Environmental scarcity and violent conflict: The case of rwanda
Journal of Environment and Development , Volume 5 - Issue 3 p. 270- 291
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.