Africa; key historical events
For events in North Africa, e.g. Libya, Algeria, relating to the Islamic World and Arab Spring see Islam & Middle East
See also Egypt
See also South Africa
Chad – see Appendix 1 below
Ghana – see Appendix 2 below
Kenya – see Appendix 3 below
Liberia – see Appendix 4 below
Uganda – see Appendix 5 below
Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) – see Appendix 6 below
See also Internatiional Unions for pan-African organisations
For 2014 Ebola crisis see Medical
6/8/2016, The newly-elected leader of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), or Western Sahara, President Brahim Gali, vowed to continue the fight for liberation from Moroccan occupation.
9/11/2014, Islamic terrorists dressed in school uniforms set off suicide bombs at a school assembly.
14/4/2014, Islamic terrorists set off a bomb in Abuja, Nigeria, killing 70.
25/4/2013, The UK reopened its embassy in Somalia, closed for 25 years.
9/7/2011, The new country of South Sudan officially seceded from Sudan, following a pro-independence referendum in January 2011.
11/4/2011, Laurent Gbagbo, former President of the Cote D’Ivoire, was captured.
9/1/2011, A referendum in Sudan resulted in a mandate for the independence of Southern Sudan.
18/2/2010, The President of Niger was overthrown in a military coup.
19/11/2008, Germany extradited Rose Kabuye to France, where she faced charges over the killing of a former Rwandan President, Juvenal Habyarimana. This incident sparked the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
26/2/2004, The US lifted a travel ban on visiting Libya, ending restrictions that had been in force for 26 years.
22/2/2002. Jonas Savimbi, leader of the UNITA opposition to the Angola Government in a protracted civil war since 1975, died, aged 67 (born 1934). The Portuguese left Angola in 1975 and the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) gained power; Savimbi began fighting against it. He USA and the apartheid regime in South Africa funded Savimbi and his UNITA party, because MPLA was Marxist and funded by the USSR and Cuba. On 4/4/2002 a truce was signed between the Angolan government and UNITA, who became the official opposition party of Angola.
18/1/2002, The civil war in Sierra Leone ended.
16/1/2001, Laurent Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, died.
9/4/1999, The President of Niger, Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, was assassinated.
5/4/1999, Two Libyans suspected of the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in 1988 were handed over to the Scottish authorities for eventual trial in The Netherlands. The UN suspended sanctions against Libya.
7/8/1998, A lorry bomb exploded outside the US embassy in Tanzania.
11/6/1998, The UN officially declared a famine in Ethiopia, as one million faced starvation.
16/5/1997, The Mobutu regime in Zaire collapsed.
15/11/1996. Mass migration as Hutu refugees returned to Rwanda.
11/4/1996, A treaty establishing Africa as a nuclear-free zone was signed in Cairo.
4/3/1996. UN forces left Rwanda as the UN mandate ended.
10/11/1995, The Nigerian military government hanged the dissident Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists. They had been protesting against the exploitation of the Ogoni people and their lands by large oil companies. In particular, an oil leak from an old pipeline in August 1995 had polluted Ogoni lands. Oil and gas had been discovered in the Niger delta in 1957 and commercial exploitation began a year later. In 1995 oil accounted for 80% of Nigerian government earnings and 90% of foreign exchange earnings.
20/11/1994, The Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Lusaka Protocol.
14/8/1994. Carlos the Jackal was arrested in Sudan.
4/7/1994. Kigali fell to the Rwandan Patriotic Front. After the Rwandan President was killed in an air crash (see 6/4/1994) violence occurred against the Tutsi minority. Half a million died and 1.5 million refugees were created.
21/4/1994, The Red Cross estimated that 100,000 had died in the Rwandan Genocide.
6/4/1994. An air crash killed the Presidents of both Rwanda (President Juvenal Habyarimana) and Burundi (President Cyprien Ntaryamira). The Rwandan Patriotic Front was suspected but so were Hutu extremists opposed to the Arusha Agreement. See 5/10/1993 and 4/7/1994. On 7/4/1994 the Hutu militia, known as the Interhamwe, began organising the killing of many Tutsis.
7/12/1993, Felix Houphouet Boigny, President of Cote d’Ivoire, died.
11/11/1993. The USA imposed new sanctions on Libya for refusing to handover two suspects wanted for the Lockerbie bombing of a Pan Am plane.
5/10/1993, The UN created a body to oversee the Arusha agreement, see 4/8/1993 and 6/4/1994.
15/9/1993. The USA, Britain, and other Western countries agreed to sanctions on Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA forces fighting the Angolan government.
4/8/1993. The President of Rwanda’s Hutu-dominated government, Juvenal Habyarima, signed the Arusha Peace Agreement with the opposition Rwandan Patriotic Front, whose mainly Tutsi forces were closing in on the capital, Kigali. A ceasefire was agreed and plans made for power-sharing. 2,500 Un troops were pledged to oversee the implementation of the agreement. But on 4/8/1993 Kigali’s Radio television Libre des Milles Collines began broadcasting Hutu-supremacist, anti-Tutsi, propaganda. See 5/10/1993.
17/6/1993. In Somalia, UN ground troops along with US helicopters launched a dawn raid on the HQ of General Mohammed Farrah Aidid, in retaliation for an attack that left 24 Pakistani peacekeepers dead 12 days earlier. Aidid escaped capture or death.
24/5/1993, Eritrea became independent.
27/4/1993. The Ethiopian province of Eritrea voted overwhelmingly for independence.
20/1/1993. Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA rebels took the important Angolan oil refining town of Sayo.
15/1/1993. The situation in Somalia continued tense despite a ceasefire brokered and enforced by US troops. In December 1992 President Bush had begun emergency food supplies to Somalia.
14/12/1992. In Algeria, Muslim extremists ambushed and killed five policemen.
6/10/1992. A truce in the 16-year-old civil war in Angola looked fragile after UNITA disputed election results giving the MPLA government, under President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos a 51% to 39% lead over Jonas Savimbi.
30/9/1992. In Angola’s first democratically-held elections, Jose Eduardo dos Santos defeated Jonas Savimbi.
29/4/1992, The autocratic Siaka Stevens regime in Sierra Leone was overthrown, by a group led by Captain Valentine Strasser.
13/3/1992. In Rwanda, fighting broke out between the Hutus, who held power, and the Tutsis.
22/2/1992, The Pope visited Goree Island, near Dakar, Senegal, to commemorate the ‘forgotten holocaust’ of the estimated 15 million slaves who passed through this way on route to slavery in the Americas.
3/1/1992. Civil war continued in Somalia.
31/5/1991, The 17-year civil war in Angola ended.
22/5/1991, Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam escaped to Zimbabwe as rebel forces closed in on the capital, Addis Ababa. With massive spending on Soviet armaments to put down rebellions in Eritrea, Tigray and Oromo provinces, agriculture was starved of cash and the country went from being 40% forested to almost tree-less and desertified.
21/2/1991. Somalia had virtually disintegrated through civil war, sending many refugees to nearby countries.
1/1991, President Siad Barre was forced to flee Somalia; his rule had become more repressive since his failed invasion of Ethiopia in 1977. His departure left a political vacuum that was filled by rival warlords.
1989, In Sudan, the National Islamic Front seized power in Khartoum. This further anatgonised the rebel Christian/Animist South.
31/8/1989. Libya and Chad signed a peace agreement ending 25 years of war.
10/1/1989, Cuban troops began withdrawing from Angola.
5/1/1989, A US aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean shot down two Libyan fighter aircraft.
22/12/1988. The withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola was announced.
18/10/1998, 700 people died in a fire in southern Nigeria as they scavenged oil leaking from a pipeline.
8/8/1988. Angola, South Africa, and Cuba agreed a ceasefire in the Angolan Civil War.
3/4/1988. Ethiopia and Somalia concluded a peace agreement, ending 11 years of border conflict.
17/4/1986, In Libya, three British hostages were murdered in revenge for British participation in US air raids on Libya.
8/1/1986. President Reagan froze Libyan assets in the US. Mrs Thatcher refused to join the US in this action.
13/7/1985, Live Aid pop concerts in Britain and America raised over £50 million for famine victims in Africa. Bob Geldof performed at Wembley.
14/12/1984, A group of rock stars led by Bob Geldof formed ‘Band Aid’ to raise money for Ethiopian famine victims.
25/11/1984, Bob Geldof and other rock stars recorded ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ for the Band Aid famine relief initiative in Ethiopia. All proceeds from sales of the songs would go towards famine relief.
4/8/1984, The Republic of Upper Volta changed its name to Burkina Faso.
1983, In Sudan, the Khartoum Government rescinded the autonomy of southern Sudan, and imposed Sharia Law across the entire country. Rebel army units ion the ssouth formed the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement). The SPLA and Anyanya rebels joined forces.
