Timeline Lesotho

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  Lesotho is a small country the size of Switzerland and is completely surrounded by South Africa. The Basotho tribe is the dominant group and the population is about 2 million..
 (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A1)

1824        Lesotho in was founded by the Basotho chieftain Moshoeshoe on a natural rock fortress called Mountain of the Night.
    (WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A11)

1835-1868    Lesotho acted as a buffer between the Afrikaner’s and British colonial interests and supplied seasonal farm workers to both.
    (WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A11)(EWH, 4th ed, p.885)

1868        Lesotho was annexed by the British.
    (WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A11)

1943        May 1, British India SN Company troop transport in convoy with 23 merchantmen and escorted by eleven destroyers, was bound for Malta. When some 30 miles north of Benghazi, the convoy was attacked by German bombers and torpedo carrying aircraft. On board the Erinpura (Capt. P.V. Cotter) were 1,025 troops. One large bomb exploded in the hold sinking the ship in a matter of minutes. Forty four crewmembers, three gunners and an unspecified number of troops were lost. On the same day, near the Tunisian coast, another troopship (name unknown) was torpedoed and sank. On board were a number of troops from Basutoland (later Lesotho) who were serving with the British Eighth Army. In this tragic sinking, 618 Basutos lost their lives. 

1963        Moshoeshoe II was crowned king.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)

1966        Lesotho gained independence from Britain.
    (SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)

1980        Apr 1, The southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) was established by 9 countries with the Lusaka declaration (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe). The main aim was coordinating development projects in order to lessen economic dependence on apartheid South Africa.  On August 17, 1992, it was transformed into the Southern African Development Community (SADC). By 2008 it included 15 members.

1985        In South Africa 2 ANC activists and 8 others were killed in a raid into Lesotho. A government assassin told a court in 1996 that plans for the raid were approved by the highest levels of Pres. Botha’s apartheid regime.
    (WSJ, 9/17/96, p.A1)

1986        A project began in Lesotho to divert freshwater from the mountains for electricity and for sale to South Africa. The project was sponsored by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank at a cost of $3.5 billion. The electricity proved too expensive for most people and the water diversion wreaked environmental havoc downstream. In 2003 the development fund raised from selling the water was shut down. Courts convicted 3 of the world’s largest construction firms on corruption charges.
    (SFC, 12/21/07, p.A31)

1990        King Moshoeshoe II was forced into exile after a series of 3 military coups ousted him from the throne. His son Letsie assumed the throne.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)

1994        In Lesotho Letsie backed a palace coup to reinstate his father as king. He ousted the first government to be elected in a multiparty vote and temporarily assumed the throne.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)

1995        Jan, In Lesotho Letsie gave up the crown to his returned father.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)

1996        Moshoeshoe II, king of Lesotho, was killed in an automobile accident.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)

1997        Feb, Lesotho soldiers put down a police mutiny in Maseru after 2 hours of shooting.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)

1997        Jun, In Lesotho Protestors in Maseru marched against the formation of a new ruling party by Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)

1997        Oct 31, Letsie III (34) was crowned king of Lesotho, a figurehead position.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.14A)(SFC, 9/22/98, p.A7)

1997        In Lesotho Pakalitha Mosisili defected from the Basutoland Congress Party under leader Ntsu Mokhehle, to form the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party.
    (AFP, 2/28/12)

1998        Sep 21, In Lesotho opposition protestors clashed with South African and Botswanan troops at the royal palace. A faction of the Lesotho army rebelled 11 days ago and deposed the new military leadership. They charged that the May elections swept by the Lesotho Congress party were rigged.
    (SFC, 9/22/98, p.A7)

1998        Sep 22, South African troops poured over the border into Lesotho and 30 people were reported killed.
    (SFC, 9/23/98, p.A12)

1998        Sep 23, In Lesotho 9 South Africans and 40 rebels were killed since the SADC (Southern African Development Community) task force entered Lesotho to restore the government of PM Pakalitha Mosisili. Maseru was virtually destroyed by arson and looting that followed the military intervention. Damages were estimated at $39 million.
    (SFC, 9/24/98, p.A14)(SFC, 4/10/99, p.C14)

1998        Nov 30, Britain along with Lesotho, Burkino Faso, the Ivory Coast and Tajikistan signed a global treaty for an Int’l. Criminal Court to try war crimes. The accord was approved in July at conference in Rome and 61 countries had signed on. The court required 60 countries to pass legislation for ratification.
    (SFC, 12/1/98, p.A11)

1999        Apr 9, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili announced that South Africa and Botswana would soon pull their forces out of Lesotho following a 7 month peacekeeping operation.
    (SFC, 4/10/99, p.C14)

1999        Dec 13, In Lesotho Val Pringle (63), American entertainer, was stabbed to death while confronting burglars at his home outside Maseru. Police later arrested 2 men suspected in the murder.
    (SFC, 12/21/99, p.C8)

2003        Sep 7, Mamohato Bereng Seeiso (62), the queen mother of the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho, died after collapsing in a church outside the capital.
    (AP, 9/8/03)

2004        Jan 29, Widespread drought was reported across southern Africa. Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe were all affected.
    (SFC, 1/29/04, p.A16)

2004        Jul 15, The Gates Foundation announced a $44.7 million award at the AIDS Conference in Bangkok to a consortium of TB and AIDS researchers. The 2 diseases were often linked. A UN report cited 7 countries as the hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic: Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, the Central African Republic and Mozambique.
    (WSJ, 7/15/04, p.B1)(SFC, 7/16/04, p.A6)

2004        Chris Bradshaw visited Lesotho and became inspired to found the African Library Project: www.africanlibraryproject.org.
    (SSFC, 7/9/06, p.D2)

2005        Mar 29, It was reported that China’s influence in Africa was expanding rapidly. Chinese projects included the rebuilding of Nigeria’s railroad network; the paving of roads in Rwanda; ownership of copper mines in Zambia; timber operations in Equatorial Guinea; and supermarket operations in Lesotho.
    (WSJ, 3/29/05, p.A1)

2005        Nov 24, The UN food agency said the United States has thrown a lifeline to six southern African countries, donating food aid valued at $45 million. The food will be distributed across Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    (AP, 11/24/05)

2006        Apr 28, Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, launched a charity in memory of his late mother Princess Diana to help AIDS orphans in Lesotho.
    (AP, 4/28/06)

2006        May 16, Irish rock star Bono began a new African tour in Lesotho where he planned to unveil a new initiative to fight AIDS in its ailing textile industry.
    (AP, 5/16/06)

2006        Aug 18, In Lesotho a 14-nation southern Africa summit closed with a pledge to speed up regional economical integration, even as leaders expressed concern about crisis-plagued member-state Zimbabwe.
    (AFP, 8/18/06)

2006        Nov 24, In Lesotho Samuella Jacobina Verwey (36), a Dutch aid worker with the Clinton Foundation, was shot to death at the house of Mpho Malie, Lesotho's trade and industry minister. Malie is seen as a major contender for the leadership of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy after the current leader, PM Pakalitha Mosisili, quits.
    (AP, 11/25/06)

2007        Feb 17, Lesotho held elections. The ruling party, which has brought stability to the mountain kingdom, faced a new rival set up on a platform of change.
    (AP, 2/17/07)

2007        The population of Lesotho stood at about 1.8 million and almost one of 4 adults had HIV/AIDS. Lesotho’s textile industry, the only industry to speak of, employed some 45,000.
    (Econ, 6/30/07, p.56)(Econ, 7/21/07, p.61)

2008        Jul 16, The United States signed a pair of agreements to boost trade and investment ties with countries in southern and eastern Africa. These included the Trade, Investment and Development Cooperation Agreement with the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), which includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland; and the Trade Investment and Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the East African Community, which includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
    (Reuters, 7/17/08)

2008        Sep 8, Miners in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho found one of the world's largest diamonds, a near-flawless white gem weighing nearly 500 carats.
    (Reuters, 9/21/08)

2009        Apr 22, In Lesotho a military-style offensive took place on the official residence of the PM Pakalitha Mosisili. Two men were arrested shortly after the shooting. 7 others were arrested across the border in South Africa the day after the shooting. The 9 men were charged with 31 counts, including murder and attempted murder in the attack.
    (AFP, 7/28/11)

2010        Sep 3, In Lesotho Thomas Maresco (24), a US Peace Corps volunteer, was shot and killed in an apparent robbery attempt.
    (AP, 9/10/10)

2010        Lesotho, entirely surrounded by South Africa, barely numbered 2 million people.
    (Econ, 8/7/10, p.44)

2012        Feb 28, Lesotho PM Pakalitha Mosisili resigned from the faction-riven ruling party that he led in power since 1998 to join a new movement.
    (AFP, 2/28/12)

2012        May 19, Lesotho held early voting, one week before the mostly hotly contested general elections since the 1998 polls that degenerated into looting and sparked a South African intervention. A full election was set for May 26.
    (AFP, 5/19/12)

2012        May 26, Lesotho's one million voters went to the polls in a tight general election where bitter personal rivalries among the three main party leaders have overshadowed worries about jobs and poverty. More than half of the nation's two million people lived in poverty. Final results showed Mosisili's Democratic Congress (DC) winning 48 seats of 120 seats.
    (AFP, 5/26/12)(AFP, 5/27/12)

2012        May 29, Lesotho opposition parties agreed to unite to bring down veteran PM Pakalitha Mosisili, whose party failed to win an absolute majority in the weekend parliamentary election.
    (AFP, 5/30/12)

2012        May 30, Lesotho PM Pakalitha Mosisili resigned after his party failed to win a majority in parliamentary elections and the opposition united to oust him after 14 years in power.
    (AFP, 5/30/12)

2012        Jun 7, Lesotho King Letsie III appointed Motsoahae Tom Thabane as Prime Minister.
    (AFP, 6/7/12)

2012        Jun 8, Lesotho's new PM Thomas Thabane (72) was sworn in after his coalition government unseated former leader Pakalitha Mosisili in the kingdom's first peaceful transition.
    (AFP, 6/8/12)

2012        The population of Lesotho, completely surrounded by South Africa, was about 2 million.
    (AFP, 5/20/12)

2014        Aug 30, In Lesotho at least one policeman was killed when the military disarmed police stations. Radios were also jammed in what the PM Thomas Thabane said was a clear coup attempt in the country of about 2 million people.
    (AP, 9/2/14)

2014        Sep 3, Lesotho's embattled PM Tom Thabane, who fled to South Africa at the weekend after an apparent bid to oust him, returned safely to his home country.
    (AFP, 9/3/14)

2014        Sep 5, In Lesotho a top military commander said Lt. General Tlali Kamol, suspected of involvement in last week's attempted coup, has seized army weapons in preparation for a possible stand-off.
    (AP, 9/7/14)

2014        Oct 17, Lesotho's king convened parliament for the first time since an alleged coup attempt in August as the southern African country strives to resolve political tensions before elections next year.
    (Reuters, 10/17/14)

2015        Feb 28, Lesotho held an early election aimed at overcoming tension among political factions that has led to violence among security forces since last year.
    (AP, 2/28/15)

2015        Mar 4, In Lesotho final results in the Feb 28 snap elections showed the opposition outdistancing PM Thomas Thabane's party, reversing early indications that the ruling party was in the lead.
    (AFP, 3/4/15)

2015        May 19, Lesotho former PM Thomas Thabane travelled to Botswana late today. On May 21 he claimed that he was at risk of assassination after being voted out of power.
    (AFP, 5/21/15)

2015        Jun 25, Former Lesotho Defense Force commander Maaparankoe Mahao was shot dead by soldiers in his village home. Mahao, an ally of Lesotho's former leader Thomas Thabane, was a bitter rival of current army chief Tlali Kamoli.
    (Reuters, 6/29/15)

