On April 6,1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane exploded in the skies above the Kigali region of Rwanda. Violence gripped the country. Between April and August of 1994, as many as 1 million people were killed and more than 2 million people became refugees. Until this recent violence, Rwanda had a population of 7.5 million, a population growth rate estimated at about 3%, and a population density among the highest in Africa. Ninety-five percent of the population resided in the countryside, and 90% relied on agriculture to sustain themselves. Land scarcity and degradation threatened the ability of food production to keep pace with population growth. Rwanda can be described as a country with severe demographic stress, relying for subsistence on a limited resource base. Although environmental factors were significant development issues, environmental scarcity had at most a limited, aggravating role in the recent conflict.

Journal of Environment and Development

Percival, V, & Homer-Dixon, T. (Thomas). (1996). Environmental scarcity and violent conflict: The case of rwanda. Journal of Environment and Development, 5(3), 270–291. doi:10.1177/107049659600500302