30/1/1983, Nigeria expelled Ghanaians from its territory.
10/3/1982, The USA embargoed oil imports from Libya, alleging Libyan involvement in terrorist groups.
1/2/1982 Senegal and Gambia formed a loose federation.
1981, The Anyanya insurgency restatred in southern Sudan; known as the Anyanya 2 Rebellion.
6/5/1981. The USA expelled all Libyan diplomats.
13/7/1980, Sir Seretse Khama, President of Botswana since 1966, died in a London hospital.
20/9/1979, ‘Emperor’ Bokassa was deposed in Central Africa and a Republic restored under his cousin, David Dacko. Dacko had been President until Bokassa, then an army colonel, overthrew him in a coup in 1965. Bokassa now fled to France, amid accusations of child cannibalism, and he had wasted money on extravagant living.
31/7/1979, Nigeria seized British oil installations, in a bid to persuade Mrs Thatcher to take a harder line on Apartheid.
4/7/1979, Algerian leader ben Bella was released after 14 years in jail.
10/4/1979, Cambodia recognised the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
30/6/1978, Ethiopia began a major offensive in Eritrea.
4/5/1978. South Africa raided SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation) bases in Angola.
4/4/1978. The Angolan government began an offensive against UNITA forces.
9/3/1978, Somalia left Ethiopian territory, so ending the Ogaden War.
5/3/1978. Ethiopian forces, backed by Russia and Cuba, completely retook the region of Ogaden seized by Somalia in September 1977.
21/1/1978, Ethiopian forces began expelling Somali forces from the Ogaden, see 23/7/1977 and 5/3/1978.
4/12/1977. In the Central African Republic, Jean Bedel Bokassa crowned himself Emperor.
23/11/1977, Rhodesian troops entered Mozambique and killed over 1,000 alleged guerrillas.
18/10/1977. German anti-terror forces stormed a hijacked Lufthansa airliner at Mogadishu, Somalia, killing three Palestinian terrorists and freeing all the hostages. Three of the four hijackers were killed.
23/7/1977, Somalia, under President Siad Barre, invaded the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, in support of the guerrillas of the ‘Western Somali Liberation Front’. See 21/1/1978.
4/12/1976, The military ruler of the Central African Republic, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, declared the country a Parliamentary monarchy, the Central African Empire, with himself as monarch, Emperor Bokassa I.
14/4/1976, Spain withdrew the last of its troops from the Spanish Sahara. This allowed Morocco to annex the phosphate-rich country.
3/3/1976, The newly-independent country of Mozambique closed its border with Rhodesia, as a protest against the illegal regime there.
27/2/1976, The Western Sahara declared its independence. Spain gave up its territories in the Sahara but retained the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta.
19/2/1976. The Cuban backed MPLA won the Angolan civil war, and was recognised by most other countries. See 10/11/1975.
24/11/1975. Civil war began in Angola.
14/11/1975, Spain pulled out of the Western Sahara under the Madrid Accord. However this left the territory vulnerable to occupation by Morocco.
11/11/1975. Angola became independent from Portugal, but three different liberation factions were fighting for control. 320 years of Portuguese occupation ended. Civil was began between the Cuban-backed MPLA (People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola) and the Western backed UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) and the South African backed FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola). See 19/2/1976.
27/8/1975. Haile Selassie, deposed Emperor of Ethiopia, nicknamed ‘the Lion of Judah’, died in exile. In 1916 he had become Ras (Prince) Tafari, and in 1930 became Emperor of Ethiopia. He was seen as the Messiah by Rastafarians, who saw Ethiopia as the Promised Land. He was exiled to England during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, 1935-39, but returned to Ethiopia in 1941. He helped found the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) but faced considerable opposition within Ethiopia and was deposed in 1974.
29/7/1975, A military coup in Nigeria.
12/7/1975, Sao Tome and Principe declared independence from Portugal.
6/7/1975, The Comoros declared their independence from France.
5/7/1975, Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal after nearly 500 years of colonial rule.
25/6/1975. Mozambique became independent from Portugal. This followed a ten-year war against Portuguese colonial rule.
21/3/1975, Ethiopia abolished the monarchy.
28/2/1975. The Lome Convention was signed in Lome, capital of Togo, between the EC and 46 developing nations. The agreement provided for free access for the export of these 46 countries into the EC, also for aid and investment. It laid the foundation for the post imperialistic (colonial) relations between Europe and Africa.
10/1/1975, The Portuguese Government agreed on independence for Angola.
12/9/1974. In Ethiopia, President Haile Selassie was deposed by leaders of the armed forces. He was taken to prison where he died in 1975. A famine in 1972 in which 200,000 Ethiopians died had exposed the organisational inadequacies of the Ethiopian Government. From early 1974 Ethiopia saw strikes, army mutinies, demonstrations by students and peasants revolts. In June 1974 a committee of junior army officers was formed, known as the Derg, and it was this body who overthrew the President. Unfortunately rule by the Derg proved more autocratic and oppressive than under Haile Selassie.
10/9/1974, Guinea Bissau became independent.
10/5/1973, The Polisario was founded by radical students at Ain Bentili. Its aim was to free the Western Sahara from Spanish, then Moroccan, control.
1972, Peace agreed in Sudan between southern anyanya rebels and the government. Ethiopia acted as peace broker.
1/10/1972, The archaeologist and anthropologist David Leakey died. He had worked on human fossils in Africa to trace the history of mankind.
27/10/1971 Congo changed its name to Zaire, under President Mobutu.
24/4/1970, After a national referendum, Gambia, which had been a British colony since 1843, became a Republic within the Commonwealth.
1/1970, Construction work began on the Cabora Bassa dam, Zambesi River, Mozambique.
16/1/1970, Colonel Ghaddafi became Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council in Libya.
12/1/1970. Nigeria’s civil war ended when the Biafran Army surrendered. The expected massacre of Biafrans by Nigerian soldiers never occurred; Gowon pursued a policy or reconciliation, with the line that Biafra had been ‘led astray’ by Ojukwu.
10/1/1970, At the last meeting of the Biafran Cabinet, General Ojukwu handed command to his Chief of Staff, General Effiong, and fled to Cote D’Ivoire. Morale in the Biafran Army finally cracked, with soldiers discarding their uniforms and mingling with refugees.
14/11/1969. Ghaddaffi nationalised all foreign banks in Libya.
1/9/1969. President Ghaddaffi ousted King Idris of Libya in a military coup.
30/6/1969, The Nigerian Government seized control of all relief for Biafra.
29/6/1969, Tshombe died of a heart attack, in an Algerian prison.
12/10/1968. Equatorial Guinea became independent.
6/9/1968. Swaziland became independent from Britain.
19/5/1968. Nigerian forces captured Port Harcourt in the civil war against the breakaway region of Biafra.
1967, Diamonds were discovered at Orapa, Botswana.
7/7/1967. Nigerian troops invaded the breakaway region of Biafra, see 30/5/1967. The Biafrans had, initially, the main oil reserves and the refinery at Port Harcourt, so were able to secure help and weapons from abroad. However they faced an overwhelmingly larger Federal Nigerian Army. The ruler of Nigeria, Gowon, faced the threat of regional secession and was determined to maintain the unity of his country.
30/6/1967, Moise Tshombe, former President of Katanga and former prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was kidnapped to Algeria.
30/5/1967. Biafra, 44,000 square miles, seceded from Nigeria under the military commander of the Eastern Ibo region, Odumegwu Ojukwu, starting a civil war. See 7/7/1967, 19/5/1968, and 12/1/1970. Nigeria at independence in 1960 had a population of around 50 million, consisting mainly of Muslim Hausa and Fulani in the north, Catholic Ibos in the east, and Muslim Yorubas in the west. There was considerable enmity between the Ibos and the Muslims. In January 1966 a coup by Major-General Johnson Ironsi, an Ibo, replaced the civilian post-independence government, This coup provoked a massacre of Ibos in the northern Muslim regions. At end July 1966 a second coup, by northern Army officers, deposed Ironsi, who was then tortured and murdered. General Yakubu Gowon, a Christian from a minority tribe, now came to power. He tried to reassure the Ibos but hundreds of thousands of them fled to the eastern Ibo region for safety. Gowon planned to institute a 12-region federal structure for Nigeria, but the military Governor of the eastern region, Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, refused to accept this. Ojukwu was a wealthy Ibo, Oxford-educated, who declared the oil-rich Eastern Region independent on 30/5/1967 as Biafra, hoping for support from the oil multinationals. However Nigerian troops overran Biafra, over an extended time period, making Biafra a byword for mass starvation.