2015        Sep 17, Lesotho police arrested a 63-year-old Danish man after they found 21 pieces of female genitalia in his freezer at his home in Bloemfontein.
    (AP, 9/23/15)

2015        Oct 20, In Lesotho the wife of a Danish man, who was caught in South Africa last month with 21 pieces of female genitalia in his freezer, was killed outside her home in the Maseru. The wife was allegedly one of his victims.
    (AFP, 10/22/15)

2016        May 16, The International Federation of Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) pledged $110 million to a new initiative to help drought-stricken southern African countries including Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
    (AP, 5/16/16)

2016        Jul 28, The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said some 23 million farmers in drought-hit Southern Africa need urgent help to prepare for the next planting season with only a few weeks left before it begins. It said Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have reported more than 640,000 drought-related livestock deaths. Farmers and cattle herders in 10 countries have requested assistance: Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    (Reuters, 7/28/16)

2017        Mar 7, Lesotho's deputy prime minister said the king has dissolved parliament and will shortly set an election date, days after PM Pakalitha Mosisili lost a confidence vote in the assembly.
    (Reuters, 3/7/17)

2017        Jun 3, Lesotho voted in a national election just two years after the previous one. PM Pakalitha Mosisili, who had been in power since 2015, lost a confidence vote in parliament in March after several defections by ruling coalition lawmakers to the opposition eroded his support. Thomas Thabane's All Basotho Convention party won the snap elections but failed to get an outright majority, leading it to negotiate joint rule with the Alliance of Democrats (AD), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL).
    (Reuters, 6/3/17)(AP, 6/15/17)

2017        Jun 14, In Lesotho Lipolelo Thabane (58), the wife of incoming PM Thomas Thabane, was shot dead in Ha Masana village, 35 km (22 miles) south of the capital Maseru where she lived, as she was driving with a friend. Thabane (77) remarried two months later. In 2020 police searched for the first lady for questioning in the killing of Lipolelo. 
    (AP, 6/15/17)(SFC, 1/15/20, p.A2)

2017        Jun 16, Lesotho's new PM Thomas Thabane (78) took office at the head of a coalition government, three years after he was targeted by a putsch and two days after the murder of his estranged wife.
    (AFP, 6/16/17)

2017        Jul 29, A Lesotho official said authorities are investigating a security breach after wire-tapping gadgets were discovered in the office of the new prime minister earlier this week.
    (AFP, 7/29/17)

2017        Sep 5, Lesotho's army commander Khoantle Mots'omots'o and two senior officers were shot dead by rival officers at a military barracks, in an apparent assassination set to revive instability in the African kingdom.
    (AFP, 9/5/17)(Reuters, 9/5/17)

2017        Lesotho became the first in Africa to issue a license for medical marijuana.
    (AP, 4/28/18)
2017        The World Bank put Lesotho jobless rate between 24 and 28 percent.
    (AFP, 7/16/17)

2018        Jan 31, It was reported that low dam levels in the emerald-green highlands of Lesotho are raising alarm bells in South Africa's industrial heartland around Johannesburg, which has so far avoided the shortages hitting other regions.
    (Reuters, 1/31/18)

2018        Sep 7, It was reported that two companies in the Lesotho's tiny capital Maseru are now using one of the world's first commercial 5G networks on the long-awaited 3.5 GHz spectrum.
    (AFP, 9/7/18)

2019        Jun 28, In Lesotho several thousand farmers marched to parliament to protest against regulations forcing them to sell their wool and mohair to a Chinese broker.
    (AFP, 6/28/19)

2020        Jan 10, In Lesotho first lady Maesaiah Thabane fled the country to escape arrest in connection with the 2017 killing of PM Thomas Thabane's former wife, Lipolelo. On Feb. 4 Maesaiah returned and handed herself over to police.
    (SFC, 2/5/20, p.A2)
2020        Jan 10, The United Nations said seven countries -- Lebanon, Yemen, Venezuela, Central African Republic, Gambia, Lesotho and Tonga -- have fallen behind in their financial contributions and would not be able to in the 74th session of the General Assembly.
    (AFP, 1/11/20)

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