Africa; key historical events

Page last modified 26/7/2019


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See also Uganda

See also Zimbabwe


Colour key:



Angola – see Appendix 2 below

Benin (Dahomey) – see Appendix 3 below

Botswana – see Appendix 4 below

Cameroon  -see Appendix 5 below

Cape Verde – see Appendix 6 below

Chad – see Appendix 7 below

Central African Republic – see Appendix 8 below

Cote D’Ivoire – see Appendix 10 below

(Gambia) – see Senegal

Equatorial Guinea – see Appendix 10a below

Ghana – see Appendix 11 below

Kenya – see Appendix 12 below

Lesotho – see Appendix 12a below

Liberia – see Appendix 13 below

Libya – see Appendix 14 below

Madagascar – see Appendix 15 below

Malawi – see Appendix 16 below

Mali – see Appendix 17 below

Morocco – see Appendix 18 below

Mozambique – see Appendix 19 below

Namibia – see Appendix 20 below

Niger – see Appendix 21 below

Rwanda – see Appendix 23 below

Senegal & Gambia – see Appendix 24 below

Seychelles – see Appendix 25 below

Sierra Leone – see Appendix 26 below

Somalia – see Appendix 27 below

Sudan & South Sudan  - see Appendix 28 below

Tanzania – see Appendix 29 below

Tunisia – see Appendix 30 below

Western Sahara – see Appendix 32 below

Zambia – see Appendix 33 below


See also Internatiional Unions for pan-African organisations

For 2014 Ebola crisis see Medical


Africa - General

2017, In The Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh fled the country after losing an election to Adama Jarrow.

11/4/1996, A treaty establishing Africa as a nuclear-free zone was signed in Cairo.

1994, In The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, military officer, seized power in a coup.

3/9/1987, Coup in Burundi. The Military Committee for National Redemption was founded.

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.

3/8/1984, The Republic of Upper Volta changed its name to Burkina Faso.

1983, Thomas Sankara became President of Upper Volta. He abjured luxury and was proud to be totally against all corruption. He was assassinated in 1987.

2/6/1977, Djibouti became independent, after over 100 years of French rule.

23/4/1976, Henry Kissinger began a tour of Africa. He stated that his top priority was an end to the maverick status of Southern Rhodesia. He promised Mozambique aid because of the trade losses it had suffered in closing its border with Rhodesia.

12/7/1975, Sao Tome and Principe declared independence from Portugal.

6/7/1975, The Comoros declared their independence from France.

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.

10/9/1974, Guinea Bissau became independent.

1/10/1972, The archaeologist and anthropologist David Leakey died. He had worked on human fossils in Africa to trace the history of mankind.

12/1968, President Ngouabi of the Congo (Brazzaville) changed the country’s name to the People’s Republic of the Congo and declared it Africa’s only Marxist-Leninist State. He founded the Congolese Worker’s Party as the olny legitimate Party.

6/9/1968. Swaziland became independent from Britain.

19/3/1967, French Somaliland (now Djibouti) rejected independence in a  referendum.

28/11/1960, Mauritania became fully independent from France.

17/8/1960, Gabon became an independent nation, from France.

15/8/1960. The Congo (Brazzaville) became independent from France.

5/8/1960, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) became independent.

27/4/1960. Togo became independent. 

6/1/1959, More rioting in the Belgian Congo; the root cause was poverty and unemployment. Belgium agreed to make reforms.

2/10/1958, Guinea was proclaimed an independent republic.

10/11/1952, 77-year-old doctor and philosopher Albert Schweitzer was awarded the Nobel Prize for his humanitarian work in Africa.

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 intergration between France and the colonies was anticipated, rather than eventual independence.

30/12/1935, Omar Bongo, President of Gabon, was born.

15/3/1921. Belgium ceded Rwanda to Britain.

10/5/1904, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, British explorer in Africa and journalist, died in London.

27/9/1902, A British Crown ordinance authorised White settlement of the east African uplands.

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.

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.

12/5/1894, The Congo Treaty, between Britain and Belgium, gave Britain a lease on a corridor between Lakes Tangynika and Albert.

12/12/1893. The French advanced down the valley of the Niger from Kayes in Senegal and captured Timbuktu, capital of Mali.

31/7/1891. Britain claimed African territory north of the Zambezi, up to the Congo basin, to be in its sphere of influence.

26/5/1887. The Imperial British East Africa Company received a charter to colonise Kenya and Uganda.

26/2/1885, A meeting of 15 nations in Berlin hosted by Bismark divided up east and central Africa amongst European countries.

1884, The German explorer, Dr Karl Peters, formed the Deutsche Kolonialverein, a society to promote German colonisation of Africa.

5/7/1884, The German Consulate at Tunis formally proclaimed that Togo was a German protectorate.

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.

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.

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.

17/11/1855. The Scottish explorer David Livingstone discovered, on the River Zambezi, a large waterfall. He called it the Victoria Falls.