Biafran-controlled territory shrank, by September 1968, to a landlocked enclave 100km by 50 km. Ojukwu hired a Swiss public relations firm, Markpress, to plead his cause to the world. Markpress played the religious factor, painting (to the West) Ojukwu as a Christian under Muslim threat; Gowon countered that many on the Nigerian side, including Gowon himself, were also Christian. From August 1968 aid agencies began sending food aid to the starving Biafrans. France backed the Biafran side and sent military aid via Gabon and Cote D’Ivoire. Britain and Russia both backed the Nigerian side. Mercenaries under Colonel Rolf Steiner arrived to bolster the Biafran forces; this held back the Nogerian forces, however only prolonging the suffering of the Biafran people. Nigeria, unable to overcome Steiner’s men, settled upon bombing raids and blockade. Gowon blocked food aid, arguing it was being used as a cover for arms shipments.
4/10/1966. Lesotho became independent. It had been formerly known as Basutoland, and had been a British Protectorate since 1868.
30/9/1966. Botswana became independent. It had formerly been called Bechuenaland. Sir Setese Khama was its first President.
1/8/1966, Military coup in Nigeria.
1/1/1966. Bokassa took over as leader of the Central African Republic. In 1977 he organised a lavish coronation ceremony., appointing himself ‘emperor’, which cost US$20million, a quarter of his country’s annual income.
1965, Gaborone was designated as the capital of Botswana. The Botswana Democratoc Party won the elections, and Seretse Khama became Prime Minister.
19/6/1965, The President of Algeria, Ben Bella, was overthrown in a military coup by his Minister of Defence, Colonel Houari Boumedienne.
18/2/1965. The Gambia, the smallest country in Africa, became an independent monarchy. It had been a British colony since 1843.
29/10/1964, The name of Tanzania was officially adopted, for the union this day of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
24/10/1964. Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda was the first President. This ended 75 years of British rule.
6/7/1964. Malawi, formerly Nyasaland, became independent. It had been a British Protectorate since 1891. The Scottish explorer David Livingstone named the lake, Lake Nyasa, after being told that was its name by the locals; however nyasa meant ‘mass of waters’. So Lake Nyasa meant ‘lake-lake’. On independence the name Malawi was chosen, from the former 16th century Kingdom of Maravi, believed to have ruled over the Zambesi river as far as Mombasa.
30/6/1964, UN troops ceased fighting in the Congo.
26/4/1964. Tanganyika and Zanzibar united as Tanzania. Julius Nyerere was the first President.
12/1/1964, Zanzibar was proclaimed a republic. The Sultan of Zanzibar was banished from the country.
10/12/1963. Zanzibar became independent. It had been a British Protectorate since 1890.
1/10/1963. Nigeria became a republic within the Commonwealth.
1/2/1963, Nyasaland became independent, later to be called Malawi.
14/1/1963. The secession of Katanga from the Congo ended, see 11/7/1960. The province was renamed Shaba, and its capital town, formerly Elizabethville, was renamed Lubumbashi.
1962, Frelimo, the Frente de Libertacao de Mocambique, was founded in Dar es Salaam. Initially led by Eduardo Mondlane, until his assassination, it fought for the independence of Mozambique from the Portuguese. When independence was achieved in 1975, the Marxist-Leninist Frelimo became the only legal party in Mozambique. A civil war began with the violent dissident group Renamo, which by the end of the 1990s had claimed over 100,000 lives and created one million refugees. Frelimo and Renamo siged a peace treaty in 1992, and Renamo was recognised as a legitimate political party. Frelimo won Mozambique’s first multiparty elections in 1994.
1962, Seretse Khama founded the Botswana Democratic Party.
9/12/1962, Tanzania became a Republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as first President.
2/11/1962, Tangynika elected Nyerere as president.
10/10/1962, Ceasefire in the Congo civil war.
22/8/1962, President De Gaulle of France escaped an assassination attempt by the OAS, a terrorist organisation of White Algerian settlers opposed to De Gaulle’s policies there.
3/7/1962. France recognised Algerian independence, after a referendum; this also entailed the departure of Algeria from the EU. Algeria had been under French rule for 132 years. French property was taken over by Algerians. Ben Hella was the first Prime Minister of Algeria. De Gaulle had begun peace talks with the FLN on 30/3/1961 and peace was concluded mostly on the FLN’s terms on 18/3/1962.
1/7/1962. Rwanda and Burundi became independent. They had formerly been part of the Belgian administration of Ruanda-Urundi.
26/3/1962. The French Army launched an offensive to crush an armed uprising in Algeria. See 3/7/1962.
1961, Cameroon became indeoendent.
1961, In Botswana, Seretse Khama was appointed to the Executive Council.
9/12/1961, Tangynika became independent. See 9/12/1962.
1/10/1961. The British Trust territory of Southern Cameroons joined with French Cameroons to form the Republic of Cameroon.
13/9/1961. U.N. forces defeated Katangan rebels. See 11/7/1960.
31/8/1961, Last Spanish troops withdrew from Morocco.
1/6/1961. Northern Cameroon joined the Federation of Nigeria.
27/4/1961. Sierra Leone became independent, and joined the Commonwealth.
26/2/1961, King Hassan II became ruler of Morocco on the death of his father, King Mohammad V.
4/2/1961, The MPLA began its fight against the Angolan Government at Luanda.
17/1/1961, Ex-President Patrice Lumumba of Zaire (deposed 14/9/1960) was executed by rebel Katangese troops.
28/11/1960, Mauritania became fully independent from France.
1/10/1960. Nigeria became independent.
22/9/1960, Mali became independent.
14/9/1960, Successful military coup in Zaire by Colonel Mobutu, against President Lumumba.
1/9/1960. Nyerere became Tangynika's first Prime Minister.
22/8/1960. Senegal seceded from Mali.
20/8/1960, Senegal became independent.
17/8/1960, Gabon became an independent nation, from France.
15/8/1960. The Congo (Brazzaville) became independent from France.
13/8/1960, The Central African Republic became independent.
7/8/1960. Ivory Coast became independent from France.
5/8/1960, Upper Volta became independent.
3/8/1960, Niger became independent from France.
1/8/1960, Benin (Dahomey) became independent from France.
28/7/1960, UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold arrived in the Congo in a bid to end the civil war there.
11/7/1960. Katanga rebels declared independence from the Congo under Tshombe. See 13/9/1961. Belgium sent troops to the Congo. See 14/1/1963.
7/7/1960, Belgium sent troops to the Congo.
30/6/1960. The Belgian Congo became independent, under President Lumumba. Civil war erupted within a week, the mineral-rich region of Katanga seceded, and UN peacekeeping troops arrived as the Belgians left. In August the mineral-rich province of Kasai also seceded. Without these two provinces, Congo would have been one of the poorest countries in Africa. Paramilitary troops from Rhodesia, Europe, and South Africa were ready to defend breakaway Katanga and their mining interests. The UN said it would restore law and order but was not concerned with the secession of Katanga. Lumumba now made the mistake of turning to the USSR for help. Russia sent aid and Kasai was retaken for a while. However other government members decided to rid themselves of the radical Lumumba, and the Chief of Staff, Mobutu, set up a new government; Lumumba was assassinated in January 1961. Tschombe, leader of Katanga, was supported by the Belgian’s decision to pay mining royalties to him, not the Congo government. However the UN leader, Dag Hammarskjold, was determined to crown his first major international peacekeeping exercise with success, and there was now a pro-Western government in the Congo. Hammarskjold’s plane crashed in uncertain circumstances on 17 September 1961 whilst negotiating with Tschombe. There was fighting between Katangan and UN forces in Elisabethville, capital of Katanga, and the UN attitude hardened. The UN ordered the forcible occupation of Katanga, and in January 1963 UN forces fully occupied the breakaway province.
26/6/1960, Madagascar became an independent republic. It had been a French colony since 1896.
20/6/1960, Mali became independent from France as the federation of Mali, including Senegal. See 22/8/1960.
18/5/1960. The Queen Mother opened the Kariba dam on the Zambesi River.
27/4/1960. Togo became independent.
4/4/1960, Senegal became independent.
24/1/1960. Revolt against French rule broke out in Algeria, after General de Gaulle dismissed the pieds noir hero General Massau. French settlers felt they lacked protection against FLN terrorists and those who had supported De Gaulle 2 years earlier now demonstrated against him. De Gaulle ordered in paratroops who debated whether to open fire on fellow Frenchmen. The order was never given and by February 1960 the revolt had collapsed and many insurgents arrested.
1/1/1960. The independent Republic of the Cameroons was proclaimed.
1959, Copper mining began in Botswana.
13/12/1959. The UN decided not to intervene in Algeria.
2/11/1959. Rioting in the Belgian Congo left 70 dead.
27/10/1959, The Queen’s Speech promised independence for Cyprus and Nigeria.
16/9/1959, Charles de Gaulle, French President, offered Algeria a referendum on independence.
6/1959, The wall of the Kariba Dam (Zambia-Zimbabwe border) was completed.
