Even before the country became independent in 1962, Rwanda's two largest ethnic groups, the Hutu and Tutsi, were often at war. In the spring of 1994, tensions between the two groups culminated in nationwide massacres of approximately 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The genocide drew international attention to the problems of this small state in central Africa.
Since the genocide ended, Rwanda has made slow but steady progress. In 2003, a new constitution was adopted that would prevent future human- rights abuses. The country's economy, devastated by years of civil war, is also improving. However, much work must still be done to ensure Rwanda's stability.
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