. The SEZ seeks to attract investment in all sectors, but specifically in agribusiness, information and communications technologies, trade and logistics, mining, and construction.
    $18.84 billion (2014 est.)
    $17.61 billion (2013 est.)
    $16.82 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 144
    $8.012 billion (2014 est.)
    7% (2014 est.)
    4.7% (2013 est.)
    8.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    $1,700 (2014 est.)
    $1,600 (2013 est.)
    $1,500 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 211
    13.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    19.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
    14.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    household consumption: 82.6%
    government consumption: 9.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 24.2%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 17%
    imports of goods and services: -33.5%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 32.5%
    industry: 14.8%
    services: 52.7% (2014 est.)
    coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; livestock
    cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes
    7.1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    6.061 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    agriculture: 90%
    industry and services: 10% (2000)
    NA%
    44.9% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.1%
    highest 10%: 43.2% (2011 est.)
    46.8 (2000)
    28.9 (1985)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    revenues: $1.953 billion
    expenditures: $2.249 billion (2014 est.)
    24.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    -3.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    31.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    29.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    calendar year
    1.8% (2014 est.)
    4.2% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    7.75% (31 December 2010)
    11.25% (31 December 2008)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    17.2% (31 December 2014 est.)
    17.3% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    $833 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $739.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    $1.387 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.245 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    $1.141 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $846.8 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    $NA
    -$964 million (2014 est.)
    -$562 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    $720 million (2014 est.)
    $703 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    coffee, tea, hides, tin ore
    China 24.2%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 17%, Malaysia 13.4%, Swaziland 6.8%, US 5.5%, Pakistan 5.3% (2013)
    $1.898 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.852 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material
    Uganda 15.9%, Kenya 15.2%, China 10.4%, UAE 8.6%, India 6.8%, Tanzania 5.1%, Belgium 4.6% (2013)
    $1.128 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.071 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    $1.901 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    $1.016 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $853.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    $12.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $12.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Rwandan francs (RWF) per US dollar -
    684.3 (2014 est.)
    644.4 (2013 est.)
    616.6 (2012 est.)
    601.83 (2011 est.)
    583.13 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: RWANDA

  • 300.2 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    352.2 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    5 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    78 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    684,000 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    39.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    59.8% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    0.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    10 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    5,320 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    5,302 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    56.63 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    769,300 Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
  • Communications :: RWANDA

  • total subscriptions: 49,600
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    total: 7.7 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 63 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    general assessment: small, inadequate telephone system primarily serves business, education, and government
    domestic: the capital, Kigali, is connected to provincial centers by microwave radio relay and, recently, by cellular telephone service; much of the network depends on wire and HF radiotelephone; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone density has increased and now exceeds 40 telephones per 100 persons
    international: country code - 250; international connections employ microwave radio relay to neighboring countries and satellite communications to more distant countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) in Kigali (includes telex and telefax service) (2010)
    government owns and operates the only TV station; government-owned and operated Radio Rwanda has a national reach; 9 private radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)
    AM 0, FM 10 (two main FM programs are broadcast through a system of repeaters; international FM programming includes the BBC, VOA, and Deutchewelle) (2007)
    2 (2004)
    .rw
    total: 1.1 million
    percent of population: 9.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
  • Transportation :: RWANDA

  • 7 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    total: 4
    over 3,047 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m:
    1 (2013)
    total: 4,700 km
    paved: 1,207 km
    unpaved: 3,493 km (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    (Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft) (2011)
    lake port(s): Cyangugu, Gisenyi, Kibuye (Lake Kivu)
  • Military :: RWANDA

  • Rwanda Defense Force (RDF): Rwanda Army (Rwanda Land Force), Rwanda Air Force (Force Aerienne Rwandaise, FAR) (2013)
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; Rwandan citizenship is required, as is a 9th-grade education for enlisted recruits and an A-level certificate for officer candidates; enlistment is either as contract (5-years, renewable twice) or career; retirement (for officers and senior NCOs) after 20 years of service or at 40-60 years of age (2012)
    males age 16-49: 2,625,917
    females age 16-49: 2,608,110 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,685,066
    females age 16-49: 1,749,580 (2010 est.)
    male: 110,736
    female: 110,328 (2010 est.)
    1.12% of GDP (2012)
    1.19% of GDP (2011)
    1.12% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 91
  • Transnational Issues :: RWANDA

  • Burundi and Rwanda dispute two sq km (0.8 sq mi) of Sabanerwa, a farmed area in the Rukurazi Valley where the Akanyaru/Kanyaru River shifted its course southward after heavy rains in 1965; fighting among ethnic groups - loosely associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces in Great Lakes region transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), Rwanda, and Uganda - abated substantially from a decade ago due largely to UN peacekeeping, international mediation, and efforts by local governments to create civil societies; nonetheless, 57,000 Rwandan refugees still reside in 21 African states, including Zambia, Gabon, and 20,000 who fled to Burundi in 2005 and 2006 to escape drought and recriminations from traditional courts investigating the 1994 massacres; the 2005 DROC and Rwanda border verification mechanism to stem rebel actions on both sides of the border remains in place
    refugees (country of origin): 73,915 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 75,235 (Burundi) (2015)
    IDPs: undetermined (fighting between government and insurgency in 1998-99; returning refugees) (2012)
    current situation: Rwanda is a source and, to a lesser extent, transit and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Rwandan girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are exploited in domestic servitude within the country; Rwandan adults and children are forced to work in agriculture, industry, domestic servitude, and prostitution in Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, South Africa, UAE, Malaysia, China, the US, and Europe; women and children from neighboring countries and Somalia are subjected to prostitution and forced labor in Rwanda; until its defeat in late 2013, M23, an armed group operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recruited men and children with the support of some Rwandan officials
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Rwanda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2013, the government maintained strong efforts to investigate and prosecute some trafficking crimes but convicted no offenders and remained complicit in human trafficking crimes through its support of M23; the government opened five additional centers for assisting victims of gender-based violence and provided financial support to private and NGO-run child rehabilitation centers (2014)
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