29/3/1959, Barthelemy Boganda, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, was born.
17/1/1959. Senegal and French Sudan united to form Mali.
4/1/1959, Rioting in the Belgian Congo.
14/10/1958, Madagascar became independent.
2/10/1958, Guinea was proclaimed an independent republic.
14/6/1958, France announce it was withdrawing its troops from Morocco.
13/5/1958. Rioting by French settlers in Algeria led to the French army seizing power.
11/2/1958, Tunisia banned French warships from using its port at Bizerta.
25/7/1957, Tunisia abolished the monarchy and became a republic. Habib Bourguiba was elected as the first President.
6/11/1956. Work began on the Kariba High Dam on the River Zambesi, between Zambia and Zimbabwe. See 18/5/1960.
7/4/1956, Spain relinquished its protectorate over Morocco.
20/3/1956. Tunisia became independent, having been a French Protectorate since 1881.
2/3/1956, The Treaty of Fez was terminated.
1/1/1956. Sudan became independent, having been administered jointly by Britain and Egypt.
20/8/1955, Algerian independence fighters (FLN, Front Liberation National) committed atrocities against Europeans in the Constantine area of Algeria. Simultaneous attacks in 25 towns were co-ordinated by former councillor Zirout Youssef; French military posts, police stations, and the homes of Europeans were hit. ^0 Europeans died in Philippeville. The French responded harshly, with villages suspected of harbouring rebels being razed and 500,000 French troops being sent to maintain order. Barbed wire was erected along the borders with Tunisia and Morocco because these two newly-independent states were aiding the rebels. The French mounted a retaliatory raid into Tunisia, sparking UN intervention.
1955, The Anyanya I Rebellion in Sudan, by southern Anyanyas against the northern Muslims.
23/12/1954, France sent 20,000 troops to Algeria.
1/11/1954. A nationalist uprising began against the French in their colony of Algeria. On 23/12/1954 France sent 20,000 troops to Algeria. By September 1955 there were about 120,000 French troops in Algeria, a number quadrupled by December 1956 with still no end to the troubles in sight. The war continued until the Evian agreement of March 1962.
24/4/1954, 40,000 Mau-Mau suspects were arrested in Kenya.
1/8/1953, Nyasaland (now Malawi) federated with Southern and Northern Rhodesia to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. This federation lasted until 1963.
10/11/1952, 77-year-old doctor and philosopher Albert Schweitzer was awarded the Nobel Prize for his humanitarian work in Africa.
15/9/1952. Eritrea, having previously been under British rule since the defeat of the Italians there in 1940, was transferred as an autonomous region to the rule of Ethiopia.
20/2/1952. NATO agreed to recruit Morocco and Tunisia.
24/12/1951. Independent kingdom of Libya was established. Idris I, aged 61, was the first King.
1950, In Botswana, the British deposed and exiled Seretse Khama, Chief of the Ngwato.
1/4/1950, Italy took over the Somaliland Trusteeship from Britain.
21/11/1949, The United Nations declared that Tripolitania should form part of the independent state of Libya.
29/3/1947. Nationalist uprising in Madagascar against the French.
30/1/1944, The Brazzaville Conference; French colonial governors met in Brazzaville, capital of French Equatorial Africa, to set out post-war relations between France and her African colonies. Further intergartion between France and the colonies was anticipated, rather than eventual independence.
7/5/1942, Madagascar was occupied by British troops to forestall any Japanese invasion.
25/10/1938. Libya was incorporated into Italy.
2/5/1938, King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho was born.
8/3/1937, Juvenal Habyarimana, President of Rwanda, was born.
19/2/1937, Italian forces pillaged Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.
3/6/1936, Emperor Haile Selassie arrived in London in exile, after the Italian invasion.
9/5/1936. Italy annexed Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), having completed the invasion begun on 3/10/1935.
5/5/1936. The Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa fell to Italian troops under General Badoglio. The League of Nations had signally failed in its efforts to prevent the war.
2/5/1936, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie fled Addis Ababa as Italian troops closed in, bombing Ethiopian villages with mustard gas. 100,000 Italian troops under Mussolini began an invasion of Ethiopia in October 1935, in revenge for an Ethiopian defeat of Italian forces at Adawa in 1896. Ethiopia has asked the League of Nations to apply sanctions to Italy but the UK and France wavered on denying oil to Italy; the League of Nations lost all credibility.
30/12/1935, Omar Bongo, President of Gabon, was born.
18/11/1935. The League of Nations imposed sanctions on Italy, because of its invasion of Ethiopia. The sanctions ended on 15/7/1936.
8/11/1935. The Italians completed the invasion of Tigre Province, Ethiopia, occupying the capital, Makale. Both France and Britain could have opposed the invasion by closing the Suez Canal. However France was bound by treaty to Italy not to oppose the invasion, and Britain did not wish to drive Mussolini into the arms of Hitler. Events in Ethiopia seemed largely irrelevant to many Britons, although some saw ominous warnings in the invasion of a poor African country by a well-armed European state.
19/10/1935. Sanctions were imposed on Italy by the League of Nations.
2/10/1935. The Italian army invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia) after Mussolini’s forces pounded border towns. See 9/5/1936, and 5/12/1934.
25/8/1935. Ethiopia was put on a war footing in anticipation of an Italian invasion. Mussolini did invade Ethiopia on 2/10/1935.
23/2/1935. Italian troops set sail for Ethiopia as the border dispute over the Italian post at Wal-Wal inside Ethiopia escalated.
15/1/1935. Mussolini united Eritrea and Somaliland as Italian East Africa.
1/1/1935. The Italian colonies of Cyrenaica, Tripoli, and Fezzan were renamed Libya.
5/12/1934. Italy and Ethiopia clashed on the Somaliland border. At the oasis of Walwal, 100 Ethiopians were killed by an Italian Expeditionary Force, which had penetrated some 50 miles beyond the borders of Italian Somaliland; the Italians suffered some 50 casualties. Mussolini wanted to establish an Italian east African Empire, consisting of Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and to avenge the defeat of the Italians by the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik in March 1896. See 2/10/1935.
2/11/1930. Ras (Duke) Tafari was crowned Haile Selassie (Might of the Trinity), Emperor of Ethiopia. At this time, the only African countries with Black rulers were Ethiopia and Liberia.
3/4/1930. Ras Tafari became Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. He ruled the country for 44 years.
2/4/1930, Zanditu, Empress of Ethiopia, died
14/1/1928. Clashes between Italians and tribesmen in Libya, 100 tribesmen killed.
23/5/1926, In Morocco, the French seized Rif, and the rebel leader Abd El Krim surrendered.
6/12/1925, Italy agreed the frontier of Libya with Egypt.
11/7/1925, France and Spain agreed to coordinate their efforts in the Rif War.
8/5/1925, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, President of Tanzania, was born.
28/4/1924, Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first President, was born in Lubwa.
18/12/1923, The International Zone of Tangier was set up.
28/9/1923. Ethiopia joined the League of Nations.
21/7/1921, The Spanish army was defeated by Moroccan nationalists at Annual. The Spanish sustained over 12,000 casualties. Adb-E-Krim, nationalist leader, was eventually defeated by a Franco-Spanish force in 1926. Abd E Krim was held on the island of Reunion till 1947 but was then given permission to live in France. However he succeeded in escaping to Egypt where he became an inspiration to Arab nationalism generally.
15/3/1921. Belgium ceded Rwanda to Britain.
22/2/1921, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, ruler of the Central African Republic, was born.
17/12/1920, The League of Nations ratified South African rule over Namibia (South West Africa), a territory taken by South Africa from German rule in 1915.
10/6/1915, Second Battle of Garua. The remaining 249 German and African troops stationed in garrisons around Garua, Kamerun surrendered to British and French forces.
11/12/1913, Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, died.
1/7/1913. Zanzibar was incorporated into British East Africa.
1/9/1912, French troops quelled an uprising in Morocco.
11/8/1912, In Morocco, Sultan Mulai Hafid abdicated.
30/3/1912. By the Treaty of Fez, Morocco became a French protectorate. This Treaty was terminated on 2/3/1956.
1/7/1911, Germany sent a gunboat to Agadir, Morocco, to protect German commercial interests there from French expansion in Morocco. Britain was concerned about Germany’s ambitions in Africa so close to Gibraltar. See 21/7/1911.
16/6/1911. The French army occupied Fez, in Morocco.
3/12/1910. France occupied the Moroccan port of Agadir.
