The Kingdom of Lesotho is a state in southern Africa. The country has no access to the sea, and is on all sides surrounded by South Africa. The capital of Lesotho is called Maseru. The country was formerly called Basutoland, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name Le-sotho can roughly be translated as “the land of the Sotho-speaking people”.

According to ezinereligion, this small country is located in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. The country is without coasts, mountainous and only in the western part of the country has land suitable for agricultural production (maize and wheat). The rest of the country is used for sheep breeding. Apart from small deposits of diamonds, the country does not have mineral resources. The most serious environmental problem is soil erosion. The shortage of water will be further exacerbated when a projected hydropower plant in the highlands begins to redirect water resources to South Africa.

The most remarkable fact about Lesotho, apart from the fact that the country is an enclave, is that it is the only independent state in the world that lies solely more than 1,000 meters above sea level. The country’s lowest point is 1,400 meters above sea level, and over 80 percent of the country is over 1,800 meters.

Lesotho has received financial support from various sources, including the United States, the World Bank, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Germany.

Recent reports estimate that the prevalence of HIV / AIDS in Lesotho is around 29%, one of the highest levels in the world. The UN estimates that the level will rise to 36 percent over the next 15 years, which will lead to a marked decrease in the average life expectancy of the population. According to the Lesotho Statistical Office, life expectancy in 2001 was estimated at 48 years for men and 56 years for women. Later statistics estimate that life expectancy has dropped to an average of about 37 years.

In 2005/2006, programs for the distribution of antiretroviral drugs were launched, but such programs have limited resources and relatively few participants.

Through his AIDS finding, in 2008 Elton John donated 120 motorcycles to Lesotho’s doctors and nurses.

Lesotho is one of the poorest countries in the world and is in the low-income group with a GDP per capita. per capita at $ 1,030 (WB: 2006).


Old Stone Age – In the early Stone Age, hunters and bushman cultures known as sangoan occupied southern Africa in areas where rainfall was less than 1000 mm, and today’s bushmen and khoi are reminiscent of the ancient bone remains of sangoan. The two groups share physical and linguistic characteristics, and it seems that khoi differed from bushmen by adopting the practice of breeding cattle and goats from bantu groups in the neighborhood. The Khoisan people were the original residents of large parts of southern Africa before the Bantu migration, which came down along the east and west coasts of Africa and later European colonization. Culturally, they are divided into the hunters and the bushmen and the shepherds khoikhoi. Khoikhoi was formerly called hottentotter, after Dutch. However, the term hottentott is perceived as supportive by some. The Khoisan languages ​​are known for their clicking consonants.

1818 – The Zulu conquests initiated by Chaka (see South Africa) affect a large number of Bantu people. Among them the Sotho who inhabited a large area in the present Transvaal. While several of these groups withdrew to the north, Chief Moshoeshoebakwene gathered the tribe under his leadership, also captured a number of opposition Zulu groups and withdrew with these towards the Drakensberg mountains. A long struggle of resistance now erupted. First against the Zulus and from 1839 against the Boers. This battle brought together the different peoples who otherwise had different origins, and they gave Moshoeshoe the title “Great Chief of the Mountains”. They called themselves basothos.

The Boers – the Dutch settlers in South Africa – tried to force the Basotho to work on their plantations but quickly had to admit that “these savages prefer freedom to slavery”. The Basotho also refused to work on the white cattle farms, for “God created the animals to give birth to man, not man to give birth to the animals.”

1843 – December 13. The earliest residents of the area were Khoisan hunter-gatherers (see above). They were predominantly replaced by Bantu-speaking tribes during the Bantu migration. Today’s Lesotho emerged as a unified state under a supreme leader in 1822, and was recognized by Britain on December 13, 1843.

1868 – On March 12, the territory became the British protectorate of Basutoland (then already named after the primary ethnic and linguistic group, the Sotho people ).

1871 – From August 11, 1871 to March 18, 1884, the country was annexed by the British Cape Colony (South Africa) as Basutoland territory.

1884 – On March 18, Basutoland again becomes a separate colony as one of the High Commission territories.

1958 – The National Party of Basotho is founded.

1962 – Lesotho Communist Party is founded.

1962 – Marematlou Liberation Party is founded.

1965 – On April 30, the country gains independence. The name was changed when Lesotho gained full independence from the United Kingdom on October 4, 1966.

1970 – In January, the Basotho National Party (BNP) loses the first election since independence, gaining 23 seats against the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) 36 seats. Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan refused to hand over power to the BCP, proclaiming himself a tono kholo (sesotho for prime minister), and imprisoning BCP leaders.

1974 – BCP launches an uprising in January, and its Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA, Lesotho Liberation Army) is trained in Libya, pretending to be the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA) of the Pan Africanist Congress. (PAC).

1976 – After the student uprising in the Johannesburg suburb of Soweto, thousands of young South Africans seek asylum in Lesotho. When South Africa began to create the so-called “bantustans”, Lesotho refused to recognize the phantom state of Transkei (see South Africa). This led the apartheid state in early 1977 to block the border with Lesotho in retaliation. The economic aggression created a very serious situation for the small country, which issued dramatic calls for international solidarity.

