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torstai 21. huhtikuuta 2016

Lesotho, Cool Facts #110

<= 109. Kenya                                                                                                                111. Liberia => 

In 1822 the Basotho Kingdom was established by King Moshoeshoe, who unified the Sotho tribes. He was a skilled diplomat and strategist and managed to keep the Basotho Kingdom independent despite the threats that the Zulus, Voortrekkers and the Imperial Britain had imposed.

After several wars against the Orange Free State of the Boers King Moshoeshoe asked the British for help against the Orange Free State and thus Basotho Kingdom was annexed to the British Empire as a protectorate.

The Basotho Kingdom heartlands were in the current Free State province in South Africa and in Lesotho. The Basotho Kingdom lost lost areas to the Boers after the Senekal War in 1858 and the Seqiti War in 1865.

King Moshoeshoe

1868 Basotho Kingdom became a British protectorate after King Moshoeshoe asked Queen Victoria for help against the Free State. Basutoland was a separate protectorate for 3 years before the administration of Basutoland was transferred to Cape Colony in 1871.

Cape Colony was not popular among the Basotho and led to Basuto Gun War in 1880-1881. The Cape Colony forces fought against the Basotho chiefs, after the Basotho were forbidden to have arms. In 1884 Basutoland got its Crown colony status back.

In 1910 a council of tribe leaders in Basutoland decided not to join South Africa. Bechuanaland and Swaziland had the same opportunity but they refused it as well.

In the 1950 political activity was allowed and so the Basotho Congress Party with Ntsu Mokhehle as the leader started demanding for independence and resisting against apartheid. In 1959 Basutoland got autonomy and the first parliamentary elections were arranged in 1965.

The Basotho National Party won the elections and their leader Leabua Jonathan became the first prime minister of Kingdom of Lesotho, which had become independent in 1966.

3. Flag of Lesotho 

The first flag of Lesotho wore the colors of the BNP party and had the traditional Sotho cap called "Mokorotlo". The shape of the headgear resembles the Qiloane mountain near Thaba Basiu, behind which King Moshoeshoe's rebelling son Masupha hid in the late 1800s when he resisted the European colonial power. 

The first flag was replaces by a flag, which was in use between 1966-1987. The second flag had the symbols of the kingdom, which were the shield, lance and the club. The second flag was taken in use after a military coup, which overthrew the BNP after 20 years in power. 

The third flag was taken in use in 2006 to honour the 40th anniversary of independence and to demonstrate the peaceful orientation of Lesotho, which had suffered from political chaos and military coups since its independence. 



4. Geography of Lesotho

Lesotho is a land-locked country surrounded by South Africa. It's nearly exactly the same size as Belgium, being just a bit smaller but still a little bigger than Armenia. 

Lesotho is the only country in the world, which lies entirely above 1000m above the sea level. The lowest point in Lesotho is in 1400m, which is the highest altitude in the lowest point from all the countries. Over 80% of the country is above 1800 meters.

Minimum altitude in the world Top 5: 

1. Lesotho - 1400m
2. Rwanda - 950m
3. Andorra - 840m
4. Burundi - 772m
5. Uganda - 621m

5. Society in Lesotho

85% adult literacy rate, which is one of the highest in Africa 
88,3% female literacy rate exceeds male literacy 70,1%, which is rare 
12% of the GDP invested in education, one of the Top 10 highest in the world 
23,6% HIV/AIDS prevalence one of the highest in the world 
One of the lowest life expectancies in the world 
One of the highest rape rates in the world 


1500-1700s The Sothos fled to their current area of residence after wars against the Zulu and Ndebele
1822 The Sotho tribes unified under King Moshoeshoe attempting to prevent the invasion of the Zulu people and the Boers
1838 Trekboers from Cape Colony claimed land rights on the western borders of Basutoland
1851 A British force was defeated by the Basotho army at Kolonyama
1854 The British pulled out of the area
1858 Senekal War against the Orange Free State of the Boers
1865 Seqiti War against the Boers, Moshoeshoe had to cede large territories to the Free State when the war ended in 1866
1867 War broke again when the Basotho weren't satisfied with the peace treaty of the previous war
1868 Moshoeshoe had to ask help from the British and accept the annexation of Basotho Kingdom to the British Empire
1869 Administration of Basutoland colony was transferred from Thaba Basiu to Maseru
1871 Administration of Basutoland colony was transferred to the Cape Colony
1880-1881 Basuto Gun War between Cape colony forces and Basotho chiefs over the right of natives having arms
1884 Basutoland got its Crown colony status back 
1910 A council of tribe leaders in Basutoland decided like Bechuanaland and Swaziland not to join South Africa
1950s Political activity was allowed and Basotho Congress Party with the leadership of Ntsu Mokhehle started demanding for independence and resisting against apartheid
1959 Basutoland got autonomy
1965 The first parliamentary elections were won by BNP (Basotho National Party), which enjoyed the support of South Africa
1966 Basutoland became independent as the Kingdom of Lesotho and BNP's leader Leabua Jonathan became the country's first prime minister
1970 BNP lost the general elections, Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan refused to cede power to BCP and imprisoned BCP leadership
1980s South Africa imposed an embargo against Lesotho, which allowed ANC to operate in Lesotho
1986 Leabua Jonathan was overthrown in a military coup led by Justinus Lekhanya
1990 King Moshoeshoe II was replaced by his son Letsie III after disputes between general Lekhanya and King Moshoeshoe II
1991 General Lekhanya was overthrown in a coup and replaced by Major General Elias Phisoana Ramaema
1993 Ramaema handed over power to a democratically elected BCP government 
1994 Letsie III staged a military coup deposing the BCP government, which refused to reinstate his father as the head of state
1995 King Moshoeshoe II was reinstated as head of state which was the condition to reinstate the BCP government
1996 King Moshoeshoe II died in a car accident and Letsie III war crowned as the King
1997 Leadership crisis in the ruling BCP party and as a result of that Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle formed a new party LCD (Lesotho Congress for Democracy)
1998 LCD won the general elections but the opposition started rebelling with the army. South Africa and Botswana sent troops to calm down the situation
2002 First peaceful elections in Lesotho when LCD won again and Pakalitha Mosisili continued as the Prime Minister
2006 Lesotho changed its flag 

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