Kigali (kēgäˈlē) [key], city (1997 pop. 330,000), central Rwanda, capital of Rwanda. It is the country's main administrative and economic center. The city has an international airport and road access to all of the country's borders. Iron ore (cassiterite) is mined nearby, and the city built a smelting plant in the 1980s. Founded in 1907 under German colonial rule, Kigali was made the capital when Rwanda gained independence in 1962. In 1994 it was the scene of the slaughter of thousands of Tutsis by Hutu gangs and the Rwandan army, and of fierce fighting between the army and Tutsi-dominated rebel forces.