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During this period, some Rwandans who resented the increasing political control emigrated from the kingdom, resettling in Congo, where they formed a distinct Rwandan community later known as the Banyamulenge. Colonial rule, which began in 1895, was the primary force leading to the emergence of the Rwandan national identity.
German colonial authorities and the Belgians who replaced them in 1916 actually regarded the Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa as three distinct national groups, but colonial policies led to a greater identification with the Rwandan national state for all groups, even as they also created greater ethnic identification and polarization.
Hutu and Tutsi were also linked together throughout much of the territory in a system of cattle vassalage, in which Tutsi patrons provided cattle to Hutu clients.
During the colonial period, however, the monarchy lost much of its legitimacy as it became increasingly identified with the Tutsi minority, and the system of cattle vassalage became viewed as a system of exploitation of Hutu by Tutsi.
Several million more were internally displaced within Rwanda.