5/7/1853, The colonial administrator Cecil Rhodes was born at Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, the 7th of 11 children..  His father was a vicar.

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,

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.

1598, Dutch Admiral Wijbrand von Warwijk discovered Mauritius.

4/8/1578, Sebastian, King of Portugal, was killed in the Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir.

1570, Kanem-Bornu became a major power in the region.

9/2/1513, The Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas discovered the island of Reunion. (near Madagascar)

14/4/1498, Vasco da Gama arrived at the trading city of Malindi, east Africa, after putting in at Kilwa and Monbasa.

1485, The Portuguese established a provisioning station for ships at Sao Tome. Slaves to work the Sao Tome plantations were imported from Guinea.

1482, The Portuguese constructed a fort at Sao Jorge da Mina,Gold Coast (now Elmina, Ghana) for securing the Portuguese monopoly in the west African gold trade. By the early 1500s, some 680kg of gold a year was being shipped to Portugal from this fort.

4/9/1479, The Treaty of Alcovas between Portugal and Spain confirmed Castile’s claim on the Canary Islands, and Portugal’s claim on the Azores and Madeira, also Portuguese rights in west Africa.

1473, Portuguese  ships first reached the Congo River.

1473, Portuguese  ships first crossed the Equator.

1472, The Portuguese discovered the island of Fernando Po off west Africa.

1469, The Portuguese King, Alfonso V agreed that,in return for an annual fee, merchant explorer Fernao Gomes would be allowed to continue to push Portuguese exploration efforts further down the west African coast. Ultimately this also opened the way for Portuguese penetration into Brazil.

1460, Death of Henry the Navigator. This might have halted further Portuguese exploration of the west African coast, but see 1469.

1455, The Portuguese discovered the Gambia River.

1415, Prince Henry the Navigator led a Portuguese expedition to capture the port of Ceuta from the Moors. On finding treasure from Senegal, which had been brought by caravan across the Sahara, he decided to try and reach Senegal by sea. However his sailors feared sailing too far south, in case they fell off the edge of the (flat) earth, and they also believed the hot sun would scorch  them black, like the Africans.

980, In east Africa, the Zanj Empire was founded by Ali ibn Hasan, succeeding the Kilwa Empire.

450 BCE, Earliest evidence of metallurgy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Iron was smelted by the Nok Culture in furnaces at Taruga.

3000 BCE, The Sahara began to turn from grassland into desert.


Appendix 2 – Angola

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.

20/11/1994, The Angolan Government and UNITA signed the Lusaka Protocol.

19/6/1993, The US recognised the Government in Angola.

1/3/1984, A joint South African-Angolan monitoring commission began monitoring South African troop withdrawal from Angola.

15/9/1993. The USA, Britain, and other Western countries agreed to sanctions on Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA forces fighting the Angolan government.

20/1/1993. Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA rebels took the important Angolan oil refining town of Sayo.

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.

31/5/1991, The 17-year civil war in Angola ended.

10/1/1989, Cuban troops began withdrawing from Angola.

22/12/1988. The withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola was announced.

8/8/1988. Angola, South Africa, and Cuba agreed a ceasefire in the Angolan Civil War.

26/8/1981, President P W Botha conformed that South African troops were fighting alongside guerrillas in Angola.

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.

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.

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.

10/1/1975, The Portuguese Government agreed on independence for Angola.

23/5/1970, Portuguese forces attacked guerrilla bases in Angola.

1966, UNITA (Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) was founded by Jonas Savimbi.

9/6/1961, The UN called on Portugal to cease repressive measures in Angola.

4/2/1961, The MPLA began its fight against the Angolan Government at Luanda.

1951, Portugal declared Angola to be an ‘overseas province’, making it politically an integral part of Portugal.

1617, The Portuguese founded the settlement of Benguela, Angola.

1575, The Portuguese founded the settlement of Luanda, Angola.

1571, Portuguese colonisation of Angola began.

1482, Portuguese explorer Diogo Cao explored what is now the Angolan coastline.


Appendix 3 – Benin (Dahomey)

1975, Dahomey was renamed Benin.

1/8/1960, Benin (Dahomey) became independent from France.

22/6/1894, Dahomey (Benin) became a French colony.

3/12/1892. The French imposed a protectorate on Dahomey (Benin) after they captured its capital, Abomey.

1670, The French established a trading post at Offa, on the coast of Dahomey (Benin).


Appendix 4 – Botswana

1967, Diamonds were discovered at Orapa, Botswana.

30/9/1966. Botswana became independent. It had formerly been called Bechuenaland.  Sir Setese Khama was its first President.

13/7/1980, Sir Seretse Khama, President of Botswana since 1966, died in a London hospital.

1965, Gaborone was designated as the capital of Botswana. The Botswana Democratic Party won the elections, and Seretse Khama became Prime Minister.

3/3/1965, Bechuanaland (now Botswana) became self-governing, with Seretse Khama as Prime Minister.

