Juvénal Habyarimana Biography
(2nd President of Rwanda (1973 - 1994))
Birthday: March 8, 1937 (Pisces)
Born In: Gisenyi, Ruanda-Urundi
Juvenal Habyarimana was a politician who served as the third President of the Republic of Rwanda from 1973 to 1994. Domineering, shrewd, intelligent and ambitious, he ruled almost single-handedly over Rwanda, a highly turbulent country in Africa, for more than 20 years after he seized power in a 1973 coup. A dictator to the core, he held on to his position with an iron grip that lasted till he was assassinated in 1994. During his rule the citizens of his country were forced to chant his name and dance in his adulation, and he exercised great control over the nation’s political activities, having established the National Revolutionary Movement for Development, with himself as sole leader of the single-party state. Born into an aristocratic Hutu family, he initially decided to study medicine before entering the military school. Aggressive and hardworking, he soon rose through the ranks and established himself as a successful military professional. His army career kindled in him an insatiable love for power and he forayed into politics. Having become the head of the National Guard and the country's police, he led a bloodless military coup in 1973 and seized the control of the country for himself. The citizens were increasingly frustrated at his dictatorial rule which finally came to an end with his dramatic assassination in 1994.