Editorial image. Not to be used in commercial designs and/or advertisements. Click here for terms and conditions.
Rwandan Patriotic Front (Front patriotique rwandais) is the current ruling political party of Rwanda, led by President Paul Kagame. The RPF was created in 1987 by the Tutsi refugee diaspora in Uganda. The first Tutsi refugees fled to Uganda to escape ethnic purges in the beginning of 1959. On 1 October 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), the armed wing of the RPF, deserted their posts in the Ugandan army and invaded northern Rwanda. After initial gains in threatening Kigali, the offensive was turned back with the help of Zairean and French troops sent to reinforce the Habyarimana regime. The RPF suffered a major setback when Rwigema was killed in the second day of the war and was forced to retreat in disarray into the mountainous border region. There the RPA regrouped under Kagame and began a classic insurgency campaign. After its conquest of Rwanda, the RPF was split into a political division which retained the RPF name, and a military one, called the Rwandan Patriotic Army (now the Rwandan Defence Forces). The RPF continues to be the dominant political party in Rwanda under President Paul Kagame.