1962, Seretse Khama founded the Botswana Democratic Party.

1961, In Botswana, Seretse Khama was appointed to the Executive Council.

1959, Copper mining began in Botswana.

1950, In Botswana, the British deposed and exiled Seretse Khama, Chief of the Ngwato.

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.

8/10/1885, Britain claimed the Bechuenaland Protectorate (now Botswana).

1867, Gold mining began in Botswana.

1801, First European exploration of Botswana began.


Appendix 5 – Cameroon

11/10/1992, In Cameroon’s first multi-party elections, President Biya won a slim majority.

1986, Lake Nyos, having become supersaturated with carbon dioxide from volcanic activity below, erupted a huge cloud of the gas, which then flowed downhill, suffocating 1,700 people within 15 minutes.

1961, Cameroon became independent.

1/10/1961. The British Trust territory of Southern Cameroons joined with French Cameroons to form the Republic of Cameroon.

1/1/1960. The independent Republic of the Cameroons was proclaimed.

18/2/1916, The last German garrison in Cameroon surrendered.

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.

1884, Cameroon became a German protectorate.

11/7/1884, Germans began to sign up Cameroon chiefs as subjects.

1472, The Portuguese began slave trading in the Cameroons region.


Appendix 6 – Cape Verde

17/2/1991, The Cape Verdean Presidential election, Cape Verde's first multiparty presidential election since 1975, was won by Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro.

5/7/1975, Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal after nearly 500 years of colonial rule.

1462, The Portuguese established, on the Cape Verde Islands, the colonial city of Ribiera Grande (now called Cidade Velha). This was the first European city on the Tropics, with a cathedral, foirtrfess, walls and slave market.

1441, The Portuguese discovered the Cape Verde Islands.


Appendix 7 -  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.

28/11/1990, The President of Chad, Hissein Habre, was deposed by the Patriotic Salvation Movement and replaced as president by its leader, Idriss Deby.

31/8/1989. Libya and Chad signed a peace agreement ending 25 years of war.

17/9/1984, France and Libya reached agreement on the withdrawal of both countries’ troops from Chad by mid-November.

19/8/1983, France sent a further 3,500 troops to assist President Hissein Habre of Chad.

11/8/1983, Faya Largeau in Chad fell to Libyan troops.

7/8/1983, France sent paratroopers to supplement 500 ‘military instructors’ in Chad.

2/8/1983, Libyan planes bombed Faya Largeau in Chad.

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 Hissein 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 8 – Central African Republic

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.

4/12/1977. In the Central African Republic, Jean Bedel Bokassa crowned himself Emperor.

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.

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.

13/8/1960, The Central African Republic became independent.

29/3/1959, Barthelemy Boganda, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, was born.

22/2/1921, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, ruler of the Central African Republic, was born.


Appendix 10 – Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

11/4/2011, Laurent Gbagbo, former President of the Cote D’Ivoire, was captured.

7/12/1993, Felix Houphouet Boigny, President of Cote d’Ivoire, died.

7/8/1960. Ivory Coast became independent from France.

10/1/1889. France declared a protectorate over the Ivory Coast.


Appendix 10a – Equatorial Guinea

2004, Simon Mann and 66 other mercenaries were arrested (in Zimbabwe) en-route to Equatorial Guinea to overthrow the President, Teodoro Obiang. Mann was extradited to equatorial Guinea in 2008 where he was enstenced to 34 years; however he was released in 2009 after his family paid £250,000.

1996, Oil was discovered in waters off Equatorial Guinea.

12/10/1968. Equatorial Guinea became independent from Spain. Francisco Macias Nguema was elected President; he then established a One Party State and abrogated parts of the Constitution. He ruled until 1979.


(Gambia – see Senegal)


Appendix 11 - Ghana

2000, Jerry Rawlings stepped down from power.

1996, Jerry Rawlings again won elections.

1992, Jerry Rawlings won eelctions in Ghana.

31/12/1981. Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings seized power in Ghana, ousting President Limann whom he accused of ruining the economy.

1980, Jerry Rawlings allowed a democratic election in Ghana.

4/6/1979, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings lead a military coup which deposed President F Akuffo of 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 River Volta, was inaugurated by Dr Nkrumah.

16/12/1961, The USSR agreed to make a loan to Ghana for the construction of the Volta River Project, for generating hydroelectric power.

28/9/1961, In Ghana, President Kwame Nkrumah imprisoned leading members of the opposition, claiming a plot to assassinate him.

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.

18/1/1896, British troops took Kumasi and took the Ashante King prisoner in the Fourth Ashante (Ghana) War.

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).

1481, The Portuguese established a trading post on the coast of Ghana, at Fort Elmina.

800, The Kingdon of Ghana was becoming wealthy through its trade in gold and salt.


Appendix 12 – 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, Minister of Development and leader of the campaign for Kenyan independence from Britain, was assassinated in Nairobi. He had founded the Kenyan African Union (KANU), the ruling Party. His assassination was blamed on followers of President Jomo Kenyatta, who saw Mboya as a threat.

12/12/1964. Kenya became a republic in the Commonwealth.  Kenyatta continued as head of state, see 12/12/1963.

10/11/1964, Kenya became a one-party State after the Kenya African Democratic Union Party merged with the Kenyan Africa National Union Party.

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.

1961, The Kenyan Government began purchasing 1,000,000 acres of farmland from the Europeans, at market process.  This was then sold to Kenyan Africans, with loans on easy terms.

21/8/1961, Britain released Jomo Kenyatta, who had been imprisoned for his part in the Mau-Mau rebellion, to facilitate Kenyan political negotiations.

1959, The Mau-Mau had lost support, and were defeated by the Kenyan ar,my and police.

18/1/1955, The Kenyan government offered terms to the Mau-Mau.

31/12/1954, The Mau Mau had murdered 30 European farmers since October 1952; as law and order were enforced again in 1955, only two more White farmers were killed. However since October 1952 the Mau Mau had murdered some 1,800 Christian Kikuyu who had refused to join them.

24/4/1954, 40,000 Mau-Mau suspects were arrested in Kenya.

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 (‘burning spear’) rebellion began in Kenya.

15/8/1930, Tom Mboya, Kenyan trade unionist, activist and statesman, was born (died 1969).

2/9/1924, Daniel Arap Moi, President of Kenya, was born.

16/5/1907. Nairobi was chosen as capital of British East Africa (Kenya) because of its location on the Mombasa-Uganda railway.

1505, The Portuguese sacked Mombasa.


Appendix 12a Lesotho

30/4/1991, In Lesotho, Major-General Justin Lekhanya, military leader, was deposed by Colonel Elias Ramaema.

4/10/1966. Lesotho became independent. It had been formerly known as Basutoland, and had been a British Protectorate since 1868.

2/5/1938, King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho was born.


Appendix 13 - 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.

10/9/1990, Liberian President Samual Doe died after being captured by rebels. Prince Johnson took over government.

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.

1989, Rebel forces led by Charles Taylor, a descendant of the freed SAmerican slaves, entered Liberia from Cote D’Ivoire, with the objective of deposing the dictatorial Liberian President Samuel Doe. A civil war began, which ended in 9/1990 with the torture and execution of Doe by another rebel group. Another civil war began, with Taylor now pillaging the country.

4/1980, A rebellion led by Master Sergeant Samual K Doe overthrew the government of William Tolbert (a descendant of the freed slaves who returned to Liberia). These former slaves, arriving in 1847, had come to oppress the indigenous inhabitants of the country. Doe was an ethnic Krahn, one of these indigenous peoples; Doe bevcamne the first indigemous ruler of Liberia. Doe promoted himself to General, then commenced pillaging the country.

23/7/1971, W V S Tubman, President of Liberia, died aged 75.

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 14 – Libya

11/9/2012, Islamists attacked the US diplomatic compound in  Benghazi, Libya. The US Ambassador and three other US diplomats were killed.

17/7/2012, In Libya, the General National Congress came to power. However it could not maintain stability in the country.

7/7/2012, Libya held its first post Ghaddaffi elections; the country was still politically unstable.

22/1/2012, The head of the Transitional Council of Liberation in Libya resigned in protest over the slow pace of improvements in Libya.

20/10/2011, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in Sirte, as National Transitional Council forces took control of the country.

20/8/2011, In Libya, Arab Spring rebels began to take over the capital, Tripoli.

30/4/2011, NATO strikes in Libya killed Gadhafi’s youngest son.

21/3/2011, British MPs voted 557 to 13 in favour of airstrikes against Gaddafi.

19/3/2011, Arab Spring: civil war continued in Libya. NATO intervened to help the rebels.

17/3/2011, The UN Security Council authorised a no-fly zone over Libya. This effectively authorised French and UK airstrikes against Gaddafi.

15/2/2011, Arab Spring protests in Libya.

26/2/2004, The US lifted a travel ban on visiting Libya, ending restrictions that had been in force for 26 years.

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.

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.

15/4/1992, UN sanctions imposed on Libya (authorised by the UN, 31/3/1992) came into effect. These were because of Libya’s refusal to hand over two men suspected of the Lockerbie bombing.

31/8/1989. Libya and Chad signed a peace agreement ending 25 years of war.

5/1/1989, A US aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean shot down two Libyan fighter aircraft.

28/12/1987, Tunisia and Libya restored diplomatic relations.

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.

10/3/1982, The USA embargoed oil imports from Libya, alleging Libyan involvement in terrorist groups.

6/5/1981. The USA expelled all Libyan diplomats.

16/1/1970, Colonel Ghaddafi became Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council in Libya.

14/11/1969. Ghaddaffi nationalised all foreign banks in Libya.

1/9/1969. President Ghaddaffi, 27 years old, ousted King Idris of Libya in a military coup. King Idris was in Greece at the time in hospital.

1/1/1952, Libya became independent. An Italian colony from 1911, when Italy took the territory from the Ottoman Turks, the region had come under British administration in 1942.

24/12/1951. Independent kingdom of Libya was established.  Idris I, aged 61, was the first King.

21/11/1949, The United Nations declared that Tripolitania should form part of the independent state of Libya.

25/10/1938. Libya was incorporated into Italy.

1/1/1935. The Italian colonies of Cyrenaica, Tripoli, and Fezzan were renamed Libya.

14/1/1928. Clashes between Italians and tribesmen in Libya, 100 tribesmen killed.

6/12/1925, Italy agreed the frontier of Libya with Egypt.


Appendix 15 – Madagascar

26/6/1960, Madagascar became an independent republic.  It had been a French colony since 1896.

14/10/1958, Madagascar gained autonomy.

29/3/1947. Nationalist uprising in Madagascar against the French.

7/5/1942, Madagascar was occupied by British troops to forestall any Japanese invasion.

1897, End of the reign of the last monarch of Madagascar, Queen Ranavalona (reigned 1883-97).

6/8/1896. Madagascar was proclaimed a French colony.

30/9/1895. The capital of Madagascar, Tananarive, surrendered to the French.

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.

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.


Appendix 16 – Malawi

6/7/1971, Dr Hastings Banda was sworn in as President of Malawi for life, having established a One-Party State.

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.

1/2/1963, Nyasaland became independent, later to be called Malawi.

3/3/1959, In Nyasaland (Malawi) Hastings Banda and other leaders of the Nyasaland African Congress were arrested.

20/2/1959, Disturbances in the British territory of Nyasaland (now Malawi).

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.

1907, Hastings Kumuzu Banda, first President of independent Malawi in 1964, was born in what was then the British Protectorate of Nyasaland.


Appendix 17 – Mali

11/1/2013, The French army began operations against Islamic militants in northern Mali.

1/9/2012, Islamist rebels captured the town of Douentza in Mali.

6/4/2012, Islamic militants unilaterally declared the secession of northern Mali as the republic of Azawad. Europe feared a new area of Jihadism in the Sahara.

12/1968, Mali became a police State when Moussa Traore deposed President Modibo Keita in a military coup. He ruled harshly until 1991.

22/9/1960, Mali became independent.

20/6/1960, Mali became independent from France as the federation of Mali, including Senegal.  See 22/8/1960.

17/1/1959. Senegal and French Sudan united to form Mali.

1894, French colonisers arrived in Mali.

1612, Local rule in what was the Songhai Empire, until the French arrived in 1894.

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.

1500, Peak of the Songhai Empire; scholarship and the arts flourished.

1464, The Songhai Empire under Sunni Ali overran large areas of the Sahel, of what is now Mali and Timbuktu.

1341, Sulaiman became King of Mali.

1324, Mansu Musa, King of Mali, travelled to Mecca. The splendour of his court astounded all those who visited it. He ordered the construction of a mosque in Timbuktu.

1235, Sundiata Keita became King of Mali; ruled until 1255.

1100, The city of Timbuktu was founded by Tuareg herders.

800 AD, Islam now arrived in what is now Mali.

600 AD, Desert caravans now ran through Timbuktu to the Mediterranean.


Appendix 18  – Morocco

16/5/2003, In Casablanca, Morocco, 5 simultaneous suicide bombings struck at US and Israeli targets, killing 45.

20/7/1999, The death of King Hassan II of Morocco prompted widespread mourning across the Arab world.

10/1969, Ahmed Laraki became Prime Minister, succeeding Mohamed Benhima.

30/6/1969, Spain returned the enclave of Ifni to Morocco; however the towns of Ceuta and Melilla were retained.

31/8/1961, Last Spanish troops withdrew from Morocco.

26/2/1961, King Hassan II became ruler of Morocco on the death of his father, King Mohammad V.

14/6/1958, France announce it was withdrawing its troops from Morocco.

7/4/1956, Spain relinquished its protectorate over Morocco.

2/3/1956, The Treaty of Fez was terminated. France officially recognised the independence of Morocco.

30/3/1952, Anti-French riots in Tangier, French Morocco.

20/2/1952. NATO agreed to recruit Morocco.

23/5/1926, In Morocco, the French seized Rif, and the rebel leader Abd El Krim surrendered.

11/7/1925, France and Spain agreed to coordinate their efforts in the Rif War.

18/12/1923, The International Zone of Tangier (Morocco) was set up.

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.

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.

23/8/1908, The Battle of Marrakesh. Abd-al-Aziz IV, Sultan of Morocco, was defeated by his elder brother, Mulay Hafid, who had been proclaimed Sultan in May.

4/8/1907, The French navy bombarded the Moroccan port of Casablanca, after anti-Western demonstrations there.