19/8/1908, King Leopold II of Belgium, under pressure from other European monarchs, handed over control of the Belgian Congo (Congo Free State), later known as Zaire, to the Belgian State. Leopold had ruled the region autocratically for nearly 30 years. The region had been explored by Henry Stanley, the expedition financed by a European consortium headed by King Leopold. This consortium sought to make financial gains from the Congo’s agricultural and mineral wealth, including ivory, rubber and palm oil. Trade agreements were made with the Congo’s tribal leaders and by 1884 Leopold claimed the colony as a personal possession. The rest of Europe consented to this claim. However by the 1890s Leopold saw fit to treat the Congo’s inhabitants as he liked; slavery was introduced, many brutalities were committed and under his rule the Congo population fell to 8 million, an estimated drop of 70%. The Brussels parliament agreed to pay Leopold 120 million Francs for the territory, and it became the Belgian Congo until independence in 1960.
4/8/1907, The French navy bombarded the Moroccan port of Casablanca.
16/5/1907. Nairobi was chosen as capital of British East Africa (Kenya) because of its location on the Mombasa-Uganda railway.
7/4/1906. The Conference of Algecieras ended.
16/1/1906. The Algecieras Conference – see 28/8/1904.
28/11/1904, Rebel tribesmen in South West Africa were defeated by the Germans, see 3/10/1904.
3/10/1904. (1) France and Spain agreed that northern Morocco was recognised as a Spanish zone of influence.
(2) African tribes revolted in south-west Africa against German rule, see 28/11/1904.
28/8/1904. A treaty was concluded in London whereby France would allow the British freedom of action in Egypt in return for the British allowing the French a free hand in Morocco. For many years the nominally independent Sultanate of Morocco had been losing power as it became increasingly dependent on French, Spanish, and German business and subsidies for financial security. In October 1904 the French also concluded a secret treaty with the Spanish. This disturbed Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany who saw his country being squeezed out of North Africa. Wilhelm II therefore landed at Tangier on 31 March 1905. The sultan sided with the Germans and serious friction with the French resulted. On 161/1906 the Algecieras Conference was held. German claims were backed by Austria whilst French claims were backed by Britain. Germany failed to curb France’s privileged position in Morocco. See 8/4/1904.
10/5/1904, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, British explorer in Africa and journalist, died in London.
11/1/1904, British troops massacred 1,000 rebels in Somaliland, who were under the command of the ‘Mad Mullah’
8/6/1903, The French bombarded the town of Figig, Algeria, in retaliation for native attacks on French colonialists.
15/3/1903. The British completed the conquest of northern Nigeria.
3/2/1903, The British captured Kano from Nigerian rebels.
4/1/1903, British forces under General Manning landed at Obbia to attack the army of Mohammed bin Abdullah, the so-called ‘Mad Mullah’.
28/5/1902. British marched against the 'Mad Mullah' in East Africa.
26/11/1901, Britain and Italy agreed a frontier between Eritrea and the Sudan.
13//12/1900, Britain, France and Italy signed an agreement to preserve, in Ethiopia, the integrity of the ancient empire of Abyssinia.
1/1/1900. Nigeria became a British protectorate.
19/1/1899. Britain and Egypt established a condominium over Sudan.
2/9/1898. Sir Herbert Kitchener led the 25,000-strong British forces to victory over the Mahdists at Omdurman, Sudan, killing 10,000 of the Dervish force, for 500 British deaths, and took Khartoum. This ended 14 years of Dervish rule after the Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, had massacred General Charles Gordon and his entire garrison at Khartoum in 1885.
17/7/1898. The Frenchman Captain J Marchand reached Fashoda (now Kodok) in the Nile Valley in an attempt to build a continuous belt of French colonial territory from west to east across Africa. However the British similarly wanted a contiguous territory from north to south. Lord Kitchener, advancing south from Egypt to fight the Mahdi from Sudan, conquered the Sudanese on 2/9/1898 and then learned of ‘white men flying a strange flag at Fashoda’. The British reached Fashoda on 19/9/1898, under General Kitchener. War between France and Britain seemed imminent, neither side being willing to give way until Lord Salisbury was able to announce on 4/11/1898 that the French would back down. On 21/3/1899 a declaration was made that united all French territories in north, west, and central Africa into one unit whilst giving Fashoda to the British.
8/4/1898, The Battle of Atbara.
21//9/1896. Herbert Kitchener, who took control of the Anglo-Egyptian army in March 1896, with the aim of re-conquering the Sudan, took the town of Dongola.
6/8/1896. Madagascar was proclaimed a French colony.
1/3/1896. An Italian force invading Tigre in Ethiopia was crushed by British and Ethiopian forces under Menelik at the Battle of Adowa. 100,00 Ethiopians slaughtered 7,000 Italians. The war was essentially unnecessary for Italy; facing economic depression and anarchy at home, Crispi, the Italian Prime Minister, decided on a ‘cheap foreign war’. General Baratieri took command of an army of 16,000, and recklessly provoked Ethiopia by occupying northern Tigre. He then lingered there for a year giving the Ethiopians time to muster a large army. Menelik finally lured the Italians into a fight, but the battle was chaotic. Italian orders were misunderstood and brigades became separated, allowing the Ethiopians to cut them down one by one. This defeat ensured that Ethiopia remained independent for another forty years, until avenged by Mussolini.
11/9/1895, Three African Chiefs, Khama of the Ngwato tribe, Bathoen of the Ngwaketse and Sebele of the Kwena, from Bechuanaland (now Botswana) met with the British Prime Minister, Joseph Chamberlain, Their mission was to obtain British protection from the exploitative colonisation of Cecil Rhodes, who was then establishing White economic domination over African lands across much of southern Africa. In fact Rhodes was then preparing for the disastrous Jameson Raid See South Africa, 1896 against Chamberlain’s wishes. This made Chamberlain more sympathetic to the African Chiefs, and British Royal protection was granted to the existing tribal rule in Bechuanaland.
30/9/1895. The capital of Madagascar, Tananarive, surrendered to the French.
1894, Britain and France disputed the frontier between the French colony of Dahomey (now Togo) and the British colony of Nigeria. The British had previously signed a treaty with the Chief of the Bussa, who occupied Borgu region, but the French claimed that the Bussa were subordinate to the Chief of Nikki region. Britain and France raced to sign a treaty with Nikki, a race which Britain won by 5 days.
17/7/1894. Italians took Kassala on the Eritrea/Sudan border from the Mahdists.
22/6/1984, Dahomey became a French colony.
12/12/1893. The French advanced down the valley of the Niger from Kayes in Senegal and captured Timbuktu, capital of Mali.
3/12/1892. The French imposed a protectorate on Dahomey (Benin) after they captured its capital, Abomey.
31/7/1891. Britain claimed African territory north of the Zambezi, up to the Congo basin, to be in its sphere of influence.
23/7/1891. Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, was born in Harar Province, as Tafari Makonnen. When the Italians invaded in 1936 he went into exile but resumed full authority after Ethiopia was liberated in 1941.
7/11/1890, Zanzibar became a British Protectorate.
5/8/1890. Britain agreed to recognise Madagascar as a French colony and France recognised Zanzibar as a British protectorate. France gave up claims to the lower Niger and retained the desert territories of the Sahara.
1/1/1890, The Kingdom of Italy established the colony of Eritrea in Africa.
29/10/1889. Britain granted a charter to the British South Africa Company, under Cecil Rhodes, to colonise Bechuenaland and other parts of southern Africa.
2/5/1889, Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signed a treaty of friendship with Italy, giving Italy full control over the territory of Eritrea.
9/3/1889, King Yohannes IV was killed in the Battle of Metemma; Sudanese forces, almost routed, rallied and destroyed the Ethiopian Army.
10/1/1889. France declared a protectorate over the Ivory Coast.
20/12/1888, The Battle of Suakin.
26/5/1887. The Imperial British East Africa Company received a charter to colonise Kenya and Uganda.
1885, Britain claimed the Bechuenaland Proetctorate (now Botswana).
1/7/1885, The sovereignty of King Leopold I of Belgium over The Congo was proclaimed.
26/2/1885, A meeting of 15 nations in Berlin hosted by Bismark divided up east and central Africa amongst European countries.
26/1/1885. General Gordon, British commander and Governor of the Sudan, was killed by a spear whilst besieged by the Mahdis at Khartoum. Two days after the city fell, a relief force under General Wolseley arrived.
17/1/1885. British forces marching to relieve General C G Gordon at Khartoum were attacked by the Mahdists, at Abu Klea, but repelled them. Khartoum fell to the Mahdis on 26/1/1885.
1884, The German explorer, Dr Karl Peters, formed the Deutsche Kolonialverein, a society to promote German colonisation ofAfrica. Cameroon became a German protectorate.
1/8/1884. King Leopold of Belgium formally proclaimed the Congo Free State today as a Belgian colony, following the concessions made by other European powers to him at Berlin in February 1884.
5/7/1884, The German Consulate at Tunis formally proclaimed that Togo was a German protectorate.
