1973 Rwandan coup d'état

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The 1973 Rwandan coup d'etat was a coup d'etat staged by Juvenal Habyarimana against incumbent president Gregoire Kayibanda.[note 1] The coup took place on 5 July 1973 and was bloodless.[note 1]

In the months prior to Habyarimana's coup President Kayibanda had intensified persecution of Tutsi through the formation of vigilante committees to ensure enforcement of the required ethnic quotas.[note 2] This policy had isolated Rwanda economically and diplomatically, especially from neighbouring Uganda which housed large numbers of Tutsi. Consequently the 1973 coup was largely supported by the urban population and met with indifference amongst the rural communities.[note 3] Prior to the coup Habyarimana had been a General in the Rwandan army. Immediately after seizing power Habyarimana outlawed all political parties but in 1974 created his own, the Mouvement Revoluntionnaire National pour le Developpement [note 4]


  1. ^ a b Prunier p.61
  2. ^ Prunier pages 75 and 60
  3. ^ Prunier p75
  4. ^ Prunier p76


  • Gerard Prunier (1995), The Rwanda Crisis 1959-1994, London: Hurst and Company