7/4/1906. The Conference of Algecieras ended.

16/1/1906. The Algecieras Conference – see 28/8/1904.

31/3/1905, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany arrived in Tangier, Morocco, to give a speech in favour of Moroccan independence. This was intended to humiliate France, who saw Morocco as their own protectorate, and to test the closeness of the Franco-British entente. Germany intended to subsequently ‘grant France limited control in Morocco’, a move supposed to bring France closer to Germany and away from Britain. However Germany was surprised by the forcefulness with which British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey backed France; Germany was further isolated from France, Britain and hence Russia too. This event paved the way for the Agadir crisis of 1911.

3/10/1904. France and Spain agreed that northern Morocco was recognised as a Spanish zone of influence.

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.

3/7/1880, Morocco’s independence was recognised by the European powers and by Russia.

10/9/1844. France and Morocco signed the Treaty of Tangiers, ending their conflict. France withdrew from Morocco.

1/7/1844. A French squadron under the Duke of Joinville bombarded Tangiers.

1062, The city of Marrakesh was founded by Youssef ben Tachfine, founder of the Almoravid Dynasty.


Appendix 19 – Mozambique

3/11/1986, Joaquim Chissano was elected President of Mozambique.

23/11/1977, Rhodesian troops entered Mozambique and killed over 1,000 alleged guerrillas.

1976, Renamo (Resistencia Nacional Mozambicana) was set up within Mozambique with the help of Rhodesia and later with South African assistance also. It was an armed resistance movement against the Frelimo Government.

3/3/1976, The newly-independent country of Mozambique closed its border with Rhodesia, as a protest against the illegal regime there.

25/6/1975. Mozambique became independent from Portugal.  This followed a ten-year war against Portuguese colonial rule.

20/9/1974, Friday (+10,727) A Nationalist government took control in Mozambique, headed by Jacques Chissano.

1/1970, Construction work began on the Cabora Bassa dam, Zambesi River, Mozambique.

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.

1894, The Mapondera Movement began a resistance against Portuguese taxation, led by Kadungire Mapondera. Regarded as a hero by the local workers, he was captured and executed in 1904.

13/7/1622, English and Dutch ships defeated the Portuguese near Mozambique.


Appendix 20 – Namibia

1994, South Africa ceded control of the enclave of Walvis Bay to Namibia.

30/11/1992, SWAPO won a landslide victory in elections in Namibia.

1/1/1989. Namibia was granted independence from South Africa.

13/12/1988, In Brazzaville, South Africa signed an accord granting independence to Namibia.

11/1989, After a protracted war in Namibia between SWAPO and South African forces, that cost the lives of over 2,500 South African soldiers and was costing South Africa over US$ 1 billion annually, elections were held under UN supervision. SWAPO won these elections, led by Sam Nujoma.

1968, The UN called on South Africa to withdraw from Namibia, following a war of independence waged by the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) from 1966. In 1971 the International Court of Justice ruled that South African occupation of Namibia was illegal.

1958, SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organisation) was founded to organise the guerrilla war against the South African administration of the country.

13/12/1950. South Africa again refused to place South West Africa under UN Trusteeship.

21/1/1947, South African President J C Smuts refused to place South West Africa under UN Trusteeship.

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.

30/5/1919, At the Paris Peace Conference, Britain agreed to the transfer of part of German South West Africa to Belgium.

12/5/1915, South Africa occupied Windhoek, capital of German South West Africa.

1908, Diamonds were discovered in Namibia, increasing European interest in the area.

28/11/1904, Rebel tribesmen in South West Africa were defeated by the Germans, see 3/10/1904.

3/10/1904. African tribes revolted in south-west Africa against German rule, see 28/11/1904.

24/4/1884. Bismarck cabled Cape Town to state that South West Africa was a German colony.

1486, Portuguese navigator Diogo Cao landed on the coast of Namibia. However European colonisation of the area did not begin until the 1840s, with Germany claiming the region in 1884.


Appendix 21  -Niger.

18/2/2010, The President of Niger was overthrown in a military coup.

9/4/1999, The President of Niger, Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, was assassinated.

3/8/1960, Niger became independent from France.


Appendix 23 – Rwanda

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.

15/11/1996. Mass migration as Hutu refugees returned to Rwanda.

4/3/1996. UN forces left Rwanda as the UN mandate ended.

1994, President Paul Kagame seized power in Rwanda, ending the genocide. See also Appendix 5 Congo Democratic Repubic

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.

5/10/1993, The UN created a body to oversee the Arusha agreement, see 4/8/1993 and 6/4/1994.

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.

13/3/1992. In Rwanda, fighting broke out between the Hutus, who held power, and the Tutsis.

4/10/1990, As Ugandan troops invaded Rwanda, France and Belgium sent troops there to protect their nationals.

1/7/1962. Rwanda and Burundi became independent.  They had formerly been part of the Belgian administration of Ruanda-Urundi.