24/4/1884. Bismarck cabled Cape Town to state that South West Africa was a German colony. On 11/7/1884 Germans began to sign up Cameroon chiefs as subjects. On 17/2/1885 Germany established a protectorate over the Tanganyika coast.
16/4/1884, The siege of Khartoum by the Mahdi began, see 26/1/1885.
29/3/1884, At the Battle of El Teb, or Trinkitat, British forces defeated the Mahdi in Sudan.
13/3/1884, At the Battle of Tamai, British forces defeated the Mahdi in Sudan.
18/2/1884. General Gordon, sent by the British to evacuate Khartoum, decided to stay there.
13/6/1883, The French continued fighting in Madagascar. Tamatave was bombarded and French subjects expelled from the capital.
16/5/1883, The French commenced hostilities in Madagascar, bombarding Majunga.
12/5/1881. Tunisia became a French Protectorate. The French invaded in April 1881 when the Tunisian first minister made various reforms taking away French economic privileges.
1877, Henry Stanley explored the course of the River Zaire.
18/4/1874, David Livingstone’s remains were interred in Westminster Abbey. He died in Africa on 1/5/1873.
30/4/1873. The Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone died of malaria near Lake Bangweulu in Zambia, aged 60. He was found dead at Chitambo, kneeling in prayer by his bed. He had worked from age 10 to 24 in a cotton factory, and when aged 27 was ordained under the London Missionary Society. He discovered Victoria Falls when aged 41 and Lake Nyasa aged 46. He was buried on 18/4/1874 in Westminster Abbey.
12/1/1872, Yohannas IV crowned King of Ethiopia.
10/11/1871. Historic meeting of explorer and missionary David Livingstone (born 19/3/1813, in Blantyre, Lanarkshire) with Sir Henry Morton Stanley at Ujiji (now in Tanzania). Livingstone died on 1/5/1873.
13/4/1868, Magdala, Abyssinia, was finally taken by the British.
1867, Gold mining began in Botswana.
18/9/1864, English explorer John Hanning Speke died after a shooting accident aged 37.
15/9/1864, John Speke, English explorer in Africa who discovered Lake Victoria, accidentally shot himself whilst partridge shooting.
14/3/1864, Lake Albert in Africa was discovered and named by Sir Samuel Baker.
23/2/1863, British explorers John Speke and J A Grant announced they have discovered Lake Victoria to be the source of the Nile.
16/9/1859, Lake Nyasa was discovered by David Livingstone.
3/8/1858, John Speke, 31, English explorer, discovered Lake Victoria, source of the Nile.
20/4/1857, The west African Muslim leader Al Hajj Uman laid siege to the French fort at Medine, Senegal.
17/11/1855. The Scottish explorer David Livingstone discovered, on the River Zambezi, a large waterfall. He called it the Victoria Falls.
11/2/1855, Kassa Hailu crowned as Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia.
5/7/1853, The colonial administrator Cecil Rhodes was born at Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, the 7th of 11 children.. His father was a vicar.
5/12/1844. The French garrison at Biskra, Algeria, was massacred by the Arabs.
10/9/1844. France and Morocco signed the Treaty of Tangiers, ending their conflict. France withdrew from Morocco.
17/8/1844, Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, was born.
1/7/1844. A French squadron under the Duke of Joinville bombarded Tangiers.
5/7/1830. Algiers capitulated to a French invasion force. France had maintained economic relations with the Algiers coastal area (Barbary coast) since the 16th century. French coral fishermen had operated there, and wheat was bought from Algeria to send to France. In 1827 a dispute arose between the French and two Jews of Algiers, Bakri and Busnach. In the course of the negotiations in April 1827 the Dey of Algiers struck Deval, the French consul, with a fly whisk. This was used by the French as an excuse for armed intervention. A three-year blockade of Algiers followed, followed by 38,000 French troops landing at Sidi Ferruch on 5/7/1830. Algiers capitulated on 5/7/1830. However the French found that occupying Algiers by no means gave them control over the interior of the country and its native population. Only by 1848 was the French conquest of Algeria complete.
4/5/1827, John Manning Speke, English explorer who was the first European to see Lake Victoria, and later identified as the source of the Nile, was born.
19/3/1813, The explorer and missionary David Livingstone, first White man to see the Victoria Falls, was born at 9 Shuttle Row, Blantyre, East Kilbride, Scotland.
21/6/1796. The Scottish explorer Mungo Park reached the River Niger.
22/5/1795, The Scottish explorer Mungo Park set sail on his first voyage to Africa,
11/3/1792, Hundreds of freed African slaves gathered beneath a 300-year-old cotton tree to celebrate the founding of Freetown, Sierra Leone. The tree had begun growing about the time slave shipments first began out of Africa.
10/9/1771. Birth of the surgeon and west African explorer Mungo Park, at Foulshiels near Selkirk. He charted the course of the River Niger.
14/11/1770, The British explorer James Bruce discovered the source of the Blue Nile, at Lake Tana.
1730, Emperor Bacaffa of Ethiopia died; he had reigned since 1721.
1667, Emperor Fasilades of Ethiopia died; he had reigned since 1627.
1661, Britain took control of The Gambia territory, by occupying Fort James at the mouth of the River Gambia.
1636, King Fasilides founded the Ethiopian capital of Giondar.
1617, The Portuguese founded the settlement of Benguela, Angola.
13/3/1591, At the Battle of Tondibi, Moroccan forces under the Saadi Dynasty, led by Judar Pasha, defeated the Songhai Empire, despite being outnumbered at least 5 to 1.
4/8/1578, Sebastian, King of Portugal, was killed in the Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir.
1575, The Portuguese founded the settlement of Luanda, Angola.
1570, Kanem-Bornu became a major power in the region.
1/2/1563, Sarsa Dengel succeeded his father Menas as Emperor of Ethiopia.
2/9/1540, Dawit II, Emperor of Ethiopia, died.
7/3/1529, At the Battle of Shimbra Kure, Imam Ahmad Ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi defeated the forces of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia.
9/2/1513, The Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas discovered the island of Reunion. (near Madagascar)
14/4/1498, Vasco da Gama arrived at the yarding city of Malindi, east Africa, after putting in at Kilwa and Monbasa.
3/5/1491, The ruler of the Kingdom of Kongo, Nkuwu Nzinga, was baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.
1485, The Portuguese established a provisioning station for ships at Sao Tome. Slaves to work the Sao Tome plantations were imported from Guinea.
1472, The Portuguese began slave trading in the Cameroons region.
1455, The Portuguese discovered the Gambia River.
1441, The Portuguese discovered the Cape Verde Islands.
1415, Prince Henry the Navigator sent Portuguese exploratory expeditions down the west coast of Africa.
18/2/1332, Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia began his campaigns in the southern Muslim province.
450 BCE, Earliest evidence of metallurgy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
3000 BCE, The Sahara began to turn from grassland into desert.
Appendix One - Chad
30/5/2016, The trial of Hissein Habre, aged 73, former President of Chad 1982-1990, concluded. He was found guilty by the Court in Senegal of crimes including mass rape and torture. Overall, an estimated 40,000 people were murdered under his rule before he was deposed and fled into Senegal.
20/7/2015, The trial of former Chadian President (1982-1990), Hissein Habre, began, see 30/5/2016.
2/2/2008, Rebels attacked N’Djamena, capital of Chad.
23/12/2005, Chad declared a state of war with Sudan.
5/4/1993, Republican Guards killed 64 in Chad.
31/8/1989. Libya and Chad signed a peace agreement ending 25 years of war.
7/6/1982, The FAN (Armed Forced of the North) rebels in Chad, backed by Libya, entered the capital, N’Djamena and replaced President Oueddei Goukoni with President Hissene Habre (42). Chad has a long history of conflict between the nomadic Arab Muslim north and the Black Christian south.
19/11/1981, Civil war began in Chad as the rebel FAN (Armed Forces of the North) army backed by Libya fought to oust President Goukoni Oueddei, who himself had been installed with Libyan backing following the assassination of President Francois Tombalbaye in 1975. Tombalbaye had been the first President since Chad gained independence on 11/8//1960. See 7/6/1982.
11/8/1960, Chad formerly a French colony, became an independent Republic.
11/2/1912, The Niger-Chad border was delineated by the Governors-General of French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa.
Appendix Two - Ghana
31/12/1981. Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings seized power in Ghana.
27/4/1972, Kwame Nkrumah, former Ghanaian president and Prime Minister, died. Ousted in a military coup in 1966 whilst he was in China, he died in Bucharest, Hungary.
13/1/1972, Kofi Busha, ruler of Ghana, was overthrown in a coup led by Ignatius Katu Acheampong (1931-79). Acheampong was himself overthrown (1978) and executed in 1979.