1978 – A 178-strong LLA Army is stripped of its weapons and supplies by the PAC’s Sibeko faction, and rescued from their camp in Tanzania with financial support from a Maoist PAC officer, but begins their guerrilla war with a handful of old weapons. The main force was defeated in northern Lesotho, and the guerrillas then launched sporadic but usually ineffective attacks. The campaign was hit hard when Ntsu Mokhehle, the leader of the BCP, went to Pretoria in South Africa.

1982 – In December, South African soldiers carry out a command raid in the capital of Lesotho, killing 45 people, including 12 children. During the operation, 3 ANC leaders were killed. The others killed were without political connections.

1984 – The National Independence Party is founded.

1984 – Basotho’s Democratic Party is founded.

1986 – On January 20, General Justin Lekhanya, commander of Lesotho’s paramilitary forces, carried out a coup that toppled Leabua Jonathan’s government. It was replaced by a Military Committee led by Lekhanya himself.

1986 – March. GDP had the power per. decree until January, when a military coup forced them out of power. The military council that took power gave King Moshoeshoe 2. the executive – he had until then been a ceremonial monarch. In 1987, however, the king was forced into exile after a dispute with the army. His son was installed as King Letsie 3.

1991 – Following a general strike by the armed forces over low wages, a new military coup overthrows the Lekhanya government on April 30, and a new government council is installed under the leadership of Colonel Elias P. Ramaema.

1992 – The Basotho Kopanang Party, which spearheads women’s rights campaigns, is founded.

1994 – In August, Letsie III is behind a coup supported by the military, ousting the BCP government. The new government did not receive full international recognition. The Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) entered into negotiations with a view to re-establishing the BCP Government. One of the king’s conditions for reinstating the BCP government was that his father should be reinstated as head of state. After lengthy negotiations, the BCP government was reinstated and Letsie III abdicated in 1995 in favor of her father, but King Moshoeshoe II died in a car accident in 1996, and was again succeeded by his son. The leading BCP party was split in a leadership battle in 1997.

1998 – March 8, hundreds of women demanded harsher punishments for rapists. Iflg. official statistics 5 women and girls are raped daily in Lesotho. A report by the Association for the Development of Southern Africa pointed out that in most of the 14 member states – including Lesotho – legislation against violence against women is not complied with.

1998 – In September, a SADC task force entered the capital, Maseru, following orders of unclear origin. While the SADC forces from Botswana were welcomed, there was the tension with SADC troops from the South African National Defense Force, which led to fighting. The number of sporadic riots increased as South African troops hoisted the South African flag over the royal palace. By the time SADC’s forces withdrew in May 1999, much of Maseru had been destroyed, and the southern provincial capitals of Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek had lost more than a third of their commercial property. A number of South Africans and basotho also died during the fighting.

1999 – In the middle of the year, 12 foreign companies were accused of paying bribes in connection with. the tender for Africa’s largest infrastructure project. It is a joint project between Lesotho and South Africa to exploit the water that flows through the Orange River down from the Maloti Mountains and ends in the Atlantic Ocean. A large number of hydropower plants are to be built to supply electricity to Lesotho and water to South Africa. Water is a resource that abounds in Lesotho while South Africa’s industry is increasingly in need of water. The World Bank is also involved in the project, and it is estimated that the project has already displaced 30,000 farmers who have lost homes, fields and pastures. Although no environmental studies were carried out in connection with. project, it was assessed that that the affected villages and farmers “would maintain at least the same standard of living as before the start of the project”. However, it can already be stated that, apart from a few resettled people, the standard of living has deteriorated for the vast majority who have had to settle in areas without water. It is also estimated that the project will have major consequences for the water system in the mountains of Lesotho and will threaten the survival of several animal and plant species in the region.

2000 – In February, the king marries a 23-year-old university-educated woman. According to the king, she will be his only wife.

2001 – In April, the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, visits Lesotho with the aim of improving relations between the two countries. The president was forced to pay a cow a fine. The reason was that he had not attended the king’s wedding the year before and Mbeki should have attended since his mother is from Lesotho. The opposition was also critical of the visit following South Africa’s intervention in the country in 1998.

2004 – In February, Lesotho’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Mpho Malie, criticizes the US and the EU for double standards. It happened during a meeting between African trade ministers, the US Trade Representative, Bob Zoellick, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and WTO Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi. Malie stated that the US and the EU cannot demand that the African countries open their markets while the US and the EU simultaneously protect theirs. The meeting addressed a number of issues of fundamental importance to Africa’s development, which have otherwise stood still since the Uruguay Round in 1994. The aim was at the same time to create a common negotiating bloc ahead of the WTO summit in Hong Kong in 2005.

2004 – Mosisili declares the country a state of emergency and calls for international aid in the form of food. Emergencies officials said thousands were dying of starvation after 3 years of vain struggle against the country’s severe drought.

2006-2008 – Letseng diamond mine, can be found in Lesotho and is owned by Gem Diamonds, Ltd. and the Government of Lesotho. The mine is located at an altitude of 3,100 m, and is thus the world’s tallest diamond mine. Read on English wikipedia about finds of the world’s largest diamonds.

Lesotho History Timeline

Lesotho History Timeline
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