8/3/1937, Juvenal Habyarimana, President of Rwanda, was born.


Appendix 24 – Senegal & Gambia

29/4/1992, The autocratic Siaka Stevens regime in Sierra Leone was overthrown, by a group led by Captain Valentine Strasser.

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.

1/2/1982 Senegal and Gambia formed a loose federation.

24/4/1970, After a national referendum, Gambia, which had been a British colony since 1843, became a Republic within the Commonwealth.

18/2/1965. The Gambia, the smallest country in Africa, became an independent monarchy. It had been a British colony since 1843.

22/8/1960. Senegal seceded from Mali.

20/8/1960, Senegal became independent.

4/4/1960, Senegal became independent.

20/4/1857, The west African Muslim leader Al Hajj Uman laid siege to the French fort at Medine, Senegal.

1661, Britain took control of The Gambia territory, by occupying Fort James at the mouth of the River Gambia.

1626, French settlement of Senegal.

1616, The Dutch occupied Goree Island.


Appendix 25 – Seychelles

18/6/1976, Britain granted independence to the Seychelles.

1814, France ceded the Seychelles to Britain by the Treaty of Paris. De Quincy, having anglicised his name, remained as Governor. The British anglicised the islands’ name to The Seychelles.

1794, Britain militarily took control of the Seychelles from France. The French commander, Jean Baptiste Queau de Quinssy, surrendered to the British. However the British did not actually occupy the islands and he was left de facto in charge.

1770, France colonised the Seychelles, at that time uninhabited, principally to deny the British a port on the way to India.

1756, France, to more formally claim the Seychelles, dispatched Captain Corneille Nicolas Morphey to claim them. He placed a stone on the islands carved with the Arms of France. He named the islands after the Finance Minister of Louis XV, Moreau des Sechelles.

1726, Captain Picault returned to the Seychelles to explore and map them, and named the main island Mahe after the Governor of Mauritius, Mahe de Labourdonnais.

1724, Captain Picault from France became the first European to land on the Seychelles. The islands were previously known to Arab and early Portuguese explorers. He took some tortoises and coconuts back to Mauritius,


Appendix 26 – Sierra Leone

18/1/2002, The civil war in Sierra Leone ended.

2000, Britain (as the former colonial power) sent soldiers to restore order on the country. Sankoh was charged with war crimes, but died of a stroke before he could be tried.

1999, The Revolutionary United Front attacked the capital, Freetown. A third of the city was destroyed, and 6,000 people massacred.

1991, Foday Sankoh, supported by Charles Taylor of Liberia, created the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), an armed group which then took over the diamond-rich areas of the country. Sankoh’s RUF also dismembered some 10,000 children, and forced others as young as 10 into military service. The RUF ‘soldiers’ were not paid, but expected to ‘pay themselves’ from looting. By 2000, the conflict had killed some 100,000 to 200,000 people, from a population of 4.5 million.

27/4/1961. Sierra Leone became independent, and joined the Commonwealth.

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.


Appendix 27 – Somalia

25/4/2013, The UK reopened its embassy in Somalia, closed for 25 years.

3/10/1998, Al Quaeda joined with local Somali tribesmen in battle with US forces, and shot down two US helicopters, an incident known as ‘Black Hawk Down’.

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.

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.

5/7/1992, UN forces arrived in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, to help with food distribution.

23/2/1992, A ceasefire was agreed in Somalia.

3/1/1992. Civil war continued in Somalia.

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.

3/4/1988. Ethiopia and Somalia concluded a peace agreement, ending 11 years of border conflict.

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.

10/1969, General Mohamed Siad Barre, a Marxist, staged a coup six days after the assassination of President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke. The Prime Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, was arrested and spent the next 12 years in prison.

1/4/1950, Italy took over the Somaliland Trusteeship from Britain.

11/1/1904, British troops massacred 1,000 rebels in Somaliland, who were under the command of theMad Mullah’

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.


Appendix 28 - Sudan & South Sudan

9/7/2011, The new country of South Sudan officially seceded from Sudan, following a pro-independence referendum in January 2011.

9/1/2011, A referendum in Sudan resulted in a mandate for the independence of Southern Sudan.

14/8/1994. Carlos the Jackal was arrested in Sudan.

1989, In Sudan, the National Islamic Front seized power in Khartoum. This further anatgonised the rebel Christian/Animist South.

6/4/1985, Coup in Sudan, led by General Swar al Dahab.

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.

1981, The Anyanya insurgency restarted in southern Sudan; known as the Anyanya 2 Rebellion.

1972, Peace agreed in Sudan between southern Anyanya rebels and the government. Ethiopia acted as peace broker.

5/1969, After a series of unpopular governments, Colonel Gaafar al-Nimery staged a coup and became Prime Minister. His regime abolished both Parliament and political Parties.

1/1/1956. Sudan became independent, having been administered jointly by Britain and Egypt.

1955, The Anyanya I Rebellion in Sudan, by southern Anyanyas against the northern Muslims.

25/6/1924, Britain said it would not relinquish control over the Sudan, despite Egyptian demands for it to do so.

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.

8/4/1898, The Battle of Atbara, Sudan.

7/8/1897, The town of Abu Hamid was captured by the British from the Mahdists, Sudan.

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.

17/7/1894. Italians took Kassala on the Eritrea/Sudan border from the Mahdists.

9/3/1889, King Yohannes IV was killed in the Battle of Metemma; Sudanese forces, almost routed, rallied and destroyed the Ethiopian Army.

20/12/1888, The Battle of Suakin, Sudan.

21/6/1885, In Sudan, the Mahdi died and was succeeded by the Khalifa Abdullah el Tasshi, who managed to conquer the entire country.

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.

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.

3/11/1883  Anglo-Egyptian forces under General Hicks were heavily defeated by Mahdist forces, causing a British withdrawal from the Sudan.


Appendix 29 – Tanzania

7/8/1998, A lorry bomb exploded outside the US embassy in Tanzania.

27/10/1985, Julius Nyerere retired as President of Tanzania after 24 years. He was succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

29/1/1967, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania issued the Arusha Declaration. It set out principles of ‘African Socialism’ which proved to be politically popular but economically disastrous.

29/10/1964, The name of Tanzania was officially adopted, for the union this day of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

26/4/1964. Tanganyika and Zanzibar united as Tanzania. Julius Nyerere was the first President.

12/1/1964, Zanzibar was proclaimed a republic.. The Arab Sultan of Zanzibar was banished from the country, and an African-led government took control.

10/12/1963. Zanzibar became independent.  It had been a British Protectorate since 1890.

9/12/1962, Tanzania became a Republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as first President.

2/11/1962, Tangynika elected Nyerere as president.

9/12/1961, Tangynika became independent. See 9/12/1962.

1/9/1960. Nyerere became Tangynika's first Prime Minister.

8/5/1925, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, President of Tanzania, was born.

13/6/1916, Jan Smuts captured Wilthemstal in German East Africa (now Tanzania).

1/7/1913. Zanzibar was incorporated into British East Africa.

7/11/1890, Zanzibar became a British Protectorate.

17/2/1885, Germany established a protectorate over the Tanganyika coast.


Appendix 30 - Tunisia

26/6/2015, Islamist gunmen stormed a tourist beach at Sousse, Tunisia, shooting dead 38 holidaymakers. The Tunisian holiday industry subsequently collapsed. Simultaneous terrorist attacks took place in France and Kuwait.

1987, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali (born 1936) ousted President Bourguiba of Tunisia and became President himself. Bourguiba went into retirement.

22/7/1961, The UN ordered a ceasefire in Tunisia, after clashes between Tunisians and French.

17/2/1958, France and Tunisia agreed to mediation by the UK and USA.

11/2/1958, Tunisia banned French warships from using its port at Bizerta.

8/2/1958, France bombed the Tunisian town of Sakiet Sidi Youssef as a reprisal for alleged Tunisian involvement on a French patrol in Algeria near the Tunisian frontier on 11/1/1958. Tunisia confined all French troops in the country to barracks.

25/7/1957, Tunisia abolished the monarchy and became a republic.  Habib Bourguiba was elected as the first President.

20/3/1956. Tunisia became independent, having been a French Protectorate since 1881.

20/2/1952. NATO agreed to recruit Tunisia.

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. See also Islam.

1/6/1535, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, captured Tunis.


Appendix 32 – Western Sahara

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.

10/4/1979, Cambodia recognised the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

14/4/1976, Spain withdrew the last of its troops from the Spanish Sahara. This allowed Morocco to annex the phosphate-rich country.

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.

14/11/1975, Spain pulled out of the Western Sahara under the Madrid Accord. However this left the territory vulnerable to occupation by Morocco.

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.


Appendix 33 – Zambia

31/10/1991, President Kaunda of Zambia was heavily defeated in elections.

24/10/1964. Northern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zambia.  Kenneth Kaunda was the first President.  This ended 75 years of British rule.

11/8/1964, A Christian-sectarian based rebellion in Zambia, the Lumpa Church, led by Alice Lenshina ended.

22/1/1964, Kenneth Kaunda, leader of the United National Independence Party, became the first President of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).

18/5/1960. The Queen Mother opened the Kariba dam on the Zambesi River.

6/1959, The wall of the Kariba Dam (Zambia-Zimbabwe border) was completed.

6/11/1956. Work began on the Kariba High Dam on the River Zambesi, between Zambia and Zimbabwe. See 18/5/1960.

28/4/1924, Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first President, was born in Lubwa.

1910, The city of Lubumbashi was founded, originally called Elizabethville, in the copper mining area of Shaba, Zambia.

1905, The city of Lusaka was founded.


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