27/12/1971, Kofi Busia, Prime Minister of Ghana, signed an agreement with the IMF for economic aid on condition that he massively devalue the Ghanaian currency. Previously Busia had artificially manipulated prices in Ghana, keeping agricultural prices low so as to keep urbanites happy and boost Government revenue. However this resulted in a huge balance of payments deficit and foreign exchange shortage.
10/9/1966, Sir Seretse Khama became President of the Republic of Ghana.
24/2/1966, Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana since its independence in 1957, was overthrown by an army coup and went into exile in Guinea.
23/1/1963, The Volta River Project, Ghana, to dam the Rover Volta, was inaugurated by Dr Nkrumah.
1/7/1960. Ghana became independent (formerly Gold Coast and British Togoland). Kwame Nkrumah was its first President.
6/3/1957. Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, became independent; the first British colony in Africa to do so. It had been a British colony since 1874. Dr Kwame Nkrumah became the first Prime Minsiter, in the capital, Accra. Nkrumah’s party had won the 1956 elections. The name Ghana was chosen by Nkrumah to inspire his people from the time when Africans had wealth and power. it was taken from the Islamic empire which ruled for centuries in Sudan during Europe’s Mediaeval times. On 7/3/1957 Ghana joined the United Nations.
22/6/1947, Jerry Rawlings, President of Ghana, was born.
18/9/1909, Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first Prime Minister, was born in Ankroful. He was President from independence in 1957 until an army coup sent him into exile in Guinea in 1966.
25/9/1901. Britain annexed the Asante Kingdom (Ghana) as part of the Gold Coast.
4/2/1874, The Battle of Kumasi ended the Second Ashanti War.
31/1/1874, Battle of Amoaful, Second Ashanti War.
7/8/1826, The British defeated the Ashanti near Accra (Ghana).
1637, The Dutch drove the Portuguese out of the Gold Coast colony (now Ghana).
Appendix Three – Kenya
7/8/1998, A lorry bomb exploded outside the US embassy in Kenya.
14/10/1978, Daniel Arap Moi became President of Kenya.
22/8/1978. Jomo Kenyatta, first President of Kenya since 1964, died in Mombasa aged 86. He was succeeded as leader by Daniel Mori.
5/7/1969, Tom Mboya, leader of the campaign for Kenyan independence from Britain, was assassinated in Nairobi.
12/12/1964. Kenya became a republic in the Commonwealth. Kenyatta continued as head of state, see 12/12/1963.
12/12/1963. Kenya became independent, with Kenyatta as President.
1/6/1963, Jomo Kenyatta became the first Prime Minister of a self-governing Kenya.
21/8/1961, Britain released Jomo Kenyatta, who had been imprisoned for his part in the Mau-Mau rebellion, to facilitate Kenyan political negotiations.
18/1/1955, The Kenyan government offered terms to the Mau-Mau.
12/3/1954, In Kenya, the British arrested 700 Mau-Mau activists.
8/4/1953. In Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta and 5 others were convicted of being members of the Mau-Mau terrorists, and sentenced to seven years hard labour. The Mau-Mau had been waging a terrorist war to drive White settlers out of east Africa.
25/11/1952, 2,000 Kikuyu were rounded up in Kenya as the Mau-Mau began an open revolt against British rule.
18/11/1952, In Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta was charged with being the head of the Mau Mau.
21/10/1952, The President of the Kenya African Movement, Jomo Kenyatta, was arrested as Britain crushed the Mau Mau revolt.
20/10/1952. A state of emergency was declared in Kenya because of Mau-Mau terrorists, killing White settlers.
24/8/1951. The Mau-Mau rebellion began in Kenya.
2/9/1924, Daniel Arap Moi, President of Kenya, was born.
Appendix Four - Liberia
4/6/2007, At The Hague, the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor, former Liberian President, began.
23/11/2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected as first female President of Liberia.
4/1999, Civil war restarted in Liberia; conflict continued until 2003.
7/1997, Charles Taylor was elected President of Liberia. He was backed by Libya.
6/6/1993. In Liberia, 270 civilians were massacred when rebel forces of the Patriotic National Front attacked a rubber plantation near Monrovia.
7/6/1990. Civil war continued in Liberia, as rebels from the National Patriotic Front, led by Charles Taylor, advanced on the capital Monrovia. Fughting had started in December 1989.
24/12/1989, Rebel forces led by Charles Taylor entered Liberia from Cote D’Ivoire, with the objective of deposing the dictatorial Liberian President Samuel Doe.
29/10/1938, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, was born.
1926, The US company, Firestone Tyre and Rubber, established operations in Liberia.
11/12/1900, William D. Coleman, the President of Liberia since 1896, resigned under pressure after failing to extend government control further away from the capial. Coleman, frrom Fayette County, Kentucky, was replaced by Secretary of State Garretson W. Gibson.
29/11/1895, William Tubman, President of Liberia, was born.
26/7/1847, Liberia became the first African colony to attain independence.
22/1/1824, The Ashanti army heavily defeated the British in the Gold Coast.
Appendix Five - Uganda
16/8/2003. Idi Amin, former (mad) dictator of Uganda, died. He was born in January 1925 into a Nubian tribe in the West Nile region. In 1946 he joined the King’s Africa Rifles as a cook. At 6’ 4’’tall, weighing 16 stone, he was a good boxer, and was Ugandan heavyweight champion for nine years. He was also a good marksman, but missed out on army promotion when he was found in bed with a colleague’s wife and had to flee naked down the street.
His ruthless nature emerged during the Mau-Mau rebellions of the 1950s, when he would line the tribesmen up with their penises on a table and threaten to chop them off with a machete unless they revealed their hidden weapons caches. He was never court-martialled, despite torturing to death three Kenyan tribesmen. He was a sergeant-major at Uganda’s independence in 1962, and was a close aide of President Milton Obote until Obote began to ask questions about arms spending.
On 25/1/1971, whilst Obote was abroad, Amin, by now a general, sent tanks into the capital, Kampala, and declared Uganda to be under his military rule. He first purged the ranks of the military; 32 senior officers were killed in one go when their barracks was blown up. Other officers were shot, hanged, or beheaded. Amin set up the State Research Bureau, whose 3,000 officers could intern people on mere suspicion of sedition. Survivors of these internment camps told of being forced to smash other prisoner’s heads with sledgehammers, or even being forced to butcher, cook, and eat them, in order to be spared themselves. Many victims were thrown to the crocodiles in the Nile at Karume Falls Bridge.
During his eight year rule of Uganda, over 300,000 Ugandans were killed by his administration, sometimes publicly, on television. He was reputed to have kept the heads of his more powerful opponents in a fridge, so he could carry on berating them; he admitted to occasional cannibalism, disliking not the act itself but the taste of human flesh – he found it too salty. He murdered his first wife’s uncle, who was also his Foreign Minister; soon after divorcing his second wife her dismembered body was found in a car boot. He divorced another two wives over the radio. On 10/8/1972 Amin denounced Uganda’s 70,000 Asians as crooks, racketeers, and racists who prevented their daughters from marrying Africans and gave them 90 days to leave the country, minus all their assets; they were permitted one suitcase each. This effectively stripped Uganda of all its civil servants, administrators, and business leaders. Some 80% of Uganda’s businesses were left leaderless, and British businesses were nationalised the following year.
Amin claimed Scotland had offered him its crown if he helped it separate from Britain, and he took to wearing a kilt. He proposed to patch up Anglo-Ugandan relation by marrying Princess Anne. Idi Amin advised Nixon to jail the opposition during the Watergate scandal. Amin sent a message of support to Kurt Waldheim, former Nazi who became Secretary general at the UN, after Waldheim was accused of war crimes; Amin said Hitler’s only mistake was to .lose the war. In Uganda, Amin forbade facial hair, shorts for men and trousers and mini-skirts for women; he banned flip-flops and forced two offenders to eat theirs.
The Entebbe crisis of 1976 was the beginning of the end of Amin’s rule. In revenge for an Israeli raid on the airport to free hostages held by Palestinian guerrillas, the Ugandan army killed an elderly British woman, Dora Bloch. By 1978 every non-Arab nation had severed relations with Uganda, which was in ruins economically. Amin then invaded Tanzania. He sent President Julius Nyere a telegram saying ‘I love you so much if you were a woman I would marry you’, even as Ugandan troops were slaughtering Tanzanians and their livestock over 700 square miles of Tanzania. Ugandan rebel forces joined with the Tanzanian army and Amin’s regime fell on 10/4/1979.
Amin managed to escape, first to Libya, then Iraq and finally Saudi Arabia. He gave up his flamboyant uniform for Muslim robes and a skull-cap, and appeared to be a devout Muslim, living in a luxurious villa in Jeddah. Giving up alcohol, he was said to eat 40 oranges a day ‘to keep up his sex drive’. Amin drove a white range-rover, switching to a blue Cadillac on his birthday.
On 18/7/2003 he was admitted to a Saudi hospital with kidney problems, having suffered for years with high blood pressure. He fell into a coma and died on 16/8/2003.
12/1/1989, Former Ugandan President Idi Amin was expelled from Zaire; he sought refuge in Senegal.
27/7/1985, Ugandan President Milton Obote, who regained power in 1980 after being deposed by Idi Amin in 1971, was overthrown in a military coup.
10/12/1980. In the first elections in Uganda for 18 years, Dr Milton Obote was declared the winner.
11/4/1979. Kampala, capital of Uganda, was captured by Tanzanian forces who deposed General Idi Amin. Fighting continued in Uganda, and on 22/4/1979 Tanzanian forces captured Jinja, 50 miles from Kampala. Idi Amin fled to Libya as troops closed in on his capital.
22/3/1979. Ugandan Army troops surrounded the home of General Idi Amin but he slipped away undetected. Under Amin’s rule some 300,000 Ugandans were killed. Amin became President in 1972, overthrowing Milton Obote; his downfall came when he invaded northern Tanzania in 1971. President Nyerere retaliated, assisting Ugandan rebels to depose Amin.
17/6/1977. Britain recalled its last two ambassadors from Uganda after threats against them from President Idi Amin.
16/2/1977, The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Reverend Janani Luwum, was murdered by Idi Amin’s troops.
27/7/1976, The UK broke off diplomatic relations with Uganda.
25/6/1976. In Uganda, Idi Amin declared himself President for life.
13/7/1975. President Idi Amin of Uganda was promoted from General to Field Marshall.
25/3/1974. Fifty army officers were killed after a failed coup attempt against President Idi Amin of Uganda.
30/11/1972, The UK Government cancelled a planned £10 million loan to Uganda because of Amin’s treatment of the Asians there.
22/9/1972, Idi Amin gave the remaining 80,000 Ugandan Asians 48 hours to leave Uganda.
6/8/1972. Idi Amin began expelling 50,000 British Asians from Uganda. He gave all Ugandan Asians who were not citizens of Uganda 90 days in which to leave the country.
2/2/1971, Idi Amin dissolved the Ugandan Parliament and formed a Defence Council with himself as Chairman. Idi Amin’s rule favoured the Muslims of northern Uganda, amongst whom he had originated.
25/1/1971. Major General Idi Amin seized power in Uganda, deposing President Milton Obote whilst he was abroad at the Singaporean meeting of the Commonwealth. In March 1979 Uganda was invaded by Tanzanian and dissident Ugandan forces, deposing Idi Amin.
8/9/1967, Uganda became a republic, with Milton Obote as the first President.
9/10/1962. Uganda became independent, after 62 years of British rule. Milton Obote was the first Prime Minister. See 25/1/1971.
29/4/1954, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Owen Falls hydroelectric dam at Owen Falls, Uganda.
28/12/1924, Milton Obote, President of Uganda, was born.
11/4/1894. Britain established a protectorate over Uganda.
Appendix Six – Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)
11/2/2009, Morgan Tsvangirai became the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe under a power-sharing agreement with President Mugabe, signed in September 2008.
15/9/2008, In Zimbabwe, negotiations resulted in a power-sharing agreement between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara; Tsvangirai to be the new Prime Minister.
11/3/2002. President Mugabe of Zimbabwe ‘won’ presidential elections, widely held to have been rigged.
16/2/2000. President Mugabe of Zimbabwe began invading white owned farms in that country. The first white farmer to be murdered by Mugabe’s ‘war veterans’ was David Stevens, on 15/4/2000. By 15/5/2000 1,000 farms had been invaded and 19 people killed in political violence. See 16/10/2000.
17/4/1982. Salisbury, capital of Zimbabwe, was renamed Harare.
18/4/1980. Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, formally became independent. See 25/9/1976. Robert Mugabe had become Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 4/3/1980.
11/3/1980. Robert Mugabe became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, formerly Southern Rhodesia.
4/3/1980. Robert Mugabe was elected Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Southern Rhodesia had been a British colony since 1889.
27/1/1980, Robert Mugabe, guerrilla chief, returned from three years exile to Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) to participate in elections that would transfer the country to Black majority rule, under the Lancaster House Agreement. Mugabe, who was expected to win the elections, said that, just because White people oppressed Black people when they had the power, it should not mean that now Black people would oppress White people.
12/12/1979. Lord Soames arrived in southern Rhodesia as the official governor, ending 14 years of rebellion and UDI.
10/9/1979, The Lancaster House Conference in the future of Rhodesia opened.
5/8/1979, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher urged rebel leaders in Rhodesia to hold talks.
1/6/1979, Rhodesia officially changed its name to Zimbabwe.
29/5/1979. Bishop Abel Muzorewa became Rhodesia’s first Black Prime Minister.
30/1/1979, White voters in Rhodesia voted to ratify the new Constitution.
10/9/1978, Martial law was imposed in parts of Rhodesia.
4/9/1978, In Rhodesia, guerrillas fighting the Ian Smith regime shot down an airliner with a Russian SAM-7 missile, then massacred the survivors of the crash; they claimed the aeroplane was a ‘legitimate military target’.
21/3/1978. The first Black Ministers joined the government of Rhodesia. However Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo were excluded.
3/3/1978, Rhodesian forces attacked Zambia.
15/2/1978, Rhodesia’s Ian Smith and three Black leaders agreed on a transfer to Black majority rule.
24/11/1977, Ian Smith said he accepted the idea of universal adult suffrage in Rhodesia, which would mean a Black Government.
1/9/1977, Anglo-American proposals for a transition to legal rule in Rhodesia were published.
31/8/1977. In Rhodesia, Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front Party won an overwhelming victory.
24/1/1977, The second round of Rhodesian talks failed; Ian Smith rejected British proposals for a transfer of power to Black majority rule.
28/10/1976, A conference on Rhodesia opened in Geneva.
25/9/1976. The government of Rhodesia, led by Mr Ian Smith, announced its acceptance of African rule within two years. Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, became independent on 18/4/1980.
23/3/1976, Ian Smith rejected Harold Wilson’s conditions for a Rhodesian settlement.
2/3/1970. Rhodesia was declared a republic. Formerly the colony of Southern Rhodesia, Prime Minister Ian Smith declared UDI.
9/10/1968, Harold Wilson, British PM, met Ian Smith for further talks about Rhodesian independence aboard HMS Fearless moored off Gibraltar. The talks failed to resolve the situation.
7/10/1968. Rhodesia’s leader Ian Smith announced that there would be no majority rule in Rhodesia in his lifetime. He continued with talks between himself and Prime Minister Harold Wilson; but Mr Smith said that ‘ordinary Africans were incapable of answering the simplest question regarding a constitution’.
22/12/1966, Rhodesia left the Commonwealth.
6/12/1966. Ian Smith of Rhodesia refused UK government proposals to end UDI. Rhodesia left the Commonwealth on 22/12/1966.
2/12/1966, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson met Ian Smith on HMS Tiger off Gibraltar, for talks on the independence of Rhodesia.
17/2/1966, The UK protested to South Africa about petrol supplies to Rhodesia.
11/11/1965. Rhodesia declared UDI from Britain under Ian Smith, the Prime Minister. The opposition leaders Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe were in jail. The British Prime Minister Harold Wilson imposed trade sanctions and an oil embargo. However South Africa, and the neighbouring Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola, assisted Mr Smith in overcoming sanctions, and large multinationals evaded them anyway. However the end of Portuguese rule in Angola and Mozambique in 1975 undermined Mr Smith’s regime and assisted the transfer to Black majority rule there.
25/10/1965. Harold Wilson went to Rhodesia for talks with Ian Smith. But see 11/11/1965.
7/10/1965. Ian Smith met Harold Wilson for talks at 10 Downing Street; the talks failed to avert UDI by Rhodesia on 11/11/1965.
27/10/1964, Wilson warned Rhodesia that a declaration of UDI would be treason.
6/9/1964, Ian Smith arrived in the UK for talks on independence.
13/4/1964. Ian Smith became Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He succeeded Winston Field, who had resigned.
20/9/1961. Rhodesian Prime Ministers Ian Smith banned the Black opposition party.
26/2/1959, State of Emergency in Southern Rhodesia.
30/5/1925, The British colony of Southern Rhodesia became self-governing as its assembly met for the first time.
21/2/1924, Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, was born.
10/10/1923. Rhodesia, formerly administered by the British South African Company, became a self-governing British colony.
8/4/1919. Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was born in Selukwe, then Southern Rhodesia.
18/11/1904, Gold was discovered in Rhodesia.
4/11/1893. The British defeated the Matabele in battle in Zimbabwe and occupied the capital, Bulawayo.
12/9/1890. The British South Africa Company founded the town of Salisbury, now Harare, after a pioneer march from South Africa. It was named after the British Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury.