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Mauritania

officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is an Arab Maghreb country in West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, byAlgeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest. It is named after the ancient Berber Kingdom of Mauretania, HP G42T-200 CTO Laptop Keyboard

which later became a province of the Roman Empire, even though the modern Mauritania covers a territory far to the south of the old Berber kingdom that had no relation with it. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The government of Mauritania was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. On 16 April 2009, General Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July elections, which he won. In Mauritania about 20% of the population live on less than US$1.25 per day.[7] SONY 147977821 Laptop Keyboard

Slavery in Mauritania has been called[by whom?] a major human rights issue[8] as well as female genital mutilation[citation needed], child labour, and human trafficking.

The Bafours were primarily agriculturalist, and among the first Saharan people to abandon their historically nomadic lifestyle.  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

With the gradual desiccation of the Sahara, they headed south.

Successive waves of migration to West Africa included not only Central Saharans, but in 1076, Moorish Islamic warrior monks (Almoravid or Al Murabitun) who attacked and conquered the ancient Ghana Empire. Over the next 500 years, SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

Arabsovercame fierce resistance from the local population (Berber and non-Berber alike) to dominate Mauritania. TheMauritanian Thirty-Year War (1644–74) was the unsuccessful final effort to repel the Yemeni Maqil Arab invaders led by the Beni Hassan tribe. TOSHIBA NSK-TAJ01 Laptop Keyboard

The descendants of the Beni Hassan warriors became the upper stratum of Moorish society. Berbers retained influence by producing the majority of the region's Marabouts—those who preserve and teach Islamic tradition. SONY VGN-FE770G Laptop Keyboard

Many of the Berber tribes claimed Yemeni (and sometimes other Arab) origin; there is little evidence to support such claims, though some studies do make a connection between the two.[9] Hassaniya, a Berber-influenced Arabic dialect that derives its name from the Beni Hassan, became the dominant language among the largely nomadic population. TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

Imperial France gradually absorbed the territories of present-day Mauritania from the Senegal river area and upwards, starting in the late 19th century. In 1901, Xavier Coppolani took charge of the imperial mission. Through a combination of strategic alliances with Zawiya tribes, and military pressure on the Hassane warrior nomads, DELL Inspiron 6400 Laptop Keyboard

he managed to extend French rule over the Mauritanian emirates. Trarza, Brakna and Tagant quickly submitted to treaties with the colonial power (1903–04), but the northern emirate of Adrar held out longer, Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

aided by the anticolonial rebellion (or jihad) of shaykh Maa al-Aynayn. It was finally defeated militarily in 1912, and incorporated into the territory of Mauritania, which had been drawn up in 1904. Mauritania would subsequently form part of French West Africa, from 1920.  HP Pavilion DV7-3186cl Laptop Keyboard

French rule brought legal prohibitions against slavery, and an end to interclan warfare. During the colonial period 90% of the population remained nomadic, but many sedentary peoples, whose ancestors had been expelled centuries earlier, began to trickle back into Mauritania. As the country gained independence in 1960, the capital cityNouakchott was founded at the site of a small colonial village, the Ksar. IBM Thinkpad T60 Laptop Keyboard

With independence, larger numbers of indigenous Sub-Saharan African peoples (Haalpulaar, Soninke, and Wolof) entered Mauritania, moving into the area north of the Senegal River. Educated in French language and customs, HP Pavilion DV9243EA Laptop Keyboard

many of these recent arrivals became clerks, soldiers, and administrators in the new state. This occurred as France militarily suppressed the most intransigent Hassane tribes of the Moorish north, shifting old balances of power, and creating new cause for conflict between the southern populations and Moors. HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

Between these groups stood the Haratin, a very large population of Arabized slaves of sub-Saharan African origins, who lived within Moorish society, integrated into a low-caste social position.[10] Modern-day slavery is still a common practice in Mauritania.[11] According to some estimates, up to 600,000 Mauritanians,  ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

or 20% of the population, are still enslaved.[12][13] A 2012 CNN report, "Slavery's Last Stronghold," by John D. Sutter, describes and documents the ongoing slave-owning cultures, including a compelling story about a former slave owner who is now an active abolitionist.[14] ACER AEZG5R00010 Laptop Keyboard

This social discrimination concerns mainly the "black Moors" (Haratin) in the northern part of the country, where tribal elites among “white Moors” (Beidane) hold sway, but low-caste groups within the sub-Saharan African ethnic groups of the south are affected by similar practices.

The great Sahel droughts of the early 1970s caused massive devastation in Mauritania. DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

Moors reacted to changing circumstances, and to Arab nationalist calls from abroad, by increasing pressure to Arabize many aspects of Mauritanian life, such as law and language. A schism developed between those Moors who consider Mauritania to be an Arab country and those who seek a dominant role for the non-Moorish peoples, TOSHIBA Satellite L655D-12L laptop keyboard

with various models for maintaining the country's cultural diversity being suggested, but none successfully implemented.

This ethnic discord was evident during intercommunal violence that broke out in April 1989 (the “1989 Events” and “Mauritania–Senegal Border War”), ASUS K030662M2 laptop keyboard

but which has since subsided. Some 70,000 sub-Saharan African Mauritanians were expelled from Mauritania in the late 1980s.[15] Ethnic tension and the sensitive issue of slavery – past and, in some areas, present – are still powerful themes in the country's political debate; a significant number from all groups, however, seek a more diverse, pluralistic society. HP Pavilion dv6-2155dx laptop keyboard

The government bureaucracy is composed of traditional ministries, special agencies, and parastatal companies. The Ministry of Interior spearheads a system of regional governors and prefects modeled on the French system of local administration. Under this system, Mauritania is divided into thirteen regions (wilaya), including the capital district,  HP Pavilion dv6-3015tx laptop keyboard

Nouakchott. Control is tightly concentrated in the executive branch of the central government, but a series of national and municipal elections since 1992 have produced limited decentralization. ACER TravelMate 8215WLMi laptop keyboard

Mauritania, along with Morocco, annexed the territory of Western Sahara in 1976, with Mauritania taking the lower one-third at the request of former imperial power Spain. After several military losses to the Polisario – heavily armed and supported by Algeria, the local hegemon and rival to Morocco – Mauritania withdrew in 1979,  HP Pavilion dv6-2165tx laptop keyboard

and its claims were taken over by Morocco. Due to economic weakness, Mauritania has been a negligible player in the territorial dispute, with its official position being that it wishes for an expedient solution that is mutually agreeable to all parties. While most of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco, the UN still considers the Western Sahara a territory that needs to express its wishes with respect to statehood.  SONY VAIO VGN NR298E laptop keyboard

A referendum is still supposed to be held sometime in the future, under UN auspices, to determine whether or not the indigenous Sahrawis wish to be independent as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, or to be part of Morocco. The Moroccan government has thus far blocked such a referendum. SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

Mauritania left the Franco-African Community to become an independent nation in November 1960.[16] In 1964 President Moktar Ould Daddah, originally installed by the French, formalized Mauritania as a one-party state with a new constitution, setting up an authoritarian presidential regime. Daddah's own Parti du Peuple Mauritanien (PPM) became the ruling organization in a single-party system. SONY VAIO PCG-FR415S laptop keyboard

The President justified this decision on the grounds that he considered Mauritania unready for western-style multi-party democracy. Under this one-party constitution, Daddah was reelected in uncontested elections in 1966, 1971 and 1976. He was ousted in a bloodless coup on 10 July 1978, after bringing the country to near-collapse through a disastrous war to annex the southern part of Western Sahara, framed as an attempt to create a “Greater Mauritania”.  Lenovo Thinkpad T520 laptop keyboard

Col. Mustafa Ould Salek's CMRN junta proved incapable of either establishing a strong base of power or extracting the country from its destabilizing conflict with the Sahrawi resistance movement, the Polisario Front. It quickly fell, to be replaced by another military government, the CMSN. The energetic Colonel Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidallah soon emerged as its strongman, IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X200 laptop keyboard

and by giving up all claims to Western Sahara, he found peace with the Polisario and improved relations with its main backer, Algeria – but relations with the other party to the conflict, Morocco, and its European ally France, deteriorated. Instability continued, and Haidallah's ambitious reform attempts foundered. DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

His regime was plagued by attempted coups and intrigue within the military establishment, and became increasingly contested due to his harsh and uncompromising measures against opponents; many dissidents were jailed, and some executed. In 1981 slavery was legally abolished, making Mauritania the last country in the world to abolish slavery. HP G72-227WM laptop keyboard

In 1980, Haidallah was deposed by Colonel Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, who, while retaining tight military control, relaxed the political climate somewhat. Ould Taya moderated Mauritania's previous pro-Algerian stance, and re-established ties with Morocco during the late 1980s, ties which deepened during the late 1990s and early 2000s as part of Mauritania's drive to attract support from Western states and Western-aligned Arab states.  TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S5097 Laptop Keyboard

Mauritania has not rescinded its recognition of Polisario's Western Saharan exile government, and remains on good terms with Algeria. Its position on the Western Sahara conflict is, since the 1980s, one of strict neutrality. HP AEAT8TPU017 Laptop Keyboard

Ordinance 83.127, enacted 5 June 1983, started the process of nationalization of all land not clearly the property of a documented owner, thus abolishing the traditional system of land tenure. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Potential nationalization was based on the concept of "dead land",[17] i.e., property which has not been developed or on which obvious development cannot be seen. A practical effect was government seizure of traditional grazing lands.[18]  HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Political parties, illegal during the military period, were legalized again in 1991. By April 1992, as civilian rule returned, 16 major political parties had been recognized; 12 major political parties were active in 2004. SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

 Most opposition parties boycotted the first legislative election in 1992, and for nearly a decade the parliament was dominated by the PRDS. The opposition participated in municipal elections in January–February 1994, and in subsequent Senateelections – most recently in April 2004 – and gained representation at the local level, FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

as well as three seats in the Senate. The Parti Républicain Démocratique et Social (PRDS), formerly led by President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, dominated Mauritanian politics after the country's first multi-party elections in April 1992, following the approval by referendum of the current constitution in July 1991. President Taya won elections in 1992 and 1997.  HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

This period was marked by extensive ethnic violence and human rights abuses. Between 1990 and 1991, a campaign of particularly extreme violence took place against a background of Arabization, interference with blacks' association rights, expropriation, expatriation and slavery. The slaves were mostly black.[19]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

In October 1987, the government allegedly uncovered a tentative coup d'État by a group of black army officers, backed, according to the authorities, bySenegal.[20] Fifty-one officers were arrested and subjected to interrogation and torture.[21] Heightened ethnic tensions were the catalyst for the Mauritania–Senegal Border War, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

which started as a result of a conflict in Diawara between Moorish Mauritanian herders and Senegalese farmers over grazing rights.[22] On 9 April 1989, Mauritanian guards killed two Senegalese.[23] Following the incident, several riots erupted in Bakel, TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

Dakar and other towns in Senegal, directed against the mainly Moorish Mauritanians who dominated the local retail business. The rioting, added to already existing tensions, led to a campaign of terror against black Mauritanians,[24] who are often seen as 'Senegalese' by Beidanes, regardless of their actual nationality. ACER Aspire 5930 Laptop Keyboard

As conflict with Senegal continued into 1990/91, the Mauritanian government engaged in or encouraged acts of violence and seizures of property directed against blacks. The war culminated in an international airlift agreed to by Senegal and Mauritania under international pressure to prevent further violence. HP G71-343US Laptop Keyboard

The Mauritanian Government expelled tens of thousands of black Mauritanians. Most of these so-called 'Senegalese' had no ties to Senegal, and many still reside in refugee camps in Mali and Senegal.[25] The exact number of expulsions is not known but the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that, as of June 1991, there were 52,995 Mauritanian refugees in Senegal and at least 13,000 in Mali.[26] HP Pavilion G7-1150US Laptop Keyboard

From November 1990 to February 1991, between 500 and 600 Fulas and Soninke political prisoners were executed or tortured to death by government forces. They were among 3,000 to 5,000 blacks – predominantly soldiers and civil servants – arrested between October 1990 and mid-January 1991,[27] HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

on the basis of alleged involvement in an attempt to overthrow the government.[28] A military investigation was put in place by the government and the results were never made public.[29] In order to guarantee immunity for those responsible and to block any attempts at accountability for past abuses, an amnesty[30] was declared by the Parliament in June 1993 covering all crimes committed by the armed forces,  HP G62-a20SQ laptop keyboard

security forces as well as civilians, between April 1989 and April 1992. The government offered compensation to families of victims, which a few accepted in lieu of settlement.[28] Despite this amnesty, some Mauritanians have denounced the involvement of the government in the arrests and killings.[31] TOSHIBA Satellite A300-1BZ laptop keyboard

In the late 1980s, Ould Taya had established close co-operation with Iraq, and pursued a strongly Arab Nationalist line. Mauritania grew increasingly isolated internationally, and tensions with Western countries grew dramatically after it took a pro-Iraqi position during the 1991 Gulf War. During the mid-to late 1990s, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ19VN laptop keyboard

Mauritania shifted its foreign policy to one of increased co-operation with the US and Europe, and was rewarded with diplomatic normalization and aid projects. On 28 October 1999, joined Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan as the only members of the Arab League to officially recognize Israel. Ould Taya also started co-operating with the United States in anti-terrorism activities, a policy which was criticized by some human rights organizations.[32][33] (See also Foreign relations of Mauritania.) SONY VAIO VGN-FS115ZR laptop keyboard

A group of current and former Army officers launched a bloody, unsuccessful coup attempt on 8 June 2003. The leaders of the attempted coup were never caught. Mauritania's presidential election, its third since adopting the democratic process in 1992, took place on 7 November 2003. Six candidates, Packard Bell Easynote LM82 laptop keyboard

including Mauritania's first female and first Haratine (former slavefamily) candidates, represented a wide variety of political goals and backgrounds. Incumbent President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya won reelection with 67.02% of the popular vote, according to the official figures, with Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidallafinishing second. HP Pavilion dv6-3230us laptop keyboard

On 3 August 2005, a military coup led by Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall ended Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya's twenty-one years of rule. Taking advantage of Taya's attendance at the funeral of Saudi King Fahd, the military, COMPAQ Presario CQ50-210US laptop keyboard

including members of the presidential guard, seized control of key points in the capital of Nouakchott. The coup proceeded without loss of life, and the officers, calling themselves the Military Council for Justice and Democracy, released the following statement: HP 590527-001 laptop keyboard

"The national armed forces and security forces have unanimously decided to put a definitive end to the oppressive activities of the defunct authority, which our people have suffered from during the past years."[34] TOSHIBA PK13CW10200 laptop keyboard

The Military Council later issued another statement naming Colonel Vall as president and director of the national police force, the Sûreté Nationale. Vall, once regarded as a firm ally of the now-ousted president, had aided Taya in the coup which had originally brought him to power, and had later served as his security chief. Sixteen other officers were listed as members of the Council. HP Pavilion dv6-2143ez laptop keyboard

Though cautiously watched by the international community, the coup came to be generally accepted, with the military junta organizing elections within a promised two-year timeline. In a referendum on 26 June 2006, Mauritanians overwhelmingly (97%) approved a new constitution which limited the duration of a president's stay in office. The leader of the junta, Col. SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

Vall, promised to abide by the referendum and relinquish power peacefully. Mauritania's establishment of relations with Israel – it is one of only three Arab states to recognize Israel – was maintained by the new regime, despite widespread criticism from the opposition, who viewed it as a legacy of the Taya regime's attempts to curry favor with the West. HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

The head of the Presidential Guards took over the president's palace in Nouakchott on 6 August 2008, a day after 48 lawmakers from the ruling party resigned in protest of President Abdallahi's policies[which?]. The army surrounded key government facilities, including the state television building, after the president fired senior officers, DELL Inspiron MINI 1010 laptop keyboard

one of them the head of the presidential guards.[36] The President, Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghef, and Minister of Internal Affairs Mohamed Ould R'zeizim were arrested.

The coup was co-ordinated by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, SONY VAIO VGN-CR12GH laptop keyboard

former chief of staff of the Mauritanian army and head of the Presidential Guard, one of the officers whom the president had recently fired. Mauritania's presidential spokesman, Abdoulaye Mamadouba, said the President, Prime Minister, and Interior Minister had been arrested by renegade Senior Mauritanian army officers and were being held under house arrest at the presidential palace in Nouakchott.[37][38][39]  Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

In the apparently successful and bloodless coup d'état, Abdallahi's daughter, Amal Mint Cheikh Abdallahi, said: "The security agents of the BASEP (Presidential Security Battalion) came to our home and took away my father."[40] The coup plotters, HP SG-46100-XUA laptop keyboard

all dismissed in a presidential decree shortly beforehand, included Abdel Aziz, General Muhammad Ould Al-Ghazwani, General Philippe Swikri, and Brigadier General (Aqid) Ahmad Ould Bakri.[41] Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

A Mauritanian lawmaker, Mohammed Al Mukhtar, claimed that many of the country's people were supporting the takeover of a government that had become "an authoritarian regime" under a president who had "marginalized the majority in parliament."[42] The coup was also backed by Abdallahi's rival in the 2007 election, Ahmed Ould Daddah. HP Pavilion DV7-3060us laptop keyboard

However, Abdel Aziz's regime was isolated internationally, and became subject to diplomatic sanctions and the cancellation of some aid projects. It found few supporters (among them Morocco, Libya and Iran), while Algeria, the United States, TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6959 laptop keyboard

France and other European countries criticized the coup, and continued to refer to Abdallahi as the legitimate president of Mauritania. Domestically, a group of parties coalesced around Abdallahi to continue protesting the coup, which caused the junta to ban demonstrations and crack down on opposition activists. International and internal pressure eventually forced the release of Abdallahi,  HP Probook 4710S Laptop Keyboard

who was instead placed under house arrest in his home village. The new government broke off relations with Israel. In March 2010, Mauritania's female foreign minister Mint Hamdi Ould Mouknass announced that Mauritania had cut ties with Israel in a "complete and definitive way."[43] HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

Abdel Aziz had since the coup insisted on holding new presidential elections to replace Abdallahi, but was forced to reschedule them due to internal and international opposition. However, during the spring of 2009, the junta negotiated an understanding with some opposition figures and international parties, which dramatically changed the situation. SONY VAIO VGN-FS315M Laptop Keyboard

Abdallahi formally resigned, under protest, as it became clear that some opposition forces had defected from him and most international players, notably including France and Algeria, now lined up behind Abdel Aziz. The United States continued to criticize the coup, but did not actively oppose the elections. ACER Aspire One D150-1920 Laptop Keyboard

Abdallahi's resignation allowed the election of Abdel Aziz as civilian president, on 18 July, by a 52% majority. Many of Abdallahi's former supporters criticized this as a political ploy and refused to recognize the results. They argued that the election had been falsified due to junta control, and complained that the international community had let down the opposition. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Despite marginal complaints, the elections were almost unanimously accepted by Western, Arab and African countries, which lifted sanctions and resumed relations with Mauritania. By late summer, Abdel Aziz appeared to have secured his position and to have gained widespread international and internal support, HP Mini 210-1109TU Laptop Keyboard

although several[which?] influential parties and political personalities, notably Senate chairman Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, continued to refuse the new order and call for Abdel Aziz's resignation. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

In February 2011, the waves of the Arab Spring spread to Mauritania, where hundreds of people took to the streets of Nouakchott[clarification needed].[44]

At 397,929 square miles (1,030,631 km2),[2] Mauritania is the world's 29th-largest country (after Bolivia). It is comparable in size to Egypt. It lies mostly between latitudes 14° and 26°N, and longitudes 5° and 17°W (small areas are east of 5° and west of 17°). SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

Mauritania is generally flat, with vast arid plains broken by occasional ridges and cliff-like outcroppings. A series of scarps face south-west, longitudinally bisecting these plains in the center of the country. HP Mini 210-1095TU Laptop Keyboard

The scarps also separate a series of sandstone plateaus, the highest of which is the Adrar Plateau, reaching an elevation of 500 meters (1,640 ft). Spring-fed oases lie at the foot of some of the scarps. Isolated peaks, often rich in minerals, rise above the plateaus; the smaller peaks are called guelbs and the larger ones kedias. HP Pavilion G60-230 Laptop Keyboard

The concentric Guelb er Richat (also known as the Richat Structure) is a prominent feature of the north-central region. Kediet ej Jill, near the city of Zouîrât, has an elevation of 915 meters (3,002 ft) and is the highest peak. HP Envy 15-1050es Laptop Keyboard

Approximately three quarters of Mauritania is desert or semidesert. As a result of extended, severe drought, the desert has been expanding since the mid-1960s. To the west, between the ocean and the plateaus, are alternating areas of clayey plains (regs) and sand dunes (ergs), some of which shift from place to place, gradually moved by high winds. The dunes generally increase in size and mobility toward the north. DELL E141395 Laptop Keyboard

Despite being rich in natural resources, Mauritania has one of the lowest GDP rates in Africa. A majority of the population still depends on agriculture and livestock for a livelihood, even though most of the nomads and many subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s. ACER Aspire 5613 Laptop Keyboard

Mauritania has extensive deposits of iron ore, which account for almost 50% of total exports. With the current rises in metal prices, gold and copper mining companies are opening mines in the interior. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The country's first deepwater port opened near Nouakchott in 1986. In recent years, drought and economic mismanagement have resulted in a buildup of foreign debt. In March 1999, the government signed an agreement with a joint World Bank-International Monetary Fund mission on a $54 million enhanced structural adjustment facility (ESAF).  HP Envy 15-1040er Laptop Keyboard

The economic objectives have been set for 1999–2002. Privatization remains one of the key issues. Mauritania is unlikely to meet ESAF's annual GDP growth objectives of 4%–5%.

Oil was discovered in Mauritania in 2001 in the offshore Chinguetti field. Although potentially significant for the Mauritanian economy, SONY KFRSBA019A Laptop Keyboard

it remains to be seen how much it will help the country. Mauritania has been described as a "desperately poor desert nation, which straddles the Arab and African worlds and is Africa's newest, if small-scale, oil producer."[45]There may be additional oil reserves inland in the Taoudeni basin, although the harsh environment will make extraction expensive.[46] HP Pavilion dv3-2175ee laptop keyboard

Under the Abdallahi government there was a widespread public perception of governmental corruption and a lack of access to government information. Sexism, female genital mutilation, child labour, human trafficking, and the political marginalization of largely southern-based ethnic groups continued to be problems.[47] SONY VAIO VGN-N37GH/B laptop keyboard

Following the 2008 coup, the military government of Mauritania faced severe international sanctions and internal unrest, and was accused by Amnesty International of practicing coordinated torture against criminal and political detainees.[48] Amnesty has accused the Mauritanian legal system, SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

both before and after the 2008 coup, of functioning with complete disregard for legal procedure, fair trial, or humane imprisonment. The organization has further accused the Mauritanian government of institutionalized and continuous use of torture throughout its post independence history.[49][50][51]  HP Pavilion DV7-3100 laptop keyboard

Since its independence, charges have been made[by whom?] that Mauritania's society has been characterised by discrimination towards black populations, mainly Fula and Soninké, which are seen as contesting the political, economic and social dominance of Moors. Mauritanian blacks allegedly face discrimination in employment in the civil service,  ACER TravelMate 4650 Series laptop keyboard

the administration of justice before regular and religious courts, access to loans and credits from banks and state owned enterprise, and opportunity for education and vocational training. These are the stated reasons why armed groups like the now exiled FLAM have carried out low level rebellions in the southern part of Mauritania. SONY VAIO VGN-FS710/W laptop keyboard

Various[which?] forms of slavery still persist in Mauritania. Though legally abolished in 1981, it did not become a crime to own slaves until 2007. According to the US State Department 2010 Human Rights Report,[53] abuses in Mauritania include:  HP Pavilion tx2532la laptop keyboard

"...mistreatment of detainees and prisoners; security force impunity; lengthy pretrial detention; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary arrests; limits on freedom of the press and assembly; corruption; discrimination against women; female genital mutilation (FGM); child marriage; political marginalization of southern-based ethnic groups; racial and ethnic discrimination; slavery and slavery-related practices; and child labor."  SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

The report continues: "Government efforts were not sufficient to enforce the antislavery law. No cases have been successfully prosecuted under the antislavery law despite the fact that de facto slavery exists in Mauritania." SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Sentenced to six months in jail in January 2011, Oumoulmoumnine Mint Bakar Vall is the only person prosecuted to date for owning slaves. It has recently been estimated that 10% to 20% (340,000 to 680,000 people) of the population of Mauritania lives in slavery.[54] HP G61-424CA Laptop Keyboard

The government of Mauritania denies the existence of slavery in the country. In an interview, the Mauritanian Minister of rural development, Brahim Ould M'Bareck Ould Med El Moctar, responded to human rights abuse accusations by stating; "I must tell you that in Mauritania, freedom is total: freedom of thought, DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

equality – of all men and women of Mauritania....in all cases, especially with this government, this is in the past. There are probably former relationships – slavery relationships and familial relationships from old days and of the older generations, maybe, or descendants who wish to continue to be in relationships with descendants of their old masters, GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

for familial reasons, or out of affinity, and maybe also for economic interests. But (slavery) is something that is totally finished. All people are free in Mauritania and this phenomenon no longer exists. And I believe that I can tell you that no one profits from this commerce." [55] TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 Laptop Keyboard

A tiny fishing town of 200 people[1] until 1958, Nouakchott was little mentioned during pre-colonial and colonial history. It is possible that the Berber Muslim Almoravids were originally from the area. Despite its name, based on a Berber expression meaning "place of the winds",[2] the city was selected as the capital city for its moderate climate and central location within the country.[3] It also sat on one of the most valuable trade routes to West Africa.[2] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Located on the Atlantic coast of the Sahara Desert, it lies on the west coast of Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean. With the exception of Nouakchott Wharf and a deep water port, the coastal strip is mostly left empty and allowed to flood. The coastline includes shifting sandbanks and sandy beaches.[2]  DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

There are also areas of quicksand close to the harbour.[8] The city is being covered by the sand dunes advancing from its eastern side (salmon-coloured on image to left), which pose a daily problem.[9]There have been efforts to save particular areas, including work by Jean Meunier.[10] The city is largely flat.[5] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Owing to the rapid build-up, the city is quite spread out, with few tall buildings. Most buildings are one-storey only.[5] It also often acts as an interface between urban Mauritanians and their nomadic fellow citizens.  ACER Aspire 5742ZG Laptop Keyboard

Nouakchott is built around a large tree-lined street, Avenue Abdel Nasir, which runs northeast through the city centre from the airport. Other major streets are named (in French) for notable Mauritanian or international figures of the 1960s: Avenue Abdel Nasser, Avenue Charles de Gaulle, Avenue Kennedy, and Avenue Lumumba, for example.[11] TOSHIBA V072426CS1 Laptop Keyboard

The city is broken into numbered arrondissements, sub-divided into alphabetised Îlots. The Cinquième Arrondissement is home to a large shopping area.[11]

Nouakchott has a deep-sea port, opened in 1986, primarily used for imports. Annually, imports account for around 96.4% of traffic at the port. It handles 500,000[2]−800,000[1] tonnes of cargo a year. Recently, China has agreed to invest US$282 million in the port, SONY VAIO VGN-AW170YIQ Laptop Keyboard

aiming to extend the main quay, the deepwater Quay of Friendship, by 500 m (1,640.42 ft).[2] A 1,100 kilometres (680 mi) road connects the city with Néma via Boutilimit and Kiffa.[2] The city also features an internationalairport, Nouakchott International Airport.[15] Road transport is problematic, the main problem being overcrowded roads. Fuel for cars is also hard to obtain in Nouakchott.[16] HP Pavilion dv6-3020tu Laptop Keyboard

An agreement was signed on August 5, 2007 between Mauritania, Sudan, and China to build a $630m Mauritania Railway linking the port of Nouakchott and phosphate mines at Bofal, about 430 km (270 mi) away. The line goes near the border with Senegal. HP Pavilion dv6-3047eo Laptop Keyboard

As of 2000, it is the home to over 30 international or diplomatic institutions.[1]

Attractions in Nouakchott include Nouakchott Museum, several markets including Nouakchott Silver Market, and the beaches.[11] One beach is devoted to fishing boats where various species of fish can be bought fresh. HP Pavilion dv2-1003ax Laptop Keyboard

The city also hosts the National Library and National Archives. Nouakchott is the principal location in Africa for world distribution of native Saharanmeteorites.

There is a mosque donated by Saudi Arabia in the city centre, and a Moroccan mosque further south.[7] Although Islam is the state religion in Mauritania, Nouakchott includes the Cathedral of St. Joseph, a Catholic cathedral. It is home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nouakchott, founded in 1965.[24] HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

Until after the Second World War almost all the Africans living in the colonies of France were not citizens of France. Rather they were "French Subjects", lacking rights before the law, property ownership rights, rights to travel, dissent, or vote. The exception were the Four Communes of Senegal: those areas had been towns of the tiny Senegal Colony in 1848 when, at the abolition of slavery by the French Second Republic, Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

all residents of France were granted equal political rights. Anyone able to prove they were born in these towns was legally French. They could vote in parliamentary elections, which had been previously dominated by white and Métis residents of Senegal. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

The Four Communes of Senegal were entitled to elect a Deputy to represent them in the French Parliament in the years 1848–1852, 1871–1876, and 1879–1940. In 1914, the first African, Blaise Diagne, was elected as the Deputy for Senegal in the French Parliament. In 1916, COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Diagne pushed through the National Assembly a law (Loi Blaise Diagne) granting full citizenship to all residents of the so-called Four Communes. In return, he had promised to help recruit millions of Africans to fight in World War I. Thereafter, all black Africans of Dakar, Gorée, Saint-Louis, and Rufisque could vote to send a representative to the French National Assembly. SONY Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H laptop keyboard

As the French pursued their part in the scramble for Africa in the 1880s and 1890s, they conquered large inland areas, and at first ruled them as either a part of the Senegal colony, or as independent entities. These conquered areas were usually governed by French Army officers, and dubbed "Military Territories". In the late 1890s, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

the French government began to rein in the territorial expansion of its "officers on the ground", and transferred all the territories west of Gabon to a single Governor based in Senegal, reporting directly to the Minister of Overseas Affairs. The first Governor General of Senegal was named in 1895, and in 1904, HP Pavilion DV7t-2200 CTO laptop keyboard

the territories he oversaw were formally named French West Africa (AOF). Gabon would later become the seat of its own federation French Equatorial Africa (AEF), which was to border its western neighbor on the modern boundary between Niger and Chad.  SONY VAIO VGN-NW15L laptop keyboard

Following the Fall of France, during World War II, the French colonies sided with the Vichy government. Two battleswere subsequently fought to bring the colonies over to the side of the Free French. These battles met with mixed success. Free French forces took control of Gabon and French Equatorial Africa, while French West Africa remained under Vichy control until the Allied landings in North Africa (Operation Torch) in November 1942. HP Pavilion DV7-2013tx laptop keyboard

Following World War II, the French government began a process of extending limited political rights in its colonies. In 1945 the French Provisional Government allocated ten seats to French West Africa in the new Constituent Assembly called to write a new French Constitution. Of these five would be elected by citizens (which only in the Four Communes could an African hope to win) and five by African subjects. TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 laptop keyboard

The elections brought to prominence a new generation of French-educated Africans. On 21 October 1945 six Africans were elected, the Four Communes citizens chose Lamine Gueye, HP Pavilion dv6-2159tx laptop keyboard

Senegal/Mauritania Leopold Sedar Senghor, Ivory Coast/Upper Volta Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Dahomey/Togo Sourou Migan Apithy, Soudan-Niger Fily Dabo Sissoko, and Guinea Yacine Diallo.[1] They were all re-elected to the 2nd Constituent Assembly on 2 June 1946. HP Pavilion DV7-3165dx laptop keyboard

In 1946, the loi Lamine Guèye granted some limited citizenship rights to natives of the African colonies. The French Empire was renamed the French Union on 27 October 1946, when the new constitutution of the French Fourth Republic was established. In late 1946 under this new constitution each territory was for the first time (excepting the Four Communes) able elect local representatives, Lenovo Thinkpad T520 laptop keyboard

albeit on a limited franchise, to newly established General Councils. These elected bodies had only limited consultative powers, although they did approve local budgets. The Loi Cadre of 23 June 1956 brought universal suffrage to elections held after that date in all French African colonies. HP Pavilion dv6-3020tu laptop keyboard

The first elections under universal suffrage in French West Africa were the municipal elections of late 1956. Territorial Assembly elections were held in each of the eight colonies (Togo as a UN trust Territory was by this stage on a different trajectory) on 31 March 1957 under universal suffrage, and the leaders of the winning parties appointed to the newly instituted position of Vice-President of the Governing Council—French Colonial Governors remained as Presidents. SONY VAIO VGN-FS760/W laptop keyboard

The Constitution of the French Fifth Republic of 1958 again changed the structure of the colonies from the French Union to the French Community. Each territory was to become a "Protectorate" with the consultative assembly named a National Assembly. The Governor appointed by the French was renamed the "High Commissioner", TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3001 laptop keyboard

and made head of state of each territory. The Assembly would name an African as Head of Government with advisory powers to the Head of State. Legally, the federation ceased to exist after the September 1958 referendum to approve this French Community. All the colonies except Guinea voted to remain in the new structure. Guineans[2] HP Envy 15-1040er laptop keyboard

voted overwhelmingly for independence. In 1960, a further revision of the French constitution, compelled by the failure of the French Indochina War and the tensions in Algeria, allowed members of the French Community to unilaterally change their own constitutions. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ19VN laptop keyboard

Senegal and former French Sudan became the Mali Federation (1960–61), while Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Upper Volta and Dahomey subsequently formed the short-lived Sahel-Benin Union, later the Conseil de l'Entente. SONY VAIO VGN-CR220E laptop keyboard

Mauritania was part of the larger French colony of French West Africa, and as such had no capital during the colonial period: Saint-Louis, in Senegal, held that position. In 1957, this small port town was chosen to be the capital of the new country, and an ambitious building program was begun to increase its population to 15,000, DELL 1R28D Laptop Keyboard

starting a year later.[4] In 1958, Mauritania was formed as an autonomous republic in the French Community, and in 1960 it became an independent country, with Nouakchott as its capital.

The administrative structure of French colonial possessions in West Africa, while more homogeneous than neighboring British possessions, was marked by variety and flux.  GATEWAY V030946FS1 US Laptop Keyboard

Throughout the history of the AOF, individual colonies and military territories were reorganised numerous times,[3] as was the Government General in Dakar.  HP Mini 210-2070sb laptop keyboard

French Upper Volta was formed and parceled out to neighboring colonies twice. The future states of Mauritania and Niger remained out of the federation until the 1920s and 1940s respectively.[citation needed] They were Military Territories, HP Mini 110-3109sl laptop keyboard

directly controlled by the French Army.[citation needed] World War II, and the passing of the Loi Cadre (Overseas Reform Act of 1956), both radically restructured the administration of the colonies. French Togoland, seized by France from Germany in World War I, was for most of this period not nominally a colony but a Mandate territory. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

In theory, the Governors General of the AOF reported directly to the Minister of Colonies in Paris, while individual colonies and territories reported only to Dakar. Originally created in 1895 as a union of Senegal, French Sudan, French Guinea andCôte d'Ivoire only, the federation was placed on a permanent footing in 1904.  Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

A governor-general was based first in Saint-Louis, then (from 1902) in Dakar (both in Senegal, the oldest French settlement). The AOF subsequently expanded to neighbouring French-ruled territories: Dahomey was added in 1904, after having been put under colonial tutelage in 1892;Mauritania in 1920,[4] LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 laptop keyboard

and when the territory of Upper Volta was divided from French Sudan by colonial decree in 1921, it automatically also entered the AOF.[5] Between 1934 and 1937, the League of Nations Mandate territory of French Togoland was subsumed into Dahomey,  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

and between its seizure from Germany in World War I and independence it was administered through the AOF. In 1904, both Mauritania and Niger were classed "Military Territories": ruled by the AOF in conjunction with officers of the French Colonial Forces. HP Pavilion dv6-3023sy laptop keyboard

Despite this state of flux, and with the exception of the Senegalese Communes, the administrative structure of French rule at the lower levels remained constant, based upon the Cercle system. This was the smallest unit of French political administration in French Colonial Africa that was headed by a European officer. They might range in size, ACER Travelmate 4670 laptop keyboard

but French Sudan(modern Mali) consisted of less than a dozen Cercles for most of its existence. Thus, a Cercle Commander might be the absolute authority over hundreds of thousands of Africans. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460EB laptop keyboard

A Cercle consisted of several cantons, each of which in turn consisted of several villages, and was almost universal in France's African colonies from 1895 to 1946.

The "Cercle Commander" ("commandant de cercle") was subject to the authority of a District Commander, and the government of the colony above him, HP Pavilion DV6z artist edition 2 laptop keyboard

but was independent of the Military structure (outside of Military areas, e.g.: modern Niger andMauritania prior to the Second World War). Below the "Cercle Commander" were a series of African "Chefs de canton" and "Chefs du Village": "chiefs" appointed by the French and subject to removal by the Europeans. HP Pavilion DV7-3069wm laptop keyboard

As well, the "Cercle Commander" made use of a large number of servants, employees, and African officers such as the "Gardes-de-cercle" police, any military units seconded to them by government authorities, and sub-administrators such as the Precepteur du marché trade inspectors, etc. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Because of administrative practice and geographic isolation

, Cercle Commanders had a tremendous amount of power over the lives of the Africans around them. The Cercle Commanders also had tremendous power over the economic and political life of their territories. Legally, all Africans outside the Four Communes of Senegal were "subjects" DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

under the Indigénat legal code of 1885. This code gave summary powers to French administrators, including the rights to arrest, try, punish and imprison subjects. It also gave French local authorities the right to requisition forced labour, usually limited to able-bodied men for a few weeks a year, but in practice having few restrictions. SONY VAIO VGN-N350N laptop keyboard

These "tools" included the Civilizing mission ideology common in the period following the First World War. Every new Cercle Commander might well bring with him vast projects for development and the restructuring of the people's lives he governed. GATEWAY V030946FS1 US laptop keyboard

he other official office particular to the local administration of French West Africa was the "Chief". These were Africans appointed by French officials for their loyalty to France, regardless of their rights to local power. HP G62-147NR Laptop Keyboard

These chiefs were assigned created territories based on the scale of a French Canton, as well as on the small scale tribal structures the French found in the coastal areas of the Rivières du Sud colony in the 1880s, modern Guinea. DELL 9Z.N1K82.C01 laptop keyboard

The Canton, then, was much smaller than, and qualitatively different from, the precolonial states of the Sahel (such as the Toucouleur Empire) which the French would later conquer.[6]

They were styled "Chefs de canton", "Chefs du Village", or occasionally taking the title of precolonial states assimilated by the French structure wholeDELL NSK-DG101 Laptop Keyboard

This last was uncommon, but became more prevalent in the later colonial territories conquered, as fewer administrators were available to rule over larger, less populated territories with strong pre-colonial state structures.  HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Where these larger polities resisted the French, they were often broken into small chiefdoms. Larger polities which presented a segment of the elite who would work with the French, were maintained under new leadership. The Sultan of Agadez, SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 Laptop Keyboard

the Sultan of Damagaram, and the Djermakoy of Dosso are examples of these large scale "Chefs de canton". But even these rulers were replaced by individuals handpicked by French authorities.

Regardless of source, chiefs were given the right to arm small numbers of guards and made responsible for the collection of taxes, the recruitment of forced labour,  HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

and the enforcement of "Customary Law". In general, Canton Chiefs served at the behest of their Cercle Commander, and were left to see to their own affairs as long as calm was maintained and Administrative orders were carried out. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

With an area of some 4,689,000 square kilometres (1,810,000 sq mi) (mostly the desert or semi-desert interior of Mauritania, Sudan and Niger) extending from Africa's westernmost point to the depths of the Sahara, the federation contained more than ten million inhabitants at its creation, and some 25 million at its dissolution. ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

The AOF included all of the Senegal River valley, most of the Niger River valley, and most of the West African Sahel region. It also included tropical forests in Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea, the Futa Djallon highlands, and the Aïr Mountains of modern Niger. TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

The Polisario Front, Frente Polisario, FRELISARIO or simply POLISARIO, from the Spanish abbreviation of FrentePopular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro ("Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro" Arabic: الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير ساقية الحمراء و وادي الذهب‎TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

Al-Jabhat Al-Sha'abiyah Li-Tahrir Saqiya Al-Hamra'a wa Wadi Al-Dhahab), is aSahrawi rebel national liberation movement working for ending Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. The Polisario Front is an observer member of the Socialist International.[1]

The Polisario Front is outlawed in the parts of Western Sahara under Moroccan control, and raising its flag is illegal.[2] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Polisario Front is a successor of 1950s and 1960s organization Movimiento para la Liberación del Sahara, of the city of Villa Cisneros.[citation needed]

Since 1979, the Polisario Front has been recognized by the United Nations as the representative of the people of Western Sahara.[3] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

In 1971 a group of young Sahrawi students in the universities of Morocco began organizing what came to be known as The Embryonic Movement for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro[citation needed]. HP Mini 110-3004tu Laptop Keyboard

After attempting in vain to gain backing from several Arab governments, including both Algeria and Morocco, but only drawing faint notices of support fromLibya and Mauritania, the movement eventually relocated to Spanish-controlled Western Sahara to start an armed rebellion. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4047 Laptop Keyboard

The Polisario Front was formally constituted on May 10, 1973 with the express intention of militarily forcing an end toSpanish colonization. Its first Secretary General was El-Ouali Mustapha Sayed. On May 20, he led the Khanga raid, Polisario's first armed action,[citation needed] in which a Spanish post manned by a team of Tropas Nomadas (Sahrawi-staffed auxiliary forces) DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

was overrun and rifles seized. Polisario then gradually gained control over large swaths of desert countryside, and its power grew from early 1975 when the Tropas Nomadas began deserting to the Polisario, bringing weapons and training with them. At this point, Polisario's manpower included perhaps 800 men and women, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

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but they were suspected to backed by a much larger network of supporters. A UN visiting mission headed by Simeon Aké that was conducted in June 1975 concluded that Sahrawi support for independence (as opposed to Spanish rule or integration with a neighbouring country) amounted to an "overwhelming consensus" and that the Polisario Front was the most powerful political force in the country.[4] SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

While Spain started negotiating a handover of power in the summer of 1975, in the end the regime of Francisco Francodecided to throw in its lot with Western Sahara's neighbors instead[citation needed]. SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

After Moroccan pressures through the Green March of November 6 and the Moroccan Army previous invasion of eastern Saguia el-Hamra of October 31, Spain entered negotiations that led to the signing of the Madrid Accords between Spain, Morocco and Mauritania. Upon Spain's withdrawal, HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

and in application of the Madrid Accords in 1976, Morocco took over Saguia El Hamra while Mauritania took control of Rio De Oro. The Polisario Front proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic on February 27, Compaq Presario CQ56-102SE laptop keyboard

1976, and waged a guerrilla war against both Morocco and Mauritania. The World Court at The Hague had issued its verdict on the former Spanish colony just weeks before, which each party interpreted as confirming its rights to the disputed territory. TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6010L laptop keyboard

The POLISARIO kept up the guerrilla war while they simultaneously had to help guard the columns of Sahrawi refugees fleeing, but after the air bombings by the Royal Moroccan Air Force on improvised Sahrawi refugee camps in Umm Dreiga, Tifariti, Guelta Zemmur and Amgala, the Front had to relocate the refugees to Tindouf (western region of Algeria). HP 9J.NOL82.W01 laptop keyboard

For the next two years the movement grew tremendously as Sahrawi refugees continued flocking to the camps and Algeria and Libya supplied arms and funding. Within months, its army had expanded to several thousand armed fighters, camels were replaced by modern jeeps (most of them were Spanish Land Rover Santana jeeps, FUJITSU Lifebook S7210 laptop keyboard

captured from Moroccan soldiers), and 19th-century muskets were replaced by assault rifles. The reorganized army was able to inflict severe damage throughguerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks against opposing forces in Western Sahara and in Morocco and Mauritania proper. Packard Bell Easynote LM94 laptop keyboard

The weak Mauritanian regime of Moktar Ould Daddah, whose army numbered under 3,000 men,[5] proved unable to fend off the guerrilla incursions. After repeated strikes at the country's principal source of income, the iron mines of Zouerate, the government was nearly incapacitated by the lack of funds and the ensuing internal disorder.[6] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Ethnic unrest in theMauritanian armed forces also strongly contributed to the ineffectiveness of the army: forcibly conscripted black Africansfrom the south of the country resisted getting involved in what they viewed as a northern intra-Arab dispute, SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard

and the Moors and Sahrawis of northern Mauritania often sympathized with POLISARIO, fearing the regional ambitions of Morocco, and Daddah's increasing dependence on Moroccan military support. HP Pavilion DV6t-4000 laptop keyboard

The regime was not saved even by overt French Air Force backing in 1978, when SEPECAT Jaguar fighters strafed and bombed Polisario guerrilla columns en route to Mauritania. Also, the death of POLISARIO leader El Ouali in a raid on Nouakchottdid not have the anticipated result in the collapse of Sahrawi morale. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Instead, he was replaced by Mohamed Abdelaziz, with no letup in the pace of attacks. The Daddah regime finally fell in 1978 to a coup d'état led by war-weary military officers,[7] who immediately agreed to a cease fire with the POLISARIO. COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

A comprehensive peace treaty was signed on August 5, 1979, in which the new government recognized Sahrawi rights to Western Sahara and relinquished its own claims. Mauritania withdrew all its forces and would later proceed to formally recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard

causing a massive rupture in relations with Morocco. King Hassan II of Morocco immediately claimed the area of Western Sahara evacuated by Mauritania (Tiris al-Gharbiya, roughly corresponding to the southern half of Río de Oro), which was unilaterally annexed by Morocco in August 1979.[8] HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

A cease-fire between the Polisario Front and Morocco, monitored by MINURSO (UN), has been in effect since September 6, 1991, on the promise of a referendum on independence the following year. However, the referendum stalled over disagreements on voter rights. Numerous attempts to restart the process (most significantly the launching of the 2003Baker plan) ACER Aspire 1410-742G16n Laptop Keyboard

seem to have failed. The POLISARIO has repeatedly threatened to resume hostilities if a referendum cannot be held, and claims that the current situation of "neither peace, nor war" is unsustainable. Pressures on the leadership from the refugee population to resume fighting are apparent, but to date the cease fire (unlike the referendum promise) has been respected. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

In April 2007, the government of Morocco suggested that a self-governing entity, through the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), should govern the territory with some degree of autonomy for Western Sahara. The project was presented to the United Nations Security Council in mid-April 2007, HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

 and quickly gained French and US support. POLISARIO had handed in its own proposal the day before, which insisted on the previously agreed referendum, but allowed for negotiating the status of Moroccans now living in the territory should the outcome of a referendum be in favor of independence. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The stalemate led the UN Security Council to ask the parties to enter into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach "a mutually accepted political solution".[9] This led to the negotiations process known as the Manhasset negotiations. Four rounds were held in 2007 and 2008; no progress was made, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7305 Laptop Keyboard

however, as both parties refused to compromise about what they considered core sovereignty issues. POLISARIO agreed to add autonomy as per the Moroccan proposal to a referendum ballot, but refused to relinquish the concept of an independence referendum itself, SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

as agreed in 1991 and 1997. Morocco, in its turn, insisted on only negotiating the terms of autonomy offered, but refused to consider an option of independence on the ballot.  DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

In May 2010, Polisario Front suspended contacts with the MINURSO, because of the failure on implementing the self-determination referendum, and accused the force of "... turning into a protector shield of a colonial fact, the occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco".[10] HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

The POLISARIO is first and foremost a nationalist organization, whose main goal is the independence of Western Sahara. It has stated that ideological disputes should be left for a future democratic Western Sahara to deal with.  HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

It views itself as a "front" encompassing all political trends in Sahrawi society, and not as a political party. As a consequence, there is no party programme. However, the Sahrawi republic's constitution gives a hint of the movement's ideological context: in the early 1970s, POLISARIO adopted a vaguely socialist rhetoric,  DELL FM8 Laptop Keyboard

in line with most national liberation movements of the time, but this was eventually abandoned in favour of a non-politicized Sahrawi nationalism. By the late 1970s, references to socialism in the republic's constitution were removed, and by 1991, the Polisario was explicitly pro-free-market. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

The POLISARIO has stated that it will, when Sahrawi self-determination has been achieved, either function as a party within the context of a multi-party system, or be completely disbanded. This is to be decided by a Polisario Front congress upon the achievement of Western Sahara's independence. DELL Vostro PP37L laptop keyboard

The Polisario Front has denounced terrorism and attacks against civilians,[11][12] and sent condolences to Morocco after the2003 Casablanca bombings. It describes its struggle as a "clean war of national liberation". Since 1989, when the cease-fire was first concluded,  SONY VAIO VGN-SZ640 laptop keyboard

the movement has stated it will pursue its goal of Western Sahara's independence by peaceful means as long as Morocco complies with the cease-fire conditions, which include arranging a referendum on independence, while reserving the right to resume armed struggle if terms are objectively breached, for example, Compaq Presario CQ56-110SE laptop keyboard

if the referendum is not conducted. Mohamed Abdelaziz has repeatedly stated that the Moroccan withdrawal from the 1991 Settlement Planand refusal to sign the 2003 Baker Plan would logically lead to war from its perspective if the international community does not step in.[13][14] SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

In contrast, POLISARIO-Mauritanian relations following a peace treaty in 1979 and the recognition of the SADR by Mauritania in 1984, with the latter's retreat from Western Sahara, have been quiet and generally neutral without reports of armed clashes from either side. SONY VAIO VGN-CR32S laptop keyboard

The series of protests and riots in 2005 by Sahrawis in the occupied territories received strong vocal support from POLISARIO as a new pressure point on Morocco. Abdelaziz characterised them as a substitute path for the armed struggle, and indicated that if peaceful protest was squashed, in its view, without a referendum forthcoming, its armed forces would intervene[citation needed]. SONY VAIO VGN-FS790 laptop keyboard

Until 1991, POLISARIO's structure was much different from the present one. It was, despite a few changes, inherited from the before 1975, when the Polisario Front functioned as a small, tightly-knit guerrilla movement, with a few hundred members. Consequently, it made few attempts at a division of powers, instead concentrating most of the decision-making power in the top echelons of POLISARIO for maximum battlefield efficiency.  SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

This meant that most power rested in the hands of the Secretary General and a nine-man executive committee, elected at congresses and with different military and political responsibilities. A 21-man Politburo would further check decisions and connect the movement with its affiliated "mass organizations", UGTSARIO,UJSARIO and UNMS (see below). LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

But after the movement took on the role as a state-in-waiting in 1975, based in the refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, this structure proved incapable of dealing with its vastly expanded responsibilities. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

As a consequence, the old military structure was wedded to the new grass-roots refugee camp administration which had asserted itself in Tindouf, with its system of committees and elected camp assemblies. HP G62-450SV Laptop Keyboard

In 1976, the situation was further complicated by the Sahrawi Republic assuming functions of government in the camps and Polisario-held territories of Western Sahara. The SADR and POLISARIO institutions often overlapped, and their division of power was often hard to ascertain. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

A more comprehensive merger of these different organizational patterns (military organization/refugee camps/SADR) was not achieved until the 1991 congress, when both the Polisario and SADR organizations were overhauled, integrated into the camp structure and further separated from each other. HP G72-b52SF Laptop Keyboard

This followed protests calling for expanding the internal democracy of the movement, and also led to important shifts of personnel in the top tiers of both Polisario and SADR.

The organizational order described below applies today, and was roughly finalized in the 1991 internal reforms of the movement, IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

although minor changes have been made since then.

The Polisario Front is led by a Secretary General. The first Secretary General was Brahim Gali,[15] replaced in 1974 by El-Ouali at the II Congress of the Polisario Front, followed by Mahfoud Ali Beiba as Interim Secretary General upon his death. GATEWAY AEPA6TAU111 Laptop Keyboard

In 1976, Mohamed Abdelaziz was elected at the III Congress of the Polisario, and has held the post ever since. The Secretary General is elected by the General Popular Congress (GPC), regularly convened every four years. The GPC is composed of delegates from the Popular Congresses of the refugee camps in Tindouf, HP 496878-001 Laptop Keyboard

which are held biannually in each camp, and of delegates from the women's' organization (UNMS), youth organization (UJSARIO), workers' organization (UGTSARIO) and military delegates from the SPLA (see below). SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Laptop Keyboard

All residents of the camps have a vote in the Popular Congresses, and participate in the administrative work in the camp through base-level 11-person cells, which form the smallest unit of the refugee camp political structure.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

These typically care for distribution of food, water and schooling in their area, joining in higher-level organs (encompassing several camp quarters) to cooperate and establish distribution chains. There is no formal membership of Polisario; instead, anyone who participates in its work or lives in the refugee camps is considered a member. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Between congresses, the supreme decision-making body is the National Secretariat, headed by the Secretary General. The NS is elected by the GPC. It is subdivided into committees handling defense, diplomatic affairs, etc. The 2003 NS, elected at the 11th GPC in Tifariti, HP 576835-001 laptop keyboard

Western Sahara, has 41 members. Twelve of these are secret delegates from the Moroccan-controlled areas of Western Sahara. This is a shift in policy, as the POLISARIO traditionally confined political appointments to diaspora Sahrawis, for fear of infiltration and difficulties in communicating with Sahrawis in the Moroccan-controlled territories. HP G62-450SV laptop keyboard

It is probably intended to strengthen the movement's underground network in Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, and link up with the rapidly growing Sahrawi civil rights activism. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E laptop keyboard

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19 juillet 2013 5 19 /07 /juillet /2013 09:48

Morocco

 is the most westerly of the North African countries. It is one of three countries to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, and it also has a rugged mountain interior. The Arabic name al-Mamlakat al-Maghribiyyah (Arabic: المملكة المغربية‎), which translates to "The Western Kingdom", and Al-Maghrib (Arabic: المغرب‎), or Maghreb, meaning "The West", are commonly used as alternate names. ACER Aspire One D150-1920 Laptop Keyboard

Morocco has a population of over 32 million and an area of 446,550 km2 (172,410 sq mi). The political capital isRabat, although the largest city is Casablanca; other major cities include Marrakech, Tangier, Tetouan, Salé, Fes, HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Agadir, Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, and Nador. Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its rich culture is a blend of Arab, Berber (indigenous African) and also other African and European influences. HP Mini 210-1109TU Laptop Keyboard

Morocco claims the non-self governing territory of the Western Sahara as the "Southern Provinces". Morocco annexed the territory in 1975 and a guerrilla war with indigenous forces was brought to a cease-fire in 1991. U.N. efforts have failed to break the political deadlock. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, including the power to dissolve the parliament. Executive power is exercised by the governmentbut the king's decisions usually override those of the government if there is a contradiction. SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The king can also issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The main religion is Islam. The official language is Literary Arabic. Moroccan Arabic referred to as Dareja, Berber and French are also spoken.

The full Arabic name al-Mamlakat al-Maghribiyyah (المملكة المغربية) translates to "The Western Kingdom". Al-Maghrib(المغرب), meaning "The West", HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

is commonly used. For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers referred to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá (المغرب الأقصى, "The Farthest West") to distinguish it from neighboring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ (المغرب الأوسط, "The Middle West", Algeria) and al-Maghrib al-Adná (المغرب الأدنى, "The Nearest West", Tunisia).[9]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

The English name "Morocco" originates from Spanish "Marruecos" or the Portuguese "Marrocos", from medieval Latin"Morroch", which referred to the name of the former Almoravid and Almohad capital, Marrakech.[10] In Persian Morocco is still called "Marrakech". Until recent decades, Morocco was called "Marrakech" in Middle Eastern Arabic. In Turkish, Morocco is called "Fas" which comes from the ancient Idrisid and Marinid capital, Fez. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, at least since 200,000 BCE.[citation needed] During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling asavanna more than today's arid landscape.[11] 22,000 years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusianculture, TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between theIberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains. The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by theBeaker culture in Morocco. ACER Aspire 5930 Laptop Keyboard

Studies have discovered a close link between Berbers and the Saami of Scandinavia which confirms that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers that repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age.[12] HP G71-343US Laptop Keyboard

North Africa and Morocco were slowly drawn into the wider emerging Mediterraneanworld by the Phoenicians who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah,Lixus and Mogador,[13] with Mogador being a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC.[14][page needed] HP Pavilion G7-1150US Laptop Keyboard

Morocco later became part of a North African empire head-quartered in Carthage. The earliest known independent Moroccan state was the Berber kingdom of Mauretania under king Bocchus I. This kingdom in northern Morocco, not to be confused with the present state of Mauritania, dates at least to 110 BCE.[15] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

From the 1st century BCE the region was part of the Roman Empire as Mauretania Tingitana. Christianity was introduced in the 2nd century CE and gained converts in the Roman towns, among slaves and some Berber farmers. TOSHIBA PK13CW10200 laptop keyboard

In the 5th century CE, as the Roman Empire declined, the region was invaded from the north first by the Vandals and then by the Visigoths. In the 6th century CE, northern Morocco became part of the East Roman, or Byzantine Empire. Throughout this time, however, the Berber inhabitants in the high mountains of the interior of Morocco remained unsubdued. HP Pavilion dv6-2143ez laptop keyboard

In 670 CE, the first Islamic conquest of the North African coastal plain took place under Uqba ibn Nafi, a general serving under the Umayyads of Damascus. TheUmayyad Muslims brought their language, their system of government, and Islam to Morocco. Many of the Berbers slowly converted to Islam, mostly after Arab rule had receded. SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

The first independent Muslim state in the area of modern Morocco, was the Kingdom of Nekor, an emirate in the Rif Mountains. It was founded bySalih I ibn Mansur in 710, as a client state to the Rashidun Caliphate. HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

According to medieval legend, Idris ibn Abdallah had fled to Morocco after the Abbasids' massacre of his tribe in Iraq. He convinced the Awraba Berber tribes to break their allegiance to the distant Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad and he founded the Idrisid Dynasty in 788. The Idrisids established Fes as their capital and Morocco became a centre of Muslim learning and a major regional power. DELL Inspiron MINI 1010 laptop keyboard

The Idrissids were ousted in 927 by the Fatimid Caliphate and their Miknasa allies. After Miknasa broke off relations with the Fatimids in 932, they were removed from power by the Maghrawa of Sijilmasa in 980. SONY VAIO VGN-CR12GH laptop keyboard

From the 11th century onwards, a series of powerful Berber[16][17][18] dynasties arose. Under the Almoravid dynasty [19] and the Almohad dynasty, Morocco dominated the Maghreb, much of present-day Spain and Portugal,  Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

and the western Mediterranean region. In the 13th and 14th centuries the Merinids held power in Morocco and strove to replicate the successes of theAlmohads by military campaigns in Algeria and Spain. They were followed by the Wattasids. HP SG-46100-XUA laptop keyboard

In the 15th century, theReconquista ended Muslim rule in central and southern Spain and many Muslims and Jews fled to Morocco.[20] Portuguese efforts to control the Atlantic coast in the 15th century did not greatly affect the interior of Morocco. According to Elizabeth Allo Isichei, "In 1520, Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

there was a famine in Morocco so terrible that for a long time other events were dated by it. It has been suggested that the population of Morocco fell from 5 to under 3 million between the early sixteenth and nineteenth centuries."[21] HP Pavilion DV7-3060us laptop keyboard

In 1549, the region fell to successive Arab dynasties claiming descent from the Islamic prophet, Muhammad: first the Saadi dynasty who ruled from 1549 to 1659, and then the Alaouite dynasty, who remained in power since the 17th century. TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6959 laptop keyboard

Under the Saadi Dynasty, the country repulsed Ottoman incursions and a Portuguese invasion at the battle of Ksar el Kebir in 1578. The reign of Ahmad al-Mansur brought new wealth and prestige to the Sultanate, and a large expedition to West Africa inflicted a crushing defeat on the Songhay Empire in 1591. However, managing the territories across the Sahara proved too difficult. After the death of al-Mansur the country was divided among his sons.  HP Probook 4710S Laptop Keyboard

In 1666 Morocco was reunited by the Alaouite Dynasty, who have been the ruling house of Morocco ever since. Morocco was facing aggression from Spain and the Ottoman Empire pressing westward. The Alaouites succeeded in stabilizing their position, and while the kingdom was smaller than previous ones in the region, HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

it remained quite wealthy. Against the opposition of local tribes Ismail Ibn Sharif (1672–1727) began to create a unified state.[22] With his Jaysh d'Ahl al-Rif (the RiffianArmy) he seized Tangier from the English in 1684 and drove the Spanish from Larache in 1689. SONY VAIO VGN-FS315M Laptop Keyboard

Morocco was the first nation to recognize the fledgling United States as an independent nation in 1777.[23] In the beginning of the American Revolution, American merchant ships in the Atlantic Ocean were subject to attack by the Barbary Pirates. On 20 December 1777, HP Mini 210-1095TU Laptop Keyboard

Morocco's Sultan Mohammed III declared that American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage. The Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship treaty.[24][25] HP Pavilion G60-230 Laptop Keyboard

In 1904, France and Spain carved out zones of influence in Morocco. Recognition by theUnited Kingdom of France's sphere of influence provoked a strong reaction from the German Empire; and a crisis loomed in 1905. The matter was resolved at the Algeciras Conferencein 1906. The Agadir Crisis provoked by the Germans, HP Envy 15-1050es Laptop Keyboard

increased tensions between European powers. The 1912 Treaty of Fez made Morocco a protectorate of France. Spain continued to operate its coastal protectorate. By the same treaty, Spain assumed the role ofprotecting power over the northern and southern Saharan zones.[28]

Tens of thousands of colonists entered Morocco and bought up large amounts of the rich agricultural land. DELL E141395 Laptop Keyboard

Interest groups that formed among these elements continually pressured France to increase its control over Morocco. Many Moroccan soldiers (Goumieres) served in the French army in both World War Iand World War II, and in the Spanish Nationalist Army in the Spanish Civil War and after (Regulares). ACER Aspire 5613 Laptop Keyboard

From 1921–6 a Berber uprising in the Rif Mountains, led by Abd el-Krim, led to the establishment of the Republic of the Rif. The rebellion was suppressed by French and Spanish troops.

In 1943, the Istiqlal Party (Independence Party) was founded to press for independence. That party subsequently provided most of the leadership for the nationalist movement. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

France's exile of Sultan Mohammed V in 1953 to Madagascar and his replacement by the unpopular Mohammed Ben Aarafa sparked active opposition to the French and Spanish protectorates. The most notable violence occurred in Oujda where Moroccans attacked French and other European residents in the streets.  HP Envy 15-1040er Laptop Keyboard

France allowed Mohammed V to return in 1955, and the negotiations that led to Moroccan independence began the following year.[29] In March 1956 the French protectorate was ended and Morocco regained its independence from France and Spain as the "Kingdom of Morocco". Spain kept its two coastal enclaves. Sultan Mohammed became king in 1957. SONY KFRSBA019A Laptop Keyboard

Upon the death of King Mohammed, Hassan II became King of Morocco on March 3, 1961. Morocco held its first general elections in 1963. However, Hassan declared a state of emergency and suspended parliament in 1965. In 1971, there was a failed attempt to depose the king and establish a republic. HP Pavilion dv3-2175ee laptop keyboard

A truth commission set up in 2005 to investigate human rights abuses during his reign confirmed nearly 10,000 cases, ranging from death in detention to forced exile. Some 592 people were recorded killed during Hassan's rule.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-N37GH/B laptop keyboard

The Spanish enclave of Ifni in the south was returned to Morocco in 1969. The Polisario movement was formed in 1973, with the aim of establishing an independent state in the Spanish Sahara. SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

On 6 November 1975 King Hassan asked for volunteers to cross into the Spanish Sahara. Some 350,000 civilians were reported as being involved in the "Green March".[30] A month later, Spain agreed to leave the Spanish Sahara, soon to become Western Sahara, and to transfer it to joint Moroccan-Mauritanian control, despite the objections and threats of military intervention by Algeria. Moroccan forces occupied the territory.[20]  HP Pavilion DV7-3100 laptop keyboard

Moroccan and Algerian troops soon clashed in Western Sahara. Morocco and Mauritania divided up Western Sahara. Fighting between the Moroccan military and Polisario forces continued for many years. The prolonged war was a considerable financial drain on Morocco.  ACER TravelMate 4650 Series laptop keyboard

In 1983, Hassan cancelled planned elections amid political unrest and economic crisis. In 1984, Morocco left the Organisation of African Unity in protest at the SADR's admission to the body. Polisario claimed to have killed more than 5,000 Moroccan soldiers between 1982 and 1985.

Diplomatic relations with Algeria were restored in 1988. SONY VAIO VGN-FS710/W laptop keyboard

In 1991, a U.N.-monitored ceasefire began in Western Sahara, but the territory's status remains undecided and ceasefire violations are reported. The following decade saw much wrangling over a proposed referendum on the future of the territory but the deadlock was not broken.  SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

Political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature in 1997 and Morocco's first opposition-led government came to power in 1998.  HP Pavilion tx2532la laptop keyboard King Hassan II died in 1999 and was succeeded by his son, Mohammed VI. He is a cautious modernizer who has introduced some economic and social liberalization.[31]

King Mohammed paid a controversial visit to the Western Sahara in 2002. Morocco unveiled an autonomy blueprint for Western Sahara to the United Nations in 2007. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The Polisario rejected the plan and put forward its own proposal. Morocco and the Polisario Front held U.N.-sponsored talks in New York but failed to come to any agreement. In 2010, security forces stormed a protest camp in the Western Sahara, triggering violent demonstrations in the regional capital El Aaiún.  ACER Aspire 5742ZG Laptop Keyboard

In 2002, Morocco and Spain agreed to a US-brokered resolution over the disputed island of Perejil. Spanish troops had taken the normally uninhabited island after Moroccan soldiers landed on it and set up tents and a flag. There were renewed tensions in 2005 as hundreds of African migrants tried to storm the borders of the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta. TOSHIBA V072426CS1 Laptop Keyboard

Morocco deported hundreds of the illegal migrants. In 2006 the Spanish Premier Zapatero visited Spanish enclaves. He was the first Spanish leader in 25 years to make an official visit to the territories. The following year, Spanish King Juan Carlos visited Ceuta and Melilla, further angering Morocco which demanded the return of the enclaves. SONY VAIO VGN-AW170YIQ Laptop Keyboard

In February 2003, a Casablanca court jailed three Saudi members of al-Qaeda for 10 years after they were accused of plotting to attack US and British warships in the Straits of Gibraltar. Three months later, more than 40 people were killed in the 2003 Casablanca bombings, when suicide bombers attacked several sites in Casablanca, including a Spanish restaurant and Jewish community centre. HP Pavilion dv6-3020tu Laptop Keyboard

Those responsible were believed to be Salafiya Jihadiya adherents linked to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. One of those extremists was Nourredine Nafia, leader of the GICM (Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group), who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the attacks.

In the 2007 Casablanca bombings, HP Pavilion dv6-3047eo Laptop Keyboard

three suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up, a few weeks after a suicide blast in an internet cafe that injured three. More than 40 people were given long prison sentences for this bombing. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the US diplomatic offices in Casablanca. HP Pavilion dv2-1003ax Laptop Keyboard

In 2008, two Moroccan men, Abdelilah Ahriz and Hicham Ahmidan, were sentenced to 20 and 10 years in jail respectively in Morocco over the Madrid train bombingsof 2004. Islamist Saad Housseini was given 15-year sentence in 2009 over the 2003 Casablanca bombings. He was also wanted in Spain over the Madrid bombings. HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

Soon after, the alleged al-Qaeda leader in Morocco, Belgian-Moroccan Abdelkader Belliraj, was imprisoned for life on being found guilty of leading an Islamist militant group and committing six murders in Belgium. Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

In the April 2011 Marrakech bombing, 17 people, mainly foreigners, were killed in a bomb attack on a Marrakech cafe. The Maghreb arm of al-Qaeda denied involvement. A man was later sentenced to death for the bombing. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

In the 2011–2012 Moroccan protests, thousands of people rallied in Rabat and other cities calling for political reform and a new constitution curbing the powers of the king. In July 2011 the King won a landslide victory in a referendum on a reformed constitution he had proposed to placate the Arab Springprotests. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Demonstrators continued to call for deeper reforms. Tens of thousands took part in a trade union rally in Casablanca in May 2012. Participants accused the government of failing to deliver on reforms. HP Pavilion dv6-3020tu laptop keyboard

Morocco has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with three small Spanish-controlledexclaves, Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera), Algeria to the east, and Western Sahara to the south. Since Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, its de facto southern boundary is with Mauritania. SONY VAIO VGN-FS760/W laptop keyboard

The internationally recognized borders of the country lie between latitudes 27° and 36°N, and longitudes 1° and 14°W. Adding Western Sahara, Morocco lies mostly between 21° and 36°N, and 1° and 17°W (the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula is slightly south of 21° and west of 17°). TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3001 laptop keyboard

The geography of Morocco spans from the Atlantic Ocean, to mountainous areas, to the Sahara desert. Morocco is a Northern African country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara.

A large part of Morocco is mountainous. HP Envy 15-1040er laptop keyboard

The Rif Mountains are located in the north of the country. Both ranges are mainly inhabited by the Berber people. At 446,550 km2 (172,414 sq mi), Morocco is the fifty-seventh largest country in the world (after Uzbekistan). Algeria borders Morocco to the east and southeast though the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ19VN laptop keyboard

Spanish territory in North Africa neighbouring Morocco comprises five enclaves on the Mediterranean coast: Ceuta, Melilla,Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, Peñón de Alhucemas, the Chafarinas islands, and the disputed islet PerejilSONY VAIO VGN-CR220E laptop keyboard

Off the Atlantic coast the Canary Islands belong to Spain, whereas Madeira to the north is Portuguese. To the north, Morocco is bordered by the Strait of Gibraltar, where international shipping has unimpeded transit passage between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. DELL 1R28D Laptop Keyboard

The Rif mountains stretch over the region bordering the Mediterranean from the north-west to the north-east. The Atlas Mountains run down the backbone of the country, from the northeast to the south west. Most of the southeast portion of the country is in the Sahara Desert and as such is generally sparsely populated and unproductive economically.  GATEWAY V030946FS1 US Laptop Keyboard

Most of the population lives to the north of these mountains, while to the south lies the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that was annexed by Morocco in 1975 (see Green March).[32] Morocco claims that the Western Sahara is part of its territory and refers to that as its Southern Provinces. HP G61-424CA Laptop Keyboard

Morocco's capital city is Rabat; its largest city is its main port, Casablanca. Other cities include Agadir, Essaouira, Fes, Marrakesh, Meknes, Mohammadia,Oujda, Ouarzazat, Safi, Salé, Tangier and Tétouan. DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

Morocco is represented in the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 geographical encoding standard by the symbol MA.[33] This code was used as the basis for Morocco's internet domain, .ma.[33]

The climate is Mediterranean in the North and in some mountains (West of Atlas), which becomes more extreme towards the interior regions. GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

 The terrain is such that the coastal plains are rich and accordingly, they comprise the backbone foragriculture, especially in the North. Forests cover about 12% of the land while arable land accounts for 18%; 5% is irrigated. In the Atlas (Middle Atlas), TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 Laptop Keyboard

there are several different climates: Mediterranean (with some more humid and fresher variants), Maritime Temperate (with some humid and fresher variants too) that allow different species of oaks, moss carpets, junipers, atlantic cedars and many other plants, to form extensive and very rich humid cloud forests. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The climate changes when moving east of the Atlas mountains due to the barrier, or shelter, effect of the mountain system, becoming very dry and extremely warm during the long summer, especially on the lowlands and on the valleys facing the Sahara. The Sahara Desert begins here, and it is perfectly visible, for example, on the Draa Valley, where it is possible to find oases, sand dunes and rocky desert landscapes.  DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

Morocco is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Morocco is the head of government, and of amulti-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. HP Pavilion DV6z artist edition 2 laptop keyboard

Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives of Morocco and the Assembly of Councillors.

Following the March 1998 elections, HP Pavilion DV7-3069wm laptop keyboard

a coalition government headed by opposition socialist leader Abderrahmane Youssoufi and composed largely of ministers drawn from opposition parties, was formed. Prime Minister Youssoufi's government was the first ever government drawn primarily from opposition parties, and also represents the first opportunity for a coalition of socialists, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

left-of-center, and nationalist parties to be included in the government until October 2002. It was also the first time in the modern political history of the Arab world that the opposition assumed power following an election.[citation needed] The current government is headed by Abdelilah Benkirane. DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

The Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary. With the 2011 constitutional reforms, the King of Morocco still retains few executive powers whereas those of the prime minister have been enlarged. SONY VAIO VGN-N350N laptop keyboard

The constitution grants the king honorific powers; he is both the secular political leader and the "Commander of the Faithful" as a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. He presides over the Council of Ministers; appoints the Prime Minister from the political party that has won the most seats in the parliamentary elections, and on recommendations from the latter, appoints the members of the government. GATEWAY V030946FS1 US laptop keyboard

The previous constitution of 1996 theoretically allowed the king to terminate the tenure of any minister, and after consultation with the heads of the higher and lower Assemblies, to dissolve the Parliament, suspend the constitution, call for new elections, or rule by decree, the only time this happened was in 1965. The King is formally the chief of the military. DELL 9Z.N1K82.C01 laptop keyboard

Since the constitutional reform of 1996, the bicameral legislature consists of two chambers. The Assembly of Representatives of Morocco (Majlis an-Nuwwâb/Assemblée des Répresentants) has 325 members elected for a five-year term, 295 elected in multi-seat constituencies and 30 in national lists consisting only of women. SONY Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H laptop keyboard

The Assembly of Councillors (Majlis al-Mustasharin) has 270 members, elected for a nine-year term, elected by local councils (162 seats), professional chambers (91 seats) and wage-earners (27 seats). Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The Parliament's powers, though still relatively limited, were expanded under the 1992 and 1996 and even further in the 2011 constitutional revisions and include budgetary matters, approving bills, questioning ministers, and establishing ad hoc commissions of inquiry to investigate the government's actions. The lower chamber of Parliament may dissolve the government through a vote of no confidence. HP Pavilion DV7t-2200 CTO laptop keyboard

The latest parliamentary elections were held on November 25, 2011, and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and fair. Voter turnout in these elections was estimated to be 43% of registered voters.  SONY VAIO VGN-NW15L laptop keyboard

Compulsory military service in Morocco has been officially suppressed since September 2006, and the country’s reserve obligation lasts until age 50. The country’s military consists of the Royal Armed Forces—this includes the army (the largest branch) and a small navy and air force—the National Police Force, HP Pavilion DV7-2013tx laptop keyboard

the Royal Gendarmerie (mainly responsible for rural security), and the Auxiliary Forces. Internal security is generally effective, and acts of political violence are rare (with one exception, the 2003 Casablanca bombings which killed 45 people[37]). The U.N. maintains a small observer force in Western Sahara, where a large number of Morocco’s troops are stationed. TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 laptop keyboard

The Saharawi group Polisario maintains an active militia of an estimated 5,000 fighters in Western Sahara and has engaged in intermittent warfare with Moroccan forces since the 1980s.

Morocco remains the only African state not to be a member of the African Union due to its unilateral withdrawal on November 12, 1984 HP Pavilion dv6-2159tx laptop keyboard

over the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in 1982 by the African Union as a full member without the organization of a referendum of self-determination in the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

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These small enclaves on the Mediterranean coast are surrounded by Morocco and have been administered by Spain for centuries. Morocco has been given the status of non-Nato ally by Washington.

Because of the conflict over Western Sahara, the status of both regions of "Saguia el-Hamra" and "Río de Oro" is disputed. Lenovo Thinkpad T520 laptop keyboard

The Western Sahara War saw the Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement Polisario Front battling Morocco and Mauritania from 1976 to 1991. There is a ceasefire in effect since 1991, and a U.N. mission (MINURSO) is tasked with organizing a referendum on whether the territory should become independent or recognized as a part of Morocco. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Part of the territory, the Free Zone, is a mostly uninhabited area controlled by the Polisario Front as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic with Headquarters at Tindouf in Algeria. As of 2006, no U.N. member state has recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.[38] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

In 2006, the government of Morocco has suggested autonomous status for the region, through the Moroccan Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS). The project was presented to the United Nations Security Council in mid-April 2007. The proposal was encouraged by Moroccan allies such as the United States, HP Mini 110-3004tu Laptop Keyboard

France and Spain.[39] The Security Council has called upon the parties to enter into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach a mutually accepted political solution.[40]

Morocco's economy is considered a relatively liberal economy governed by the law of supply and demand. Since 1993, TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4047 Laptop Keyboard

the country has followed a policy of privatization of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of thegovernment.[43]

Government reforms and steady yearly growth in the region of 4–5% from 2000 to 2007, DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

including 4.9% year-on-year growth in 2003–2007 helped the Moroccan economy to become much more robust compared to a few years ago. For 2012 the World Bank forecasts a rate of 4% growth for Morocco and 4.2% for following year, 2013.[44] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The services sector accounts for just over half of GDP and industry, made up of mining, construction and manufacturing, is an additional quarter. The industries that recorded the highest growth are tourism, telecoms, information technology, and textile. SONY VAIO VGN-FS115Z laptop keyboard

Agriculture accounts for only around 14% of GDP but employs 40–45% of the Moroccan working population. With a semi-arid climate and an ill-developed irrigation system, it is difficult to assure enough irrigation. Morocco’s economy depends heavily on the weather, a typical characteristic of third-world countries. HP Mini 110-3109sl laptop keyboard

The major resources of the Moroccan economy are agriculture, phosphates, and tourism. Sales of fish and seafood are important as well. Industry and mining contribute about one-third of the annual GDP. Morocco is the world's third-largest producer of phosphorus after China and the United States,[45] and the price fluctuations of phosphates on the international market greatly influence Morocco's economy.  HP Mini 210-2070sb laptop keyboard

Morocco suffers both from unemployment (9.6% in 2008), and a large external debt estimated at around $20 billion, or half of GDP in 2002.[46]

Although Morocco runs a structural trade deficit, this is typically offset by substantial services earnings from tourism and large remittance inflows from the diaspora, and the country normally runs a small current-account surplus.[47] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

In 2008, about 56% of the electricity source of Morocco came from coal.[48] However, as forecasts indicate that energy requirements in Morocco will rise 6% per year between 2012 and 2050,[49] a new law passed encouraging Moroccans to look for ways to diversify the energy supply, including more renewable resources.  Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

The Moroccan government has launched a project to build a solar thermal energy power plant[50] and is also looking into the use of natural gas as a potential source of revenue for Morocco’s government.[49] LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 laptop keyboard

Morocco has embarked upon the construction of large solar energy farms to lessen dependence on fossil fuels, and to eventually export electricity to Europe.[51]

Cannabis has been cultivated in the Rif Region since the 7th century.[52] According to the U.N. 2004 World Drugs Report,  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

cultivation and transformation of Cannabis represents 0.57% of the national GDP of Morocco in 2002.[53] According to a French Ministry of the Interior 2006 report, 80% of the cannabis resin (hashish) consumed in Europe comes from the Rif region in Morocco.[54] In addition to that, Morocco is a transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe.[55] HP Pavilion dv6-3023sy laptop keyboard

There are around 56,986 km (35,409 mi) of roads (national, regional and provincial) in Morocco.[56] In addition to 610.5 km (379.3 mi) kilometre of highways.[57]

The Tangier-Casablanca high-speed rail link marks the first stage of the ONCF’s high-speed rail master plan, pursuant to which over 1,500 km (930 mi) ACER Travelmate 4670 laptop keyboard

of new railway lines will be built by 2035 The high speed train -TGV- will carry 8 million passengers per year. It will have a capacity of 500 passengers. The work in the High Speed Train project has started in September 2011[58] and the infrastructure works and railway equipment will end in 2014, and the HST will be operational in December 2015.[59] SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460EB laptop keyboard

Most Moroccans are of mixed Arab-Berber, Arab, Berber and Niger-Congo ethnic background. Arabs and Berbers make up about 99.1% of the Moroccan population.[2]

Berbers are the indigenous people and still make up the bulk of the population (although largely Arabized). COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

A sizeable portion of the population is identified as Haratin and Gnawa (or Gnaoua), black or mixed race. Morocco's Jewish minority (265,000 in 1948) has decreased significantly and numbers about 5,500.[61] HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard

Most of the 100,000[citation needed] foreign residents are French or Spanish. Some of them are colonists' descendants, who primarily work for European multinational companies, others are married to Moroccans and preferred to settle in Morocco. Prior to independence, Morocco was home to half a million Europeans.[62] HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

The largest concentration of Moroccan migrants outside Morocco is in France, which has reportedly over one million Moroccans of up to the third generation. The Netherlands hosts about 360,000 ACER Aspire 1410-742G16n Laptop Keyboard

Moroccans and Belgium hosts about 300,000 Moroccans. There are also large Moroccan communities in Spain (about 700,000 Moroccans),[63] Italy, Israel, Canada and the United States.[64] Moroccan Jews are thought to constitute the second biggest Jewish ethnic subgroup in Israel.

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According to Jewish community leaders, there are an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Jews, approximately 2,500 of whom reside in Casablanca and are the remnants of a much larger community that has mostly emigrated. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The most recent estimates put the size of the Rabat and Marrakech Jewish communities at about 100 members each. The remainder of the Jewish population is dispersed throughout the country. This population is mostly elderly, with a decreasing number of young persons.[65] HP G62-147NR Laptop Keyboard

The predominantly Roman Catholic and Protestant foreign-resident Christian community consists of approximately 5,000 practicing members, although some Protestant and Catholic clergy estimate the number to be as high as 25,000. Most foreign resident Christians reside in the Casablanca, Tangier, and Rabat urban areas. DELL NSK-DG101 Laptop Keyboard

Various local Christian leaders estimate that there are 4,000 citizen Christians (mostly ethnically Berber) who regularly attend “house” churches and live predominantly in the south. Some local Christian leaders estimate that there may be as many as 8,000 Christian citizens throughout the country, but many reportedly do not meet regularly due to fear of government surveillance and social persecution.[65]  HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

There are an estimated 3,000 to 8,000 Shia Muslims, most of them foreign residents from Lebanon or Iraq, but also a few citizen converts. Followers of several Sufi Muslim orders across the Maghreb and West Africa undertake joint annual pilgrimages to the country. The Baha’i community, located in urban areas, numbers 350 to 400 persons.[65] SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 Laptop Keyboard

Morocco's official languages are Arabic and Berber.[66][67] The country's distinctive group of Moroccan Arabic dialects is referred to as Darija. Approximately 89.84%[4] of the whole population can communicate to some degree in Moroccan Arabic. The Berber language is spoken in three dialects (Tarifit, Tashelhit andCentral Atlas Tamazight).[68]  HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

In 2008, Frédéric Deroche estimated that there were 12 million Berber speakers, making up about 40% of the population.[69] The 2004 population census says that 28.07% of the population speak Berber.[4] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

French is widely used in governmental institutions, media, mid-size and large companies, international commerce with French speaking countries, and often in international diplomacy. French is taught as an obligatory language at all schools. In 2010, there were 10,366,000 French-speakers in Morocco, or about 32% of the population.[70] ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

According to the 2004 census, 2.19 million Moroccans spoke a foreign language other than French.[4] English, while far behind French in terms of number of speakers, is the first foreign language of choice, since French is obligatory, among educated youth and professionals. Spanish is spoken by a very small population in the north of the country, especially around the Spanish enclaves Melilla and Ceuta.[citation needed] TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

Recent studies make clear no significant genetic differences exist between Arabic and non-Arabic speaking populations, HLA DNA data suggest that most Moroccans are of a Berber origin and that Arabs who invaded North Africa and Spain in the 7th century did not substantially contribute to the gene pool.[71][72] TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

The Moorish refugees from Spain settled in the coast-towns.[73] According to a 2000 article in European Journal of Human Genetics, Moroccans from North-Western Africa were genetically closer to Iberians than to West Africans and Middle Easterners[74] Compaq Presario CQ56-110SE laptop keyboard

The different loci studied revealed close similarity between the Berbers and other North African groups, mainly with Moroccan Arabic-speakers, which is in accord with the hypothesis that the current Moroccan population has a strong Berber background.[75] SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

Morocco is an ethnically diverse country with a rich culture and civilization. Through Moroccan history, it has hosted many people coming from East (Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Jews and Arabs), South (Sub-Saharan Africans) and North (Romans, Vandals, Andalusians, Moors and Jews). All those civilizations have had an impact on the social structure of Morocco. It conceived various forms of beliefs, from paganism, Judaism, and Christianity to Islam. SONY VAIO VGN-CR32S laptop keyboard

Since independence a veritable blossoming has taken place in painting and sculpture, popular music, amateur theatre, and filmmaking. The Moroccan National Theatre (founded 1956) offers regular productions of Moroccan and French dramatic works. Art and music festivals take place throughout the country during the summer months, among them the World Sacred Music Festival at Fès. SONY VAIO VGN-FS790 laptop keyboard

Each region possesses its own specificities, thus contributing to the national culture and to the legacy of civilization. Morocco has set among its top priorities the protection of its diverse legacy and the preservation of its cultural heritage.  SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

Culturally speaking, Morocco has always been successful in combining its Berber, Jewish and Arabic cultural heritage with external influences such as the French and the Spanish and, during the last decades, the Anglo-American lifestyles. SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

prosperity and brilliance of learning. The Almohad built the Marrakech Koutoubia Mosque, which accommodated no fewer than 25,000 people, but was also famed for its books, manuscripts, libraries and book shops, which gave it its name; the first book bazaar in history. The Almohad Caliph Abu Yakub had a great love for collecting books. SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

He founded a great library, which was eventually carried to the Casbah and turned into a public library.

Modern Moroccan literature began in the 1930s. Two main factors gave Morocco a pulse toward witnessing the birth of a modern literature. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Laptop Keyboard

Morocco, as a French and Spanish protectorate left Moroccan intellectuals the opportunity to exchange and to produce literary works freely enjoying the contact of other Arabic literature and Europe.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

During the 1950s and 1960s, Morocco was a refuge and artistic centre and attracted writers as Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williamsand William S. Burroughs. Moroccan literature flourished with novelists such as Mohamed Zafzaf and Mohamed Choukri, who wrote in Arabic, and Driss Chraïbi and Tahar Ben Jelloun who wrote in French. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Other important Moroccan authors include, Abdellatif Laabi, Abdelkrim Ghallab, Fouad Laroui, Mohammed Berrada and Leila Abouzeid. It should be noted also, that orature (oral literature) is an integral part of Moroccan culture, be it in Moroccan Arabic or Amazigh. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Moroccan music is of Amazigh, Arab and sub-Saharan origins. Rock-influenced chaabi bands are widespread, as is trance musicwith historical origins in Muslim music.

Morocco is home to Andalusian classical music that is found throughout North Africa. It probably evolved under the Moors in Cordoba, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7305 Laptop Keyboard

and the Persian-born musician Ziryab is usually credited with its invention. A genre known as Contemporary Andalusian music and art is the brainchild of Morisco visual artist/composer/ oudist Tarik Banzi founder of the Al-Andalus EnsembleSONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

Chaabi (popular) is a music consisting of numerous varieties which are descended from the multifarious forms of Moroccan folk music. Chaabi was originally performed in markets, but is now found at any celebration or meeting. HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

Popular Western forms of music are becoming increasingly popular in Morocco, such as fusion, rock, country, metal and particularly hip hop. Morocco participated in 1980's Eurovision Song Contest, being in penultimate position.

Moroccan cuisine has long been considered as one of the most diversified cuisines in the world.  HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

This is a result of the centuries-long interaction of Morocco with the outside world. The cuisine of Morocco is mainly Berber-Moorish, European, Mediterranean cuisines. The cuisine of Morocco is essentially Berber cuisine (sometimes referred to as the Moorish cuisine). It is also Influenced by Sephardic cuisine and by the Moriscos when they took refuge in Morocco after the Reconquista.  DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Spicesare used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Tiliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown.  DELL FM8 Laptop Keyboard

Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Morocco. The most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco is beef; lamb is preferred but is relatively expensive. Couscous is the most famous Moroccan dish along with pastilla, tajine, and harira. The most popular drink is green tea with mint, Atai. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Spectator sports in Morocco traditionally centred on the art of horsemanship until European sports—football, polo, swimming, and tennis—were introduced at the end of the 19th century. Football is the country’s premier sport, DELL Vostro PP37L laptop keyboard

popular among the urban youth in particular, and in 1986 Morocco became the first Arab and African country to qualify to the second round in World Cup competition. Morocco will be hosting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. The host cities will include Tangier, Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir and Marrakech.[76]  SONY VAIO VGN-SZ640 laptop keyboard

At the 1984 Olympic Games, two Moroccans won gold medals in track and field events. Nawal El Moutawakel won in the 400 metres hurdles; she was the first woman from an Arab or Islamic country to win an Olympic gold medal. SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard

Saïd Aouita won the 5000 metres at the same games. Hicham El Guerrouj won gold medals in the 1500 metres and 5000 metres for Morocco at the 2004 Summer Olympics and holds several world records in the mile run. HP Pavilion dv6-3089la laptop keyboard\

Tennis and golf have become popular. Several Moroccan professional players have competed in international competition, and the country fielded its first Davis Cup team in 1999.

Kickboxing is also popular in Morocco. Badr Hari, heavyweight kickboxer and martial artist, is a former K-1 heavyweight champion and K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 and 2009 finalist. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Morocco has one of the lowest rankings in the world in terms of Education. Education in Morocco is free and compulsory through primary school. The estimated illiteracy rate for the country in 2004 was 30.8% for males and 54.7% for females.[77]

On September 2006, UNESCO awarded Morocco amongst other countries such as Cuba, Pakistan, India and Turkey the "UNESCO 2006 Literacy Prize".[78] HP Pavilion dv6-3190ee laptop keyboard

Morocco has more than four dozen universities, institutes of higher learning, and polytechnics dispersed at urban centres throughout the country. Its leading institutions include Mohammed V University in Rabat, the country’s largest university, with branches in Casablanca and Fès; the Hassan II Agriculture and Veterinary Institute in Rabat,  TOSHIBA A000014900 laptop keyboard

which conducts leading social science research in addition to its agricultural specialties; and Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, the first English-language university in North Africa,[79] inaugurated in 1995 with contributions from Saudi Arabia and the United States. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

The al-Qarawiyin University, founded in the city of Fez in 859 as a madrasa,[80] is considered by some sources, includingUNESCO, to be the "oldest university of the world".[81] Morocco has also some of prestigious postgraduate schools, including: École Nationale Supérieure d'Électricité et de Mecanique (ENSEM), EMI, ISCAE, INSEA, DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

National School of Mineral Industry, École Hassania des Travaux Publics, École nationale de commerce et de gestion de Kénitra, École supérieure de technologie de Casablanca.[82]

The United Nations Charter contains a Declaration Concerning Non-Self-Governing Territories.[4] LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

In Article 73e of the Charter, member States agree to report to the United Nations annually on the development of non-self-governing territories under their control. The initial List of Non-Self-Governing Territories was created by compiling lists of dependent territories submitted by the administering States themselves. In several instances, FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

administering States were allowed to remove dependent territories from the list, either unilaterally (as in the case of many French overseas departments and territories), or by vote of the General Assembly (as in the cases of Puerto Rico, Greenland, the Netherlands Antilles, andSuriname). HP G62-450SV Laptop Keyboard

The list draws its origins from the period of colonialism and the Charter's concept of non-self-governing territories. As an increasing number of formerly colonized countries became UN members, TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

the General Assembly increasingly asserted its authority to place additional territories on the List and repeatedly declared that only the General Assembly had the authority to authorize a territory's being removed from the list upon attainment of any status other than full independence. For example, HP G72-b52SF Laptop Keyboard

when Portugal joined the United Nations, it contended that it controlled no non-self-governing territories (because areas such as Angola and Mozambique were purported to be an integral part of the Portuguese state), IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

but the General Assembly rejected this position. Similarly, Western Sahara was added in 1963 when it was a Spanish colony. The same can be said about the situation of Namibia (removed upon its independence in 1990), GATEWAY AEPA6TAU111 Laptop Keyboard

which was seen, due to its former status as amandate territory, as a vestige of German colonial legacy in Africa. A set of criteria for determining whether a territory is to be considered "non-self-governing" was established in General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV) of 1960. HP 496878-001 Laptop Keyboard

Also in 1960, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 1514 (XV), promulgating the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples", which declared that all remaining non-self-governing territories and trust territories were entitled to self-determination and independence. COMPAQ Presario CQ40-117TU Laptop Keyboard

The following year, the General Assembly established the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries LENOVO V022402AS1 Laptop Keyboard

and Peoples (sometimes referred to as the Special Committee on Decolonization, or the "Committee of 24" because for much of its history the committee was composed of 24 members), which reviews the situation in non-self-governing territories each year and reports to the General Assembly. HP G62-a38SE Laptop Keyboard

Criticism

One reason for the remaining controversy is the fact that the list includes some dependencies that have democratically chosen to maintain their territorial status, and an insufficient percentage of the population voted for independence (or in some cases the territory periodically organizes referendums, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

as in the United States Virgin Islands, but there is insufficient voter participation). Other non-self-determining areas are excluded.

Gibraltar is a prime example of resident desires to remain with the status quo. HP Pavilion dv5-1160ep laptop keyboard

Gibraltar, a largely self-governing British territory on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula whose territory is claimed by Spain, has twice held a referendum to resolve its status. In the first referendum, held in 1967, the choices in the ballot were either to retain their current status or to become part of Spain. HP Pavilion DV6-1145ew laptop keyboard

The status quo was favoured by 12,138 votes to 44. In the second referendum, held in 2002, a proposal for a joint Anglo-Spanish administration of the territory was proposed, and was voted down by 17,900 votes to 187 -  HP G61-435ST laptop keyboard

the "no" vote accounting for more than 85% of Gibraltar's entire voting population.[5] Neither of the referendums, however, gained recognition from the UN. Moreover, the 1967 referendum was declared to be in contravention of previous UN resolutions.[6] SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard

Population (or lack thereof) is also an issue regarding at least one territory included on the list: the British colony Pitcairn Islands, with a total population of 48 (many of whom are related), has simply too small a population base (and habitable landmass for expansion), to be realistically viable as an independent state. Lenovo 3000 G450 2949 laptop keyboard

Tokelau is seen as an example by some people but not by others. It is an issue which divides political opinion in New Zealand.[7] In response to attempts at decolonizing Tokelau, New Zealand journalist Michael Field wrote in 2004: "COMPAQ Presario R3000 laptop keyboard

The UN [...] is anxious to rid the world of the last remaining vestiges of colonialism by the end of the decade. It has a list of 16 territories around the world, virtually none of which wants to be independent to any degree".[8]  COMPAQ Presario CQ41-219AX laptop keyboard

Tokelau is seen by some as a case in point. Field further notes that Patuki Isaako, who was head of Tokelau's government at the time of a UN seminar on decolonization in 2004, informed the United Nations that his country had no wish to be decolonized, and that Tokelauans had opposed the idea of decolonization ever since the first visit by UN officials in 1976. HP 407218-001 laptop keyboard

In 2006, a UN-supervised referendum on decolonization was held in Tokelau, where 60% of voters supported the offer of self-government. However, the terms of the referendum required a two-thirds majority to vote in favor of self-government. When the first referendum failed, a second was held in 2007, and 64% of Tokelauans supported it again. On the second occasion, the proposition failed by just 16 votes. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 laptop keyboard

This led New Zealand politician and former diplomat John Hayes, on behalf of the National Party, to state that "Tokelau did the right thing to resist pressure from [the New Zealand government] and the United Nations to pursue self-government".[9]  SONY VAIO VGN-NW15L laptop keyboard

The United Nations most likely supported there being a referendum because clear majorities of Tokelauans support self-government in association with New Zealand. This was reinforced by the results of the referendum, which show that over 60% (60.07% in the first referendum, and 64.40% in the second) voted for self-government. In May 2008, HP 576835-001 laptop keyboard

the United Nations' Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged colonial powers "to complete the decolonization process in every one of the remaining 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories".[10] This led the New Zealand Herald to comment that the United Nations was "apparently frustrated by two failed attempts to get Tokelau to vote for independence from New Zealand".[11] HP G62-450SV laptop keyboard

Another criticism is that a number of the listed territories, such as Bermuda, consider themselves completely autonomous and self-governing, with the "administering power" retaining limited oversight over matters such as defence and diplomacy.[citation needed] In past years, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E laptop keyboard

there were ongoing disputes between some administering powers and the Decolonization Committee over whether territories such as pre-independence Brunei and the West Indies Associated States should still be considered "non-self-governing",TOSHIBA Satellite L550-ST5701 Laptop Keyboard

particularly in instances where the administering country was prepared to grant full independence whenever the territory requested it. These disputes became redundant as those territories eventually received full independence. Territories that have achieved a status described by the administering countries as internally self-governing — such as Puerto Rico, the Netherlands Antilles, Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

and the Cook Islands — have been removed from the list by vote of the General Assembly,[citation needed] often under pressure of the administering countries. In 1972, for example, HP 488590-001 Laptop Keyboard

Hong Kong (then administered by the United Kingdom) and Macau (then administered by Portugal) were removed from the list at the request of the People's Republic of China, which had just been recognized as holding China's seat at the United Nations.[12] HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Some territories that have been annexed and incorporated into the legal framework of the controlling state (such as the overseas departments of France) are considered by the UN to have been decolonized, since they then no longer constitute "non-self-governing" entities; their populations are assumed to have agreed to merge with the former parent state.  HP AEUT3U00140 Laptop Keyboard

However, in 1961, the General Assembly voted to end this treatment for the then-"overseas provinces" of Portugal such asAngola and Mozambique, which were active foci of United Nations attention until they attained independence in the mid-1970s. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Also controversial are the criteria set down in 1960 to 1961 by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV),[14] United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 12 of the Annex,[15] and United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1654 (XVI)[16] which only focused on colonies of the Western world, namely Australia,  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This list of administering states was not expanded afterwards.[17] TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S5984 Laptop Keyboard

Nevertheless, some of the 111 members who joined the UN after 1960 gained independence from countries not covered by Resolution 1541 and were themselves not classified as "Non-Self-Governing Territories" by the UN. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

Of these that joined the UN between 1960 and 2008, 11 were independent before 1960 and 71 were included on the list (some as a group). Out of the other 29, HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

seven (mostly Arab) were colonies or protectorates of the "Western" countries, six were part ofYugoslavia, two were part of Czechoslovakia, 12 were part of the Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus already had UN seats before the dissolution of the USSR) and one each was part of Ethiopia and Pakistan.  ACER TravelMate 4150 Series Laptop Keyboard

HP G42-380LA Laptop Keyboard

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Mozambique

Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or República de Moçambique,pronounced: [ʁɛˈpublikɐ di musɐ̃ˈbiki]), is a country in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, SONY VAIO VGN-AW170YIQ Laptop Keyboard

Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. The capital and largest city is Maputo (previously called Lourenço Marques before independence). HP Pavilion dv6-3020tu Laptop Keyboard

Between the 1st and 5th centuries CE, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from farther north and west. Swahili, and later also Arab, commercial ports existed along the coasts until the arrival of Europeans. The area was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonized by Portugal from 1505. HP Pavilion dv6-3047eo Laptop Keyboard

After over four centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. In 1994, Mozambique held its first multiparty elections and has remained a relatively stable presidential republic since. HP Pavilion dv2-1003ax Laptop Keyboard

Mozambique is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources. The country's economy is based largely on agriculture, but with industry, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, aluminium and petroleum production, is growing. The country's tourism sector is also growing. HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of foreign direct investment. Portugal, Brazil, Spain and Belgium are also among the country's most important economic partners. Since 2001, Mozambique's annual average GDP growth has been among the world's highest. However, the country ranks among the lowest in GDP per capita, human development, measures of inequality, and average life expectancy.[4] Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

The only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, which is spoken mostly as a second language by about half of the population. Common native languages include Swahili, Makhuwa, and Sena. The country's population of around 24 million is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Mozambique is a member of the African Union, Commonwealth of Nations, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Latin Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Southern African Development Community and La Francophonie. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts displaced the Arabic commercial and military hegemony, becoming regular ports of call on the new European sea route to the east.

The voyage of Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 marked the Portuguese entry into trade, politics, and society of the region. HP Mini 210-1095TU Laptop Keyboard

The Portuguese gained control of the Island of Mozambique and the port city of Sofala in the early 16th century, and by the 1530s, small groups of Portuguese traders andprospectors seeking gold penetrated the interior regions, HP Pavilion G60-230 Laptop Keyboard

where they set up garrisons and trading posts at Sena and Tete on the Zambezi River and tried to gain exclusive control over the gold trade. The Portuguese attempted to legitimize and consolidate their trade and settlement positions through the creation ofprazos (land grants) tied to Portuguese settlement and administration. HP Envy 15-1050es Laptop Keyboard

While prazos were originally developed to be held by Portuguese, through intermarriage they became African Portuguese or African Indian centres defended by large African slave armies known as Chikunda. DELL E141395 Laptop Keyboard

Historically within Mozambique there was slavery. Human beings were bought and sold by African tribal chiefs, Arab traders, and Portuguese and French traders as well. Many Mozambican slaves were supplied by tribal chiefs who raided warring tribes and sold their captives to the prazeiros.[9] ACER Aspire 5613 Laptop Keyboard

Although Portuguese influence gradually expanded, its power was limited and exercised through individual settlers and officials who were granted extensive autonomy. The Portuguese were able to wrest much of the coastal trade from Arabs between 1500 and 1700, but, with the Arab seizure of Portugal's key foothold atFort Jesus on Mombasa Island (now in Kenya) in 1698, HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

the pendulum began to swing in the other direction. As a result, investment lagged while Lisbon devoted itself to the more lucrative trade with India and the Far East and to the colonisation of Brazil.  HP Envy 15-1040er Laptop Keyboard

Many prazos had declined by the mid-19th century, but several of them survived. During the 19th century other European powers, particularly the British (British South Africa Company) and the French (Madagascar), became increasingly involved in the trade and politics of the region around the Portuguese East African territories.[citation needed] SONY KFRSBA019A Laptop Keyboard

By the early 20th century the Portuguese had shifted the administration of much of Mozambique to large private companies, like the Mozambique Company, the Zambezia Company and the Niassa Company, controlled and financed mostly by the British, which established railroad lines to neighbouring countries. SONY VAIO VGN-FS760/W laptop keyboard

Although slavery had been legally abolished in Mozambique, at the end of the 19th century the Chartered companies enacted a forced labor policy and supplied cheap – often forced – African labour to the mines andplantations of the nearby British colonies and South Africa. The Zambezia Company, the most profitable chartered company, TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3001 laptop keyboard

took over a number of smaller prazeiro holdings, and established military outposts to protect its property. The chartered companies built roads and ports to bring their goods to market including a railroad linking present day Zimbabwe with the Mozambican port of Beira.[10][11] HP Envy 15-1040er laptop keyboard

Due to their unsatisfactory performance and the shift, under the corporatist Estado Novo regime of Oliveira Salazar, towards a stronger Portuguese control of Portuguese empire's economy, the companies' concessions were not renewed when they ran out. This was what happened in 1942 with the Mozambique Company, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ19VN laptop keyboard

which however continued to operate in the agricultural and commercial sectors as a corporation, and had already happened in 1929 with the termination of the Niassa Company's concession. In 1951, the Portuguese overseas colonies in Africa were rebranded as Overseas Provinces of Portugal.[10][11][12] SONY VAIO VGN-CR220E laptop keyboard

As communist and anti-colonial ideologies spread out across Africa, many clandestine political movements were established in support of Mozambican independence. These movements claimed that since policies and development plans were primarily designed by the ruling authorities for the benefit of Mozambique's Portuguese population, DELL 1R28D Laptop Keyboard

little attention was paid to Mozambique's tribal integration and the development of its native communities.[13] According to the official guerrilla statements, this affected a majority of the indigenous population who suffered both state-sponsored discrimination and enormous social pressure.  GATEWAY V030946FS1 US Laptop Keyboard

Many felt they had received too little opportunity or resources to upgrade their skills and improve their economic and social situation to a degree comparable to that of the Europeans. Statistically, Mozambique's Portuguese whites were indeed wealthier and more skilled than the black indigenous majority. HP G61-424CA Laptop Keyboard

As a response to the guerrilla movement, the Portuguese government from the 1960s and principally the early 1970s, initiated gradual changes with new socioeconomic developments and egalitarian policies for all.[citation needed] DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) initiated a guerrilla campaign against Portuguese rule in September 1964. This conflict - along with the two others already initiated in the other Portuguese colonies of Angola and Portuguese Guinea - became part of the so-called Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974).[ GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

citation needed] From a military standpoint, the Portuguese regular army maintained control of the population centres while the guerrilla forces sought to undermine their influence in rural and tribal areas in the north and west. As part of their response to FRELIMO, the Portuguese government began to pay more attention to creating favourable conditions for social development and economic growth.[14] TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 Laptop Keyboard

After 10 years of sporadic warfare and Portugal's return to democracy through a leftist military coup in Lisbon, which replaced Portugal's Estado Novo regime for a military junta (the Carnation Revolution of April 1974), FRELIMO took control of the territory. Within a year, most of the 250,000 Portuguese in Mozambique had left - some expelled by the government of the nearly independent territory, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

some fleeing in fear - and Mozambique became independent from Portugal on 25 June 1975. In an act of vengeance, a law had been passed by the then relatively unknownArmando Guebuza in the FRELIMO party ordering the Portuguese to leave the country in 24 hours with only 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of luggage. Unable to salvage any of their assets, most of them returned to Portugal.[15]  DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

The new government, under president Samora Machel, established a one-party state based on Marxist principles. The new government received diplomatic and some military support from Cuba and the Soviet Union and proceeded to crack down on opposition.[16] Starting shortly after the independence, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

the country was plagued from 1977 to 1992 by a long and violent civil war between the opposition forces of anti-Communist RENAMO rebel militias and the Marxist FRELIMO regime. This conflict, combined with sabotage from the neighbouring white-ruled state of Rhodesia and the Apartheid regime of South Africa,  ACER Aspire 5742ZG Laptop Keyboard

ineffective policies, failed central planning, and the resulting economic collapse, characterized the first decades of Mozambican independence. This period was also marked by the exodus of Portuguese nationals and Mozambicans of Portuguese heritage,[17] a collapsed infrastructure, lack of investment in productive assets, TOSHIBA V072426CS1 Laptop Keyboard

and government nationalisation of privately owned industries as well as widespread famine. During most of the civil war, the FRELIMO-formed central government was unable to exercise effective control outside of urban areas, many of which were cut off from the capital. It is reported that in RENAMO controlled areas, HP Pavilion DV7-3069wm laptop keyboard

which included up to 50% of the rural areas in several provinces, health services of any kind were isolated from assistance for years. The problem worsened when the government cut back spending on health care.[18] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The war was marked by mass human rights violations from both sides of the conflict with RENAMO contributing to the chaos through the use of terror and indiscriminate targeting of civilians.[19][20] The central government executed tens of thousands of people while trying to extend its control throughout the country and sent many people to re-education camps where thousands died.[19] DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

During the war RENAMO proposed a peace agreement based on the secession of RENAMO controlled northern and western territories as the independent Republic of Rombesia, but FRELIMO refused wanting sovereignty over the entire country. An estimated one million Mozambicans perished during the civil war, SONY VAIO VGN-N350N laptop keyboard

1.7 million took refuge in neighbouring states, and several million more were internally displaced.[21] The FRELIMO regime also gave shelter and support to South African (African National Congress) and Zimbabwean (Zimbabwe African National Union) rebel movements while the governments of first Rhodesia and later South Africa (at that time still operating the Apartheid laws) backed RENAMO in the civil war. GATEWAY V030946FS1 US laptop keyboard

On 19 October 1986, Samora Machel was on his way back from an international meeting in Zambia in the presidential Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft when the plane crashedin the Lebombo Mountains, near Mbuzini. There were ten survivors, DELL 9Z.N1K82.C01 laptop keyboard

but President Machel and thirty-three others died, including ministers and officials of the Mozambique government. The United Nations' Soviet delegation issued a minority report contending that their expertise and experience had been undermined by the South Africans. SONY Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H laptop keyboard

Representatives of the Soviet Union advanced the theory that the plane had been intentionally diverted by a false navigational beacon signal, using a technology provided by military intelligence operatives of the South African government.[22] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Machel's successor, Joaquim Chissano, implemented sweeping changes in the country, starting reforms such as changing from Marxism to capitalism, and began peace talks with RENAMO. The new constitution enacted in 1990 provided for a multi-party political system, market-based economy, and free elections. HP Pavilion DV7t-2200 CTO laptop keyboard

The civil war ended in October 1992 with the Rome General Peace Accords, first brokered by the CCM, the Christian Council of Mozambique (Council of Protestant Churches) and then taken over by Community of Sant'Egidio. Under supervision of the ONUMOZ peacekeeping force of the United Nations, peace returned to Mozambique.[23]  SONY VAIO VGN-NW15L laptop keyboard

By 1993 more than 1.5 million Mozambican refugees who had sought asylum in neighbouring Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa as a result of war and drought had returned, as part of the largest repatriation witnessed in sub-Saharan Africa.[24] HP Pavilion DV7-2013tx laptop keyboard

Mozambique is divided into ten provinces (provincias) and one capital city (cidade capital) with provincial status. The provinces are subdivided into 129 districts (distritos). The districts are further divided in 405 "Postos Administrativos" (Administrative Posts) and then into Localidades (Localities), the lowest geographical level of the central state administration. Since 1998, 43 "Municípios" (Municipalities) have been created in Mozambique.

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This name, in use during colonial times, was abolished after independence[25] and was replaced by localidades (localities). However, it was re-established in 1986.[26]

Administrative posts are headed by a Secretários (secretaries), which before independence were called Chefes de Posto (post chiefs). HP Pavilion dv6-2159tx laptop keyboard

Administrative posts can be further subdivided into localities, also headed by secretaries.

At 309,475 sq mi (801,537 km2), Mozambique is the world's 35th-largest country. It is comparable in size to Turkey. Mozambique is located on the southeast coast of Africa. It is bound by Swaziland to the south, South Africa to the southwest, HP Pavilion DV7-3165dx laptop keyboard

Zimbabwe to the west, Zambia and Malawi to the northwest, Tanzania to the north and the Indian Ocean to the east. Mozambique lies between latitudes 10° and 27°S, and longitudes 30° and 41°E. Lenovo Thinkpad T520 laptop keyboard

The country is divided into two topographical regions by the Zambezi River. To the north of the Zambezi River, the narrow coastline moves inland to hills and low plateaus, and further west to rugged highlands, which include the Niassa highlands,Namuli or Shire highlands, Angonia highlands, Tete highlands and the Makonde plateau, HP Pavilion dv6-3020tu laptop keyboard

covered with miombo woodlands. To the south of the Zambezi River, the lowlands are broader with the Mashonaland plateau and Lebombo Mountains located in the deep south.

The country is drained by five principal rivers and several smaller ones with the largest and most important the Zambezi. The country has four notable lakes: HP Mini 110-3004tu Laptop Keyboard

Lake Niassa (or Malawi), Lake Chiuta, Lake Cahora Bassa and Lake Shirwa, all in the north. The major cities are Maputo, Beira, Nampula, Tete, Quelimane, Chimoio, Pemba, Inhambane, Xai-Xai and Lichinga. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4047 Laptop Keyboard

Mozambique has a tropical climate with two seasons, a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September. Climatic conditions, however, vary depending on altitude. Rainfall is heavy along the coast and decreases in the north and south. Annual precipitation varies from 500 to 900 mm (19.7 to 35.4 in) DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

depending on the region, with an average of 590 mm (23.2 in). Cyclones are common during the wet season. Average temperature ranges in Maputo are from 13 to 24 °C (55.4 to 75.2 °F) in July to 22 to 31 °C (71.6 to 87.8 °F) in February.[27] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

In the 1994 elections, Joaquim Chissano was elected President with 53% of the vote, and a 250-member National Assembly was voted in with 129 Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO) deputies, 112 Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) deputies, and nine representatives of three smaller parties that formed the Democratic Union (UD). Since its formation in 1994, SONY VAIO VGN-FS115Z laptop keyboard

the National Assembly has made progress in becoming a body increasingly more independent of the executive. By 1999, more than one-half (53%) of the legislation passed originated in the Assembly. HP Mini 110-3109sl laptop keyboard

After some delays, in 1998 the country held its first local elections to provide for local representation and some budgetary authority at the municipal level. The principal opposition party, RENAMO, boycotted the local elections, citing flaws in the registration process. Independent slates contested the elections and won seats in municipal assemblies. Turnout was very low.  HP Mini 210-2070sb laptop keyboard

Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

In the aftermath of the 1998 local elections, the government resolved to make more accommodations to the opposition's procedural concerns for the second round of multiparty national elections in 1999. Working through the National Assembly, the electoral law was rewritten and passed by consensus in December 1998. Financed largely by international donors, a very successful voter registration was conducted from July to September 1999,  Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

providing voter registration cards to 85% of the potential electorate (more than seven million voters).

The second general elections were held 3–5 December 1999, with high voter turnout. International and domestic observers agreed that the voting process was well organized and went smoothly. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 laptop keyboard

Both the opposition and observers subsequently cited flaws in the tabulation process that, had they not occurred, might have changed the outcome. In the end, however, international and domestic observers concluded that the close result of the vote reflected the will of the people.  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

President Chissano won the presidency with a margin of 4% over the RENAMO-Electoral Union coalition candidate, Afonso Dhlakama, and began his five-year term in January 2000. FRELIMO increased its majority in the National Assembly with 133 out of 250 seats. RENAMO-UE coalition won 116 seats, one went independent, and no third parties are represented. HP Pavilion dv6-3023sy laptop keyboard

The opposition coalition did not accept the National Election Commission's results of the presidential vote and filed a formal complaint to the Supreme Court. One month after the voting, the court dismissed the opposition's challenge and validated the election results. The opposition did not file a complaint about the results of the legislative vote. ACER Travelmate 4670 laptop keyboard

The second local elections, involving thirty-three municipalities with some 2.4 million registered voters, took place in November 2003. This was the first time that FRELIMO, RENAMO-UE, and independent parties competed without significant boycotts. The 24% turnout was well above the 15% turnout in the first municipal elections. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460EB laptop keyboard

FRELIMO won twenty-eight mayoral positions and the majority in twenty-nine municipal assemblies, while RENAMO won five mayoral positions and the majority in four municipal assemblies. The voting was conducted in an orderly fashion without violent incidents. However, the period immediately after the elections was marked by objections about voter and candidate registration and vote tabulation, as well as calls for greater transparency. HP Pavilion DV6z artist edition 2 laptop keyboard

In May 2009, the government approved a new general elections law that contained innovations based on the experience of the 2003 municipal elections. Presidential and National Assembly elections took place on 1–2 December 2004. FRELIMO candidate Armando Guebuza won with 64% of the popular vote. His opponent, HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard

Afonso Dhlakama of RENAMO, received 32% of the popular vote. FRELIMO won 160 seats in Parliament. A coalition of RENAMO and several small parties won the 90 remaining seats. Armando Guebuza was inaugurated as the President of Mozambique on 2 February 2005. RENAMO and some other opposition parties made claims of election fraud and denounced the result. HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

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These claims were supported by international observers (among others by the European Union Election Observation Mission to Mozambique and the Carter Centre) to the elections who criticised the fact that the National Electoral Commission (CNE) did not conduct fair and transparent elections. They listed a whole range of shortcomings by the electoral authorities that benefited the ruling party FRELIMO. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

However, according to EU observers, the elections shortcomings have probably not affected the final result in the presidential election. On the other hand, the observers have declared that the outcome of the parliamentary election and thus the distribution of seats in the National Assembly does not reflect the will of the Mozambican people and is clearly to the disadvantage of RENAMO.HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

After a clashes between Renamo guards and the police in Muxengue and Gondola in April 2013, Renamo said it would boycott and disrupt local elections in November 2013. Since the end of the civil war in 1992 about 300 Renamo guards had remained armed and refused to join the national army or police force.[28] HP G62-147NR Laptop Keyboard

While allegiances dating back to the liberation struggle remain relevant, Mozambique's foreign policy has become increasingly pragmatic. The twin pillars of Mozambique's foreign policy are maintenance of good relations with its neighbors and maintenance and expansion of ties to development partners. DELL NSK-DG101 Laptop Keyboard

During the 1970s and the early 1980s, Mozambique's foreign policy was inextricably linked to the struggles for majority rule in Rhodesia and South Africa as well as superpower competition and the Cold War.[29] Mozambique's decision to enforce UN sanctions against Rhodesia and deny that country access to the sea ledIan Smith's government to undertake overt and covert actions to oppose the country.  HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Although the change of government in Zimbabwe in 1980 removed this threat, the government of South Africa continued to back RENAMO in its war with the FRELIMO government. Mozambique also belonged to the Front Line States.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 Laptop Keyboard

The 1984 Nkomati Accord, while failing in its goal of ending South African support to RENAMO, opened initial diplomatic contacts between the Mozambican and South African governments. This process gained momentum with South Africa's elimination of apartheid, which culminated in the establishment of full diplomatic relations in October 1993. While relations with neighbouring Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania show occasional strains, Mozambique's ties to these countries remain strong. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

In the years immediately following its independence, Mozambique benefited from considerable assistance from some Western countries, notably the Scandinavians. The Soviet Union and its allies, however, became Mozambique's primary economic, military, and political supporters, and its foreign policy reflected this linkage. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

This began to change in 1983; in 1984 Mozambique joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Western aid by the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland quickly replaced Soviet support. Finland[30] ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

and the Netherlands are becoming increasingly important sources of development assistance. Italy also maintains a profile in Mozambique as a result of its key role during the peace process. Relations with Portugal, the former colonial power, continue to be important because Portuguese investors play a visible role in Mozambique's economy. TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

Mozambique is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and ranks among the moderate members of the African bloc in the United Nations and other international organisations. Mozambique also belongs to the African Union (formerly the Organisation of African Unity) and the Southern African Development Community. In 1994, TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

the government became a full member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, in part to broaden its base of international support but also to please the country's sizable Muslim population. Similarly, in early 1996 Mozambique joined its Anglophone neighbours in the Commonwealth of Nations. At the time it was the only nation to have joined the Commonwealth that was never part of the British Empire. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

In the same year, Mozambique became a founding member and the first President of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), and maintains close ties with other Lusophone states. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

The official currency is the New Metical (as of February 2013, 1 USD is roughly equivalent to 30 New Meticals), which replaced old Meticals at the rate of a thousand to one. The old currency was redeemable at the Bank of Mozambique until the end of 2012. The US$, South African rand, and recently the euro are also widely accepted and used in business transactions.  SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

The minimum legal salary is around US$60 per month. Mozambique is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The SADC free tradeprotocol is aimed at making the Southern African region more competitive by eliminatingtariffs and other trade barriers. The World Bank in 2007 talked of Mozambique's 'blistering pace of economic growth'. SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

A joint donor-government study in early 2007 said 'Mozambique is generally considered an aid success story.' The IMF in early 2007 said 'Mozambique is a success story in Sub-Saharan Africa.' Yet, despite this apparent success, both the World Bank and UNICEF used the word 'paradox' to describe rising chronic child malnutrition in the face of GDP growth. Between 1994 and 2006, average annual GDP growth was approximately 8%,SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

however, the country remains one of the poorest and most underdeveloped in the world. In a 2006 survey, three-quarters of Mozambicans said that in the past five years their economic position had remained the same or become worse.[31] HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

The resettlement of civil war refugees and successful economic reform have led to a high growth rate: the country enjoyed a remarkable recovery, achieving an average annual rate of economic growth of 8% between 1996 and 2006[32] Compaq Presario CQ56-102SE laptop keyboard

and between 6%–7% from 2006 to 2011.[1] The devastating floods of early 2000 slowed GDP growth to 2.1% but a full recovery was achieved in 2001 with growth of 14.8%.[citation needed]. Rapid expansion in the future hinged on several major foreign investment projects, continued economic reform, and the revival of the agriculture, transportation, and tourism sectors. TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6010L laptop keyboard

In 2013 about 80% of the population was employed in agriculture, the majority of whom were engaged in small-scale subsistence farming[33] which still suffered from inadequate infrastructure, commercial networks, and investment. However, in 2012, more than 90% of Mozambique's arable land was still uncultivated.[34] HP 9J.NOL82.W01 laptop keyboard

In 2013, a BBC article reported that, starting in 2009, Portuguese had been returning to Mozambique because of the growing economy in Mozambique and the poor economic situation in Portugal.[35] FUJITSU Lifebook S7210 laptop keyboard

More than 1,200 state-owned enterprises (mostly small) have been privatised. Preparations for privatisation and/or sector liberalisation are underway for the remaining parastatal enterprises, including telecommunications, energy, ports, and railways. The government frequently selects a strategic foreign investor when privatising a parastatal. Packard Bell Easynote LM94 laptop keyboard

Additionally, customs duties have been reduced, and customs management has been streamlined and reformed. The government introduced a value-added tax in 1999 as part of its efforts to increase domestic revenues. Plans for 2003–04 include Commercial Code reform; comprehensive judicial reform; financial sector strengthening; SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

continued civil service reform; and improved government budget, audit, and inspection capability. Further political instability resulting from the floods left thousands homeless, displaced within their own country.[citation needed] HP Pavilion DV6t-4000 laptop keyboard

Mozambique's economy has been shaken by a number of corruption scandals. In July 2011, the government proposed new anti-corruption laws to criminalise embezzlement, influence peddling and graft, following numerous instances of theft of public money. This has been endorsed by the country's Council of Ministers. Mozambique has convicted two former ministers for graft in the past two years.[36] SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard

Mozambique was ranked 116 of 178 countries in anti-graft watchdog Transparency International's latest index of global corruption. According to a USAID report written in 2005, “the scale and scope of corruption in Mozambique are cause for alarm.”[37] HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

In March 2012, the government of the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane uncovered the misappropriation of public funds by the director of the Provincial Anti-Drugs Office, Calisto Alberto Tomo. He was found to have colluded with the accountant in the Anti-Drugs Office, Recalda Guambe, to steal over 260,000 meticais between 2008 and 2010.[38] COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

The north-central provinces of Zambezia and Nampula are the most populous, with about 45% of the population. The estimated four million Macua are the dominant group in the northern part of the country; the Sena and Shona (mostly Ndau) are prominent in the Zambezi valley, and the Shangaan (Tsonga) dominate in southern Mozambique. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Other groups include Makonde, Yao, Swahili,Tonga, Chopi, and Nguni (including Zulu). Bantu people comprise 97.8% of the population, with the rest including White Africans (largely of Portuguese ancestry), Euro-Africans (mestiço people of mixed Bantu and Portuguese heritage), and Indians.[4] Roughly 45,000 people of Indian descent reside in Mozambique.[40]

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Portuguese is the official and most widely spoken language of the nation, spoken by 50.3% of the population.[45] 37.7%, mostly representing the indigenous African population, speak it as their second language and only 12.78% speak it as their first language. Most Mozambicans living in the cities speak Portuguese as their first language. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

The Bantu-group languages of Mozambique that are indigenous to the country vary greatly in their groupings and in some cases are rather poorly appreciated and documented.[46] Apart from its lingua franca uses in the north of the country, Swahili is spoken in a small area of the coast next to the Tanzanian border; HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

south of this, towards Moçambique Island, Kimwani, regarded as a dialect of Swahili, is used. Immediately inland of the Swahili area, Makonde is used, separated farther inland by a small strip of Makhuwa-speaking territory from an area where Yao or ChiYao is used. Makonde and Yao belong to a different group, Yao[47]being very close to the Mwera language of the Rondo Plateau area in Tanzania.[48]  HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Prepositions appear in these languages as locative prefixes prefixed to the noun and declined according to their own noun-class. Some Nyanja is used at the coast of Lake Malawi, as well as on the other side of the Lake bordering on Malawi.[49][50]  DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Somewhat different from all of these are the languages of the eMakhuwa group, with a loss of initial k-, which means that many nouns begin with a vowel: for example, epula = "rain".[46]

There is eMakhuwa proper, with the related eLomwe and eChuwabo, with a small eKoti-speaking area at the coast. In an area straddling the lower Zambezi, Sena, which belongs to the same group as Nyanja, is spoken, with areas speaking the related CiNyungwe an DELL FM8 Laptop Keyboard

A large Shona-speaking area extends between the Zimbabwe border and the sea: this was formerly known the Ndau variety[51] but now uses the orthography of the Standard Shona of Zimbabwe. Apparently similar to Shona, but lacking the tone patterns of the Shona language, and regarded by its speakers as quite separate, isCiBalke, also called Rue or Barwe, used in a small country near the Zimbabwe border. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

South of this area are languages of the Shangaan group, which are quite different again. XiTswa or Tswa occurs at the coast and inland, XiTsonga or Tsongastraddles the area around the Limpopo River, including such local dialects as XiChangana. This language area extends into neighbouring South Africa. Still related to these, but distinct, DELL Vostro PP37L laptop keyboard

are GiTonga and CiCopi or Chopi spoken north of the mouth of the Limpopo, and XiRonga or Ronga in the immediate region around Maputo. The languages in this group are, judging by the short vocabularies,[46] very vaguely similar to Zulu, but obviously not in the same immediate group. There are small Swazi- and Zulu-speaking areas in Mozambique immediately next to the Swaziland and KwaZulu-Natal borders.  SONY VAIO VGN-SZ640 laptop keyboard

Arabs, Chinese, and Indians primarily speak Portuguese and some Hindi. Indians from Portuguese India speak any of the Portuguese Creoles of their origin aside from Portuguese as their second language. Compaq Presario CQ56-110SE laptop keyboard

The 2007 census found that Christians made up 56.1% of Mozambique's population and Muslims comprised 17.9% of the population. 7.3% of the people held other beliefs, mainly animism, and 18.7% had no religious beliefs.[4][52] SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

The Roman Catholic Church has established twelve dioceses (Beira, Chimoio, Gurué, Inhambane, Lichinga, Maputo, Nacala, Nampula, Pemba, Quelimane, Tete, and Xai-Xai; archdioceses are Beira, Maputo and Nampula). Statistics for the dioceses range from a low 5.8% Catholics in the population in the diocese of Chimoio, to 32.50% in Quelimane diocese (Anuario catolico de Mocambique 2007). SONY VAIO VGN-CR32S laptop keyboard

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) has established a growing presence in Mozambique. It first began sending missionaries to Mozambique in 1999, and, as of December 2011, has more than 5600 members.[53] SONY VAIO VGN-FS790 laptop keyboard

The Baha'i Faith has been present in Mozambique since the early 1950s but did not openly identify itself in those years because of the strong influence of the Catholic Church which did not recognize it officially as a world religion. The independence in 1975 saw the entrance of new pioneers. In total there are about 3,000 declared Baha'is in Mozambique as of 2010. The Administrative Committee is located in Maputo. HP Pavilion dv6-3089la laptop keyboard\

Muslims are particularly present in the north of the country. They are organized in several "tariqa" or brotherhoods (of the Qadiriya or Shadhuliyyah branch). Two national organizations also exist – the Conselho Islâmico de Moçambique (reformists) and the Congresso Islâmico de Moçambique (pro-Sufi). There are also important Indo-Pakistani associations as well as some Shia and particularly Ismaili communities. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Among the main Protestant churches are Igreja União Baptista de Moçambique, the Assembleias de Deus, the Seventh-day Adventists, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Igreja do Evangelho Completo de Deus, the Igreja Metodista Unida, the Igreja Presbiteriana de Moçambique, the Igreja de Cristo and the Assembleia Evangélica de Deus. HP Pavilion dv6-3190ee laptop keyboard

The fertility rate is at about 5.5 births per woman.[54] Public expenditure on health was at 2.7% of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure on health was at 1.3% in the same year.[54] Health expenditure per capita was 42 US$ (PPP) in 2004.[54] In the early 21st century there were 3 physicians per 100,000 people in the country.[54] Infant mortality was at 100 per 1,000 births in 2005.[54]  TOSHIBA A000014900 laptop keyboard

After its independence from Portugal in 1975, the Mozambique government established a primary health care system that was cited by the WHO as a model for other developing countries.[55] LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

Over 90% of the population had been provided with vaccination. During the period of early 1980s, around 11% of the government budget was targeted on health care.[56] However, the Mozambique civil war led to a great setback in the primary health system in Mozambique. The RENAMO's attack on government infrastructures included health and education systems from 1980 to 1992.[18]DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Mozambique is 550. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

This is compared with 598.8 in 2008 and 385 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 147 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 29. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – improve maternal death. In Mozambique the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 3 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women 1 in 37.[57] HP G62-450SV Laptop Keyboard

The official prevalence of HIV in Mozambique in 2011 was 11.5% for the population in the age range between 15 and 49 years (a common reference for HIV statistics). This is lower than several of the neighbouring countries in Southern Africa. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

For the southern parts of the country (Maputo and Gaza provinces) the official figures are more than twice as high as the national average. In 2011 the health authorities estimated about 1.7 million Mozambicans were HIV-positive, of whom 600,000 were in need of anti-retroviral treatment. As per December 2011 240,000 were receiving such treatment. According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Mozambique seems to be leveling off.[58] HP G72-b52SF Laptop Keyboard

As NGOs do for many developing countries, Mozambique is supported by the rest of the world. Due to foreign aid management difficulties and the inequity of the local community, the NGOs fragment the primary health care system in Mozambique. It is the time that foreign aids and NGOs can think of a new way to help developing countries like Mozambique. [59] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Health researcher, James Pfeiffer argues that in addition to installing a new aid management strategy, a new paradigm of cooperation must be formed in order to facilitate the exchange between aid workers and the local health workers in the developing world. The new paradigm will help to promote a long-lasting positive impact on the local health institutions and strengthen the professional relationship between the health workers. [18] GATEWAY AEPA6TAU111 Laptop Keyboard

Since independence from Portugal in 1975, school construction and teacher-training enrollments have not kept up with population increases. Especially after the Mozambican Civil War (1977–1992), with post-war enrollments reaching all-time highs due to stability and youth population growth, the quality of education has suffered. HP 496878-001 Laptop Keyboard

All Mozambicans are required by law to attend school through the primary level; however, a lot of children in Mozambique do not go to primary school because they have to work for their families' subsistence farms for a living. In 2007, one million children still did not go to school, most of them from poor rural families,  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

and almost half of all teachers in Mozambique were still unqualified. Girls’ enrollment increased from 3 million in 2002 to 4.1 million in 2006 while the completion rate increased from 31,000 to 90,000, which testified a very poor completion rate.[60] HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

After grade 7, students must take standardised national exams to enter secondary school, which runs from eighth to 10th grade.[citation needed] Space in Mozambican universities is extremely limited; thus most students who complete pre-university school do not immediately proceed on to university studies. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Laptop Keyboard

Many go to work as teachers or are unemployed. There are also institutes which give more vocational training, specialising in agricultural, technical, or pedagogical studies, which students may attend after grade 10 in lieu of a pre-university school. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

After independence from Portugal in 1975, a number of Mozambican students continued to be admitted every year at Portuguese high schools, polytechnical institutes, and universities, through bilateral agreements between the Portuguese government and the Mozambican government. HP Pavilion dv5-1160ep laptop keyboard

he music of Mozambique can serve many purposes, ranging from religious expression to traditional ceremonies. Musical instruments are usually handmade. Some of the instruments used in Mozambican musical expression include drums made of wood and animal skin; the lupembe, HP Pavilion DV6-1145ew laptop keyboard

a woodwind instrument made from animal horns or wood; and the marimba, which is a kind ofxylophone native to Mozambique. The marimba is a popular instrument with the Chopi of the south central coast who are famous for their musical skill and dance. Some[who?]  HP G61-435ST laptop keyboard

would say that Mozambique's music is similar to reggae and West Indian calypso. Other music types are popular in Mozambique like marrabenta, and other Lusophone music forms like fado, samba, bossa nova,maxixe (with origins from Maxixe, and kizomba).SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard

The Makonde are renowned for their wood carving and elaborate masks, see picture below, that are commonly used in traditional dances. There are two different kinds of wood carvings. Shetani, (evil spirits), which are mostly carved in heavy ebony, tall, and elegantly curved with symbols and nonrepresentational faces. Lenovo 3000 G450 2949 laptop keyboard

The Ujamaa are totem-type carvings which illustrate lifelike faces of people and various figures. Theses sculptures are usually referred to as "family trees" because they tell stories of many generations. COMPAQ Presario R3000 laptop keyboard

During the last years of the colonial period, Mozambican art reflected the oppression by the colonial power, and became symbol of the resistance. After independence in 1975, the modern art came into a new phase. The two best known and most influential contemporary Mozambican artists are the painter Malangatana Ngwenya and the sculptor Alberto Chissano.  COMPAQ Presario CQ41-219AX laptop keyboard

A lot of the post-independence art during the 1980s and 1990s reflect the political struggle, civil war, suffering, starvation, and struggle.

Dances are usually intricate, highly developed traditions throughout Mozambique. There are many different kinds of dances from tribe to tribe which are usually ritualistic in nature. The Chopi, for instance, act out battles dressed in animal skins. HP 407218-001 laptop keyboard

The men of Makua dress in colourful outfits and masks while dancing on stilts around the village for hours. Groups of women in the northern part of the country perform a traditional dance called tufo, to celebrate Islamic holidays.[61] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 laptop keyboard

Present for nearly 500 years, the Portuguese greatly impacted the cuisine of Mozambique. Staples and crops such as cassava (a starchy root of Brazilian origin), cashew nuts (also of Brazilian origin, though Mozambique was once the largest producer of t

hese nuts) and pãozinho (pronounced [pɐ̃wˈzĩɲu],  SONY VAIO VGN-NW15L laptop keyboard

those are Portuguese-style French buns) were brought in by the Portuguese. The use of spices and seasonings such as onions, bay leaves, garlic, fresh coriander, paprika, chili peppers, red sweet peppers and wine were introduced by the Portuguese, as were sugarcane, maize,millet, rice, sorghum (a type of grass) and potatoes. Prego (steak roll), HP 576835-001 laptop keyboard

rissóis (battered shrimp), espetada (kebab), pudim (pudding), and the popular inteiro com piripiri (whole chicken in piri-piri sauce) are all Portuguese dishes commonly eaten in present-day Mozambique. HP G62-450SV laptop keyboard

The People's Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: República Popular de Moçambique), was a self-declared socialist state (commonly known as a communist state in the West) that lasted from June 25, 1975 through December 1, 1990, becoming the present day Republic of Mozambique.

After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E laptop keyboard

the People's Republic of Mozambique was established shortly after the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique ("Frelimo"), which was led by Samora Moises Machel, engaged in a brutalcivil war with the Mozambique National Resistance ("Renamo"), a guerilla movement initially financed by the Republic of Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe), but later replaced by apartheid South Africa, who supported and financed the group.[1] SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard

The People's Republic of Mozambique enjoyed close ties with the People's Republic of Angola[2] and the Soviet Union,[3] both of which were communist states at the given time.[4] The People's Republic of Mozambique was also an observer of Comecon ("Council for Mutual Economic Assistance"), which was an economic organization of communist states.[5] HP 488590-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Mozambican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the guerrilla forces of the Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique), and Portugal. The war officially started on September 25, 1964, and ended with a cease fire on September 8, 1974, resulting in a negotiated independence in 1975. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Portugal's wars against independence guerrilla fighters in its 400-year-old African territories began in 1961 with Angola. In Mozambique, the conflict erupted in 1964 as a result of unrest and frustration amongst many indigenous Mozambican populations, who perceived foreign rule to be a form of exploitation and mistreatment,  HP AEUT3U00140 Laptop Keyboard

which served only to further Portuguese economic interests in the region. Many Mozambicans also resented Portugal's policies towards indigenous people, which resulted in discrimination, traditional lifestyle turning difficult for many African indigenes, and limited access to Portuguese-style education and skilled employment. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

As successful self-determination movements spread throughout Africa after World War II, many Mozambicans became progressively nationalistic in outlook, and increasingly frustrated by the nation's continued subservience to foreign rule. For the other side, many enculturated indigenous Africans who were fully integrated into the Portugal-ruled social organization of Portuguese Mozambique,  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

in particular those from the urban centers, reacted to the independentist claims with a mix of discomfort and suspicion. The ethnic Portuguese of the territory, which included most of the ruling authorities, responded with increased military presence and fast-paced development projects. TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S5984 Laptop Keyboard

A mass exile of Mozambique's political intelligentsia to neighbouring countries provided havens from which radical Mozambicans could plan actions and foment political unrest in their homeland. The formation of the Mozambican guerrilla organisation FRELIMO and the support of the Soviet Union, China and Cuba, Yugoslavia through arms and advisors, led to the outbreak of violence that was to last over a decade. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

From a military standpoint, the Portuguese regular army held the upper hand during all the conflict against the independentist guerrilla forces. Nonetheless, Mozambique succeeded in achieving independence on June 25, 1975, after the coup d'état in Portugal known as the Carnation Revolution,  ACER TravelMate 4150 Series Laptop Keyboard

thus ending 470 years of Portuguese colonialrule in the East African region. According to historians of the Revolution, the military coup in Portugal was in part fuelled by protests concerning the conduct of Portuguese troops in their treatment of some local Mozambican populace.[18][19] HP G42-380LA Laptop Keyboard

However, the role of the growing communist influence over the group of Portuguese military insurgents who led the Lisbon's military coup, and, on the other hand, the pressure of the international community over the direction of the Portuguese Colonial War in general, were main causes for the final outcome.[20] SONY VGN-FE770G Laptop Keyboard

San hunter and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoisani peoples, were the first known inhabitants of the region that is now Mozambique, followed in the 1st and 4th centuries by Bantu-speaking peoples who migrated there across theZambezi River. In 1498, Portuguese explorers landed on the Mozambican coastline.[21] HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

Portugal's influence in East Africa grew throughout the 16th century; she established a number of colonies known collectively as Portuguese East Africa. Slavery and gold became profitable for the Europeans; however, influence was largely exercised through individual settlers and there was no centralised administration[22] and, in the meantime, Portugal had turned her attention to India and Brazil. COMPAQ Presario CQ40-117TU Laptop Keyboard Overseas Province of Mozambique's coat of arms until 1975.

By the 19th century, European colonialism in Africa had reached its height. Having lost control of the vast territory of Brazil in South America, the Portuguese began to focus on expanding their African outposts. LENOVO V022402AS1 Laptop Keyboard

This brought them into direct conflict with the British.[21] SinceDavid Livingstone had returned to the area in 1858 in an attempt to foster trade routes, British interest in Mozambique had risen, alarming the Portuguese government. During the 19th century, much of Eastern Africa was still being brought under British control, and in order to facilitate this, Britain required several concessions from the Portuguese colony.[23] HP G62-a38SE Laptop Keyboard

As a result, in an attempt to avoid a naval conflict with the superior British Royal Navy, Portugal adjusted the borders of her colony and the modern borders of Mozambique were established in May 1881.[21] Control of Mozambique was left to various organisations such as the Mozambique Company,  SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

the Zambezi Company and the Niassa Company which were financed and provided with cheap labour by the British Empire to work mines and construct railways.[21] These companies penetrated inland from the coastline, setting up plantations and taxing the local populace who had until then resisted encroachment by the colonists. HP Pavilion G6-1B87CL laptop keyboard

The resisting Gaza Empire, a collection of indigenous tribes who inhabited the area that now constitutes Mozambique and Zimbabwe, was defeated in 1895,[23] and the remaining inland tribes were eventually defeated by 1902; HP Mini 110-3004tu laptop keyboard

in that same year, Portugal established Lourenço Marques as the capital.[24] In 1926, political and economic crisis in Portugal led to the establishment of the Second Republic (later to become the Estado Novo), and a revival of interest in the African colonies. Calls for self determination in Mozambique arose shortly after World War II, in light of the independence granted to many other colonies worldwide in the great wave of decolonisation.[15][22] HP Pavilion dv6-2150es laptop keyboard

Mozambique was marked by large disparities between the wealthy Portuguese and the majority of the large rural indigenous African population. Being largely illiterate and preserving their local traditions and ways of life, skilled employment opportunities and roles in administration and government were rare for these numerous tribal populations, SONY 148084122 Laptop Keyboard

leaving them few or no opportunities in the urban modern life. However, many indigenous peoples saw their culture and tradition being overwhelmed by the alien culture of Portugal.[22]

Vocal political dissidents opposed to Portuguese rule and claiming independence were typically forced into exile. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

The Portuguese government forced the Mozambican farmers to grow rice or cotton for export, providing little return with which the farmers could support themselves. Many other workers—over 250,000 by 1960—were sent to diamond or gold mines.[15][21][22][25] By 1950, only 4,353 Mozambicans out of 5,733,000 had been granted the right to vote by the Portuguese colonial government.[22] SONY VAIO VGN-CR520E Laptop Keyboard

The rift between Portuguese settlers and Mozambican locals is illustrated in one way by the small number of individuals with mixed Portuguese and Mozambican heritage (mestiço), numbering a mere 31,465 in a population of 8–10 million in 1960 according to that year's census.[15] ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

The Marxist-Leninist Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique) was formed in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in neighbouring Tanzania, on June 25, 1962. It was created during a conference, by a number of political figures that had been forced into exile,[26] TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

by the merging of various existing nationalist groups, including the Mozambican African National Union, National African Union of Independent Mozambique and the National Democratic Union of Mozambique which had been formed two years earlier. It was only in exile that such political movements could develop, due to the strength of Portugal's grip on dissident activity within Mozambique itself.[22] HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

A year later, in 1963, FRELIMO set up headquarters in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, under the leadership of sociologistEduardo Mondlane, and began to call for independence from Portugal.[27] After two years of organisation and failing political manoeuvres in an attempt to seek a peaceful independence, Mondlane began in 1964 a campaign of guerrilla warfare in an attempt to achieve independence for Mozambique. HP Compaq NW8440 Laptop Keyboard

Originally, the United States offered support to the nationalist groups in Africa. This support was ostensibly in keeping with Wilsonian principles, which advocated self-determination and independence for colonised nations. SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

The United Nations also put pressure on Portugal to move for decolonisation[24] Portugal, however, threatening to withdraw from NATO, put a stop to this support and pressure, and the nationalist groups in Mozambique were forced to turn to help from the Soviet bloc.[15] SONY VAIO VGN-N21E/W laptop keyboard

During the Cold War, and, in particular, in the late 1950s, the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China adopted a strategy of destabilisation of Western powers by disruption of their hold on African colonies.[28] Nikita Khrushchev, in particular, viewed the 'underdeveloped third of mankind' as a means to weaken the West. ACER TravelMate 2403 Series laptop keyboard

For the Soviets, Africa represented a chance to create a rift between western powers and their colonial assets, and create pro-communist states in Africa with which to foster future relations.[29] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Prior to the formation of FRELIMO, the Soviet position regarding the nationalist movements in Mozambique was one of confusion. There were multiple independence movements, and they had no sure knowledge that any would succeed. The nationalist groups in Mozambique, like those across Africa during the period, received training and equipment from the Soviet Union.[30] DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

Eduardo Mondlane's successor, future President of Mozambique, Samora Machel, acknowledged assistance from both Moscow and Peking, describing them as "the only ones who will really help us. … They have fought armed struggles, and whatever they have learned that is relevant to Mozambique we will use."[31] Packard Bell Easynote TX86 laptop keyboard

Guerrillas received tuition in subversion and political warfare as well as military aid, specifically shipments of 122 mm artillery rockets in 1972,[29] with 1600 advisors from Russia, Cuba and East Germany.[32] Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

The Soviet Union continued to support the new FRELIMO government against counterrevolution in the years after 1975. By 1981, there were 230 Soviet and 800 Cuban military advisers still in the country.[29] Cuba's involvement in Mozambique was as part of a continuing effort to export the anti-imperialist ideology of theCuban Revolution and forge desperately needed new allies.Compaq Presario CQ42-173TU laptop keyboard

Cuba provided support to liberation movements and leftist governments in numerous African countries, including Angola, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau and Congo-Brazzaville.[33]

At the war's outset, FRELIMO had little hope for a conventional military victory, with a mere 7000 combatants against a far larger Portuguese force.  Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

Their hopes rested on urging the local populace to support the insurgency, in order to force a negotiated independence from Lisbon.[15] Portugal fought its own version of protracted warfare, and a large military force was sent by the Portuguese government to quell the unrest, with troop numbers rising from 8,000 to 24,000 between 1964 and 1967.[34] HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

The number of local soldiers recruited for the Portuguese cause rose to 23,000 in the same period. 860 Special Forces operatives were also being trained in Commando Instruction Centres by 1969. TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 laptop keyboard

The military wing of FRELIMO was commanded by Filipe Samuel Magaia, whose forces received training from Algeria.[35] The FRELIMO guerrillas were armed with a variety of weapons, many provided by the Soviet Union and China. GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

Common weapons included the Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle, SKS and AK47 automatic rifles and the Soviet PPSh-41. Machine guns such as the Degtyarev light machine gun were widely used, along with the DShK and the SG-43 Gorunov. HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca laptop keyboard

FRELIMO were supported by mortars, recoilless rifles, RPG-2s and RPG-7s, Anti-aircraft weapons such as the ZPU-4 and from 1974 the Strela 2.[36]

In the dying stages of the conflict, FRELIMO would be provided with a limited number of SA-7 MANPAD Shoulder-launched missile launchers from China;  HP Pavilion dv5-1050ed laptop keyboard

however, these would never shoot down a Portuguese plane. Only one Portuguese aircraft was lost in combat during the conflict, when Lt. Emilio Lourenço's G.91R-4 was destroyed by premature detonation of his own ordnance.[35] Lenovo 3000 G430 4153 laptop keyboard

The Portuguese forces, in contrast, were under the command of General António Augusto dos Santos, a man with strong faith in new counter-insurgency theories. Augusto dos Santos supported a collaboration with Rhodesia to create African Scout units and other special forces teams, SONY Vaio PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

with Rhodesian forces even conducting their own independent operations during the conflict. Due to Portuguese policy of retaining up-to-date equipment for the metropole while shipping obsolete equipment to the colonies, the Portuguese soldiers fighting in the opening stages of the conflict were equipped with World War II radios and the old Mauser rifle. SONY 147664712 Laptop Keyboard

As the fighting progressed, the need for more modern equipment was rapidly recognised, and the Heckler & Koch G3 and FN FAL rifles were adopted as the standard battlefield weapon, along with the AR-10 for paratroopers. The MG42 and, then in 1968, the HK21 were the Portuguese heavier machine guns, with 60, 81 and 120 mm mortars, howitzers and the Panhard AML, Panhard EBR, Fox and Chaimite armoured vehicles supporting the infantry.[36] SONY Vaio PCG-K215S Laptop Keyboard

Although helicopters were not used in Mozambique to the same extent as they were in Vietnam, the Alouette III was the most widely used, although the Puma was also used with great success. Other aircraft were employed: for air support the T6 and the Fiat G.91 were used; for reconnaissance, the Dornier Do 27. TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7226 Laptop Keyboard

In the transport role, the Portuguese Air Force used mainly the Nord Noratlas and the C-47. The Portuguese Navy also made extensive use of patrol boats, landing crafts, and inflatable Zodiacs.

In 1964, weak-hearted attempts at peaceful negotiation by FRELIMO were abandoned and, on September 25, 1964,  HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

Eduardo Mondlane began to launch guerrilla attacks on targets in northern Mozambique from his base in Tanzania.[25] FRELIMO soldiers, with logistical assistance from the local population, attacked the administrative post at Chai Chai in the province of Cabo Delgado. FRELIMO militants were able to evade pursuit and surveillance by employing classic guerrilla tactics: ambushing patrols, Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

sabotaging communication and railroad lines, and making hit-and-run attacks against colonial outposts before rapidly fading into accessible backwater areas. The insurgents were typically armed with rifles and machine pistols, and the attackers took full advantage of themonsoon season in order to evade pursuit.[15] SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

During heavy rains, it was much more difficult to track insurgents by air, negating Portugal's air superiority, and Portuguese troops and vehicles found movement during rain storms difficult. In contrast, the insurgent troops, HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

with lighter equipment, were able to flee into the bush (the mato) amongst an ethnically similar populace into which they could melt away. Furthermore, the FRELIMO forces were able to forage food from the surroundings and local villages, and were thus not hampered by long supply lines.[37] GATEWAY NX570X Laptop Keyboard

With the initial FRELIMO attacks in Chai Chai, the fighting spread to Niassa and Tete at the centre of Mozambique. During the early stages of the conflict, FRELIMO activity was reduced to small, platoon-sized engagements, harassments and raids on Portuguese installations. The FRELIMO soldiers often operated in small groups of ten to fifteen soldiers. HP G61-336NR Laptop Keyboard

The scattered nature of FRELIMO's initial attacks was an attempt to disperse the Portuguese forces.[15]

The Portuguese troops began to suffer losses in November, fighting in the northern region of Xilama. SONY VGN-FE31M Laptop Keyboard

With increasing support from the populace, and the low number of Portuguese regular troops, FRELIMO was quickly able to advance south towards Meponda and Mandimba, linking to Tete with the aid of forces from the neighbouring Republic of Malawi, which had become a fully independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations on July 6, 1964. ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

Despite the increasing range of FRELIMO operations, attacks were still limited to small strike teams attacking lightly defended administrative outposts, with the FRELIMO lines of communication and supply utilising canoes along the Ruvuma River and Lake Malawi.[15] HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

It was not until 1965 that recruitment of fighters increased along with popular support, and the strike teams were able to increase in size. The increase in popular support was in part due to FRELIMO agencies' offer of help to exiled Mozambicans, who had fled the conflict by travelling to nearby Tanzania.[15] HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Like similar conflicts against the French and United States forces in Vietnam, the insurgents also used landmines to a great extent to injure the Portuguese forces, thus straining the armed forces' infrastructure[38] and demoralising soldiers.[15] HP Pavilion dv6-2173cl laptop keyboard

FRELIMO attack groups had also begun to grow in size to include over 100 soldiers in certain cases, and the insurgents also began to accept women fighters into their ranks.[39] On either October 10 or October 11, 1966,[40] on returning to Tanzania after inspecting the front lines, Filipe Samuel Magaia was shot dead by Lourenço Matola, a fellow FRELIMO guerrilla who was said to be in the employ of the Portuguese.  ASUS A9R laptop keyboard

One seventh of the population and one fifth of the territory were in FRELIMO hands by 1967;[41] at this time there were approximately 8000 guerrillas in combat.[15] During this period, Mondlane urged further expansion of the war effort, but also sought to retain the small strike groups. With the increasing cost of supply, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 laptop keyboard

more and more territory liberated from the Portuguese, and the adoption of measures to win the support of the population, it was at this time that Mondlane sought assistance from abroad,[15] specifically the Soviet Union and China; GATEWAY MX6956 laptop keyboard

from these benefactors, he obtained large-calibre machine guns, anti-aircraft rifles and 75 mm recoilless rifles and 122 mm rockets.[42]

In 1968, the second Congress of FRELIMO was a propaganda victory for the insurgents, despite attempts by the Portuguese,GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

who enjoyed air superiority throughout the conflict, to bomb the location of the meeting late in the day.[15] This gave FRELIMO further weight to wield in the United Nations.[43] IBM Thinkpad Z60m laptop keyboard

ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

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Namibia

Namibia /nəˈmɪbiə/, officially the Republic of Namibia (Afrikaans: Republiek van Namibië; German:   Republik Namibia (help•info)), is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard

Although it does not border with Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of riverbed (essentially the Zambia/Botswana border) separates them at their closest points. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek. Namibia is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union(AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations. HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen, Damara, and Namaqua, and since about the 14th century AD by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion. It became a German Imperial protectorate in 1884 and remained a German colony until the end of World War I. In 1920, the League of Nations mandated the country to South Africa, which imposed its laws and, from 1948, its apartheid policy. ACER Aspire 1410-742G16n Laptop Keyboard

Uprisings and demands by African leaders led the UN to assume direct responsibility over the territory. It recognised the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) as the official representative of the Namibian people in 1973. Namibia, however, remained under South African administration during this time as South-West Africa. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

Following internal violence, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990, with the exception of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands, which remained under South African control until 1994. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Namibia has a population of 2.1 million people and a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture,herding, tourism and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, uranium, gold, silver, and base metals – form the backbone of Namibia's economy. Given the presence of the arid Namib Desert, HP G62-147NR Laptop Keyboard

it is one of theleast densely populated countries in the world. Approximately half the population live below the international poverty line, and the nation has suffered heavily from the effects of HIV/AIDS, with 15% of the adult population infected with HIV in 2007. DELL NSK-DG101 Laptop Keyboard

The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by Bushmen, Damara, Nama, and since about the 14th century AD, by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion from central Africa. From the late 18th century onwards, Orlam clans from the Cape Colony crossed the Orange River and moved into the area that today is southern Namibia.[6] Their encounters with the nomadic Nama tribes were largely peaceful.  HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

The missionaries accompanying the Orlams were well received by them,[7] the right to use waterholes and grazing was granted against an annual payment.[8] On their way further northwards, however, the Orlams encountered clans of the Herero tribe at Windhoek, Gobabis, and Okahandja which were less accommodating. SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 Laptop Keyboard

The Nama-Herero Warbroke out in 1880, with hostilities ebbing only when Imperial Germany deployed troops to the contested places and cemented the status quo between Nama, Orlams, and Herero.[9]  HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The first Europeans to disembark and explore the region were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Cão in 1485 and Bartolomeu Diasin 1486; still the region was not claimed by the Portuguese crown. However, like most of Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century, HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

when traders and settlers arrived, principally from Germany and Sweden. In the late 19th century Dorsland trekkers crossed the area on their way from the Transvaal to Angola. Some of them settled in Namibia instead of continuing their journey, even more returned to South-West African territory after the Portuguese tried to convert them to Catholicism and forbade their language at schools.[10] ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

Namibia became a German colony in 1884 under Otto von Bismarck to forestall British encroachment and was known as German South-West Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika).[11] However, the Palgrave mission by the British governor in Cape Town had determined that only the natural deep-water harbour of Walvis Bay(Walfisch in German, TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

Walvis in Afrikaans, Whale in English) was worth occupying – and this was annexed to the Cape province of British South Africa. From 1904 to 1907, the Herero and the Namaqua took up arms against the Germans and in the subsequent Herero and Namaqua genocide, 10,000 Nama (half the population) and approximately 65,000 Hereros (about 80% of the population) were killed.[12][13] TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

The survivors, when finally released from detention, were subjected to a policy of dispossession, deportation, forced labour, racial segregation and discrimination in a system that in many ways anticipated apartheid. Most Africans were confined to so-called native territories, which later under South African rule post-1949 were turned into "homelands" (Bantustans). HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Indeed, some historians have speculated that the German genocide in Namibia was a model used by Nazis in the Holocaust,[14] but most scholars say that episode was not especially influential for the Nazis, who were children at the time.[15] However, the father of Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring was a one-time German colonial governor of Namibia and has a street named after him in Swakopmund.[16] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

The memory of genocide remains relevant to ethnic identity in independent Namibia and to relations with Germany.[17] Until today Germany fails to take full responsibility for its colonial past. For one reason because as a consequence Germany would have to pay relatively high sums of money as a kind of compensation. This would also be a precedent for other colonial powers.[18] HP Mini 110-3004tu Laptop Keyboard

South Africa occupied the colony in 1915 after defeating the German force during World War I and administered it as a League of Nations mandate territory from 1919. Although the South African government desired to incorporate 'South-West Africa' into its territory, it never officially did so, although it was administered as the de facto 'fifth province', TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4047 Laptop Keyboard

 with the white minority having representation in the whites-only Parliament of South Africa, as well as electing their own local administration the SWA Legislative Assembly. The South African government also appointed the SWA administrator, who had extensive powers. SONY VAIO VGN-FS790 laptop keyboard

Following the League's supersession by the United Nations in 1946, South Africa refused to surrender its earlier mandate to be replaced by a United Nations Trusteeship agreement, requiring closer international monitoring of the territory's administration (along with a definite independence schedule).  SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

The Herero Chief's Council submitted a number of petitions to the UN calling for it to grant Namibia independence during the 1950s. During the 1960s, when European powers granted independence to their colonies and trust territories in Africa, pressure mounted on South Africa to do so in Namibia. SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

In 1966 the International Court of Justice dismissed a complaint brought by Ethiopia and Liberia against South Africa's continued presence in the territory, but the U.N. General Assembly subsequently revoked South Africa's mandate, while in 1971 the International Court of Justice issued an "advisory opinion" declaring South Africa's continued administration to be illegal.[19] SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

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In response to the 1966 ruling by the International Court of Justice, South-West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) military wing, People's Liberation Army of Namibia, a guerrilla group began their armed struggle for independence,[20] but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its occupation[21] Compaq Presario CQ56-102SE laptop keyboard

of Namibia, in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. During the South African occupation of Namibia, white commercial farmers, most of whom came as settlers from South Africa and represented 0.2% of the national population, owned 74% of arable land.[22] Outside the central-southern area of Namibia (known as the "Police Zone" since the German era and which contained the main towns, industries, mines and best arable land), TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6010L laptop keyboard

the country was divided into "homelands", the version of South African bantustan applied to Namibia, although only a few were actually established due to non-cooperation by most indigenous Namibians. HP 9J.NOL82.W01 laptop keyboard

After many unsuccessful attempts by the UN to persuade South Africa to agree to the implementation of UN Resolution 435, which had been adopted by the UN Security Council in 1978 as the internationally agreed decolonisation plan for Namibia, transition to independence finally started in 1988 under the tripartite diplomatic agreement between South Africa, FUJITSU Lifebook S7210 laptop keyboard

Angola and Cuba, with the USSR and the USA as observers, under which South Africa agreed to withdraw and demobilise its forces in Namibia. As a result, Cuba agreed to pull back its troops in southern Angola sent to support the MPLA in its war for control of Angola with UNITA. Packard Bell Easynote LM94 laptop keyboard

A combined UN civilian and peace-keeping force under Finnish diplomat Martti Ahtisaari supervised the military withdrawals, the return of SWAPO exiles and the holding of Namibia's first one-person one-vote election for a constituent assembly in October 1989. This was won by SWAPO although it did not gain the two-thirds majority it had hoped for; the South African-backed Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) became the official opposition. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

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Following the adoption of the Namibian Constitution, including entrenched protection for human rights, compensation for state expropriations of private property, an independent judiciary and an executive presidency (the constituent assembly became the national assembly), the country officially became independent on 21 March 1990. Sam Nujoma was sworn in as the first President of Namibia watched by Nelson Mandela (who had been released from prison the previous month) and representatives from 147 countries, including 20 heads of state.[23] SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard

Walvis Bay was ceded to Namibia in 1994 upon the end of Apartheid in South Africa.[citation needed] COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

Since independence Namibia has successfully completed the transition from white minority apartheid rule to parliamentary democracy. Multiparty democracy was introduced and has been maintained, with local, regional and national elections held regularly. Several registered political parties are active and represented in the National Assembly, although Swapo Party has won every election since independence.[24] HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The transition from the 15-year rule of President Sam Nujoma to his successor, Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2005 went smoothly.[25]

Namibian government has promoted a policy of national reconciliation and issued an amnesty for those who had fought on either side during the liberation war. The civil war in Angola had a limited impact on Namibians living in the north of the country. HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

In 1998, Namibia Defence Force (NDF) troops were sent to theDemocratic Republic of the Congo as part of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) contingent.  HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard [25]

Namibia does not have any enemies in the region but consistently spends more on its military than all of its neighbours, except Angola. Military expenditure rose from 2.7% of GDP in 2000 to 3.7% in 2009, and the arrival of 12 Chengdu J-7 Airguard jets in 2006 and 2008 made Namibia for a short time one of the top arms importers in Sub-Saharan Africa.[30]  DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

The constitution of Namibia defined the role of the military as "defending the territory and national interests." Namibia formed the Namibian Defence Force(NDF), comprising former enemies in a 23-year bush war: the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) and South West African Territorial Force (SWATF).  DELL FM8 Laptop Keyboard

The British formulated the plan for integrating these forces and began training the NDF, which consists of a small headquarters and five battalions.

The United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG)'s Kenyan infantry battalion remained in Namibia for three months after independence to help train the NDF and to stabilise the north. According to the Namibian Defence Ministry, enlistments of both men and women will number no more than 7,500. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

The Central Plateau runs from north to south, bordered by the Skeleton Coast to the northwest, the Namib Desert and its coastal plains to the southwest, the Orange River to the south, and the Kalahari Desert to the east. The Central Plateau is home to the highest point in Namibia at Königstein elevation 2,606 meters (8,550 ft).[36] DELL Vostro PP37L laptop keyboard

Within the wide, flat Central Plateau is the majority of Namibia’s population and economic activity. Windhoek, the nation’s capital, is located here, as well as most of the arable land. Although arable land accounts for only 1% of Namibia, nearly half of the population is employed in agriculture.[37]  SONY VAIO VGN-SZ640 laptop keyboard

The abiotic conditions here are similar to those found along the Escarpment; however the topographic complexity is reduced. Summer temperatures in the area can reach 40 °C (104 °F), and frosts are common in the winter. Compaq Presario CQ56-110SE laptop keyboard

The Namib Desert is a broad expanse of hyper-arid gravel plains and dunes that stretches along Namibia's entire coastline. It varies between 100 to many hundreds of kilometres in width. Areas within the Namib include the Skeleton Coast and theKaokoveld in the north and the extensive Namib Sand Sea along the central coast.[38] SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

The sands that make up the sand sea result from processes of erosion that take place in the Orange River valley and areas further to the south. As sand-laden waters drop their suspended loads into the Atlantic, onshore currents deposit them along the shore. The prevailing south west winds then pick up and redeposit the sand in the form of massive dunes in the widespread sand sea, forming the largest sand dunes in the world. SONY VAIO VGN-CR32S laptop keyboard

  In areas where the supply of sand is reduced because of the inability of the sand to cross riverbeds, the winds also scour the land to form large gravel plains. In many areas of the Namib Desert there is little vegetation aside from lichens found in the gravel plains and in dry river beds where plants can access subterranean water. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

The Great Escarpment swiftly rises to over 2,000 meters (6,562 ft). Average temperatures and temperature ranges increase further inland from the cold Atlantic waters, while the lingering coastal fogs slowly diminish. Although the area is rocky with poorly developed soils, it is nonetheless significantly more productive than the Namib Desert. As summer winds are forced over the Escarpment, moisture is extracted as precipitation.[39] FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The water, along with rapidly changing topography, is responsible for the creation of microhabitats which offer a wide range of organisms, many of them endemic. Vegetation along the escarpment varies in both form and density, with community structure ranging from dense woodlands to more shrubby areas with scattered trees. A number of Acacia species are found here, as well as grasses and other shrubby vegetation. HP G62-450SV Laptop Keyboard

The Bushveld is found in north eastern Namibia along the Angolan border and in the Caprivi Strip which is the vestige of a narrow corridor demarcated for the German Empire to access the Zambezi River. The area receives a significantly greater amount of precipitation than the rest of the country, averaging around 400 mm (15.7 in) per year. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Temperatures are also cooler and more moderate, with approximate seasonal variations of between 10 and 30 °C (50 and 86 °F). The area is generally flat and the soils sandy, limiting their ability to retain water.[40] Located adjacent to the Bushveld in north-central Namibia is one of nature’s most spectacular features: the Etosha Pan. HP G72-b52SF Laptop Keyboard

For most of the year it is a dry, saline wasteland, but during the wet season, it forms a shallow lake covering more than 6,000 square kilometres (2,317 sq mi). The area is ecologically important and vital to the huge numbers of birds and animals from the surrounding savannah that gather in the region as summer drought forces them to the scattered waterholes that ring the pan. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

The Bushveld area has been demarcated by the World Wildlife Fund as part of the Angolan Mopane woodlands ecoregion, which extends north across theCunene River into neighbouring Angola. GATEWAY AEPA6TAU111 Laptop Keyboard

The Kalahari Desert, an arid region shared with South Africa and Botswana, is one of Namibia’s well-known geographical features. The Kalahari, while popularly known as a desert, has a variety of localized environments, including some verdant and technically non-desert areas. One of these, known as the Succulent Karoo, HP 496878-001 Laptop Keyboard

is home to over 5,000 species of plants, nearly half of them endemic; fully one-third of the world’s succulents are found in the Karoo.[citation needed]

The reason behind this high productivity and endemism may be the relatively stable nature of precipitation.[41] SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Laptop Keyboard

The Karoo does not experience drought on a regular basis, so even though the area is technically desert, regular winter rains provide enough moisture to support the region’s interesting plant community. Another feature of the Kalahari, indeed many parts of Namibia, are inselbergs, isolated mountains that create micro-climates and habitat for organisms not adapted to life in the surrounding desert matrix.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

Namibia’s Coastal Desert is one of the oldest deserts in the world. Its sand dunes, created by the strong onshore winds, are the highest in the world.[42]

The Namib Desert and the Namib-Naukluft National Park are located here. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Namibian coastal deserts are one of the richest sources of diamonds on earth. The area is divided into the northern Skeleton Coast and the southern Diamond Coast. Because of the location of the shoreline — at the point where the Atlantic's cold water reaches Africa — there is often extremely dense fog.[43] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Sandy beach composes 54% of the shoreline, and mixed sand and rock form another 28%. Only 16% of the total length is rocky shoreline. The coastal plains are "dune fields", gravel plains covered with lichen and some scattered salt pans. Near the coast there are areas where the dunes are vegetated with hammocks.[44]Namibia has rich coastal and marine resources that remain largely unexplored.[45] TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7305 Laptop Keyboard

Namibia extends from 17S to 25S: climatically the range of the sub-Tropical High Pressure Belt, arid is the overall climate description descending from the Sub-Humid (mean rain above 500mm) through Semi-Arid between 300 and 500mm (embracing most of the waterless Kalahari) and Arid from 150mm to 300mm (these three regions are inland from the western escarpment) to the Hyper-Arid coastal plain with less than a 100mm mean. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

An intermediate: Severely Arid, embracing the pre-Namib, covers the 100 to 150mm range. Variability is the Arid climate hallmark for both rainfall and temperature. Rainfall means, in particular, give a range from below 100mm per annum for the length of the Namib Desert,to 700 per annum for Katima Mulilo at the eastern end of the Caprivi; variability ranges from zero rain (no rain at all) to 800mm plus recorded,  COMPAQ Presario CQ41-219AX laptop keyboard

occurring during a bountiful season. Although the core of the rainy season: January to March provides some 70 per cent of the overall, while associated with the November, December and April overall measures adding as much as another 25 per cent (mid-90 per cent of the annual), rain is possible across the outlying months: September, October and May, HP 407218-001 laptop keyboard

the contribution is less than 5 per cent on average. Variability can see the seasonal spread vary from excessively wet possible months to rainless core months. It is only across the Kavango and Caprivi rainfall stations that the core month minimum denotes at least a day or two of rain. The extreme southwest, typically the Rosh Pinah stations, TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 laptop keyboard

enjoys both a summer and winter regime, though the most intense falls rarely exceed 10mm in a day. Winter rains have been predictable across the southern Karas and Hardap regions providing moisture for the overall environment. The advent of a changing climate has seen a depletion of the regular winter input, while increased intensities during the March–April months (thundery showers) have been recorded.  SONY VAIO VGN-NW15L laptop keyboard

Temperature maxima are limited by the overall elevation of the entire region: only in the far south, Warmbad for instance, are mid-40C maxima recorded.[46]

Typically the sub-Tropical High Pressure Belt, with frequent clear skies, provides more than 300 days of sunshine per year. It is situated at the southern edge of the tropics; the Tropic of Capricorn cuts the country about in half. HP 576835-001 laptop keyboard

The winter (June – August) is generally dry, both rainy seasons occur in summer, the small rainy season between September and November, the big one between February and April.[47] HP G62-450SV laptop keyboard

Humidity is low, and average rainfall varies from almost zero in the coastal desert to more than 600mm in the Caprivi Strip. Rainfall is however highly variable, and droughts are common.[48] The last bad rainy season with rainfall far below the annual average occurred in summer 2006/07.[49] SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E laptop keyboard

Weather and climate in the coastal area are dominated by the cold, north-flowing Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean which accounts for very lowprecipitation (50 mm per year or less), frequent dense fog, and overall lower temperatures than in the rest of the country.[48] In Winter, occasionally a condition known as Bergwind (German: SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard

Mountain breeze) or Oosweer (Afrikaans: East weather) occurs, a hot dry wind blowing from the inland to the coast. As the area behind the coast is a desert, these winds can develop into sand storms with sand deposits in the Atlantic Ocean visible on satellite images.[50] HP Pavilion dv6-3089la laptop keyboard\

The Central Plateau and Kalahari areas have wide diurnal temperature ranges of up to 30C.[48]

Efundja, the annual flooding of the northern parts of the country, often causes not only damage to infrastructure but loss of life.[51] The rains that cause these floods originate in Angola, flow into Namibia's Cuvelai basin, and fill the Oshanas (Oshiwambo: flood plains) there. The worst floods so far occurred in March 2011 and displaced 21,000 people.[52] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Namibia’s economy is tied closely to South Africa’s due to their shared history.[53][54] The largest economic sectors are mining (10.4% of the gross domestic product in 2009), agriculture (5.0%), manufacturing (13.5%), and tourism.[55] HP Pavilion dv6-3190ee laptop keyboard

Namibia has a highly developed banking sector with modern infrastructure, such as Online Banking, Cellphone Banking, etc. The Bank of Namibia (BoN) is the central bank of Namibia responsible to perform all other functions ordinarily performed by a central bank. There are four BoN authorised commercial banks in Namibia: Bank Windhoek, First National Bank, Nedbank & Standard Bank.[56]  TOSHIBA A000014900 laptop keyboard

According to the Namibia Labour Force Survey Report 2012, conducted by the Namibia Statistics Agency, the country's unemployment rate is 27.4%. "Strict unemployment" (people actively seeking a full-time job) stood at 20.2% in 2000, 21.9% in 2004 and spiraled to 29.4% in 2008. Under a broader definition (including people that have given up searching for employment) unemployment rose to 36.7% in 2004. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

This estimate considers people in the informal economy as employed. Labour and Social Welfare Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko praised the 2008 study as "by far superior in scope and quality to any that has been available previously",[57] DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

 but its methodology has also received criticism.[58]

In 2004 a labour act was passed to protect people from job discrimination stemming from pregnancy and HIV/AIDS status. In early 2010 the Government tender board announced that "henceforth 100 per cent of all unskilled and semi-skilled labour must be sourced, without exception, from within Namibia".[59] SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

In 2013, global business and financial news provider, Bloomberg, named Namibia the top emerging market economy in Africa and the 13th best in the world. Only four African countries made the Top 20 Emerging Markets list in the March 2013 issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine, and Namibia was rated ahead of Morocco (19th), HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

South Africa (15th) and Zambia (14th). Worldwide, Namibia also fared better than Hungary, Brazil and Mexico. Bloomberg Markets magazine ranked the top 20 based on more than a dozen criteria. The data came from Bloomberg's own financial-market statistics, IMF forecasts and the World Bank.  ACER TravelMate 4150 Series Laptop Keyboard

The countries were also rated on areas of particular interest to foreign investors: the ease of doing business, the perceived level of corruption and economic freedom. Namibia is also classified as an Upper Middle Income country by the World Bank, and ranks 87th out of 185 economies in terms of "Ease of Doing Business".HP G42-380LA Laptop Keyboard

About half of the population depends on agriculture (largely subsistence agriculture) for its livelihood, but Namibia must still import some of its food. Although per capita GDP is five times the per capita GDP of Africa's poorest countries, the majority of Namibia's people live in rural areas and exist on a subsistence way of life. SONY VGN-FE770G Laptop Keyboard

Namibia has one of the highest rates of income inequality in the world, due in part to the fact that there is an urban economy and a more rural cash-less economy. The inequality figures thus take into account people who do not actually rely on the formal economy for their survival.

About 4,000, mostly white, commercial farmers own almost half of Namibia's arable land. HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard [61]

Agreement has been reached on the privatisation of several more enterprises in coming years, with hopes that this will stimulate much needed foreign investment. However, reinvestment of environmentally derived capital has hobbled Namibian per capita income.[62] One of the fastest growing areas of economic development in Namibia is the growth of wildlife conservancies. COMPAQ Presario CQ40-117TU Laptop Keyboard

These conservancies are particularly important to the rural generally unemployed population.

An aquifer called "Ohangwena II" has been discovered, capable of supplying the 800,000 people in the North for 400 years.[63] Experts estimate that Namibia has 7720 km3 of underground water.[64][65] LENOVO V022402AS1 Laptop Keyboard

Providing 25% of Namibia's revenue, mining is the single most important contributor to the economy.[66] Namibia is the fourth largest exporter of non-fuel minerals in Africa and the world's fourth largest producer of uranium. There has been significant investment in uranium mining and Namibia is set to become the largest exporter of uranium by 2015.[67] HP G62-a38SE Laptop Keyboard

Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds.[68] While Namibia is known predominantly for its gem diamond and uranium deposits, a number of other minerals are extracted industrially such as lead, tungsten, gold, tin, fluorspar,manganese, marble, copper and zinc. There are offshore gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean that are planned to be extracted in the future.[55] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

According to "The Diamond Investigation", a book about the global diamond market, from 1978, De Beers, the largest diamond company, bought most of the Namibian diamonds, and would continue to do so, because "whatever government eventually comes to power they will need this revenue to survive".[69] HP Pavilion dv5-1160ep laptop keyboard

Domestic supply voltage is 220V AC. Electricity is generated mainly by thermal and hydroelectric power plants. Non-conventional methods of electricity generation also play some role. Encouraged by the rich uranium deposits the Namibian government plans to erect its first nuclear power station by 2018, also uranium enrichment is envisaged to happen locally.[70] HP Pavilion DV6-1145ew laptop keyboard

Tourism is a major contributor (14.5%) to Namibia's GDP, creating tens of thousands of jobs (18.2% of all employment) directly or indirectly and servicing over a million tourists per annum.[71] The country is among the prime destinations in Africa and is known for ecotourism which features Namibia's extensive wildlife.[72] HP G61-435ST laptop keyboard

There are many lodges and reserves to accommodate eco-tourists. Sport Hunting is also a large, and growing component of the Namibian economy, accounting for 14% of total tourism in the year 2000, or $19.6 million US dollars, with Namibia boasting numerous species sought after by international sport hunters.[73] SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard

In addition, extreme sports such as sandboarding, skydivingand 4x4ing have become popular, and many cities have companies that provide tours. The most visited places include theCaprivi Strip, Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, the Skeleton Coast Park, Sesriem, Etosha Pan and the coastal towns ofSwakopmund, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.[74] Lenovo 3000 G450 2949 laptop keyboard

Cost of living in Namibia is relatively high because most of the goods including cereals need to be imported. Business monopoly in some sectors causes higher profit bookings and further raising of prices. Its capital city, Windhoek is currently ranked as the 150th most expensive place in the world for expatriates to live.[75] COMPAQ Presario R3000 laptop keyboard

Personal income tax is applicable to total taxable income of an individual and all individuals are taxed at progressive marginal rates over a series of income brackets. While the Value added tax (VAT) is applicable to most of the commodities and services.[76] TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Namibia has the second-lowest population density of any sovereign country, after Mongolia.[77] The majority of the Namibian population is of Bantu-speaking origin – mostly of the Ovambo ethnicity, which forms about half of the population – residing mainly in the north of the country, although many are now resident in towns throughout Namibia. SONY VAIO VGN-CR520E Laptop Keyboard

Other ethnic groups are the Herero and Himba people, who speak a similar language, and the Damara, who speak the same "click" language as theNama.

In addition to the Bantu majority, there are large groups of Khoisan (such as Nama and Bushmen), who are descendants of the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

The country also contains some descendants of refugees from Angola. There are also two smaller groups of people with mixed racial origins, called "Coloureds" and "Basters", who together make up 6.6% (with the Coloureds outnumbering the Basters two to one). There is a large Chinese minority in Namibia.[78] TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

Whites (mainly of Afrikaner, German, British and Portuguese) make up about 6.4% of the population; they form the second-largest population of European ancestry, both in terms of percentage and actual numbers, HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

in Sub-Saharan Africa after that of South Africa.[79] Most Namibian whites and nearly all those of mixed race speak Afrikaans and share similar origins, culture, and religion as the white and coloured populations of South Africa. A smaller proportion of whites (around 30,000) trace their family origins HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

directly back to German colonial settlers and maintain German cultural and educational institutions. Nearly all Portuguese settlers came to the country from the former Portuguese colony of Angola.[80] The 1960 census reported 526,004 persons in what was then South-West Africa, including 73,464 whites (14%).[81] HP 640892-001 Laptop Keyboard

Namibia conducts a census every ten years. After independence the first Population and Housing Census was carried out in 1991, further rounds followed in 2001 and 2011.[82] The data collection method is to count every person resident in Namibia on the census reference night, wherever they happen to be. This is called the de facto method.[83] HP G56-118CA Laptop Keyboard

For enumeration purposes the country is demarcated into 4,042 enumeration areas. These areas do not overlap with constituency boundaries in order to get reliable data for election purposes as well.[84] TOSHIBA Satellite L550-ST5701 Laptop Keyboard

The 2011 Population and Housing Census counted 2,113,077 inhabitants of Namibia. Between 2001 and 2011 the annual population growth was 1.4%, down from 2.6% in the previous ten–year period.[85] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The official language is English. Until 1990, German and Afrikaans were also official languages. Long before Namibia's independence from South Africa, SWAPO had decided that the country should become officially monolingual, HP 488590-001 Laptop Keyboard

consciously choosing this approach in contrast to that of its neighbour, which was regarded as "a deliberate policy of ethnolinguistic fragmentation."[87] Consequently, English became the sole official language of Namibia. Some other languages have received semi-official recognition by being allowed as medium of instruction in primary schools. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

The northern majority of Namibians speak Oshiwambo as their first language, whereas the most widely understood and spoken language is Afrikaans. Among the younger generation, the most widely understood languages are English and Afrikaans. Both Afrikaans and English are used primarily as a second language reserved for public communication, but small first-language groups exist throughout the country.  HP AEUT3U00140 Laptop Keyboard

While the official language is English, most of the white population speaks either German or Afrikaans. Even today, 90 years after the end of the German colonial era, the German language plays a leading role as a commercial language. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Afrikaans is spoken by 60% of the white community, German is spoken by 32%, English is spoken by 7% and Portuguese by 1%.[79] Geographical proximity to Portuguese-speaking Angola explains the relatively high number of lusophones; in 2011 these were estimated to be 100,000, or 4–5% of the total population.[88]  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 52.2 years in 2012 – among the lowest in the world.[89] The AIDS epidemic is a large problem in Namibia. Though its rate of infection is substantially lower than that of its eastern neighbour, Botswana, approximately 13.1% of the adult population is infected with HIV.[90TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S5984 Laptop Keyboard

 In 2001, there were an estimated 210,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, and the estimated death toll in 2003 was 16,000. According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, the epidemic in Namibia "appears to be leveling off."[91] As the HIV/AIDS epidemic has reduced the working-aged population, the number of orphans has increased. It falls to the government to provide education, food, shelter and clothing for these orphans.[92] Packard Bell Easynote TX86 laptop keyboard

The malaria problem seems to be compounded by the AIDS epidemic. Research has shown that in Namibia the risk of contracting malaria is 14.5% greater if a person is also infected with HIV. The risk of death from malaria is also raised by approximately 50% with a concurrent HIV infection.[93] Given infection rates this large, Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

as well as a looming malaria problem, it may be very difficult for the government to deal with both the medical and economic impacts of this epidemic. The country had only 598 physicians in 2002.[94] Compaq Presario CQ42-173TU laptop keyboard

Namibia has compulsory free education for 10 years between the ages of 6 and 16. Grades 1–7 are primary level, grades 8–12 secondary. In 1998, there were 400,325 Namibian students in primary school and 115,237 students in secondary schools.  Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

The pupil-teacher ratio in 1999 was estimated at 32:1, with about 8% of the GDP being spent on education.[95] Curriculum development, educational research, and professional development of teachers is centrally organised by the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED) in Okahandja.[96] HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

Most schools in Namibia are state-run, but a few private schools are also part of the country's education system. There are four teacher training colleges, three colleges of agriculture, a police training college, a Polytechnic at university level, and a National University. TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 laptop keyboard

Namibia is one of few countries in the world to specifically address conservation and protection of natural resources in its constitution.[97] Article 95 states, "The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting international policies aimed at the following: HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca laptop keyboard

maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes, and biological diversity of Namibia, and utilisation of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future."[97] GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

In 1993, the newly formed government of Namibia received funding from the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) through its Living in a Finite Environment (LIFE) Project.[98] The Ministry of Environment and Tourism with the financial support from organisations such as USAID, Endangered Wildlife Trust,  HP Pavilion dv5-1050ed laptop keyboard

WWF, and Canadian Ambassador's Fund, together form a Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) support structure. The main goal of this project is promote sustainable natural resource management by giving local communities rights to wildlife management and tourism.[99] Lenovo 3000 G430 4153 laptop keyboard

The most popular sport in Namibia is football. The Namibia national football team qualified for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations but has yet to qualify for any World Cups. However, the most successful national team is the Namibian rugby team, having competed in four separate World Cups. Namibia were participants in the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups. Cricket is also popular, with the national side having played in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.  SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

Inline hockey was first played in 1995 and has also become more and more popular in the last years. The Women's inline hockey National Team participated in the 2008 FIRS World Championships. Namibia is the home for one of the toughest footraces in the world, the Namibian ultra marathon. HP Pavilion G6-1B87CL laptop keyboard

The most famous athlete from Namibia is certainly Frankie Fredericks, sprinter (100 and 200 m). He won four Olympic silver medals (1992, 1996) and also has medals from several World Athletics Championships. He is also known for humanitarian activities in Namibia and further.

The Swakopmund Skydiving Club in Swakopmund was founded in 1974, and operates still today from Swakopmund Airport. HP Mini 110-3004tu laptop keyboard

The origins of SADC lie in the 1960s and 1970s, when the leaders of majority-ruled countries and national liberation movements coordinated their political, diplomatic and military struggles to bring an end to colonial and white-minority rule in southern Africa. The immediate forerunner of the political and security cooperation leg of today's SADC was the informal Frontline States (FLS) grouping. It was formed in 1980. HP Pavilion dv6-2150es laptop keyboard

The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) was the forerunner of the socio-economic cooperation leg of today's SADC. The adoption by nine majority-ruled southern African countries of the Lusaka declaration on 1 April 1980 paved the way for the formal establishment of SADCC in April 1980. SONY 148084122 Laptop Keyboard

Membership of the FLS and SADCC sometimes differed.

SADCC was transformed into SADC on 17 August 1992, with the adoption by the founding members of SADCC and newly independentNamibia of the Windhoek declaration and treaty establishing SADC. Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

The 1992 SADC provided for both socio-economic cooperation and political and security cooperation. In reality, the FLS was dissolved only in 1994, after South Africa's first democratic elections. Subsequent efforts to place political and security cooperation on a firm institutional footing under SADC's umbrella failed.  HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

On 14 August 2001, the 1992 SADC treaty was amended. The amendment heralded the overhaul of the structures, policies and procedures of SADC, a process which is ongoing. One of the changes is that political and security cooperation is institutionalised in the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (OPDS). SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

One of the principal SADC bodies, it is subject to the oversight of the organisation's supreme body, the Summit, which comprises the heads of state or government. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

One significant challenge is that member states also participate in other regional economic cooperation schemes and regional political and security cooperation schemes that may compete with or undermine SADC's aims. For example, South Africa and Botswana both belong to the Southern Africa Customs Union, Zambia is a part of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and Tanzania is a member of the East African Community. GATEWAY NX570X Laptop Keyboard

On Wednesday 22 October 2008, SADC joined with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community to form the African Free Trade Zone. The leaders of the three trading blocs agreed to create a single free trade zone, the African Free Trade Zone, consisting of 26 countries with a GDP of an estimated $624bn (£382.9bn). HP G61-336NR Laptop Keyboard

It is hoped the African Free Trade Zone agreement would ease access to markets within the zone and end problems arising from the fact that several of the member countries belong to multiple groups. SONY VGN-FE31M Laptop Keyboard

The African Free Trade Zone effective has been more than a hundred years in the making--a trade zone spanning the whole African continent from Cape to Cairo and envisioned by Cecil Rhodes and other British imperialists in the 1890s. ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

The only difference is that the African Free Trade Zone is the creation of African Countries for the mutual benefit and development of its member countries. The idea is a free trade zone spanning the whole continent from the Cape to Cairo (Cape Town in the Republic of South Africa to Cairo in Egypt). HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

In addition to eliminating duplicative membership and the problem member states also participating in other regional economic cooperation schemes and regional political and security cooperation schemes that may compete with or undermine each other, the African Free Trade Zone further aims to strengthen the bloc's bargaining power when negotiating international deals. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Analysts believe that the African Free Trade Zone agreement will help intra-regional trade and boost growth.

The organization's current flag was created by a consensus of the people of the member countries. A competition within the member states was held to amend the flag to reflect the new acronym in the same style as used previously.  HP Compaq NW8440 Laptop Keyboard

Contest proposals ended in 1994 and in 1995 a new flag was chosen. The new flag has a Navy Blue field with a Green circle in the centre and SADC logo is in the middle of that green circle.

In the official description of the flag, Blue symbolises the sky and ocean that bring water and life, and green is for the rich Varied Flora and Fauna, SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

while the regions rich gold wealth is represented in the Logo itself. The previous Flag was a blank white field with the SADCC Logo on centered on it. The Flag was first used in the 1995 SADC Summit in the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park near Johannesburg. SONY VAIO VGN-N21E/W laptop keyboard

In 2006, the AU decided to create a Committee "to consider the implementation of a rotation system between the regions" in relation to the presidency. Controversy arose at the 2006 summit when Sudan announced its candidacy for the AU's chairmanship, ACER TravelMate 2403 Series laptop keyboard

as a representative of the East African region. Several member states refused to support Sudan because of tensions over Darfur (see also below). Sudan ultimately withdrew its candidacy and President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic

of the Congo was elected to a one-year term. At the January 2007 summit, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Sassou-Nguesso was replaced by President John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana, despite another attempt by Sudan to gain the chair. 2007 was the 50th anniversary of Ghana's independence, a symbolic moment for the country to hold the chair of the AU—and to host the mid-year summit at which the proposed Union Government was also discussed. DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

 In January 2008, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania took over as chair, representing the East African region and thus apparently ending Sudan's attempt to become chair—at least till the rotation returns to East Africa.[29] The current chair is Benin. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 laptop keyboard

One of the most serious issues to face Africa is not a dispute between nations, but rather the rapid spread of HIV and the AIDS pandemic. Sub-Saharan Africa, especially southern Africa, is by far the most affected area in the world, and the infection is now starting to claim lives by the millions. GATEWAY MX6956 laptop keyboard

While the measurement of HIV prevalence rates has proved methodologically challenging, more than 20% of the sexually active population of many countries of southern Africa may be infected, with South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, and Zimbabwe all expected to have a decrease in life expectancy by an average of 6.5 years. GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

The effects on South Africa, which constitutes 30% of the AU's economy,[citation needed] threatens to significantly stunt GDP growth, and thus internal and external trade for the continent[.]IBM Thinkpad Z60m laptop keyboard

The AU attempted to mediate in the early stages of the 2011 Libyan civil war, forming an ad hoc committee of five presidents (Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, South African President Jacob Zuma, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni) to broker a truce.[30] ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

However, the beginning of the NATO-led military intervention in March 2011 prevented the committee from traveling to Libya to meet with Libyan leader and former head of the AU until 2010 Muammar Gaddafi.[31] As a body, the AU sharply dissented from the United Nations Security Council's decision to create a no-fly zone over Libya,[32]  HP G71-445US laptop keyboard

though a few member states, such as Botswana,[33] Gabon,[34] Zambia,[35] and others expressed support for the resolution.

As a result of Gaddafi's defeat at the Battle of Tripoli, the decisive battle of the war, in August 2011, Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 laptop keyboard

the Arab League voted to recognise the anti-GaddafiNational Transitional Council as the legitimate government of the country pending elections,[36] yet although the council has been recognised by several AU member states, including two countries that are also members of the Arab League,[37][38] SONY VAIO VGN-CS110D/W laptop keyboard

the AU Peace and Security Council voted on 26 August 2011 not to recognise it, insisting that a ceasefire be agreed to and a national unity government be formed by both sides in the civil war.[39] A number of AU member states led by Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Rwanda requested that the AU recognise the NTC as Libya's interim governing authority,[40][41] TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

and several other AU member states have recognised the NTC regardless of the Peace and Security Council's decision.[42][43] However, AU member states Algeria[44] and Zimbabwe[45] have indicated they will not recognise the NTC, and South Africa has expressed reservations as well.[46][47]  ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

One of the objectives of the AU is to "promote peace, security, and stability on the continent".[51] Among its principles is 'Peaceful resolution of conflicts among Member States of the Union through such appropriate means as may be decided upon by the Assembly'.[52] The primary body charged with implementing these objectives and principles is the Peace and Security Council. The PSC has the power, among other things, COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

to authorise peace support missions, to impose sanctions in case of unconstitutional change of government, and to "take initiatives and action it deems appropriate" in response to potential or actual conflicts. The PSC is a decision-making body in its own right, and its decisions are binding on member states. SONY Vaio PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act, repeated in article 4 of the Protocol to the Constitutive Act on the PSC, also recognises the right of the Union to intervene in member state in circumstances of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Any decision to intervene in a member state under article 4 of the Constitutive Act will be made by the Assembly on the recommendation of the PSC. SONY 147664712 Laptop Keyboard

Since it first met in 2004, the PSC has been active in relation to the crises in Darfur, Comoros, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire and other countries. It has adopted resolutions creating the AU peacekeeping operations in Somalia and Darfur, and imposing sanctions against persons undermining peace and security (such as travel bans and asset freezes against the leaders of the rebellion in Comoros). SONY Vaio PCG-K215S Laptop Keyboard

The Council is in the process of overseeing the establishment of a "standby force" to serve as a permanent African peacekeeping force.[53]

In response to the ongoing Darfur conflict in Sudan, the AU has deployed 7,000 peacekeepers, many from Rwanda and Nigeria, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7226 Laptop Keyboard

 to Darfur. While a donor's conference in Addis Ababa in 2005 helped raise funds to sustain the peacekeepers through that year and into 2006, in July 2006 the AU said it would pull out at the end of September when its mandate expires.[54]  DELL XPS 15 L502X Laptop Keyboard

Critics of the AU peacekeepers, including Dr. Eric Reeves, have said these forces are largely ineffective due to lack of funds, personnel, and expertise. Monitoring an area roughly the size of France has made it even more difficult to sustain an effective mission. In June 2006, the United States Congress appropriated US$173 million for the AU force. IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R51 1833 Laptop Keyboard

Some, such as the Genocide Intervention Network, have called for United Nations (UN) orNATO intervention to augment and/or replace the AU peacekeepers. The UN has considered deploying a force, though it would not likely enter the country until at least October 2007.[55] HP G62-a20EJ Laptop Keyboard

The under-funded and badly equipped AU mission was set to expire on 31 December 2006 but was extended to 30 June 2007 and merged with theUnited Nations African Union Mission in Darfur in October 2007. In July 2009 the African Union ceased cooperation with the International Criminal Court, refusing to recognize the international arrest warrant it had issued against Sudan's leader, Omar al-Bashir, who was indicted in 2008 for War crimes[56]  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

From the early 1990s up until recently, Somalia was without a functioning central government. A peace agreement aimed at ending the civil war that broke out following the collapse of the Siad Barre regime was signed in 2006 after many years of peace talks. However, the new government was almost immediately threatened by further violence. HP Pavilion DV7-3186cl laptop keyboard

To temporarily shore up the government's military base, starting in March 2007, AU soldiers began arriving in Mogadishu as part of a peacekeeping force that was intended by the AU to eventually be 8,000 strong.[57] SONY VAIO VGN-CR231E laptop keyboard

Eritrea recalled its ambassadors to the African Union on 20 November 2009[58] after the African Union called on the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on them due to their alleged support of Somali Islamists attempting to topple the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the internationally recognized government of Somalia which holds Somalia's seat on the African Union.[59] On 22 December 2009, HP Pavilion dv6-2115so laptop keyboard

the Security Council passed UNSCR 1907, which imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea, travel bans on Eritrean leaders, and asset freezes on Eritrean officials. Eritrea strongly criticised the resolution. In January 2011, Eritrea reestablished their mission to the AU in Addis Ababa.[60] HP Pavilion dv6-2141ee laptop keyboard

The historical foundations of the African Union originated in the Union of African States, an early confederation that was established by Kwame Nkrumah in the 1960s, as well as subsequent attempts to unite Africa, HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

including the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was established on 25 May 1963, and the African Economic Community in 1981. Critics argued that the OAU in particular did little to protect the rights and liberties of African citizens from their own political leaders, often dubbing it the "Dictators' Club".[67] IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

The idea of creating the AU was revived in the mid-1990s under the leadership of Libyan head of state Muammar al-Gaddafi: the heads of state and government of the OAU issued the Sirte Declaration (named after Sirte, in Libya) on 9 September 1999, calling for the establishment of an African Union. The Declaration was followed by summits at Lomé in 2000, DELL Inspiron 6000 laptop keyboard

when the Constitutive Act of the African Union was adopted, and at Lusaka in 2001, when the plan for the implementation of the African Union was adopted. During the same period, the initiative for the establishment of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), was also established. HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

The African Union was launched in Durban on 9 July 2002, by its first chairperson, South African Thabo Mbeki, at the first session of the Assembly of the African Union. The second session of the Assembly was in Maputo in 2003, and the third session in Addis Ababa on 6 July 2004. HP Pavilion dv6-2173cl laptop keyboard

The emblem of the African Union consists of a gold ribbon bearing small interlocking red rings, from which palm leaves shoot up around an outer gold circle and an inner green circle, within which is a gold representation of Africa.  ASUS A9R laptop keyboard

The red interlinked rings stand for African solidarity and the blood shed for the liberation of Africa; the palm leaves for peace; the gold, for Africa's wealth and bright future; the green, for African hopes and aspirations. To symbolise African unity, the silhouette of Africa is drawn without internal borders. DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

The African Union adopted its new flag at its 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government taking place in Addis Ababa 2010. During the 8th African Union Summit which took place in Addis Ababa on 29 and 30 January 2007, the Heads of State and Government decided to launch a competition for the selection of a new flag for the Union. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

They prescribed a green background for the flag symbolising hope of Africa and stars to represent Member States.

Pursuant to this decision, the African Union Commission (AUC) organized a competition for the selection of a new flag for the African Union. The AUC received a total of 106 entries proposed by citizens of 19 African countries and 2 from the Diaspora.  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The proposals were then examined by a panel of experts put in place by the African Union Commission and selected from the five African regions for short listing according to the main directions given by the Heads of State and Government. TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-SP5165RM Laptop Keyboard

At the 13th Ordinary Session of the Assembly, the Heads of State and Government examined the report of the Panel and selected one among all the proposals. The flag is now part of the paraphernalia of the African Union and replaces the old one. SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

The old flag of the African Union bears a broad green horizontal stripe, a narrow band of gold, the emblem of the African Union at the centre of a broad white stripe, another narrow gold band and a final broad green stripe. Again, the green and gold symbolise Africa's hopes and aspirations as well as its wealth and bright future, TOSHIBA Qosmio F20 Series Laptop Keyboard

and the white represents the purity of Africa's desire for friends throughout the world. The flag has led to the creation of the "national colours" of Africa of gold and green (sometimes together with white). These colours are visible in one way or another in the flags of many African nations. Together the colours green, gold, and red constitute the Pan-African colours. SONY VAIO PCG-F20 Laptop Keyboard

The African Union has adopted a new anthem, Let Us All Unite and Celebrate Together, and has the chorus O sons and daughters of Africa, flesh of the sun and flesh of the sky, Let us make Africa the tree of life.  HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

The South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO[pronunciation?]) (German: Südwestafrikanische Volksorganisation, SWAVO, Afrikaans: Suidwes-Afrikaanse Volk-Organisasie, SWAVO) is a political party and former national liberation movement in Namibia. It has been the governing party in Namibia since achieving independence in 1990.  HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

The party won 75.25% of the popular vote and 54 out of 72 seats in the parliamentary election held in November 2009.[3]

Though the organisation rejected the term "South West Africa" and insisted on replacing it with "Namibia",HP G61-425ES Laptop Keyboard

the organisation's own name—derived from the territory's old name—was already too deeply rooted to be changed. However, the original full name is no longer used and only the acronym remains; the party's official name today is SWAPO Party of Namibia.[4] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

After World War I the League of Nations gave South-West Africa, formerly a German colony, to the United Kingdom as amandate under the title of South Africa. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

SWAPO was founded on 19 April 1960 by Andimba Toivo ya Toivo as the successor of the Ovamboland People's Congress, an organisation established in 1957 and renamed the Ovamboland People's Organization in 1959. The reason for the renaming was that although the organisation had its base among the Ovambo people of northern Namibia it wanted to be representative of all Namibians.[4] Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

During 1962 SWAPO had emerged as the dominant nationalist organisation for the Namibian people, co-opting other groups such as the South West Africa National Union (SWANU), and in 1976 the Namibia African People's Democratic Organisation.[8] SWAPO used guerrilla tactics to fight the South African military. HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

On 26 August 1966 the first major clash of the conflict took place, when a unit of the South African Police, supported by South African Air Force, exchanged fire with SWAPO forces. This date is generally regarded as the start of what became known in South Africa as the Border War. In 1972 the United Nations General Assembly recognised SWAPO as the 'sole DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

legitimate representative' of Namibia's people.[9] The Norwegian government began giving aid directly to SWAPO in 1974.[10]

The country of Angola gained its independence on 11 November 1975 following its war for independence. FUJITSU CP270342-02 Laptop Keyboard

The leftist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), supported by Cuba and the Soviet Union, came to power. The MPLA offered SWAPO bases in Angola to launch attacks against the South African military in March 1976. ACER MP-04653U4-698 Laptop Keyboard

Various groups have claimed that SWAPO committed serious human rights abuses against suspected spies during the independence struggle. One of which includes the Breaking the Wall of Silence (BWS), which was founded by those detainees to press the SWAPO-government on the issue.[11][12] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

SWAPO denies serious infractions and claims anything that did happen was in the name of liberation. The stories of the detainees begins with a series of successful South African raids that made the SWAPO leadership believe spies existed in the movement. Hundreds of SWAPO cadres were imprisoned, tortured and interrogated.[13] GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

In 2005 the P.E.A.C.E. Centre conducted an extensive study on the situation Namibian ex-fighters and their families fifteen years after Independence. The resultant ebook investigates the post-independence situation of those who fought on both sides of the Namibian Liberation War. HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

Data from this research indicate that ex-fighters still exhibit symptoms of long-term post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

The findings indicate there is a correlation between the life circumstances of ex-fighters and their lack of resilience to traumatic war experiences, with resiliency being linked to a number of protective factors such as the socio-economic situation of the survivors, their socio-political environment, their social support networks and their cognitive processes.[14] HP Mini 110-1150LA Laptop Keyboard

It is argued that in the case of Namibian ex-fighters, long term psychological distress is different from a simple PTSD diagnosis because the survivor has almost invariably gone almost two decades without seeking treatment. Moreover, during this time, the ex-fighters have also been exposed to additional social and psychological stressors which, Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

for a person not suffering from long-term psychological distress would only have a fleeting impact, but for a sufferer of long-term psychological distress, each life incident could reduce the survivor's resilience to trauma as well as triggering "flashbacks".[14] HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

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Nigeria

 officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republiccomprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. HP G72-b52SF Laptop Keyboard

Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. There are over 500 ethnic groups in Nigeria of which the three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.

The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

This name was coined by Flora Shaw, who later married Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, in the late 19th century. The British colonised Nigeria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, GATEWAY AEPA6TAU111 Laptop Keyboard

setting up administrative structures and law while recognizing traditional chiefs. Nigeria became independent in 1960. Several years later, it had civil war as Biafra tried to establish independence. Military governments in times of crisis have alternated with democratically elected governments.

Nigeria, known as "the Giant of Africa",HP 496878-001 Laptop Keyboard

is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world.[6] Nigeria is roughly divided in half between Christians, who mostly live in the South and central parts of the country, and Muslims, concentrated mostly in the north.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

A minority practice traditional religions, especially the Igbo and Yoruba religions. Its oil reserves have brought great revenues to the country. It is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies. Nigeria is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations, and the African Union. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Laptop Keyboard

The Nok people of central Nigeria produced the earliest terracotta sculptures found in the country.[7] In the northern part of the country, Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating back to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and theKanem-Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Also in the North, at the beginning of the 19th century under Usman dan Fodio, the Fulani led the centralized Fulani Empire, which continued until 1903 when the Fulani population and land were divided into various European colonies. Between 1750 and 1900, one to two-thirds of the population of the Fulani jihad states consisted of slaves.[8] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th[9][10] and 14th[11] century respectively. Yoruba mythology states that Ile-Ife is the source of the human race and that it pre-dates any other civilization. The oldest signs of human settlement dates back to the 9th century.[9] TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7305 Laptop Keyboard

Ifẹ produced terracotta and bronze figures, and Ọyọ once extended from western Nigeria to Togo. The Kingdom of Benin is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 15th and 19th century. Their dominance reached as far as the city of Eko (an Edo name later changed to Lagos by the Portuguese) and further.[12]

SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

 [13][14] Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, and the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan; they trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri.[15] The oldest pieces of bronzes made out of the lost-wax process in West Africa were from Igbo Ukwu, a city under Nri influence.[13] HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

The people traded overland with traders from North Africa for centuries. In the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin trade in Nigeria, in the port they named Lagos and in Calabar.  HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

The Europeans traded goods with the peoples of the coast. Soon they also negotiated for a portion of the existing African slave trade. Traditionally, peoples captured in war were made slaves by the conquerors. Usually they were taken back to the conquerors' territory, put to work and sometimes acculturated and eventually absorbed into the other culture.  DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

When the Europeans entered the trade, they transported slaves mostly to the Americas to work as laborers. Particularly in what became the United States,[citation needed] slavery became a permanent racial caste to which people of African descent were confined.  DELL FM8 Laptop Keyboard

The demands of the slave trade produced a greater market in slaves than had existed before. Nigerian ethnic groups were transported to the Americas and the Caribbean as part of the African diaspora of slavery. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

The slave trade was joined by Great Britain and France. The colonial era is considered to date from 1800, when, with rising anti-slavery sentiment at home, Great Britain abolished its international slave trade in 1807 together with the United States. Following the Napoleonic Wars, Great Britain established the West Africa Squadron in an attempt to halt the international traffic in slaves.[17] HP 576835-001 laptop keyboard

It stopped ships of other nations that were leaving the African coast with slaves; sometimes it would take the freed slaves to Sierra Leone, its colony in West Africa, rather than return the people to the risk of renewed slavery in other coastal states. HP G62-450SV laptop keyboard

In 1885, British claims to a West African sphere of influence received recognition from other European nations. The following year, it chartered the Royal Niger Company under the leadership of Sir George Taubman Goldie. In 1900 the company's territory came under the control of the British government, which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E laptop keyboard

On 1 January 1901, Nigeria became a British protectorate, part of the British Empire, the foremost world power at the time. The independent kingdoms of what later became Nigeria fought many wars against the British Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries trying to regain independence. SONY VAIO VGN-N250E/B laptop keyboard

By war, the British conquered Benin in 1897, and in the Anglo-Aro War from 1901—1902 defeated other opponents. The restraint or complete destruction of these states opened up the Niger area to British rule. HP Pavilion dv6-3089la laptop keyboard\

In 1914, the British formally united the Niger area as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. Administratively, Nigeria remained divided into the northern and southern provinces and Lagos Colony. The people of the South, with more interaction with the British and other Europeans due to the coastal economy, adopted Western education and developed a modern economy more rapidly than in the north. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Many of its elite's sons went to Great Britain for education. The regional differences continue to be expressed in Nigeria's political life as well. For instance, northern Nigeria did not outlawslavery until 1936.[18] HP Pavilion dv6-3190ee laptop keyboard

Following World War II, in response to the growth of Nigerian nationalism and demands for independence, successive constitutions legislated by the British government moved Nigeria toward self-government on a representative and increasingly federal basis. By the middle of the 20th century, the great wave for independence was sweeping across Africa. Nigeria became independent in 1960.  TOSHIBA A000014900 laptop keyboard

Independence

On 1 October 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom. Nigeria's government was a coalition of conservative parties: the Nigerian People's Congress (NPC), a party dominated by Northerners and those of the Islamic faith; and the Igbo and Christian-dominated National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) led by Nnamdi Azikiwe, LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

who became Nigeria's maiden Governor-General in 1960. Forming the opposition was the comparatively liberal Action Group(AG), which was largely dominated by the Yoruba and led by Obafemi Awolowo.[19] The cultural and political differences among Nigeria's dominant ethnic groups: the Hausa ('Northerners'), DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

Igbo ('Easterners') and Yoruba ('Westerners'), were sharp.

An imbalance was created in the polity by the result of the 1961 plebiscite. Southern Cameroon opted to join the Republic of Cameroon while northern Cameroon chose to remain in Nigeria. The northern part of the country was now far larger than the southern part. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

The nation parted with its British legacy in 1963 by declaring itself a Federal Republic, with Azikiwe as its first president. When elections were held in 1965, the Nigerian National Democratic Party came to power in Nigeria's Western Region.

Civil WarFUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Main article: Nigerian Civil War

The disequilibrium and perceived corruption of the electoral and political process led in 1966 to several back-to-back military coups. The first was in January and led by a collection of young leftists under Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna and Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu. It was partially successful; HP G62-450SV Laptop Keyboard

the coup plotters murdered Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Premier Ahmadu Bello of the Northern Region and Premier Ladoke Akintola of the Western Region. Despite this, they could not set up a central government. President Nwafor Orizu was then pressured to hand over government to the Nigeria Army, under the command of General JTU Aguyi-Ironsi. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

The coup was counter-acted by another successful plot, supported primarily by Northern military officers and Northerners who favoured the NPC, it was engineered by Northern officers, which allowed Lt Colonel Yakubu Gowon to become head of state. This sequence of events led to an increase in ethnic tension and violence. HP G42-380LA Laptop Keyboard

The Northern coup, motivated by ethnic and religious reasons, resulted in the deaths of many military officers and civilians, especially those of Igbo descent.[citation needed]

The violence against the Igbo increased their desire for autonomy. By May 1967, SONY VGN-FE770G Laptop Keyboard

the Eastern Region voted to declare independence as a state called the Republic of Biafra, under the leadership of Lt Colonel Emeka Ojukwu.[20] The Nigerian Civil War began as the Nigerian (Western and Northern) side attacked Biafra (South-eastern) on 6 July 1967 at Garkem. The 30 month war, HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

with a long siege of Biafra and its isolation from trade and supplies, ended in January 1970.[21] Estimates of the number of dead in the former Eastern Region are between 1 and 3 million people, from warfare, disease, and starvation, during the 30-month civil war .[22] COMPAQ Presario CQ40-117TU Laptop Keyboard

The new head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, declared himself president and commander in chief of the armed forces and the ruling Supreme Military Council. He set 1990 as the official deadline for a return to democratic governance. Babangida's tenure was marked by a flurry of political activity: he instituted the International Monetary Fund's Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) LENOVO V022402AS1 Laptop Keyboard

to aid in the repayment of the country's crushing international debt, which most federal revenue was dedicated to servicing. He enrolled Nigeria in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which aggravated religious tensions in the country.[26] HP G62-a38SE Laptop Keyboard

After Babangida survived an abortive coup, he pushed back the promised return to democracy to 1992. Free and fair elections were finally held on 12 June 1993, showing a presidential victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. Babangida chose to annul the elections, leading to mass civilian violent protests which effectively shut down the country for weeks. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

This forced Babangida to keep his promise to relinquish office to a civilian-run government, but not before appointing Ernest Shonekan as head of the interim government.[27] Babangida's regime has been considered the most corrupt, and responsible for creating a culture of corruption in Nigeria.[28] HP Pavilion dv5-1160ep laptop keyboard

Shonekan's caretaker regime was overwhelmed in late 1993 by the military coup of General Sani Abacha. Abacha oversaw brutal rule using violence on a wide scale to suppress the continuing civilian unrest. HP Pavilion DV6-1145ew laptop keyboard

He shifted money to offshore accounts in various western European banks and voided coup plots by bribing army generals. Several hundred million dollars in accounts traced to him were discovered in 1999.[29] The regime came to an end in 1998 when the dictator was found dead amid questionable circumstances.  HP G61-435ST laptop keyboard

His successor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, adopted a new constitution on 5 May 1999, which provided for multiparty elections. On 29 May 1999 Abubakar transferred power to the winner of the elections, Obasanjo, who had since retired from the military.[30] SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard

Democratization

Nigeria regained democracy in 1999 when it elected Olusegun Obasanjo, the former military head of state, as the new President of Nigeria ending almost 33 years of military rule (from 1966 until 1999) excluding the short-lived second republic (between 1979 and 1983) by military dictators who seized power in coups d'étatand counter-coups during the Nigerian military juntas of 1966–1979 and 1983–1998. Lenovo 3000 G450 2949 laptop keyboard

Although the elections which brought Obasanjo to power in 1999 and again in 2003 were condemned as unfree and unfair, Nigeria has shown marked improvements in attempts to tackle government corruption and to hasten development. COMPAQ Presario R3000 laptop keyboard

Ethnic violence over the oil producing Niger Delta region and inadequate infrastructures are some of the issues in the country. Umaru Yar'Adua of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) came into power in the general election of 2007 – an election that was witnessed and condemned by the international community as being severely flawed.[31]  COMPAQ Presario CQ41-219AX laptop keyboard

Yar'Adua died on 5 May 2010. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as Yar'Adua's replacement on 6 May 2010,[32] becoming Nigeria's 14th Head of State, while his vice, a former Kaduna state governor, Namadi Sambo, an architect, was chosen on 18 May 2010, by the National Assembly following President Goodluck Jonathan's nomination for Sambo to be his Vice President.[33][34] HP 407218-001 laptop keyboard

Goodluck Jonathan served as Nigeria's president till 16 April 2011, when a new presidential election in Nigeria was conducted. Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP was declared the winner on 19 April 2011, having won the election by a total of 22,495,187 of the 39,469,484 votes cast to stand ahead of Muhammadu Buhari from the main opposition party, TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 laptop keyboard

the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), which won 12,214,853 of the total votes cast.[35] The international media reported the elections as having run smoothly with relatively little violence or voter fraud in contrast to previous elections.[36]

Government and politics SONY VAIO VGN-NW15L laptop keyboard

Main article: Politics of Nigeria See also: Federal Ministries of Nigeria

Nigeria is a Federal Republic modelled after the United States,[37] with executive power exercised by the president and with overtones of the Westminster Systemmodel[citation needed] in the composition and management of the upper and lower houses of the bicameral legislature. The president of Nigeria is Goodluck Jonathan, HP 640892-001 Laptop Keyboard

who succeeded Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to the office in 2010. The president presides as both Head of State and head of the national executive and is elected bypopular vote to a maximum of two four-year terms.[2] HP G56-118CA Laptop Keyboard

The president's power is checked by a Senate and a House of Representatives, which are combined in a bicameral body called the National Assembly. The Senate is a 109-seat body with three members from each state and one from the capital region of Abuja; members are elected by popular vote to four-year terms. The House contains 360 seats and the number of seats per state is determined by population.[2] TOSHIBA Satellite L550-ST5701 Laptop Keyboard

Ethnocentrism, tribalism, religious persecution, and prebendalism have played a visible role in Nigerian politics both prior and subsequent to independence in 1960. Kin-selective altruism has made its way into Nigerian politics and has spurned (spurred?) various attempts by tribalists to concentrate Federal power to a particular region of their interests.[38] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Nationalism has also led to active secessionist movements such as MASSOB, Nationalist movements such as Oodua Peoples Congress, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta and a civil war. Nigeria's three largest ethnic groups (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba) have maintained historical preeminence in Nigerian politics; HP 488590-001 Laptop Keyboard

HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

competition amongst these three groups has fuelled corruption and graft.[39]

Because of the above issues, Nigeria's political parties are pan-national and irreligious in character (though this does not preclude the continuing preeminence of the dominant ethnicities).[39][40]  HP AEUT3U00140 Laptop Keyboard

The major political parties at present include the ruling People's Democratic Party of Nigeria which maintains 223 seats in the House and 76 in the Senate (61.9% and 69.7% respectively); the opposition All Nigeria People's Party has 96 House seats and 27 in the Senate (26.6% and 24.7%). There are also about twenty other minor opposition parties registered. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

The immediate past president, Olusegun Obasanjo, acknowledged fraud and other electoral "lapses" but said the result reflected opinion polls. In a national television address he added that if Nigerians did not like the victory of his handpicked successor they would have an opportunity to vote again in four years.[41]  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Upon gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria made the liberation and restoration of the dignity of Africa the centrepiece of its foreign policy and played a leading role in the fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa.[44] TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S5984 Laptop Keyboard

One notable exception to the African focus of Nigeria's foreign policy was the close relationship the country enjoyed with Israel throughout the 1960s, with the latter country sponsoring and overseeing the construction of Nigeria's parliament buildings.[45] SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria's foreign policy was soon tested in the 1970s after the country emerged united from its own civil war and quickly committed itself to the liberation struggles going on in the Southern Africa sub-region. Though Nigeria never sent an expeditionary force in that struggle, it offered more than rhetoric to theAfrican National Congress (ANC) by taking a committed tough line with regard to the racist regime and their incursions in southern Africa, HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

in addition to expediting large sums to aid anti-colonial struggles. Nigeria was also a founding member of the Organisation for African Unity (now the African Union), and has tremendous influence in West Africa and Africa on the whole. Nigeria has additionally founded regional cooperative efforts in West Africa,  ACER TravelMate 4150 Series Laptop Keyboard

functioning as standard-bearer for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and ECOMOG, economic and military organizations respectively.

With this African-centred stance, Nigeria readily sent troops to the Congo at the behest of the United Nations shortly after independence (and has maintained membership since that time); Nigeria also supported several Pan African and pro-self government causes in the 1970s, HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

including garnering support for Angola'sMPLA, SWAPO in Namibia, and aiding anti-colonial struggles in Mozambique, and Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) military and economically.

Nigeria retains membership in the Non-Aligned Movement, and in late November 2006 organized an Africa-South America Summit in Abuja to promote what some attendees termed "South-South" linkages on a variety of fronts.[46] TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 laptop keyboard

Nigeria is also a member of the International Criminal Court, and the Commonwealth of Nations, from which it was temporarily expelled in 1995 under the Abacha regime.

Nigeria has remained a key player in the international oil industry since the 1970s, and maintains membership in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

which it joined in July 1971. Its status as a major petroleum producer figures prominently in its sometimes vicissitudinous international relations with both developed countries, notably the United States and more recently China and developing countries, notably Ghana, Jamaica and Kenya.[47] HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca laptop keyboard

Millions of Nigerians have emigrated at times of economic hardship to Europe, North America and Australia among others. It is estimated that over a million Nigerians have emigrated to the United States and constitute the Nigerian American populace. Of such Diasporic communities include the "Egbe Omo Yoruba" society.[48]  HP Pavilion dv5-1050ed laptop keyboard

During the oil boom of the 1970s, Nigeria joined OPEC, and the huge revenue generated made the economy richer, although the military administration did nothing to improve the standard of living of the population, or to help the small and medium businesses, or even invest in the infrastructure. Lenovo 3000 G430 4153 laptop keyboard

As oil revenues fueled the rise of federal subventions to states, the federal government became the centre of political struggle and the threshold of power in the country. As oil production and revenue rose,  SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

the Nigerian government created a dangerous situation as it became increasingly dependent on oil revenues and the international commodity markets for budgetary and economic concerns; it did not build economic stability. That spelled doom to federalism in Nigeria.[23] HP Pavilion G6-1B87CL laptop keyboard

Beginning in 1979, Nigerians participated in a brief return to democracy when Olusegun Obasanjo transferred power to the civilian regime of Shehu Shagari. The Shagari government became viewed as corrupt and incompetent by virtually all sectors of Nigerian society. The military coup of Muhammadu Buhari shortly after the regime's fraudulent re-election in 1984 was generally viewed as a positive development by most of the population.[24] HP Mini 110-3004tu laptop keyboard

Buhari promised major reforms, but his government fared little better than its predecessor. His regime was overthrown by another military coup in 1985.[25]

The Nigerian Military are charged with protecting The Federal Republic of Nigeria, promoting Nigeria's global security interests, aHP Pavilion dv6-2150es laptop keyboard

nd supporting peacekeeping efforts especially in West Africa.

The Nigerian Military consist of an army, a navy and an air force.[2] The military in Nigeria have played a major role in the country's history since independence. Various juntas have seized control of the country and ruled it through most of its history. SONY 148084122 Laptop Keyboard

Its last period of rule ended in 1999 following the sudden death of former dictator Sani Abacha in 1998, with his successor, Abdulsalam Abubakar, handing over power to the democratically elected government of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Taking advantage of its role as Africa's most populated country, Nigeria has repositioned its military as an African peacekeeping force. Since 1995, the Nigerian military through ECOMOG mandates have been deployed as peacekeepers in Liberia(1997), SONY VAIO VGN-CR520E Laptop Keyboard

Ivory Coast (1997–1999), Sierra Leone 1997–1999,[49] and presently in Sudan's Darfur region under an African Union mandate.

igeria is located in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea and has a total area of 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi),[50] making it the world's 32nd-largest country (after Tanzania). It is comparable in size to Venezuela, ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

and is about twice the size of California. It shares a 4,047 kilometres (2,515 mi) border with Benin (773 km), Niger (1497 km), Chad (87 km), Cameroon (1690 km), and has a coastline of at least 853 km.[51] Nigeria lies between latitudes 4° and 14°N, and longitudes 2° and 15°E. TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

The highest point in Nigeria is Chappal Waddi at 2,419 m (7,936 ft). The main rivers are the Niger and the Benue Riverwhich converge and empty into the Niger Delta, one of the world's largest river deltas and the location of a large area of Central African Mangroves. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria has a varied landscape. The far south is defined by its tropical rainforest climate, where annual rainfall is 60 to 80 inches (1,524 to 2,032 mm) a year.[52] In the southeast stands the Obudu Plateau. Coastal plains are found in both the southwest and the southeast.[53] This forest zone's most southerly portion is defined as salt water swamp, HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

also known as a mangrove swamp because of the large amount of mangroves in the area. North of this is fresh water swamp, containing different vegetation from the salt water swamp, and north of that is rain forest.[54][54] HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria's most expansive topographical region is that of the valleys of the Niger and Benue River valleys (which merge into each other and form a "y" shape).[53] To the southwest of the Niger there is "rugged" highland, and to the southeast of the Benue are hills and mountains which forms the Mambilla Plateau, the highest Plateau in Nigeria. GATEWAY NX570X Laptop Keyboard

This plateau extends to the border with Cameroon, thismontane land is part of the Bamenda Highlands in Cameroon. The area near the border with Cameroon close to the coast is rich rainforest and part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests ecoregion, an important centre for biodiversity including the drill monkey which is only found in the wild in this area and across the border in Cameroon. ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

It is widely believed that the areas surrounding Calabar, Cross River State, also in this forest, contain the world's largest diversity of butterflies. The area of southern Nigeria between the Niger and the Cross Rivers has seen its forest more or less disappear to be replaced by grassland (seeCross-Niger transition forests). HP G61-336NR Laptop Keyboard

Everything in between the far south and the far north, is savannah (insignificant tree cover, with grasses and flowers located between trees), and rainfall is between 20 and 60 inches (508 and 1,524 mm) per year.[52] SONY VGN-FE31M Laptop Keyboard

 The savannah zone's three categories are Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, plains of tall grass which are interrupted by trees and the most common across the country: Sudan savannah, similar but with "shorter grasses and shorter trees; and Sahel savannah, comprised patches of grass and sand, found in the northeast.[54] HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

In the Sahel region, rain is less than 20 inches (508 mm) per year and the Sahara Desert is encroaching.[52] In the dry north-east corner of the country lies Lake Chad, which Nigeria shares with Niger, Chad and Cameroon. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria's Delta region, home of the large oil industry, experiences serious oil spills and other environmental problems, which has caused conflict.

Waste management including sewage treatment, the linked processes of deforestation and soil degradation, and climate change or global warming are the major environmental problems in Nigeria.  HP Compaq NW8440 Laptop Keyboard

Waste management presents problems in a mega city like Lagos and other major Nigerian cities which are linked with economic development, population growth and the inability of municipal councils to manage the resulting rise in industrial and domestic waste. SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

This huge waste management problem is also attributable to unsustainable environmental management lifestyles of Kubwa Community in the Federal Capital Territory, where there are habits of indiscriminate disposal of waste, dumping of waste along or into the canals, sewerage systems that are channels for water flows, etc. SONY VAIO VGN-N21E/W laptop keyboard

The significant population increase of individuals from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, as well as Kubwa becoming entirely new and heterogeneous community since Abuja became Nigeria capital are some of the reasons for this waste management menace in Kubwa community.[55] ACER TravelMate 2403 Series laptop keyboard

Haphazard industrial planning, increased urbanization, poverty and lack of competence of the municipal government are seen as the major reasons for high levels of waste pollution in major Nigerian cities. Some of the 'solutions' have been disastrous to the environment, resulting in untreated waste being dumped in places where it can pollute waterways and groundwater.[56] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

In terms of global warming, Africans contribute only about one metric ton of carbon dioxide per person per year. It is perceived by many climate change experts that food production and security in the northern Sahel region of the country will suffer as semi-arid areas will have more dry periods in the future.[57] DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

Nigeria is divided into thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory, which are further sub-divided into 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs). The plethora of states, of which there were only three at independence, Packard Bell Easynote TX86 laptop keyboard

reflect the country's tumultuous history and the difficulties of managing such a heterogeneous national entity at all levels of government. In some contexts, the states are aggregated into six geopolitical zones: North West, North East, North Central, South East, South South, and South West.[58][59] Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

Nigeria has six cities with a population of over 1 million people (from largest to smallest: Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Benin City). Lagos is the largest city in sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of over 8 million in its urban area alone. Population of Nigeria's cities over a million are listed belowCompaq Presario CQ42-173TU laptop keyboard

to the World Bank,[61] with its abundant supply of natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, transport sectors and stock exchange (the Nigerian Stock Exchange), which is the second largest in Africa. Nigeria is ranked 31st in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) as of 2011.  Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

Nigeria is the United States' largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and supplies a fifth of its oil (11% of oil imports). It has the seventh-largest trade surplus with the U.S. of any country worldwide. Nigeria is the 50th-largest export market for U.S. goods and the 14th-largest exporter of goods to the U.S. GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

The United States is the country's largest foreign investor.[62] The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected economic growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009.[63][64][65] The IMF further projects a 8% growth in the Nigerian economy in 2011.[66] IBM Thinkpad Z60m laptop keyboard

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February 2011: According to Citigroup, Nigeria will get the highest average GDP growth in the world between 2010–2050. Nigeria is one of two countries from Africa among 11 Global Growth Generators countries.[67]  HP G71-445US laptop keyboard

Previously, economic development had been hindered by years of military rule, corruption, and mismanagement. The restoration of democracy and subsequent economic reforms have successfully put Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential. It is now the second largest economy in Africa (following South Africa), and the largest economy in the West Africa Region.[68] Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 laptop keyboard

During the oil boom of the 1970s, Nigeria accumulated a significant foreign debt to finance major infrastructural investments. With the fall of oil prices during the 1980s oil glut Nigeria struggled to keep up with its loan payments and eventually defaulted on its principal debt repayments, limiting repayment to the interest portion of the loans. Arrears and penalty interest accumulated on the unpaid principal which increased the size of the debt. SONY VAIO VGN-CS110D/W laptop keyboard

However, after negotiations by the Nigeria authorities, in October 2005 Nigeria and its Paris Club creditors reached an agreement in which Nigeria repurchased its debt at a discount of approximately 60%. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria used part of its oil profits to pay the residual 40%, freeing up at least $1.15 billion annually for poverty reduction programmes. Nigeria made history in April 2006 by becoming the first African Country to completely pay off its debt (estimated $30 billion) owed to the Paris Club.

Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter,  ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

and has the 10th largest proven reserves. (The country joined OPEC in 1971). Petroleum plays a large role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of GDP and 80% of Government earnings. However, agitation for better resource control in the Niger Delta, its main oil producing region, has led to disruptions in oil production and prevents the country from exporting at 100% capacity.[69] COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, major emerging market operators (like MTN, Etisalat, Zain and Globacom) basing their largest and most profitable centres in the country.[70] The government has recently begun expanding this infrastructure to space based communications. SONY Vaio PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria has a space satellite which is monitored at the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency Headquarters in Abuja.

The country has a highly developed financial services sector, with a mix of local and international banks, asset management companies, brokerage houses, insurance companies and brokers, private equity funds and investment banks.[71] SONY 147664712 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria also has a wide array of underexploited mineral resources which include natural gas, coal, bauxite, tantalite, gold, tin, iron ore, limestone, niobium, lead and zinc.[72] Despite huge deposits of these natural resources, the mining industry in Nigeria is still in its infancy. SONY Vaio PCG-K215S Laptop Keyboard

Agriculture used to be the principal foreign exchange earner of Nigeria.[73] At one time, Nigeria was the world's largest exporter of groundnuts, cocoa, and palm oil and a significant producer of coconuts, citrus fruits, maize, pearl millet, cassava, yams andsugar cane. About 60% of Nigerians work in the agricultural sector, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7226 Laptop Keyboard

and Nigeria has vast areas of underutilized arable land.[74]

It also has a manufacturing industry which includes leather and textiles (centred Kano, Abeokuta, Onitsha, and Lagos), car manufacturing (for the French car manufacturer Peugeot as well as for the English truck manufacturer Bedford, now a subsidiary of General Motors), t-shirts, plastics and processed food.  HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

Four satellites have been launched by the Nigerian government into outer space. The Nigeriasat-1 was the first satellite to be built under the Nigerian government sponsorship. The satellite was launched from Russia on 27 September 2003. Nigeriasat-1 was part of the world-wide Disaster Monitoring Constellation System.[75] Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

The primary objectives of the Nigeriasat-1 were: to give early warning signals of environmental disaster; to help detect and control desertificationin the northern part of Nigeria; to assist in demographic planning; to establish the relationship between malaria vectors and the environment that breeds malaria and to give early warning signals on future outbreaks of meningitis using remote sensing technology; SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

 to provide the technology needed to bring education to all parts of the country through distant learning; and to aid in conflict resolution and border disputes by mapping out state and International borders. IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R51 1833 Laptop Keyboard

NigeriaSat-2, Nigeria's second satellite, was built as a high-resolution earth satellite by Surrey Space Technology Limited, a United Kingdom-based satellite technology company. It has 2.5-metre resolution panchromatic (very high resolution), 5-metre multispectral (high resolution, NIR red, green and red bands), HP G62-a20EJ Laptop Keyboard

and 32-metre multispectral (medium resolution, NIR red, green and red bands) antennas, with a ground receiving station in Abuja. The NigeriaSat-2 spacecraft alone was built at a cost of over £35 million.[citation needed] This satellite was launched into orbit from a military base in China.[75]  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

NigComSat-1, a Nigerian satellite built in 2004, was Nigeria's third satellite and Africa's first communication satellite. It was launched on 13 May 2007, aboard a Chinese Long March 3B carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China. The spacecraft was operated by NigComSat and the Nigerian Space Agency, NASRDA. HP Pavilion DV7-3186cl laptop keyboard

On 11 November 2008, NigComSat-1 failed in orbit after running out of power due to an anomaly in its solar array. It was based on the Chinese DFH-4 satellite bus, and carries a variety of transponders: 4 C-band; 14 Ku-band; 8 Ka-band; and 2 L-band. It was designed to provide coverage to many parts of Africa, and the Ka-band transponders would also cover Italy. SONY VAIO VGN-CR231E laptop keyboard

On 10 November 2008 (0900 GMT), the satellite was reportedly switched off for analysis and to avoid a possible collision with other satellites. According to Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, it was put into "emergency mode operation in order to effect mitigation and repairs".[76] The satellite eventually failed after losing power on 11 November 2008. HP Pavilion dv6-2115so laptop keyboard

On 24 March 2009, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, NigComSat Ltd. and CGWIC signed a further contract for the in-orbit delivery of the NigComSat-1R satellite. NigComSat-1R was also a DFH-4 satellite, and is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2011 as a replacement for the failed NigComSat-1.[77] HP Pavilion dv6-2141ee laptop keyboard

On 19 December 2011,a new Nigerian communications satellite was lunched into orbit by China in Xichang.The satellite according to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan which was paid for by the insurance policy on NigComSat-1 which de-orbited in 2009, would have a positive impact on national development in various sectors such as communications, internet services, health, agriculture, environmental protection and national security.[78] HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

Population in Nigeria increased from 1990 to 2008 by 57 million a 60% growth rate.[79] Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and accounts for about 18% of the continent's total population, however, exactly how populous is a subject of speculation.[80] The United Nations estimates that the population in 2009 was at 154,729,000, IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

distributed as 51.7% rural and 48.3% urban, and with a population density of 167.5 people per square kilometer. National census results in the past few decades have been disputed. The results of the most recent census were released in December 2006 and gave a population of 140,003,542. The only breakdown available was by gender: males numbered 71,709,859, females numbered 68,293,08. On June 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan said that Nigerians should limit their number of children.[81] DELL Inspiron 6000 laptop keyboard

According to the United Nations, Nigeria has been undergoing explosive population growth and one of the highest growth and fertility rates in the world. By their projections, Nigeria is one of eight countries expected to account collectively for half of the world's total population increase from 2005–2050.[82] HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

By 2100 the UN estimates that the Nigerian population will be between 505 million and 1.03 billion people (middle estimate: 730 million).[83] In 1950, Nigeria had only 33 million people.[84]

One out of every four Africans is Nigerian.[85] Presently, Nigeria is the seventh most populous country in the world, and even conservative estimates conclude that more than 20% of the world's black population lives in Nigeria. HP Pavilion dv6-2173cl laptop keyboard

2006 estimates claim 42.3% of the population is between 0–14 years of age, while 54.6% is between 15–65; the birth rate is significantly higher than the death rate, at 40.4 and 16.9 per 1000 people respectively.[86]  ASUS A9R laptop keyboard

Health, health care, and general living conditions in Nigeria are poor. Life expectancy is 47 years (average male/female) and just over half the population has access to potable water and appropriate sanitation; the percentage of children under five has gone up rather than down between 1990 and 2003 and infant mortality is 97.1 deaths per 1000 live births.[86] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 laptop keyboard

HIV/AIDS rate in Nigeria is much lower compared to the other African nations such as Kenya or South Africa whose prevalence (percentage) rates are in the double digits. In 2003, the HIV prevalence rate among 20 to 29 year-olds was 5.6%.[87] Nigeria suffers from periodic outbreaks of cholera, malaria, and sleeping sickness. GATEWAY MX6956 laptop keyboard

It is the only country in Africa to have never eradicated polio, which it periodically exports to other African countries. A 2004 vaccination drive, spearheaded by the W.H.O. to combat polio and malaria, met with some opposition in the north,[88] but polio was cut 98% between 2009 and 2010. DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Education is in a state of neglect. After the 1970s oil boom, tertiary education was improved so that it would reach every subregion of Nigeria. Education is provided free by the government, but the attendance rate for secondary education is only 29% (32% for males, 27% for females). The education system has been described as "dysfunctional" largely because of decaying institutional infrastructure. 68% of the population is literate, and the rate for men (75.7%) is higher than that for women (60.6%).[86] SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria's largest city is Lagos. Lagos has grown from about 300,000 in 1950[89] to an estimated 15 million today, and the Nigerian government estimates that city will have expanded to 25 million residents by 2015.[90]  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria has more than 250 ethnic groups, with varying languages and customs, creating a country of rich ethnic diversity. The largest ethnic groups are the Fulani/Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, accounting for 62% of population[citation needed], while the Edo, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Ebira, Nupe, Gwari, Itsekiri, Jukun, Urhobo,Igala, Idoma and Tiv comprise 33%; TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-SP5165RM Laptop Keyboard

other minorities make up the remaining 5%.[91] The middle belt of Nigeria is known for its diversity of ethnic groups, including the Pyem, Goemai, and Kofyar. The official population count of each of Nigeria's ethnicities has always remained controversial and disputed as members of different ethnic groups believe the census is rigged to give a particular group (usually believed to be northern groups) numerical superiority.[60][92][93] SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

There are small minorities of British, American, East Indian, Chinese (est. 50,000),[94] white Zimbabwean,[95]Japanese, Greek, Syrian and Lebanese immigrants in Nigeria. Immigrants also include those from other West African or East African nations. These minorities mostly reside in major cities such as Lagos and Abuja, or in the Niger Delta as employees for the major oil companies. A number of Cubans settled in Nigeria as political refugees following the Cuban Revolution. TOSHIBA Qosmio F20 Series Laptop Keyboard

In the middle of the 19th century, a number of ex-slaves of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian descent[96] and emigrants from Sierra Leone established communities in Lagos and other regions of Nigeria. Many ex-slaves came to Nigeria following the emancipation of slaves in the Americas. Many of the immigrants, SONY VAIO PCG-F20 Laptop Keyboard

sometimes called Saros (immigrants from Sierra Leone) and Amaro (ex-slaves from Brazil)[97] later became prominent merchants and missionaries in these cities.

The number of languages estimated and catalogued in Nigeria is 521.[citation needed] This number includes 510 living languages, two second languages without native speakers and nine extinct languages.  HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

In some areas of Nigeria, ethnic groups speak more than one language. The official language of Nigeria, English, was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country. The choice of English as the official language was partially related to the fact that a part of the Nigerian population spoke English as a result of British colonization that ended in 1960 and . HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

Many French speakers from the surrounding countries are influencing English speakers in Nigeria and a number of Nigerian citizens have become fluent enough to work in the surrounding countries. The French spoken in Nigeria may be mixed with some native languages but is most of the time spoken like the French spoken in Benin. French may also be mixed with English like it is done in Cameroon. Most of the population speak English and their native language. HP G61-425ES Laptop Keyboard

The major languages spok

en in Nigeria represent three major families of African languages: the majority are Niger–Congo languages, such as Yoruba and Igbo; the Hausa language is Afro-Asiatic; and Kanuri, spoken in the northeast, primarily Borno State, is part of the Nilo-Saharan family. Even though most ethnic groups prefer to communicate in their own languages, HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

English as the official language is widely used for education, business transactions and for official purposes. English as a first language is used only by a small minority of the country's urban elite, and it is not spoken at all in some rural areas. Hausa is the most widely spoken of the three main languages spoken in Nigeria itself (Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba) but unlike the Yorubas and Igbos, the Hausas tend not to travel far outside Nigeria itself. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

With the majority of Nigeria's populace in the rural areas, the major languages of communication in the country remain indigenous languages. Some of the largest of these, notably Yoruba and Igbo, have derived standardized languages from a number of different dialects and are widely spoken by those ethnic groups. Nigerian Pidgin English, often known simply as 'Pidgin' or 'Broken'  DELL XPS 15 L502X Laptop Keyboard

 (Broken English), is also a popularlingua franca, though with varying regional influences on dialect and slang. The pidgin English or Nigerian English is widely spoken within the Niger DeltaRegions, predominately in Warri, Sapele, Port Harcourt, Agenebode, Ewu, and Benin City.[98] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP6001L laptop keyboard

Nigeria is home to a variety of religions which tend to vary regionally. This situation accentuates regional and ethnic distinctions and has often been seen as a source of sectarian conflict amongst the population.[102] Even though, Nigeria is apparently divided equally between Islam and Christianity between north and south, it is evident that across Nigeria there is widespread belief, albeit suppressed for political reasons, in traditional religious practices.

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 [100][103] Among Christians, 24.8% are Catholic, 74.1% are Protestant, 0.9% belong to other Christian denominations and a few of them are Orthodox Christians.[100]

There are many types of Muslims, but the majority of Nigerian Muslims are Sunni, most of whom are Maliki, Shafi'i or Salafi. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

But a significant Shia and Sufi minority exists (see Shia in Nigeria). Most Sufis follow the Qadiriyya, Tijaniyyah and/or theMouride movement. Some Muslims have incorporated radical and takfiri ideals, in particular the Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Lands. Some northern states have incorporated Sharia law into their previously secular legal systems, TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 Laptop Keyboard

which has brought about some controversy.[104] Kano State has sought to incorporate Sharia law into its constitution.[105] The majority ofQuranists follow the Kalo Kato or Quraniyyun movement. There are also Ahmadiyya and Mahdiyya minorities.[106] Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

From the 1990s to the 2000s, there has been significant growth in Protestant Churches including the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Winners' Chapel, Christ Apostolic Church (the first Aladura Movement in Nigeria), Deeper Christian Life Ministry,Evangelical Church of West Africa, the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

the Mountain of Fire and Miracles, Christ Embassy, The Synagogue Church Of All Nations, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Aladura Church, indigenous Christian churches especially strong in the Yoruba and Igbo areas, DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

and of evangelical churches in general. The Churches have spilled over into adjacent and southern areas of the middle belt. Denominations like the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria and the Mormons have also flourished.[107][108] FUJITSU CP270342-02 Laptop Keyboard

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Other leading Protestant churches in the country are Church of Nigeria, of the Anglicancommunion, Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria, the Nigerian Baptist Convention and The Synagogue, DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Church Of All Nations. The Yoruba area contains a large Anglican population, while Igboland is predominantly Catholic and the Edo area is predominantly Assemblies of God which was introduced into Nigeria by Augustus Ehurie Wogu and his associates at Old Umuahia. GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

The core north is largely Muslim, there are large numbers of both Muslims and Christians in the Middle Belt, including the Federal Capital Territory. In the west of the country, especially in the Yorubaland, the population is said to be 60% Christian, 30% Muslim and 10% adherents of other African religions, HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

while the southeastern regions are predominantly Christians with widespread traditional beliefs, Catholics, Anglicans, and Methodists are the majority with few traditional beliefs, while the Niger Delta region is mainly Christian.[109] HP Mini 110-1150LA Laptop Keyboard

Across Yorubaland in the west, many people are adherents to Yorubo/Irunmole spirituality with its philosophy of divine destiny that all can become Orisha (ori, spiritual head; sha, is chosen: to be one with Olodumare (oni odu, the God source of all energy; ma re, enlighthens / triumphs).

Other minority religious and spiritual groups in Nigeria include Hinduism,[110] Judaism, TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

The Bahá’í Faith, and Chrislam (a syncretic faith melding elements of Christianity and Islam).[111] Further, Nigeria has become an African hub for the Grail Movement[citation needed] and the Hare Krishnas,[112] and the largest temple of the Eckankar religion is in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with a total capacity of 10,000. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Nigerian citizens have authored many influential works of post-colonial literature in the English language. Nigeria's best-known writers are Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel Laureate in Literature, and Chinua Achebe, best known for the novel, HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

Things Fall Apart and his controversial critique of Joseph Conrad. Other Nigerian writers and poets who are well known internationally include John Pepper Clark, Ben Okri, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, Helon Habila, T. M. SONY VAIO VGN-NW110D laptop keyboard

Aluko,Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Daniel O. Fagunwa, Femi Osofisan and Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed in 1995 by the military regime. Nigeria has the second largest newspaper market in Africa (after Egypt) with an estimated circulation of several million copies daily in 2003. TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1AO laptop keyboard

Critically acclaimed writers of a younger generation include Chris Abani, Sefi Atta, Helon Habila,Helen Oyeyemi, Nnedi Okorafor, Kachi A. Ozumba, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, and Chika Unigwe. HP Mini 210-2015la laptop keyboard

Many late 20th century musicians such as Fela Kuti have famously fused cultural elements of various indigenous music with American Jazz and Soul to form Afrobeat which has in turn influenced Hip hop music.[114] HP G42-272BR laptop keyboard

JuJu music which is percussion music fused with traditional music from the Yoruba nation and made famous by King Sunny Adé, is also from Nigeria. There is also fuji music, a Yoruba percussion style, created and popularized by Mr. HP Pavilion dm3-1080EF laptop keyboard

Fuji, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. The is also the Afan Music invented and popularized by the Ewuborn poet and musician Umuobuarie Igberaese. There is a budding hip hop movement in Nigeria. Kennis Music, the self-proclaimed number-one record label in Africa, and one of Nigeria's biggest record labels, has a roster almost entirely dominated by hip hop artists. DELL 454RX laptop keyboard

Some famous musicians that come from Nigeria are Sade Adu, King Sunny Adé, Onyeka Onwenu, Dele Sosimi, Adewale Ayuba, Ezebuiro Obinna, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Bennie King, Ebenezer Obey, Umobuarie Igberaese, Femi Kuti,Lagbaja, Dr. Alban, Wasiu Alabi, Bola Abimbola, Zaki Adze, Tuface Idibia, Aṣa, Nneka, Wale, P Square andD'Banj.[citation needed] HP Pavilion dm1-1002tu laptop keyboard

In November 2008, Nigeria's music scene (and that of Africa) received international attention when MTV hosted the continent's first African music awards show in Abuja.[115]

The Nigerian video-film industry is known as Nollywood, which is now the second-largest producer of movies in the world[citation needed]. SAMSUNG R522 laptop keyboard

Many of the film studios are based in Lagos and Enugu, and the industry is now a very lucrative income for these cities. Nigerian cinema is Africa's largest movie industry in terms of both value and the number of movies produced per year. HP 519265-001 laptop keyboard

Although Nigerian films have been produced since the 1960s, the rise of affordable digital filming and editing technologies has stimulated the country's video film industry. The nameNollywood, was derived as a play on Hollywood in the same manner as Bollywood.[116]

T.B. Joshua's Emmanuel TV, originating from Nigeria, is also one of the most viewed television stations across Africa.[117] SONY VAIO VGN-N110G laptop keyboard

Nigerian cuisine, like West African cuisine in general, is known for its richness and variety. Many different spices, herbs and flavourings are used in conjunction with palm oil or groundnut oil to create deeply flavoured sauces and soups often made very hot with chili peppers. Nigerian feasts are colourful and lavish, while aromatic market and roadside snacks cooked on barbecues or fried in oil are plentiful and varied.[118] SAMSUNG NP-NB30-KP01 laptop keyboard

Football is largely considered one of Nigeria's national sports and the country has its own Premier League of football. Nigeria's national football team, known as the "Super Eagles", has made the World Cup on four occasions 1994, 1998, 2002, and most recently in 2010. In April 1994, the Super Eagles ranked 5th in the FIFA World Rankings, the highest ranking achieved by an African football team. They won the African Cup of Nations in1980, 1994 HP Pavilion dv5t-1200se CTO laptop keyboard

, and 2013, and have also hosted the Junior World Cup. They won the gold medal for football in the 1996 Summer Olympics (in which they beat Argentina) becoming the first African football team to win gold in Olympic Football. SAMSUNG Q320 laptop keyboard

The nation's cadet team from Japan '93 produced some international players notably Nwankwo Kanu, a two-time African Footballer of the year who won the EuropeanChampions League with Ajax Amsterdam and later played with Inter Milan (Italy), Arsenal F.C. (London, UK), West Bromwich Albion (UK) and Portsmouth F.C. (UK). HP Pavilion dv6-2155dx laptop keyboard

Other players that graduated from the Junior teams are Celestine Babayaro (of Newcastle United, UK), Wilson Oruma and Taye Taiwo (of Marseille, France). Some other famous Nigerian footballers include Mikel John Obi, Obafemi Martins, Vincent Enyeama, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, John Fashanu, Rashidi Yekini, Peter Odemwingie andJay-Jay Okocha.  IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

According to the official May 2010 FIFA World Rankings, Nigeria was the second top-ranked football nation in Africa and the 21st highest in the world. Nigeria is also involved in other sports such as basketball, cricket and track and field.[119] Boxing is also an important sport in Nigeria; Dick Tiger and Samuel Peterare both former World Champions. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria's national basketball team made the headlines internationally when it qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics as it beat heavily favored world elite teams such as Greece and Lithuania.[120]  HP G61-400SP laptop keyboard

Nigeria has been home to numerous internationally recognized basketball players in the world's top leagues in America,Europe and Asia. These players include NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon or Solomon Alabi, Yinka Dare, Obinna Ekezie, Festus Ezeli and Olumide Oyedeji. SONY VAIO PCG-F50/BP laptop keyboard

According to the U.S. Department of State,[121] the most significant human rights problems are: extrajudicial killings and use of excessive force by security forces; impunity for abuses by security forces; arbitrary arrests; SONY VAIO VGN-NW320F/T laptop keyboard

prolonged pretrial detention; judicial corruption and executive influence on the judiciary; rape, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners, detainees and suspects; harsh and life threatening prison and detention center conditions; human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution and forced labor; ACER TravelMate 2010 laptop keyboard

societal violence and vigilante killings; child labor, child abuse and child sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation (FGM); domestic violence; discrimination based on sex, ethnicity, region and religion; restrictions on freedom of assembly, movement, press, speech and religion; infringement of privacy rights; and the abridgement of the right of citizens to change the government. TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

Under the Shari'a penal code that applies to Muslims in twelve northern states, offenses such as alcohol consumption, homosexuality, infidelity and theft carry harsh sentences, including amputation, lashing, stoning and long prison terms.[122] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Under a proposed law passed by the Senate 2 December 2011, same-sex couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps gay couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars. TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

The bill also punishes the "public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly" with ten years in prison. A newly added portion of the bill levels 10 years in prison for those found guilty of organizing, operating or supporting gay clubs, organizations and meetings.

Strife and sectarian violenceSONY Vaio PCG-K33 laptop keyboard

Because of its multitude of diverse, sometimes competing ethno-linguistic groups, Nigeria prior to independence has been faced with sectarian tensions and violence. This is particularly a major issue in the oil-producing Niger Delta region, ACER Extensa 5235 laptop keyboard

where both state and civilian forces employ varying methods of coercion in attempts gain control over regional petroleum resources. Some of the ethnic groups like the Ogoni, have experienced severe environmental degradation due to petroleum extraction.  SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Since the end of the civil war in 1970, some ethnic violence has persisted. There has subsequently been a period of relative harmony since the Federal Government introduced tough new measures against religious violence in all affected parts of the country. HP Mini 110-1150LA laptop keyboard

The 2002 Miss World Pageant was moved from Abuja to London in the wake of violent protests in the Northern part of the country that left more than 100 people dead and over 500 injured.[123] The rioting erupted after Muslims in the country reacted in anger to comments made by a newspaper reporter. Rioters in Kadunakilled an estimated 105 men, women, and children with a further 521 injured taken to hospital. HP AE0P7U00010 laptop keyboard

Since 2002, the country has seen sectarian violence by Boko Haram an Islamist movement that seeks to abolish the secular system of government and establishSharia law in the country.[124][125] In 2010, more than 500 people were killed by religious violence in Jos.[126]

Health issues IBM Thinkpad R61i Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria has been reorganizing its health system since the Bamako Initiative of 1987 formally promoted community-based methods of increasing accessibility of drugs and health care services to the population, in part by implementing user fees.[127] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

The new strategy dramatically increased accessibility through community-based healthcare reform, resulting in more efficient and equitable provision of services. A comprehensive approach strategy was extended to all areas of health care, with subsequent improvement in the health care indicators and improvement in health care efficiency and cost.[128]  Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

The Nigerian health care system is continuously faced with a shortage of doctors known as 'brain drain' due to the fact that many highly skilled Nigerian doctors emigrate to North America and Europe.[citation needed] In 1995, ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

it was estimated that 21,000 Nigerian doctors were practicing in the United States alone, which is about the same as the number of doctors working in the Nigerian public service. Retaining these expensively trained professionals has been identified as one of the goals of the government.[129]

According to 2009 estimates,  Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

HIV prevalence is about 3.6% of the adult population in Nigeria.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

 [131]

Nigeria provides free, government-supported education, but attendance is not compulsory at any level, and certain groups, such as nomads and the handicapped, are under-served. The education system consists of six years of primary school, three years of junior secondary school, three years of senior secondary school, and four years of university education leading to a bachelor's degree. The rate of secondary school attendance is 32% for males and 27% for females. Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

In 2004 the Nigerian National Planning Commission described the country's education system as "dysfunctional." Reasons for this characterization included decaying institutions and ill-prepared graduates.[132]

CrimeHP G62-225NR Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria is home to a substantial network of organized crime, active especially in drug trafficking. Nigerian criminal groups are heavily involved in drug trafficking, shipping heroin from Asian countries to Europe and America; and cocaine from South America to Europe and South Africa. .[133] SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

The various Nigerian Confraternities or "campus cults" are active in both organized crime and in political violence as well as providing a network of corruption within Nigeria. As confraternities have extensive connections with political and military figures, they offer excellent alumni networking opportunities.  HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Supreme Vikings Confraternity, for example, boasts that twelve members of the Rivers State House of Assembly are cult members.[134] On lower levels of society, there are the "area boys", organized gangs mostly active in Lagos who specialize in mugging and small-scale drug dealing. According to official statistics, gang violence in Lagos resulted in 273 civilians and 84 policemen killed in the period of August 2000 to May 2001.[135]  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Internationally, Nigeria is infamous for a crime dubbed 419, a type of advance fee fraud (named after Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code) along with the "Nigerian scam", a form of confidence trick practiced by individuals and criminal syndicates.[136] In 2003, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(or EFCC) was created to combat this and other forms of organized financial crime.[137] HP COMPAQ NX6325 Laptop Keyboard

There is also some piracy in Nigeria, with attacks mainly directed at smaller ships shuttling employees and materials belonging to the oil companies with any involvement in oil exploration in the Niger Delta. From 1 January 2007 to 29 October 2007, twenty-six pirate attacks were recorded.[138] TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

Nigeria is also pervaded by political corruption. It is ranked 143 out of 182 countries in Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index. More than $400 billion was stolen from the treasury by Nigeria's leaders between 1960 and 1999.[139][140] HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

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(ARVN, the regular army of South Vietnam) and the United States military between 30 March and 22 October 1972, during the Vietnam War.[39] This conventional invasion (the largest offensive operation since 300,000 Chinese volunteers had crossed the Yalu River into North Korea during the Korean War) was led by armoured forces. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ645P3 Battery

Two PAVN divisions (the 304th and 308th - approximately 30,000 troops) supported by more than 100 tanks (in two regiments) rolled over the Demilitarized Zone to attack I Corps, the five northernmost provinces of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese moved out of Laos along Route 9, past Khe Sanh, and east into the Quảng Trị River Valley of South Vietnam. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ650N/C Battery

The PAVN advance was followed by antiaircraft units armed with new ZSU-57-2 tracked weapon platforms and man-portable, shoulder-firedGrail missiles, which made low-level bombing attacks against the columns of tanks hazardous. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ660N/C Battery

On May 9, 1972, the North Vietnamese tanks unwillingly participated in changing the story of armoured warfare.[34] On April 24, 1972, a US special experimental UH-1B helicopter team, consisting of two helicopters mounting the new XM26 TOWanti-tank missile Sony VAIO VGN-SZ670N/C Battery

(Tube Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire guided), accompanied by technicians from Bell Helicopters and the Hughes Aircraft Corporation, arrived in the country. The team, labelled the 1st Combat Aerial TOW Team, deployed to the Central Highlands in Vietnam and commenced gunnery training. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ680ND Battery

From May 2, the team made daily flights in search of enemy armour. On May 9, NVA armoured units attacked the Ranger camp at Ben Het; the TOW team destroyed three PT-76s and broke up the attack.[34]

On May 26, 1972, the North Vietnamese Army moved with armoured forces on the city of Kon Tum. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ691N/X Battery

TOW aircraft were brought in at first light and found NVA tanks moving almost at will through portions of the city. Conventional air strikes would prove risky to friendly forces, but the TOW proved to be ideal for picking off enemy tanks.[34] At the end of the first day, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ71E/B Battery

the two TOW helicopters had destroyed nine tanks and damaged one more. Five of the destroyed tanks had been T-54/55s and the remaining four destroyed and one damaged were PT-76s. By the end of the month, TOW missiles launched from helicopters had 47 confirmed kills, of which 24 were tanks.[35] Sony VAIO VGN-SZ71VN/X Battery

But in the end, as South Vietnamese forces crumbled, it was a T-54 tank of the North Vietnamese Army that bulldozed through the main gate of the Presidents at 10:45 on 30 April 1975, ending the Vietnam War.

Prior to the Six-Day War, the Arab armies had fought with a mixture of weapons mostly British, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ71WN/C Battery

although Egypt acquired American M4A4 tanks and fitted them with the diesel engine of M4A2 and the FL-10 turret of the French AMX-13 light tank. Syria possessed at least one M4A1 chassis at some time during 1948-1956. But after the Suez Crisis in 1956 they built up their arsenal mainly with Soviet arms. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ74B/B Battery

It is known the Syrians got upgraded T-34-85's which they called T-34/55. This unit was a Syrian modernization of Soviet-made T-34-85s earlier with an anti-aircraft machine gun fitted to the commander's copula and other upgrades. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ750N/C Battery

The Syrians also acquired a T-34 tank conversions desinated a T-34/122 made into a self-propelled howitzer armed with a 122 mm D-30 howitzer.

The Six-Day War was fought between June 5 and June 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt [known then as the United Arab Republic (UAR)], Sony VAIO VGN-SZ75B/B Battery

Jordan, and Syria. In the war, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq had over 2,504 tanks against Israel 800 tanks.[40] However, Israel completed a decisive air offensive in the first two days, which crippled the Egyptian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces, destroyed Jordan's Air Force, and rapidly established complete air supremacy. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ76 Battery

The Israeli Air Force pummelled the Arab armies, and with air supremacy, was able to destroy many of their tanks at will, but the Israeli armor also had tank on tank battles. Typical was the Battle of Abu-Ageila, where Egyptian forces with amoured forces included a battalion of tank destroyers and a tank regiment, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ770N/C Battery

formed of Soviet World War II armor, which included 90 T-34-85 tanks (with 85 mm guns), 22 SU-100 tank destroyers (with 100 mm guns), and about 16,000 men,[141] clashed with the Israelis with 150 post-World War II tanks including the AMX-13 with 90 mm guns, Centurions, and Super Shermans (both types with 105 mm guns). Sony VAIO VGN-SZ77N Battery

Combined forces of Israeli armor, paratroopers, infantry, artillery and combat engineers attacked the Egyptian position from the front, flanks and rear, destroying many tanks and cutting the Egyptian forces off. At the war's end, Israel had seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ780 Battery

the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Egyptian amoured forces were by the time of the Six-Day War, mostly Soviet. Egypt had ordered 350 T-54s and 50 PT-76s from the Soviet Union and delivered by 1966 before the Six-Day War. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ78N Battery

Egypt lost 820 vehicles in the Six Day War including 82 T-55s.[25]:11-13 After the loses, Egypt rearmed and 800 T-54s were ordered in 1967 from the Soviet Union and delivered between 1967 and 1972. Another 550 T-55s were ordered in 1967 from the Soviet Union and delivered betweenSony VAIO VGN-SZ791N/X Battery

1969 and 1973 along with 200 PT-76s ordered in 1970, 50 T-54s ordered in 1972 and 750 T-62s ordered in 1971 from the Soviet Union and had begun to be delivered by 1972 before the start of the next conflict.

The Yom Kippur War, (Hebrew: מלחמת יום הכיפורים‎; transliterated: Sony VAIO VGN-SZ84NS Battery

Milemet Yom HaKipurim or מלחמת יום כיפור, Milemet Yom Kipur; Arabic: حرب أكتوبر‎;transliterated: ħarb Aktoobar or حرب تشرين, ħarb Tishrin), also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 26, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states backing Egypt and Syria. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ84PS Battery

In the Yom Kippur War Egypt, Syria and Iraq used T-34/85, T-54, T-55, T-62 and PT-76, as well as SU-100/152 World War II vintage self-propelled guns. While Israel had M50 and M51 Shermans with upgraded engines, M48A5 Patton,M60A1 Patton, Centurion and about 200 T-54/55 captured during the Six-Day War. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ84S Battery

All Israeli tanks were upgraded with the British 105 mm L7 gun, prior to the war.

The Yom Kipur War began with a massive and successful Egyptian attack across the heavily fortified Suez Canal with tanks it had received from the Soviet Union, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ84US Battery

T-55s and T-62s tanks, RPG-7 antitank weapons, and the AT-3 Sagger anti-tank guided missile and using improved military tactics, based on Soviet battlefield doctrines. They drove the tanks over portable bridges laid across the Suez Canal, with infantry with portable and recoilless anti-tank weapons.[42] Sony VAIO VGN-SZ85NS Battery

Egyptian forces advanced, into the Sinai Desert with two armies (both corps-sized by western standards, included the 2nd Infantry Division in the northern Second Army) and by the following morning, some Egyptian 850 tanks had crossed the canal and prepared for the Israeli conterattack.[43] Sony VAIO VGN-SZ85S Battery

The Egyptian 2nd and 3rd Armies attacked eastward with armored forces consisted of 800[44]-1,000 tanks[45] however they moved eastward beyond SAM cover over the Suez Canal, where they came up against 700[44]-750[45] Israeli tanks. The Egyptian armored and mechanized attack, was a total failure. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ85US Battery

Instead of concentrating forces of maneuvering, they had expended their tanks and armored forces in head-on attack against the waiting Israeli brigades."[46] No fewer than 250 Egyptian tanks and some 200 armored vehicles[48] were destroyed. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ94NS Battery

After stopping the Egyptian attack, the Israelis then counterattacked at the seam between two Egyptian armies, crossed the Suez Canal, and encircled elements of Egypt's Third Army until the United Nations ceasefire resolution which was imposed cooperatively on October 25 to end the war. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ94PS Battery

In the north, the Syrians attacked the Golan Heights at the same time with armoured forces and initially made threatening gains against the greatly outnumbered defenders. At the onset of the battle, the Syrians came with three infantry divisions with large armour components comprising 28,000 Syrian troops, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ94S Battery

800 tanks and 600 artillery pieces and followed by two armoured divisions against the Israeli brigades of some 3,000 troops, 180 tanks and 60 artillery pieces. The Syrians had bridging tanks to cross antitank ditches, BRDM-mounted Sagger anti-tank missiles, SU-100 gun carriers, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ94US Battery

and had T-55 tanks equipped with a specially designed infrared nightscope and also T-62 tanks.[52] The Israeli forces did not have adequate optical equipment for night fighting, and had to gauge the position of the Syrian forces by their noise and artillery flares. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ95NS Battery

Israeli forces were worn down but were gradually reinforced over days and within a week, Israel recovered and launched a four-day counter-offensive, driving deep into Syria itself. However, Iraq had also sent an expeditionary force to the Golan, with 250–500 tanks mostly T-55s, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ95S Battery

and 700 APCs which threatened the Israeli flanks, but the war ended without the Iraqis becoming heavily engaged.[53][54][55]

The fact that the Arab armies' T-54/55s and T-62s were equipped with night vision equipment, which the Israeli tanks lacked, gave them an advantage in fighting at night, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ95US Battery

while Israel tanks had better armor and/or better armament such as the L7|105 mm L7 gun. Israeli tanks also had a distinct advantage in the "hull-down" position where steeper angles of depression resulted in less exposure. The main guns of Soviet tanks could only depress 4 degrees. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ121 Battery

By contrast, the 105 mm guns on Centurion and Patton tanks could depress 10 degrees. The coalition of Arab states and Egypt and Syria lost 2,300[56] tanks destroyed or captured 341[57]–514.

During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the Iraqi armor was usually tanks of Russian design, which included the T-54/55, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ13 Battery

T-62, Type 59, Type 69, and T-72. In the Battle of Khafji, the first major ground engagement of the Gulf War, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, tried and failed to draw Coalition troops into a costly ground engagements with his amoured forces and sent the 1st and 5th Sony VAIO VGN-TZ130N/B Battery

Mechanized Divisions and 3rd Armored Division to conduct a multi-pronged invasion toward Khafji, engaging American, Saudi and Qatari forces along the coastline..

Most non-Republican Guard armored units had older tank designs, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ131 Battery

but the 3rd Armored Division had a number of T-72 tanks, the only non-Republican Guard force to have them,[59]while the other armored battalions had T-62s and upgraded T-55s.[60] During the battle of Khafji, these upgraded T-55s survived impacts from Milan anti-tank missiles.[61] Sony VAIO VGN-TZ132/N Battery

As the units moved to the Saudi border, many were attacked by Coalition aircraft. Around the Al-Wafrah forest, about 1,000 Iraqi armored fighting vehicles were attacked by Harrieraircraft with Rockeye cluster bombs.[62] Another Iraqi convoy of armored vehicles was hit by A-10s, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ132N Battery

which destroyed the first and last vehicles, before systematically attacking the stranded remainder.[63] The air raids destroyed many tanks and support vehicles and prevented the majority of the Iraqi troops deployed for the offensive from taking part in it, allowing Saudi and Quatari forces to retake the city. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ150N/B Battery

In the launch of the main Allied ground attack, the Iraqi tanks engaged the M60A1 tanks of the U.S. Marines which were fitted with add-on explosive reactive armor (ERA) packages. However, the weakness of Iraq's older Soviet-era tanks, was most evident against the US M1A1 tank. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ150N/N Battery

The M1A1 tank was superior to Iraq's Soviet-era T-55 and T-62 tanks.

In the Battle of 73 Easting, which was a decisive tank battle fought on 26 February 1991, during the Gulf War, between American–British armored forces and those of the IraqiRepublican Guard. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ160CB Battery

Superior American night vision equipment turned the poor weather into a U.S. advantage.The 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (2nd ACR), mainly a reconnaissance element of VII Corpsalong with the corps's vanguard the American 3rd Armored Division (3rd AD) and 1st Infantry Division (1st ID), Sony VAIO VGN-TZ160N/B Battery

and the British 1st Armoured Division (1 AD) enganged and smashed Iraqi forces and tanks.

One of 2nd ACR's cavalry units, G- ("Ghost") Troop, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ16N Battery

initially destroyed several Iraqi armored personnel carriers and three enemy tanks. Reaching 70 Easting, the lead cavalry troops of 2nd "Cougar" Squadron knocked out a screen of eight Iraqi T-72 tanks. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ16GN/B Battery

The 2nd ACR surprised the enemy and penetrated the Iraqi positions so quickly that they were unable to recover. E-Troop attacked forward and destroyed the Iraqi tanks at 73 Easting at close range. The Iraqis stood their ground while their tanks and armored personnel carriers of the Sony VAIO VGN-TZ16N/B Battery

Tawakalna Division attempted to maneuver and fight. E-Troop destroyed more than 20 tanks and other armored vehicles, a number of trucks and bunkers, and took a large number of prisoners with no losses to themselves. Other 2nd ACR Troops, I- ("Iron"), K- ("Killer"), and G- ("Ghost"), Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17/N Battery

joined the fighting at 73 Easting and engaged several waves of Iraqi T-72and T-55 tanks advancing directly into G-Troop. G-Troop lost one M3 Bradley to Iraqi IFV fire and one soldier, ending with most of the engaged Iraqi elements burning or destroyed. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ170N/B Battery

The 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division of the British Army, engaged the Tawakalna Division, while the Medina Division was attempting to maneuver against 1st Armoured Division. The British responded decisively with MLRS fire, cannon artillery, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ170N/N Battery

and air strikes and destroyed 40 enemy tanks and captured an Iraqi division commander. The 2nd ACR's three squadrons, along with the 1st Infantry Division's two leading brigades, destroyed two Iraqi brigades (18th Mechanized Brigade and 37th Armored Brigade) of the Tawakalna Division. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17GN/B Battery

The 2nd ACR alone destroyed about 85 tanks, 40 personnel carriers and more than 30 wheeled vehicles, along with several anti-aircraft artillery systems during the battle. The equivalent of an Iraqi brigade was destroyed at the Battle of 73 Easting, in the defeat of the Republican Guard tanks and armored forces. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17N Battery

At the same time, Iraqi troops began retreating from Kuwait, and a long convoy of retreating Iraqi tanks, vehicles and troops formed along the main Iraq-Kuwait highway. Although they were retreating, this convoy was bombed so extensively by Coalition air forces that it came to be known as the Highway of DeathSony VAIO VGN-TZ18/N Battery

as Iraqi tanks and other vehicles out in the open were destroyed by Allied planes as they fled, along with hundreds of Iraqi troops who were killed.

Post war analysis showed that the majority of Iraqi armored forces still had old Soviet-made T-55s from the 1950s and 1960s, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ180N/RC Battery

and some Asad Babil tanks T-72 (along with some Chinese Type 59s and Type 69tanks). These machines were not equipped with up-to-date equipment, such as thermal sights or laser rangefinders, and their effectiveness in modern combat was very limited. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ185N/WC Battery

The Iraqis failed to find an effective countermeasure to the thermal sights and sabot rounds used by the Coalition tanks. This equipment enabled them to engage and destroy Iraqi tanks from more than three times the range that Iraqi tanks could engage coalition tanks. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ18GN/X Battery

The Iraqi tank crews used old, cheap steel penetrators against the advancedChobham Armour of the U.S. and British tanks, with ineffective results.

he Soviet entry into the Afghanistan conflict was on December 27, 1979, when 700 Soviet troops dressed in Afghan uniforms, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ18N Battery

including KGB and GRU special force officers from theAlpha Group and Zenith Group, occupied major governmental, military and media buildings in Kabul, including the Tajbeg Presidential Palace.

The Soviet Zenith Group destroyed Kabul's communications hub, paralyzing Afghan military command and the assault on Tajbeg Palace began; Sony VAIO VGN-TZ190N/B Battery

as planned, president Hafizullah Amin was killed. The Soviet military command at Termez, Uzbek SSR, announced on Radio Kabul that Afghanistan had been liberated from Amin's rule. According to the Soviet Politburo they were complying with the 1978 Treaty of Friendship, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ190N/BC Battery

Cooperation and Good Neighborliness and Amin had been "executed by a tribunal for his crimes" by the Afghan Revolutionary Central Committee. That committee then elected as head of government former Deputy Prime Minister Babrak Karmal, and said that it had requested Soviet military assistance. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ191N/XC Battery

Soviet ground forces, under the command of Marshal Sergei Sokolov, entered Afghanistan from the north on December 27. In all, the initial Soviet force was around 1,800 tanks, 80,000 soldiers and 2,000 AFVs. In the second week alone, Soviet aircraft had made a total of 4,000 flights into Kabul.[66] Sony VAIO VGN-TZ195N/XC Battery

With the arrival of the two later divisions, the total Soviet force rose to over 100,000 personnel. The war with mujahideen forces supported by secret aid from the CIA dragged on from the initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan on December 24, 1979 till the final troop withdrawal which started on May 15, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ198N/RC Battery

1988, and ended on February 15, 1989 under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The civil war continued in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal. In April, 1992. Afghanistan leader Najibullah and his communist government fell to the mujahideen, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ250N/B Battery

who replaced Najibullah with a new governing council for the country. With the government institutions either collapsing or participating in the factional fighting, maintaining order in Kabul became almost impossible. The scene was set for the next phase of the war which led to the rise of and the take over of the country by the Taliban regime. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ250N/N Battery

The massive stockpiles of heavy weapons such as T-62 and T-55 tanks, were tanken over by the various Afghanistan warlords and along with vehicles such as BMD-1s from the war with the Soviet Union, they were then used in fighting other factions or warlords. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ250N/P Battery

Some tanks in the Afghanistan military or military vehicles were left behind for them by retreating Soviets and some were derelicts left by the Soviets all over Afghanistan and brought back to working condition. Since there wasn't any kind of care taken as to what variant an individual tank may be, many T-55s have mixed parts from a number of different variants. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ27/N Battery

On October 7, 2001 the United States military began operation Operation Enduring Freedom, which was launched by the United States and United Kingdom in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The purpose for the entry into the Afghanistan conflict was stated to capture Osama bin Laden, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ270N/B Battery

destroy al-Qaeda, and remove the Taliban regime which had provided support and safe harbor to al-Qaeda. In the war, both the Taliban and forces allied with American troops had access to a wide array of Soviet tanks that fell into their hands, when the central government which had ordered them, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ27N Battery

collapsed after the Soviets left. 50 T-54s and 50 T-55s were ordered in 1961 from the Soviet Union and delivered between 1962 and 1964 (T-54s were previously in Soviet service). 200 T-54s were ordered in 1978 from the Soviet Union and delivered between 1978 and 1979 (the vehicles were previously in Soviet service). Sony VAIO VGN-TZ28/N Battery

705 T-55s were ordered in 1978 from the Soviet Union and delivered between 1978 and 1991 (the vehicles were previously in Soviet service).[41] 50 Pt-76 light tanks were ordered in 1958 from the Soviet Union and delivered between 1959 and 1961. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ285N/RC Battery

1,000 T-54s, T-55s, T-62s and PT-76s were in service on 1 April 1992.[68]Currently 600 T-55s are in service with the Military of Afghanistan but are to be replaced with M60 Pattons.

From the beginning of the war, the bulk of the resistance had been conducted by regular army units, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ28N Battery

equipped with older tanks such as T-54/55 tanks and T-62s. One division armed with the older tanks that faced the US forces were the 6th Armored Division of the Iraqi Army.[69] It was equipped with T-55s and BMP-1s defending the control of key bridges over the Euphrates River and the Saddam Canal at Nasiriyah. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ290EAB Battery

Its tanks were decimated by US Marines with M1 Abrams, and the division as a unit rendered incapable for combat during the Battle of Nasiriyah in March 2003, during the invasion.

In addition to the T-54/55 and T-62 tanks that Iraq had, the most feared to US amoured forces were the T-72 tanks in the Iraqi forces. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ290EAN Battery

Only Republican Guard divisions were equipped with Iraqi-modified T-72s. Many of the Iraqi T-72s were dug-in or hidden in groves, and then used to ambush the US or British tanks. In the war, the Iraqi T-72s were the preferred target for Apache helicopters and A-10s, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ290EAP Battery

in an attempt to diminish the combat power of Republican Guard divisions. The only chance for the Asad Babil T-72s against American tanks was to lure them to close range combat, or trying to ambush them from dug-in positions.

But even in those conditions, the M1s usually prevailed, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ295N/XC Battery

as proven in circumstances like the Battle of Baghdad, and the drive to the capital, where dozens of Iraqi MBTs were obliterated,[71] or near Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad, April 3, 2003, (Iraqi Freedom) when US tanks engaged their counterparts from just 50 yards, shattering seven enemy Sony VAIO VGN-TZ298N/XC Battery

T-72s without losses.[72] These encounters also exposed the very poor marksmanship of the Iraqi gunners, in part due to the shortage of modern night-vision and range-finder assets.[73]The Iraqis, however, had no idea they could be detected and destroyed at a range of nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) by the M1 Abrams, and the Challenger. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/B Battery

The Lion of Babylon T-72 was utterly outclassed by the M1 Abrams, the Challenger and by any other contemporary Western main battle tank during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[74] The last operational Asad Babils were destroyed by the successive waves of American armored incursions Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/N Battery

on the Iraqi capital[75] or abandoned by their crews after the fall of Baghdad, several of them without firing a single shot, after the collapse of the regime.

The T-24 was a Soviet medium tank built in 1931. Only twenty-four tanks were built, and was not used in combat. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/W Battery

This was the first tank produced at the KhPZ factory in Ukraine, which was later responsible for the very successful T-34 and T-54 Soviet tanks. The T-24's suspension was used successfully in the Soviet Union's first purpose-built artillery tractors. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ350N/B Battery

The T-24's main armament was a 45 mm gun. It had a ball-mount 7.62 mm DT machine gun in the hull, another in the turret, and a third in a secondary turret atop the main turret. The tank was well-armoured for its time, but suffered from problems with the engine and transmission. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ350N/N Battery

The T-26 tank was a Soviet light infantry tank used during many conflicts of the 1930s and during World War II. It was a development of the British Vickers 6-Ton tank and is widely considered one of the most successful tank designs of the 1930s.[76] Sony VAIO VGN-TZ350N/P Battery

It was produced in greater numbers than any other tank of the period, with more than 11,000 produced.[77] During the 1930s, the Soviet Union developed approximately 53 variants of the T-26, including other combat vehicles based on its chassis. Twenty-three of these were mass-produced.[78] Sony VAIO VGN-TZ370N/B Battery

Though nearly obsolete by the beginning of World War II, the T-26 was the most important tank of the Spanish Civil War and played a significant role during the Battle of Lake Khasan in 1938 as well as in the Winter War. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ37N/G Battery

The T-26 was the most numerous tank in the Red Army's armoured force during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.[79] Combat experience with the T-26 showed the Soviet military that, even though the T-26's gun could defeat the armor of opposing tanks it met in battle, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ37N/P Battery

its armor was too thin and the gun caliber was too small as it often encountered entrenched anti-tank guns demanding a larger caliber that could fire a larger high explosive shell. The Soviet T-26 light tanks were last used in August 1945, in Manchuria.[80] Sony VAIO VGN-TZ37N/R Battery

The T-26 was reliable and simple to maintain, and its design was continually modernised between 1931 and 1941. However, no new models of the T-26 were developed after 1940.

The BT tanks were a series of cavalry tanks produced in large numbers between 1932 and 1941. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ37N/X Battery

They were lightly armoured, but reasonably well-armed for their time, and had the best mobility of all contemporary tanks of the world. They outclassed their Japanese opponents in the Soviet–Japanese border conflicts (1938-1939) but thousands were lost during the German invasion in 1941 and was rare after 1942. It was further developed to, and replaced by the T-34. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ38N/X Battery

The T-28 was a three-turreted medium tank first manufactured in 1932. A total of 502 T-28 tanks were made 1933-1941. Combat experience in the Winter War led to an upgrade with appliqué armor. The up-armored T-28e tanks were used to break through the Finnish Mannerheim Line, ending the Winter War in 1940. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ398U/XC Battery

Most of the 400 remaining T-28 tanks were lost during the German invasion in 1941. The design was not particularly successful in combat, but the building and designing of it gave the Soviet heavy industry important experience in manufacturing medium tanks. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ50B Battery

The failure of this multi-turreted tank guided the switch to the more successful, single-turret T-34 medium tank.

The T-34 was a medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ90HS Battery

it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II.[81] First produced at the KhPZ factory in Kharkov (Kharkiv, Ukraine), it was the mainstay of Soviet armoured forces throughout World War II, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ90NS Battery

and widely exported afterward. It was the most-produced tank of the war, and the second most-produced tank of all time, after its successor, the T-54/55 series.[82] In 1996, the T-34 was still in service in at least twenty-seven countries. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ90S Battery

The T-35 was a Soviet multi-turreted heavy tank of the interwar period and early Second World War in limited production and service with the Red Army. It was the only five-turreted heavy tank in the world to reach production but proved to be slow and mechanically unreliable. Sony VAIO VPC CW2MFX/PU Battery

Most of the T-35 tanks still operational at the time of Operation Barbarossa were lost due to mechanical failure rather than enemy action.

Outwardly it was large but internally the spaces were cramped with the fighting compartments separated from each other. Sony VAIO VPC S11V9E/B Battery

Some of the turrets obscured the entrance hatches. The failure of the T-35 and other multi-turreted tanks in the Winter War (1939-1940) led to the development of the more successful Kliment Voroshilov heavy tank (single turret).

The T-37A was light amphibious tank. Sony VAIO VPCB119GJ/B Battery

The tank is often referred to as the T-37, although that designation was used by a different tank which never left the prototype stage.[citation needed] The T-37A was the first series of mass-produced fully amphibious tanks in the world.[citation needed]

The tank was first created in 1932, based on the British Vickers tankette and other operational amphibious tanks. Sony VAIO VPCB11AGJ Battery

The tank was mass-produced starting in 1933 up until 1936, when it was replaced with the more modern T-38, based on the T-37A. Overall, after four years of production, 2552 T-37A’s were produced, including the original prototypes.[citation neededSony VAIO VPCB11AVJ Battery

In the Red Army, they were used to perform tasks in communication, reconnaissance, and as defense units on the march, as well as active infantry support on the battlefield. The T-37A were used in large numbers during the Soviet invasion of Poland and in the Winter War against Finland. Sony VAIO VPCB11V9E Battery

The T-37A was also used by the Soviets in the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, but most of them were quickly lost. Surviving tanks of that type fought on the front lines until 1944, and were used in training and auxiliary defense until the end of World War II. Sony VAIO VPCB11X9E Battery

he T-38 amphibious scout tank was a light amphibious tank that was used in World War II.The T-38 was a development of the earlier T-37, based in turn on the French AMR 33 light reconnaissance tank. The tank was powered by a standard GAZ (Ford) engine and was cheap to produce. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/P Battery

Buoyancy was achieved by the large-volume hull and large fenders. In water, the vehicle was propelled by a small three-bladed propeller mounted at the rear.

The tanks were intended for use for reconnaissance and infantry support. As a scout tank the T-38 had the advantages of very low silhouette and good mobility, Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/R Battery

due to its ability to swim. The T-38 was also intended to be air-portable; during the Kievmaneuvers in 1936, the tanks were transported by Tupolev TB-3 bombers, mounted under the fuselage. Infantry battalions were each issued 38 T-38s, with 50 being designated for each airborne armored battalions. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/W Battery

However, the thin armor and single machine gun armament made the tank of only limited use in combat while the lack of radios in most T-38s was a serious limitation in a recon vehicle. The T-38's limitations were recognized, and it would have been replaced by the T-40, but the outbreak of the Second World War meant that only a few T-40s were produced. Sony VAIO VPCCW19FJ/W Battery

Around 1,500 T-38s were built, illustrating the importance of amphibious scout tanks to the Red Army. Some were up-gunned with a 20 mm ShVAK cannon, and designated the T-38RT.

The T-40 amphibious scout tank was a light amphibious tank used by the Soviet Union during World War II. Sony VAIO VPCCW1AFJ Battery

Amphibious capability was important to the Red Army, as evidenced by the production of over 1,500 amphibious tanks in the 1930s. The T-40 was intended to replace the aging T-37 and T-38 tank light amphibians. It was a superior design, Sony VAIO VPCCW1AHJ Battery

but due to the pressures of war the Soviets favored the production of simpler tank designs, and only a small number of T-40s were built.The last batch of T-40s built had BM-8-24 Katyusha rocket racks mounted instead of turrets. This version provided a mobile mount for a 24-rail multiple-launch rocket system, firing 82 mm unguided rockets. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E Battery

The T-50 light infantry tank was built by the Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II. Development of the T-50 started as the SP project (Soprovzhdeniya Pekhoty, ‘Infantry Support’) in 1939. The design bureau was gutted during the Great Purge, Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/B Battery

and was unable to continue the project, so it was transferred to the K.E. Voroshilov Factory Number 174 in May 1940. Troyanov completed the T-50 design in January 1941 and production was authorized, but due to technical problems, it was unable to proceed. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/L Battery

The design for this vehicle had some advanced features, but was complicated and expensive, and only a short production run of 69 tanks was completed. Furthermore, even before it was ready for mass-production wartime experience invalidated the underlying concept of light tanks. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/P Battery

The T-60 scout tank was a light tank produced by the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1942. In this time over 6,292 were built. The tank was designed to replace the obsolete T-38 amphibious scout tank.

Although at first intended to carry a 12.7 mm machine gun like the T-40, Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/R Battery

the armament was later upgraded to the 20 mm TNSh cannon, a tank version of the ShVAK, on the advisement of the People's Commissar for Tanks Industry, Vyacheslav Malyshev. This weapon could penetrate 15 mm of perpendicular armour Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/W Battery

at 500 m range which proved inadequate against the newer uparmored German tank designs thus attempts were made in 1942 to re-arm the T-60 with the 37 mm ZIS-19 cannon but were abandoned due to the Soviet Union's shortage of 37 mm ammunition. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/B Battery

The T-60 was also used in the design of the experimental T-90 antiaircraft tank. This project switched to the T-70 light tank, and was finally cancelled without any production.The T-70 light tank was used by the Red Army during World War II, replacing both the T-60 scout tank for reconnaissance and the T-50 light infantry tank for infantry support. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/L Battery

The T-80 light tank was a more advanced version of the T-70 with a two-man turret—it was only produced in very small numbers when light tank production was abandoned. The T-90 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun was a prototype vehicle with twin machine guns, based on the T-70 chassis. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/R Battery

The T-70 was armed with a 45 mm L/46 gun Model 38 with forty-five rounds carried, and a coaxial 7.62-mm DT machine gun. The tank was operated by a driver and a commander who loaded and fired the gun. Armour thickness on the turret front was 60 mm, hull front and sides: Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/W Battery

45 mm, rear and turret sides: 35 mm, roof and bottom: 10 mm.

T-70s were put into production in March 1942 at Zavod No. 37, and along with T-60 production at GAZ and Zavod No. 38. They completely replaced T-60 production in September 1942, although that tank remained in use until the end of the war. Sony VAIO VPCCW26EC Battery

Production ended in October 1943, with 8,226 vehicles completed.

The Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tanks were a series of heavy tanks that had extremely heavy armour protection during the early part of World War II, especially during the first year of the German invasion. Sony VAIO VPCCW26FX/B Battery

Although it was heavily armoured, larger guns and thicker armour introduced by the enemy made it less effective over time. The series was discontinued as it could not be upgraded with better guns or heavier armour but served as a basis for the later Iosif Stalin heavy tank. Sony VAIO VPCCW28EC Battery

The Iosif Stalin tank (or IS tank, named after the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin) was a heavy tank developed by the Soviet Union during World War II. The tanks in the series are also sometimes called JS or ИС tanks.

The heavy tank was designed with thick armour to counter the German 88 mm guns, Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/P Battery

and carried a main gun that was capable of defeating the German Tiger and Panther tanks. It was mainly a breakthrough tank, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers. The IS-2 was put into service in April 1944, Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/R Battery

and was used as a spearhead in theBattle of Berlin by the Red Army in the final stage of the war.

The T-10 (also known as Obyekt 730) was a Soviet heavy tank of the Cold War, the final development of the KV and IS tank series. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/W Battery

It was accepted into production in 1952 as the IS-10 (Iosif Stalin, Russian form of Joseph Stalin), but due to the political climate in the wake of Stalin's death in 1953, it was renamed T-10.

The biggest differences from its direct ancestor, the IS-3, were a longer hull, Sony VAIO VPCCW29FJ/W Battery

seven pairs of road wheels instead of six, a larger turret mounting a new gun with fume extractor, an improved diesel engine, and increased armour. General performance was similar, although the T-10 could carry more ammunition. Sony VAIO VPCCW2AFJ Battery

T-10s (like the IS tanks they replaced) were deployed in independent tank regiments belonging to armies, and independent tank battalions belonging to divisions. These independent tank units could be attached to mechanized units, to support infantry operations and perform breakthroughs. Sony VAIO VPCCW2AHJ Battery

The T-54 and T-55 tanks were a series of main battle tanks designed in the Soviet Union. The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just before the end of the Second World War. The T-54 entered full production in 1947 and became the main tank for armored units of the Soviet Army, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E Battery

armies of the Warsaw Pact countries, and others. T-54s and T-55s were involved in many of the world's armed conflicts during the late 20th century.

T-54/55 tanks were replaced by the T-62, T-72, T-64 and T-80 in the Soviet and Russian Armies, but many remain in use by up to 50 other armies worldwide, some having received sophisticated retrofitting. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/B Battery

Soviet tanks never directly faced their NATO Cold War adversaries in Europe. However, the T-54/55's first appearance in the west in 1960 spurred the United States to develop the M60. The T-54 did fight in Vietnam where it was outperformed by theM48A3 Patton and even the M41 Walker Bulldog. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/L Battery

It also fought in the Arab-Israeli wars where it was outperformed by theCenturion, M48 Patton, M60 Patton and even upgraded M4 Shermans.[83]

The T-54/55 series eventually became the most-produced tank in history. Estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/P Battery

The PT-76 is a Soviet light amphib

ious tank which was introduced in the early 1950s and soon became the standard reconnaissance tank of the Soviet Army and the other Warsaw Pact armed forces. It was widely exported to other friendly states, like India, Iraq, North Korea and North Vietnam. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/R Battery

Overall, some 25 countries used the PT-76.

The tank's full name is Floating Tank–76 (Russian: Плавающий Танк, Plavayushchiy Tank, or ПТ-76). 76 stands for the caliber of the main armament: the 76.2 mm D-56T series rifled tank gun. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/W Battery

Although the T-62 is very similar to the T-55 and makes use of many of the same parts, there are some differences. Those include the hull, which is a few centimeters longer and wider, the different road wheels, and differences in characteristic uneven gaps between roadwheels. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery

The PT-76 is used in the reconnaissance and fire-support roles. Its chassis served as the basis for a number of other vehicle designs, many of them amphibious, including the BTR-50 armored personnel carrier, the ZSU-23-4 self-propelled antiaircraft gun, the ASU-85 airborne self-propelled gun and the 2K12 Kub anti-aircraft missile launch vehicle. Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery

The T-62 is a Soviet main battle tank, a further development of the T-55. Its 115 mm gun was the first smoothbore tank gun in use. Although the T-62 is very similar to the T-55 and makes use of many of the same parts, there are some differences. Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery

Those include the hull, which is a few centimeters longer and wider, the different road wheels, and differences in characteristic uneven gaps between roadwheels. Unlike the T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks, the gaps between the last three pairs of roadwheels are larger than the rest. (Perrett 1987:37-38) Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery

Like the T-54 and T-55, the T-62 has an unditching beam mounted at the rear of the hull. The tank can be fitted with a thin snorkel for operational usage and a large diameter snorkel for training. The thin snorkel can be disassembled and carried in the back of the turret when not used. Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery

The commander's cupola is located on the left of the top of the turret. The loader has a single piece hatch located on the right side of the turret and further back than the commander's cupola. The loader's hatch has a periscope vision block that can be used to view ahead and behind the vehicle. Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery

The commander's copula has four periscopes, two of which are located in the hatch cover while the other two are located in the forward part of the cupola. The driver has a single piece hatch located on the left front of the vehicle, directly in front of the left side of the turret.[84] Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery

The tank uses the same sights and vision devices as the T-55 except for the gunner, who received a new TSh-2B-41 sight which has x4 or x7 magnification. It is mounted coaxially with an optic rangefinder.[85][86]

The T-62 was produced between 1961 and 1975. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery

It became a standard tank in the Soviet arsenal, partly replacing the T-55, although that tank continued to be manufactured in the Soviet Union and elsewhere after T-62 production was halted. The T-54/55 and T-62 were later replaced in front-line service by the T-64 andT-72. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery

The T-62 fought in the Yom-Kippur war where it was outperformed by the Centurion, M48 Patton and M60 Patton. It even proved vulnerable to the M51 Super Sherman, an upgraded variant of the M4 Sherman of World War II.

The T-64 is a Soviet main battle tank, introduced in the early 1960s. Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery

It was used solely by the Soviet Army in its front-line divisions and was a more advanced counterpart to the T-62. Although the T-62 and the famed T-72 used more widely and generally developed more, it was the T-64 that formed the basis of more modern Soviet tank designs like the T-80. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery

A revolutionary feature of the T-64 is the incorporation of an automatic loader for its 115 mm gun, allowing a crewmember's position to be omitted, and helping to keep the size and weight of the tank down. Tank troopers would joke that the designers had finally caught up with their unofficial hymn, Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery

"Three Tankers"—the song had been written to commemorate the crewmen fighting in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, in 3-man BT-5 tanks in 1939.[87]

The T-64 also pioneered other Soviet tank technology: the T-64A model of 1967 introduced the 125 mm smoothbore gun, and the T-64B of 1976 would be able to fire a guided antitank missile through its gun barrel. Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery

The T-64 design was further developed as the gas turbine-powered T-80 main battle tank. The turret of the T-64B would be used in the improved T-80U and T-80UD, and an advanced version of its diesel engine would power T-80UD and T-84 tanks built in Ukraine. Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery

The T-72 is a Soviet-designed main battle tank that entered production in 1970. It is a further development of the T-62[88]with some features of the T-64A (to which it was a parallel design) and has been further developed as the T-90. Chronologically, Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery

and in design terms, it belongs to the same generation of tanks as the US M60[89] series, German Leopard 1, and British Chieftain tank.

The T-72 was the most common tank used by the Soviet Army from the 1970s to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery

It was also exported to other Warsaw Pact countries, as well as Finland, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yugoslavia, as well as being copied elsewhere, both with and without licenses.

The Yugoslavs upgraded the T-72 in the new and more advanced M-84, and sold hundreds of them around the world during the 1980s. Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery

The Iraqis called theirs the Lion of Babylon (Asad Babil), though the Iraqis assembled theirs from "spare parts" sold to them by the Russians as a means of evading the UN-imposed weapons embargo. More modern derivatives include the Polish PT-91 Twardy and Russian T-90. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery

Several countries, including Russia and Ukraine, also offer modernization packages for older T-72s.

The T-80 is a main battle tank (MBT) designed and manufactured in the former Soviet Union. A development of the T-64, Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery

it entered service in 1976 and was the first production tank to be equipped with a gas turbine engine for main propulsion (theStridsvagn 103 only used a supplementary gas turbine by 1971). The T-80U was last produced in a factory in Omsk, Russia, while the T-80UD and further-developed T-84 continue to be produced in Ukraine. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery

The T-80 and its variants are in service inBelarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan,[90] Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine. The chief designer of the T-80 was the Russian engineer Nikolay Popov.[91]

The main gun is fed by the Korzina automatic loader. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

This holds up to 28 rounds of two-part ammunition in a carousel located under the turret floor.[92] Additional ammunition is stored within the turret. The ammunition comprises the projectile (APFSDS, HEAT or HE-Frag) plus the propellant charge, or the two part missile.[92] Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery

The autoloader is an effective, reliable, combat tested system which has been in use since the mid-1960s. The propellant charge is held inside a semi-combustible cartridge case made of a highly flammable material - this is consumed in the breech during firing, except for a small metal baseplate.[92] Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery

The T-80s main gun has a range relatively longer than that of western tanks; it is capable of engaging targets at a range of 5,000 m.

A disadvantage highlighted during combat in Chechnya was the vulnerability of the T-80BV to catastrophic explosion.[92] Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery

The reason given by US and Russian experts is the vulnerability of stored semi-combustible propellant charges and missiles when contacted by the molten metal jet from the penetration of a HEAT warhead, causing the entire ammunition load to explode.[92] Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery

This vulnerability may be addressed in later models. When Western tank designs changed from non-combustible propellant cartridges to semi-combustible, they tended to separate ammunition stowage from the crew compartment with armoured blast doors, and provided 'blow-out' panels to redirect the force and fire of exploding ammunition away from the crew compartment. Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery

The T-90 is a Russian main battle tank (MBT) derived from the T-72, and is currently the most modern tank in service with theRussian Ground Forces and Naval Infantry. The successor to the T-72BM, the T-90 uses the tank gun and 1G46 gunner sights from the T-80U, Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery

a new engine, and thermal sights. Protective measures include Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armour (ERA), laser warning receivers, Nakidka camouflage, the EMT-7 electromagnetic pulse (EMP) creator for the destruction of magnetic mines[93] Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery

and the Shtora infrared ATGM jamming system. It is designed and built by Uralvagonzavod, in Nizhny Tagil, Russia.

The T-90 with an 840 hp (630 kW) engine went into low-level production in 1993, based on a prototype designated T-88Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery

It features a new generation of Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor on its hull and turret. Of conventional layout, the T-90 represents a major upgrade to every system in the T-72, including the main gun.[94] The T-90S have been identified as export model. Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery

The references to a T-90E appear to be unsubstantiated.[94] The T-90 is fitted with a "three-tiered" protection system: the first tier is the composite armour in the turret, second tier is third generation Kontakt-5 ERA and third tier is a Shtora-1 countermeasures suite. Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery,Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery,Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery

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This article deals with the history of tanks of the Soviet Union. World War I established the validity of thetank concept. After the war, many nations needed to have tanks, but only a few had the industrial resources to design and build them. During and after World War I, Britain and France were the intellectual leaders in tank design, with other countries generally following and adopting their designs. Sony  VGP-BPS13 Battery

This early lead would be gradually lost during the course of the 1930s to the Soviet Union who with Germany began to design and build their own tanks. The Treaty of Versailles had severely limited Germany's industrial output. Therefore, in order to circumvent Germany's treaty restrictions, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

these industrial firms formed a partnerships with the Soviet Union to legally produce weapons and sell them, and along with other factors inadvertently built up an infrastructure to produce tanks which later made the famous T-34 and other Russian tanks. Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Imperial Russia had flirted with some designs such as the Tsar Tank which was scraped, and the Vezdekhod(Russian: Вездеход) which did not however progress further than a pre-production model, due to problems in the design.

The final tank designs in World War I showed a number of trends such as in the US and British produced Mark VIII tank for heavy tanks. Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery

However, the FT-17 set the pattern for almost all tanks that followed it; these tanks generally had lower track profiles, more compact hulls, and mounted their weapons in turrets. Following the Great War, Britain continued its technical dominance of tank design and British designs, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

particularly those fromVickers-Armstrong, which formed the basis for many of Russian tanks of the 1930s and early World War II and this included the Soviet T-26, and BT series. Designs such as the Vickers Medium Mk II, brought to the forefront the fully rotating turret on top and dual-use 3-pounder gun (that could fire both high-explosive and anti-tank shells) and sloped armour, Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

while the Vickers Carden-Lloyd machine gun carriers influenced the tankette concept such as the Soviet T-27.

Another notable design that influenced the Russians was the Vickers A1E1 Independent, which was a large heavy tank built in 1925 and its design was used by the Soviet in building their T-28 and T-35 tanks. Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

The Russian designs were also influenced by the idea common in most armies that the tank was to be used in the role of cavalry or to assist the infantry. Thus the development of light tanks that would be useful primarily against infantry or for reconnaissance were the norm. Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

The Spanish Civil War showed that tank-versus-tank engagements and tank-versus-towed antitank gun engagements would now be a major consideration. It became clear that future tanks would need to be heavily armoured and carry larger guns. Sony  VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

The Soviet Union's efforts in tank design and production must be understood in the context of the experience of the Russian Civil War and the growth of Soviet industry. During the civil war, the use of armoured trains and artillery trains was common. Sony  VGP-BPS21 Battery

This tended to lead to a greater interest in tanks and armoured cars compared to some western nations. The rapid growth of heavy industry in the USSR under the Five-Year plans made a large tank fleet possible. The Soviets also spent tens of millions of dollars on U.S. equipment and technology to modernise dozens of automotive and tractor factories, Sony  VGP-BPS21A Battery

which would later produce tanks and armoured vehicles. Joseph Stalin's enthusiasm for industrialisation and mechanisation drove an aggressive military development program, resulting in by far the largest and broadest tank inventory of all nations by the late 1930s. Sony  VGP-BPS21B Battery

In the U.S., J. Walter Christie had developed a series of fast tanks, based on his revolutionary Christie suspensionsystem. This was combined with very high power-to-weight ratios achieved by fitting large aircraft engines in his tanks. Some of his prototypes were purchased by the Soviet Union, Sony  VGP-BPS21/S Battery

and were to be developed into the BT tanks and eventually, on the eve of World War II, the famous T-34. The BT series in turn influenced the British cruiser tank designs such as the A-13 Cruiser Mk IV, Crusader, and others. Sony  VGP-BPS21A/b Battery

In France, they pioneered manufacturing methods in the use of very large castings to form gun mantlets, turrets and eventually, entire tank hulls. The widespread use of casting was copied by the Russians, and led the way in rationalizing designs for fast production, eliminating unnecessary components or manufacturing steps that added little value, Sony VGP-BPS26 Battery

which later was to be incorporated in the mass production of their tanks such as the T-34.

In Soviet Russia, the so-called armoured forces (броневые силы) preceded the Tank Corps. They consisted of the mechanized armoured units (автобронеотряды) made of armored vehicles and armored trains. Sony VGP-BPL26 Battery

The country did not have its own tanks during the Civil War of 1918-1920. In January 1918, the Red Army established the Soviet of Armored Units (Совет броневых частей, or Центробронь), later renamed to Central Armored Directorate and then once again to Chief Armored Directorate (Главное броневое управление). Sony VGP-BPS26A Battery

During the Russian Civil War of 1918-1920, the Nizhny Novgorod Machine Factory built armored trains, armoured carriages, and weapons for the vessels of the Volga Military Flotilla. In 1920, the factory remanufactured fourteen burnt-out French Renault FT tanks for the Red Army, the Russkiy Renos, and assembled a single new copy, named 'Freedom Fighter Lenin'. Sony VGP-BPS22 Battery

Initially, the tanks and armoured cars in Soviet hands were a mix of FT-17 imports and a few British tanks and British-built Austins left behind in the civil war. The first conventional Soviet tank, the T-18 (sometimes called MS-1), was a fairly close copy of the French Renault FT-17, but with improved suspension and a larger turret. Sony VGP-BPL22 Battery

In 1926, under a secret annex to the Treaty of Rapallo, the Soviet Union and Germany set up a joint tank school at Kazan in the west of the Urals, which was illegal under theTreaty of Versailles. Both countries learned much about tank design and tactics in this co-operative venture. Sony VGP-BPS22A Battery

The Germans provided advice on mechanisation of Soviet heavy industry, and helped develop a sense of professionalism in the Red Army. In 1928, the Soviet Union began the production of the MS-1 tanks (Малый Сопровождения -1, where M stands for "small" and S for "convoy"). Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery

In 1929, it established the Central Directorate for Mechanization and Motorization of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army. Tanks became a part of the mechanized corps at this point. From 1929, an experimental Mechanised Brigade was formed, training and developing combined-arms tactics with foreign tanks, armoured cars, tractors, and lorries. Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery

A tank design bureau was established at the Kharkov Locomotive Factory (KhPZ) in Kharkiv, Soviet Ukraine, in 1928. The first tank project of the factory was the T-12 (or T-1-12). This was a larger version of the T-18, with a more powerful engine. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery

It seemed to have been done in parallel to the T-19 light tank which was also based on the FT-17. The project was re-designated T-24, work was completed fixing problems with the transmission and fuel system, and a larger turret was designed. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery

Initial trials were conducted, during which performance was found satisfactory, although the prototype's engine caught fire, and the turret had to be transferred to a T-12 prototype for further testing. Only a total of twenty-four were built during 1931. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery

The T-24s were originally armed only with machine guns, until the 45 mm guns were installed in the following year.

The T-24 was found unreliable, and was used only for training and parades. Although the T-24 tank was a failure, it gave the KhPZ its initial tank design and production experience, Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery

which was applied much more successfully in adopting production of the U.S. Christie tank as the BT tank series, starting in 1931.

Based on a mixed force of foreign tanks and imported prototypes, the Soviets developed an impressive[according to whom?]domestic design and production capability. Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery

The T-26 light tank was based on the Vickers E (as were many other tanks of the period), chosen after it beat a Soviet FT derivative in trials. In spring 1930, the Soviet buying committee, under the direction of Semyon Ginzburg, had arrived in Great Britain to select tanks, tractors and cars to be used in the Red Army. Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery

The Vickers 6-ton was among four models of tanks selected by Soviet representatives during their visit to the Vickers-Armstrongs Company. According to the contract signed on 28 May 1930, the company delivered to the USSR 15 twin-turreted Vickers Mk.E Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery

(Type A, armed with two 7.71 mm water-cooled Vickers machine guns) tanks together with full technical documentation to enable series production of the tank in the USSR. The ability of the two turrets of the Type A to turn independently made it possible to fire to both the left and right at once, Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery

which was considered advantageous for breakthroughs of field entrenchments.[1] Several Soviet engineers participated in assembly of the tanks at the Vickers Factory in 1930.[2]

The Vickers-built 6-ton tanks had the designator V-26 in the USSR. Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery

Three British tanks were successfully tested for cross-country ability at the small proving ground near Moscow on Poklonnaya Hill in January 1931. One tank hull was tested for gunfire resistance in August 1931. Kliment Voroshilov ordered the creation of the "Special Commission Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery

for the Red Army (RKKA) new tanks" under the direction of S. Ginzburg to define the tank type suitable for the Red Army. The T-19 8-ton light infantry tank, developed by S. Ginzburg under that programme at the Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad was a theoretical competitor to the British Vickers 6-Ton. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery

The first prototype of the complex and expensive T-19 was not finished until August 1931. Because both tanks had advantages and disadvantages, S. Ginzburg suggested developing a more powerful, hybrid tank (the so-called "improved" T-19) with the hull, Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery

home-developed engine and armament from the native T-19, and the transmission and chassis from the British Vickers 6-ton.[1][3] On 13 February 1931, the Vickers 6-Ton light infantry tank, under the designator T-26, officially entered service in the Red Army as the "main tank for close support of combined arms units and tank units of High Command reserve".[1][3] Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery

More than 50 different modifications and experimental vehicles based on the chassis of the T-26 light infantry tank were developed in the USSR in the 1930s, with 23 modifications going into series production. The majority were armoured combat vehicles: Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery

flame tanks, artillery tractors, radio-controlled tanks (teletanks), military engineering vehicles, self-propelled guns and armoured personnel carriers. Flame-throwing tanks formed around 12% of the series production of T-26 light tanks.[4] Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery

The abbreviation "OT" (Ognemetniy Tank which stands for Flame-throwing Tank) appeared only in post-war literature; these tanks were originally called "KhT" (Khimicheskiy Tank which stands for Chemical Tank), or BKhM (Boevaya Khimicheskaya MashinaFighting Chemical Vehicle) in the documents of 1930s. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery

All chemical (flame-throwing) tanks based on the T-26 chassis (KhT-26, KhT-130, KhT-133) were designated BKhM-3. The vehicles were intended for area chemical contamination, smoke screens and for flame-throwing.

The Soviets purchased some U.S. Christie M1930 tank prototypes, from which they developed the BT series of fast tanks. Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery

They also developed the heavier multi-turreted T-28 medium tank and the massive T-35, which followed the design premise of the experimental Vickers A1E1 Independent produced by Vickers for the British but not adopted. The T-28 was also greatly influenced by the A1E1 Independent. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery

The Kirov Factory in Leningrad began manufacturing the T-28 tank in 1932. The T-28 tank was officially approved on August 11, 1933. The T-28 had one large turret with a 76.2 mm gun and two smaller turrets with 7.62 mm machine guns. Sony PCG-31211T Battery

A total of 503 T-28 tanks were manufactured over a period of eight years from 1933 to 1941. The Soviets also built a design of the Carden Loyd tankette, bought under license from the United Kingdom in 1930, and made as a reconnaissance vehicle. Sony PCG-31311T Battery

The Soviets were not fully satisfied with the Carden Loyd design and made a number of changes before putting it into mass production under the designation of T-27. Compared with the British original, the hull was larger, the running gear was improved and the weapon mount was modified to take a Soviet-built 7.62 mm DT machine gun. Sony PCG-51111T Battery

The tankette was accepted into service on February 13, 1931 and the principal use of the T-27 during its service life was as a reconnaissance vehicle and was used in the Soviet republics of Central Asia during the 1930s, where the tankettes were used in campaigns against basmachis. Sony PCG-81111T Battery

However, they fairly quickly became obsolete due to the introduction of more advanced tanks. The tankette was also intended to be air-mobile. In 1935, the Soviets experimented with transporting T-27s by air, by suspending them under the fuselages of Tupolev TB-3 bombers. Sony PCG-81311T Battery

In April 1931, Vickers-Armstrongs conducted several successful tests of light, floating tanks in the presence of the press. Those early models were developed into prototypes by Carden-Loyd Tactors, Ltd., which attracted the attention of the Department of Motorization and Mechanization of the RKKA (UMMRKKA), Sony VPCF138FC Battery

because the small tank suited well to the new armament policies of the Red Army, as well as possibly being able to replace the older T-27tankette. Soviet engineers went over the prototype and later were able to purchase some and the “Selezen’” (“Drake”, Ru. “Селезень”) program was established in order to construct a similar Sony VPCF219FC Battery

amphibious tank with a layout based on that of the British prototype. The T-33, was built in March 1932 and showed good buoyancy during testing. However, the T-33 did not perform satisfactorily in other tests. They continue the development for a more suitable amphibious tank, and they designated their latest model as the T-37. Sony VPCS135EC Battery

Even before the end of 1932, the high command of the Red Army was planning to order 30 T-37As as they were now designated, but problems plagued production, and only 126 T-37As had been produced by 1 January 1934. Sony VPCS136EC Battery

The tank was mass-produced starting in 1933 up until 1936, when it was replaced with the more modern T-38. Overall, after four years of production, 2552 T-37As were produced, including the original prototypes. In the Red Army, they were used to perform tasks in communication,reconnaissance, Sony VPCS138EC Battery

and as defence units on the march, as well as active infantry support on the battlefield. The T-37A were used in large numbers during the Soviet invasion of Poland and in the Winter War against Finland. Also the T-41 amphibious tank was also produced, with the chassis, in part, borrowed from the T-33, and the caterpillar tracks entirely from the T-27 tank. Sony VPCS139GC Battery

Of the tanks produced between 1930 and 1940, 97% were either identical copies of foreign designs, or very closely related improvements. Significantly, the major improvement the Soviet designers made to these foreign designs was an increase in firepower. Sony VPCYA15EC Battery

By 1935, the Red Army "... possessed more armoured vehicles, and more tank units than the rest of the world combined."[5] But from 1937 to 1941, the Red Army's officer corps, the armour design bureaux, and leadership of the factories were gutted by Stalin's Great Purge. Sony VPCYA16EC Battery

Approximately 54,000 officers were repressed. Military knowledge completely stagnated and armoured vehicle production dropped drastically (though still remaining the world's largest). Training and readiness dropped to very low levels. This repression continued until the eve of the war. Sony VPCYA25EC Battery

The conflict over the border in Manchuria gave the Soviets a chance to employ tactics with their armoured forces which were to prove useful in the coming war, when General Georgy Zhukov deployed approximately 50,000 Soviet and Mongolian troops of the 57th Sony VPCYA26EC Battery

Special Corps to hold the center of the line on the east bank of the Battle of Khalkhyn Gol, then crossed the river on with BT-7 tanks and armoured units, massed artillery, and air cover. Once the Japanese were pinned down by the advance of the Soviet center units, Sony VPCYB15JC Battery

the tanks and armoured units swept around the flanks and attacked the Japanese in the rear,[6]achieving a classic double envelopment, allowing the two wings of Zhukov's armoured units to link up and surrounding and trapping the Japanese 23rd division.[7][8][9] Sony VPCYA17GH/R Battery

The battle ended with the complete destruction of the Japanese forces, using tactics that Zhukov would employ later with his tanks against German forces.

However, during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, BT tanks were easily attacked by Japanese close quarter teams[10] (tank killersquads[11]) which were armed with "Molotov Cocktails"[12] (fire bottles). Sony VPCCW2S8E/W Battery

The Soviet BT-5 and BT-7 light tanks, which had been operating in 100-degree-plus heat on the Mongolian plains, easily caught fire when a Molotov cocktail ignited their gasoline engines.[13] General Zhukov made it one of hispoints when briefing Stalin, that his "...BT tanks were a bit fireprone..."[14][15] Sony VPCCW2Z1E/B Battery

The T-28 medium tank was deployed during the Winter War against Finland, and later in theInvasion of Poland. In the course of these operations it was found that the armour was inadequate and programs were initiated to upgrade it. According to Russian historian M. Kolomietz's book T-28. Sony VPCY11S1E Battery

Three-headed Stalin's Monster, over 200 T-28s were knocked out during the Winter War. Frontal plates were upgraded from 50 mm to 80 mm and side and rear plates to 40 mm thickness. With this up-armoured version, the Red Army broke through the main Finnish defensive fortification, the vaunted Mannerheim Line. Sony VPCY11S1E/S Battery

The Soviets thus began to upgrade their T-28 tanks for the coming war with Germany, but many were still lost during the first two months of the invasion, when the Germans invaded in June 1941.

The multi-turreted T-35 heavy tank also showed flaws; Soviet tank designers started drawing up replacements. Sony VPCW1 Battery

The T-35 conformed to the 1920s notion of a 'breakthrough tank' with very heavy firepower and armour protection, but poor mobility. The Spanish Civil War demonstrated the need for much heavier armour on tanks, and was the main influence on Soviet tank design just prior to World War II. Sony VPCW1E8R/BU Battery

One of the main competing designs was the SMK, which lowered the number of turrets from the T-35's five to two, mounting the same combination of 76.2 mm and 45 mm weapons. When two prototypes were ordered though, it was decided to create one with only a single turret, but more armour. Sony VPCY11AGJ Battery

This new single-turret tank was the KV. The smaller hull and single turret enabled the designer to install heavy frontal and turret armour while keeping the weight within manageable limits.

When the Soviets entered the Winter War, the SMK, KV and a third design, the T-100, were sent to be tested in combat conditions. Sony VPCY11AHJ Battery

The heavy armour of the KV proved highly resistant to Finnish anti-tank weapons, making it more effective than the other designs. It was soon put into production, both as the original 76 mm-armed KV-1 heavy tank and the 152 mm howitzer-mounting assault gun, the KV-2 Heavy Artillery Tank. Sony VPCY11AVJ Battery

The Soviets also sent the T-38 amphibious scout tank, which was a Soviet light amphibious tank and a development of the earlier T-37, based in turn on the French AMR 33 light reconnaissance tank. The tank served with the Red Army in the Winter War with Finland in 1940, Sony VPCY11M1E Battery

but was unsuccessful due to its light armament and thin armour, which was easily penetrated by rifle and light machine gun fire. In the confined terrain of Finland, the tank was a death trap. As a scout tank, the T-38 had the advantages of very low silhouette and good mobility, due to its ability to swim. Sony VPCY11S1E Battery

However, the thin armour and single machine gun armament made the tank of only limited use in combat while the lack of radios in most T-38s was a serious limitation in a recon vehicle. The T-38's limitations were recognized, and it would have been replaced by the T-40, Sony VPCY11V9E Battery

but the outbreak of the Second World War meant that only a few T-40s were produced. The T-38 was rarely seen in direct combat after Germany attacked in 1941 and was mostly relegated to other roles such as artillery tractor, Sony VPCY11V9E/S Battery

and the main amphibious scout vehicle of the Red Army became the Ford GPA amphibious jeep, an open unarmoured vehicle provided through Lend-Lease.

The participation by Soviet 'volunteer' tank units in the Spanish Civil War was decisive in forming Soviet tank designs for World War II. Sony VPCY219FJ/S Battery

Soviet tanks dominated their foreign rivals in Spain due to their firepower, but their thin armour, in common with most tanks of the period, made them vulnerable to the new towed antitank guns being supplied to infantry units. This finding led directly to a new generation of Soviet tanks. Sony VPCY21AFJ Battery

In 1939 the most numerous Soviet tank models were the T-26 light tank, and the BT series of fast tanks.

On the eve of World War II, the Red Army had around 8,500 T-26s of all variants. The T-26 was a slow-moving infantry tank, originally designed to keep pace with soldiers on the ground. Sony VPCY21AGJ Battery

The BT tanks were cavalry tanks, were very fast-moving light tanks, designed to fight other tanks but not infantry. Both were thinly armoured, proof against small armsbut not anti-tank rifles and 37 mm anti-tank guns, and their gasoline-fuelled engines (commonly used in tank designs throughout the world in those days) were liable to burst into flames "at the slightest provocation." Sony VPCY21AHJ Battery

(Zaloga & Grandsen 1984:111) Development of various tank designs to find a replacement was begun, such as the T-50 light tank which was intended to replace the T-26 infantry tank. In prewar planning, the T-50 was intended to become the most numerous Soviet tank, operating alongside the BT fast tank. Sony VPCY21AVJ Battery

The sophisticated T-50 was developed keeping in mind the experience gained in the Winter War and Soviet tests of the GermanPanzer III tank. But because of technical problems, only a total of 69 T-50 tanks were built (only 48 of them armed), and the much simpler T-60 light tanks replaced it. Sony VPCY21S1E/L Battery

In the meantime, a replacement for the BT fast tanks was being designed which would develop into the very capable and economical T-34 medium tank.

In 1937, the Red Army assigned the engineer Mikhail Koshkin to lead a new team to design a replacement for the BT tanks at the Kharkiv Komintern Locomotive Plant (KhPZ) in Kharkiv. Sony VPCY21S1E/P Battery

The prototype tank, designated A-20, was specified with 20 millimetres (0.8 in) of armour, a 45 mm (1.8 in) gun, and the new model V-2 engine, using less-flammable diesel fuel in a V12 configuration. The A-20 incorporated previous research (BT-IS and BT-SW-2 projects) into sloped armour: Sony VPCY21S1E/SI Battery

its all-round sloped armour plates were more likely to deflect anti-armour rounds than perpendicular armour.[17] Koshkin convinced Soviet leaderJoseph Stalin to let him develop a second prototype, a more heavily armed and armoured "universal tank" which could replace both the T-26 and the BT tanks. Sony VPCCW1E8R/WU Battery

The second prototype Koshkin named A-32, after its 32 millimetres (1.3 in) of frontal armour. It also had a 76.2 mm (3 in) gun, and the same model V-2 diesel engine. Both were tested in field trials at Kubinka in 1939, and the heavier A-32 proved to be as mobile as the A-20. Sony VPCCW1S1E Battery

A still heavier version of the A-32 with 45 millimetres (1.8 in) of front armour and wider tracks was approved for production as the T-34. Resistance from the military command and concerns about high production cost were finally overridden by anxieties about the poor performance of Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery

Soviet tanks in Finland and the effectiveness of Germany's Blitzkrieg in France, and the first production tanks were completed in September 1940, completely replacing the production of the T-26, BT, and the multi-turreted T-28 medium tank at the KhPZ. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery

By the eve of World War II, the Soviet Union had some of the world's best tanks (including the T-34 and KV-1, which were basically a generation ahead, coming as a shock to the Wehrmacht). However, it still had many older tanks in its front-line armoured forces, Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery

with the T-26 forming the backbone of the Red Army's armoured forces during the first months of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. In overall tanks, however, the Soviet numerical advantage was considerable as the Red Army had a large quantitative superiority. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery

It possessed 23,106 tanks,[18] of which about 12,782 were in the five Western Military Districts (three of which directly faced the German invasion front). However, maintenance and readiness standards were very poor; ammunition and radios were in short supply, and many units lacked the trucks needed for resupply beyond their basic fuel and ammunition loads. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery

Also, from 1938, the Soviets had partly dispersed their tanks to infantry divisions for infantry support, but after their experiences in the Winter War and their observation of the German campaign against France, had begun to emulate the Germans and organize most of their armoured assets into large armour divisions and corps. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery

This reorganization was only partially implemented at the dawn of Barbarossa,[19] as not enough tanks were available to bring the mechanized corps up to organic strength. Tank units were rarely well-equipped, and also lacked training and logistical support. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery

Maintenance standards were very poor. Units were sent into combat with no arrangements for refuelling, ammunition resupply, or personnel replacement. Often, after a single engagement, units were destroyed or rendered ineffective. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery

The poor training and readiness status of most Red Army units led to a catastrophic defeat of the enormous Soviet Mechanised Corps during the opening phases ofOperation Barbarossa, Germany's 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union. Despite their generally good equipment, the Red Army's operational capabilities and motorised logistic support were very inferior. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery

The Soviet numerical advantage in heavy equipment was also more than offset by the greatly superior training and readiness of German forces. The Soviet officer corps and high command had been decimated by Stalin's Great Purge (1936–1938). Sony PCG-71213M Battery

The German Wehrmacht had about 5,200 tanks overall, of which 3,350 were committed to the invasion. This yields a balance of immediately available tanks of about 4:1 in the Red Army's favour. The best Soviet tank, the T-34, was the most modern in the world, and the KV series the best armoured. Sony PCG-71311M Battery

The most advanced Soviet tank models, however, the T-34 and KV-1, were not available in large numbers early in the war, and only accounted for 7.2% of the total Soviet tank force. But while these 1,861 modern tanks were technically superior to the 1,404 German medium Panzer III and IV tanks, Sony PCG-71312M Battery

the Soviets in 1941 still lacked the communications, training and experience to employ such weapons effectively.

The Soviet Union had also built some of the best amphibious tanks as amphibious capability was important to the Red Army, as evidenced by the production of over 1,500 amphibious tanks in the 1930s. Sony PCG-71212M Battery

It built the T-37 and T-38 tank light amphibians and then the T-40 which was intended to replace them. The T-40 was a superior design, armed with a 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun, a much more potent weapon than the 7.62 mm DT machine gun mounted on the T-38. Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery

But due to the pressures of war, the Soviets favoured the production of simpler tank designs, and only a small number of T-40s were built.

The T-40 entered production just prior to the outbreak of war, and was intended to equip reconnaissance units. Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery

As the need for large numbers of tanks became critical, a secondary non-amphibious variant was designed on the T-40 chassis. This design became the T-60. The T-60 was simpler, cheaper, and better armed, and could fulfil most of the same roles. Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery

Under the stress of war, production of the T-40 was halted in favour of the T-60. Thus only 222 T-40s were issued, compared to over 6,000 T-60s. Although at first intended to carry a 12.7 mm machine gun like the T-40, the T-60 scout tank armament was later upgraded to the 20 mm TNSh cannon, a tank version of the ShVAK. Sony VAIO PCG-5J5M Battery

By 1942, light tanks such as the T-60 were considered inadequate by the Red Army, unable to keep up with the T-34 medium tank and unable to penetrate the armour of most German tanks, but they could be produced by small factories which were unable to handle the large components of medium and heavy tanks. Sony VAIO PCG-5L2M Battery

The T-70 was an attempt to remedy some of the shortcomings of the T-60 scout tank, which had very poor cross-country mobility, thin armour, and an inadequate 20 mm gun. The T-70 light tank had was armed with a 45 mm L/46 gun Model 38 with forty-five rounds carried, Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery

and a coaxial 7.62 mm DT machine gun and was used by the Red Army to replace both the T-60 scout tank for reconnaissance and the T-50 light infantry tank for infantry support.

The T-70 was then replaced with the T-80 light tank, a more robust version of the T-70 with a two-man turret. Sony VAIO PCG-6W1M Battery

But there was enough lend-lease equipment available to fulfil the reconnaissance role of the light tanks, and armoured cars were better suited for light scouting and liaison. All light tank production was cancelled in October 1943, after only about 120 T-80s were built. Sony VAIO PCG-6W2M Battery

No further light tanks would be built during the war. In November 1943 Red Army tank unitswere reorganized: light tanks were replaced by the T-34 and new T-34-85, which started production the following month.

At the outset of the war, T-34 tanks amounted to only about four percent of the Soviet tank arsenal, Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1M Battery

but by the war's end, they comprised at least 55% of the USSR's massive output of tanks (based on figures from;[20] Zheltov 2001 lists even larger numbers). During the winter of 1941–42, the T-34 dominated German tanks through its ability to move over deep mud or snow without bogging down; Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M Battery

German tanks could not move over terrain the T-34 could handle. The Panzer IV used an inferior leaf-spring suspension and narrow track, and tended to sink in deep mud or snow.[21] However, by the time the T-34 had replaced older models and became available in greater numbers, Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Battery

newer German tanks, including the improved Panzer V "Panther", outperformed it. In early 1944, an upgraded tank, the T-34-85, gave the Red Army a tank with better armour and mobility than German Panzer IV and Sturmgeschütz III, but it could not match the Panther in gun or armour protection. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Battery

To the Soviet advantage there were far fewer Panthers than T-34s, and the T-34-85 was good enough to allow skilled crew and tactical situations to tip the balance.

However, in the autumn of 1943 the design bureau of the Stalin Ural Tank Factory No. 183, Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2M Battery

located in Nizhny Tagil (in the Ural Mountains), started working on a vehicle that would have improvement opportunities in the future, under a direct order from Stalin.[22] The intention was to retain the high mobility of the T-34 and provide it with heavier armour protection against modern tank guns. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M Battery

In November 1943, the chief designer, A. A. Morozov, presented the overall design of the vehicle and a model of the tank, which received the designation T-44 (Ob'yekt 136).It had a significant decrease in the length of the engine compartment allowed the turret to be moved rearwards, Sony VAIO PCG-7112M Battery

which in turn moved its rotation axis and the center of mass[23] to the center of the hull, increased the accuracy of the main gun and decreased a chance that the turret could get stuck after getting hit in the turret ring with a projectile that ricocheted. Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery

The thickness of the frontal armor protection more than doubled without disturbing the center of mass or drastically increasing the weight of the tank.

The T-44A officially entered service with the Red Army on 23 November 1944 but the production started in October.[24] The original plans were that the factory would produce 300 T-44As a month. Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery

However, only 25 were built by the end of 1944. In 1945, 940 were built, making a total of 965[24] (190 tanks built in 1944 and 1945 were completed by the end of the war).

Even with its innovative technology and better armer protection, the T-44A still used an 85 mm ZiS-S-53 tank gun, Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery

the same as the one fitted on the T-34-85 medium tank. The army needed a new tank armed with a more powerful 100 mm gun.[25] Two projects were started, both based on the T-44A and the development of the first one started in October 1944, and the designing stage was completed in December. Sony VGP-BPS15/S Battery

The prototype was ready in February 1945 and the trials conducted between March and April gave positive results and the vehicle entered service with the Red Army as the T-54.

The tank had almost the same hull and drive train as the T-44A. Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery

Differences included thickened front armour (120 mm on the upper section and 90 mm on the lower section) and a different hatch and vision slot for the driver. The turret had increased diameter to 1800 mm. The armament included the 100 mm D-10TK tank gun as well as two 7.62 mm GWT machine guns. Sony VGP-BPL15 Battery

The tank was powered by a new V-54 12-cylinder 38.88-litre water-cooled diesel engine developing 520 hp (388 kW) at 2,000 rpm. The fuel capacity was increased (530 litres in the internal fuel tank and 165 litres in the external fuel tank). Sony VGN-P series Battery

The weight was increased to 35.5 tonnes, which reduced the maximal road speed to 43.5 km/h. Further development of the T-44 was cancelled and all the attention was directed towards the development of the new T-54 main battle tank. Sony VGN-P11Z/Q Battery

With massive quantities of weapons and tanks from War World II, and the factories to produce them, the Russians exported them and built up client states which spread their influence and became involved in the continuing state of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, Sony VGN-P11Z/R Battery

and economic competition existing afterwards known as the Cold War. The Cold War featured periods of relative calm and of international high tension – the Berlin Blockade (1948–1949), the Korean War (1950–1953), the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Vietnam War (1959–1975), Sony VGN-P11Z/W Battery

the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Soviet war in Afghanistan(1979–1989), and various smaller conflicts in which Soviet weapons had significant impact, and we will focus on the Russian tanks.

nitially, North Korean armour dominated the battlefield with Soviet T-34-85 medium tanks designed during the Second World War. Sony VGN-P21S/W Battery

The KPA's tanks confronted a tankless ROK Army armed with few modern anti-tank weapons,[28]:39 including World War II–model 2.36-inch (60 mm) M9 bazookas, effective only against the 45 mm side armor of the T-34-85 tank.[29]:25 Sony VGN-P21Z/G Battery

The US forces arriving in Korea were equipped with light M24 Chaffee tanks (on occupation duty in nearby Japan) that also proved ineffective against the heavier KPA T-34 tanks.[29]:18

During the initial hours of warfare, some under-equipped ROK Army border units used 105 mm howitzers Sony VGN-P21Z/R Battery

as anti-tank guns to stop the tanks heading the KPA columns, firing high-explosive anti-tank ammunition (HEAT) over open sights to good effect; at the war's start, the ROK Army had 91 such guns, but lost most to the invaders.[30]

The North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950 was spearheaded by a full brigade equipped with about 120 T-34-85s. Sony VGN-P29VN/Q Battery

Additional T-34 tanks later joined the first assault force after it had penetrated into South Korea.[31] They were pitted against the M24 Chaffee, M4 Sherman and M26 Pershing, but not the Centurion tanks of the UN forces. 
Sony VGP-BPS18 Battery

The T-34 tanks of the North Korean army rolled across the border and headed south where they brushed aside opposition with ease, such as when they came into contact with elements of the 24th Infantry Division in the Battle of Osan on July 5, 1950 during the first battle between American and North Korean forces.[32][33] Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

The American force, nicknamed Task Force Smith, was unable to repel the North Koreans' T-34 tanks. Ammunition and weapons designed to combat the heavily armoured tanks had not been widely distributed to U.S. Army forces in Korea at the time, and the Task Force only had a few rounds of effectivehowitzer ammunition. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ35B/B Battery

The Task Force's outdated equipment could not penetrate the North Korean T-34 tanks armor, which subsequently passed through their lines. The 24th Infantry Division would continue to fight in delaying actions such as this one for two more weeks until it was overwhelmed at the Battle of Taejon, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ54B/B Battery

where the North Koreans advanced on the town with the 3rd and 4th Divisions supported by over 50 T-34 tanks, and the Allies fell back into the Pusan Perimeter which was defined by the farthest advance of the North Korean troops during the Korean War. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ55B/B Battery

The Allies fought off the attacks in the Pusan Perimeter which served as an airhead for resupply and reinforcement until the Inchon landing, and the ensuing counterattack against the North.

Countering the initial combat imbalance, the UN Command reinforcement materiel included heavier US M4 Sherman, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ55GN/B Battery

M26 Pershing,M46 Patton, and British Cromwell and Centurion tanks that proved effective against North Korean armour, ending its battlefield dominance. Unlike in the Second World War (1939–45), in which the tank proved a decisive weapon, the Korean War featured few large-scale tank battles. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ56 Battery

The mountainous, heavily forested terrain prevented large masses of tanks from manoeuvring. In Korea, tanks served largely as infantry support.

The Viet Cong, a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerilla war against anti-communist forces in the region with light weapons. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ561N Battery

The North Vietnamese Army (NVA), however, engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units and armour into battle. North Vietnamese tanks such as the PT-76 tanks and the T-54/T-55 tanks series which had become the main tank for armoured units of the Soviet Army, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ562N Battery

and exported to many other armies including the Vietnamese, along with the Type 59s and Type 63s, formed the bulk of the NVA armoured forces.

The first successful action of NVA armour was against the Lang Vei Special Forces camp on 6–7 February 1968.[35] Sony VAIO VGN-SZ57N Battery

Thirteen PT-76s, of the NVA 202nd Armored Regiment spearheaded an assault against approximately 24 Green Berets and 500 irregulars. The defenders fought back with M72 LAWs (Light Anti-Tank weapons/66 mm), and requested support from nearby Khe Sanh, who were unable to help, as they too, were under siege.[35] Sony VAIO VGN-SZ58GN Battery

The few survivors broke out, and were airlifted to safety.

The first tank-to-tank engagement occurred in mid-1968 when a US reconnaissance airplane observed a PT-76 being washed by its crew in the Ben Hai River in the DMZ (17th Parallel). Sony VAIO VGN-SZ58GN/C Battery

The Forward Air Control pilot radioed the tank's position to a nearbyM48 Patton tank unit of the US 3rd Marine Tank Battalion. With the FAC adjusting fire, the Patton fired three 90 mm rounds;[35] obtaining a hit with the third round. The tank crew abandoned their vehicle. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ58N Battery

Another tank engagement took place on March 3, 1969, again at Ben Het in Kon Tum Province near the Laotian border. In a night assault, the North Vietnamese with PT-76 tanks attacked a US Special Forces camp. The garrison, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ61MN/B Battery

which had been reinforced with a platoon of M48A3 main battle tanks from the 1st Battalion 69th Armored battalion, stood their ground. The North Vietnamese fired 639 artillery and mortar rounds into the camp, before a battalion from the 66th NVA Regiment supported by ten PT-76s and a few APCsSony VAIO VGN-SZ61VN/X Battery

attacked the west hill held by a CIDG company supported by the platoon of M48s. The PT-76s drove into a minefield in which two were destroyed. Two more PT-76s and one APC were destroyed by the M48As. Six PT-76s were destroyed by artillery fire and air strikes. US casualties consisted of one M48 being lightly damaged.[ Sony VAIO VGN-SZ61WN/C Battery
The Easter Offensive, officially, the Nguyễn Huệ Offensive and also (Chiến dịch Xuân hè 1972 in Vietnamese), was a military campaign heavy with armoured forces and tanks conducted by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN, the regular army of North Vietnam) against the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Sony VAIO VGN-SZ640N/B Battery

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: République démocratique du Congo), sometimes referred to as DR Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or the DRC, is a country located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

With a population of over 75 million,[1] the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the nineteenth most populous nation in the world, the fourth most populous nation in Africa, as well as the most populous officially Francophone country. HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

It borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in the east;Zambia and Angola to the south; the Republic of the Congo, the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; and is separated from Tanzania by Lake Tanganyika in the east.[1]  ACER TravelMate 4150 Series Laptop Keyboard

The country has access to the ocean through a 40-kilometre (25 mi) stretch of Atlantic coastline at Muanda and the roughly 9 km wide mouth of theCongo River which opens into the Gulf of Guinea. It has the second-highest total Christian population in Africa. HP G42-380LA Laptop Keyboard

The Second Congo War, beginning in 1998, devastated the country and is sometimes referred to as the "African world war" because it involved nine African nations and twenty armed groups.[4][5] Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting continued in the east of the country in 2007. There, the prevalence of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world. [6] SONY VGN-FE770G Laptop Keyboard

The war is the world's deadliest conflict since the Chinese Civil War, killing 5.4 million people since 1998. [7] [8][9] More than 90% were not killed in combat. They died from diseases that were both preventable and treatable (malaria, diarrhea, HP 636376-001 Laptop Keyboard

pneumonia and malnutrition) aggravated by displaced populations living in unsanitary and over-crowded conditions that lacked access to shelter, water, food and medicine.[10] Forty seven percent of those deaths were children under five.[7] Until today the ongoing conflicts excerbates the exhaustion of the country's great agricultural potential. This is one reason for a high mortality rate and prevalence of malnutrition.[11] COMPAQ Presario CQ40-117TU Laptop Keyboard

Conflict for control of the mineral wealth is behind some of the most violent atrocities.[12]

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Zaire (Zaïre in French).[1] LENOVO V022402AS1 Laptop Keyboard

Though it is located in the Central African UN subregion, the nation is also economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of theSouthern African Development Community (SADC). HP G62-a38SE Laptop Keyboard

A wave of early people was identified in the northern and north-western parts of central Africa during the second millennium BC. They produced food (pearl millet), maintained domestic livestock and developed a kind of arboriculture mainly based on the oil palm. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

From 1,550 BC to 50 BC, starting from a nucleus area in south Cameroon on both banks of the Sanaga River, the first Neolithic peopling of northern and western central Africa can be followed south-eastwards and southwards. SONY VAIO VGN-CR520E Laptop Keyboard

In D.R. Congo, the first villages in the vicinity of Mbandaka and the Lake Tumba are known as the Imbonga Traditions, from around 650 BC. In Lower Congo, north of the Angolan border, it is the 'Ngovo Tradition' around 350 BC that shows the arrival of the Neolithic wave of advance.

In Kivu, across the country to the east, ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

the Urewe Tradition villages first appeared about 650 BC. The few archaeological sites known in Congo are a western extension of the Urewe culture which has been found chiefly in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and western Kenya and Tanzania. From the start of this tradition, the people knew iron smelting, as is evidenced by several iron-smelting furnaces excavated in Rwanda and Burundi. TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

The earliest evidence further to the west is known in Cameroon and near to the small town of Bouar in Central Africa. Though further studies are needed to establish a better chronology for the start of iron production in Central Africa, the Cameroonian data places iron smelting north of the Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests around 650 BC to 550 BC. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

This technology developed independently from the previous Neolithic expansion, some 900 years later. As fieldwork done by a German team shows, the Congo River network was slowly settled by food-producing villagers going upstream in the forest. Work from a Spanish project in the Ituri area further east suggests villages reached there only around 1,150 BC. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The Bantu-speaking Neolithic and then iron-producing villagers added to and displaced the indigenous Pygmy populations (also known in the region as the "Batwa" or "Twa") into secondary parts of the country. Subsequent migrations from the Darfur andKordofan regions of Sudan into the north-east, HP 640892-001 Laptop Keyboard

as well as East Africans migrating into the eastern Congo, added to the mix of ethnic groups. The Bantu-speakers imported a mixed economy made up of agriculture, small-stock raising, fishing, fruit collecting, hunting and arboriculture before 3,500 BC; iron-working techniques, possibly from West Africa, a much later addition. The villagers established the Bantu language family as the primary set of tongues for the Congolese. HP G56-118CA Laptop Keyboard

The process in which the original Upemba society transitioned into the Kingdom of Luba was gradual and complex. This transition ran without interruption, with several distinct societies developing out of the Upemba culture prior to the genesis of the Luba. Each of these kingdoms became very wealthy due mainly to the region's mineral wealth, TOSHIBA Satellite L550-ST5701 Laptop Keyboard

especially in ores. The civilization began to develop and implement iron and copper technology, in addition to trading in ivory and other goods. The Luba established a strong commercial demand for their metal technologies and were able to institute a long-range commercial net (the business connections extended over 1,500 kilometres (930 miles), Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

all the way to the Indian Ocean). By the 16th century, the kingdom had an established strong central government based on chieftainship. The Eastern regions of the precolonial Congo were heavily disrupted by constant slave raiding, mainly from Arab/Zanzibari slave traders such as the infamous Tippu Tip.[14] HP 488590-001 Laptop Keyboard

Belgian exploration, exploitation, and administration took place from the 1870s until the 1920s. It was first led by Sir Henry Morton Stanley, who undertook his explorations under the sponsorship of King Leopold II of Belgium. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Leopold had designs on what was to become the Congo as a colony.[15] In a succession of negotiations, Leopold – professing humanitarian objectives in his capacity as chairman of the front organization Association Internationale Africaine – played one European rival against another.[citation needed]  HP AEUT3U00140 Laptop Keyboard

Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and made the land his private property and named it the Congo Free State.[15] Leopold's regime began various infrastructure projects, such as construction of the railway that ran from the coast to the capital of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa). TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

It took years to complete. Nearly all such projects were aimed at increasing the capital which Leopold and his associates could extract from the colony, leading to exploitation of Africans.[16]

In the Free State, colonists brutalized the local population to produce rubber, for which the spread of automobiles and development of rubber tires created a growing international market.  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The sale of rubber made a fortune for Leopold, who built several buildings in Brussels and Ostend to honor himself and his country. To enforce the rubber quotas, the army, the Force Publique (FP), was called in. The Force Publique made the practice of cutting off the limbs of the natives as a means of enforcing rubber quotas a matter of policy; TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S5984 Laptop Keyboard

 this practice was widespread. During the period of 1885–1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of exploitation and disease. In some areas the population declined dramatically; it has been estimated that sleeping sickness and smallpox killed nearly half the population in the areas surrounding the lower Congo River.[17] TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8906 laptop keyboard

A government commission later concluded that the population of the Congo had been "reduced by half" during this period,[16] but determining precisely how many people died is impossible, as no accurate records exist. GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

The actions of the Free State's administration sparked international protests led by British reporter Edmund Dene Morel and British diplomat/Irish rebel Roger Casement, whose 1904 report on the Congo condemned the practice. Famous writers such as Mark Twain and Arthur Conan Doyle also protested, and Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness was set in Congo Free State. HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca laptop keyboard

In 1908, the Belgian parliament, despite initial reluctance, bowed to international pressure (especially that from Great Britain) and took over the Free State from the king. From then on, as a Belgian colony,  HP Pavilion dv5-1050ed laptop keyboard

it was called the Belgian Congo and was under the rule of the elected Belgian government. The governing of the Congo improved significantly and considerable economic and social progress was achieved. The white colonial rulers had,  SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

however, generally a condescending, patronizing attitude toward the indigenous peoples, which led to bitter resentment from both sides.

During World War II, the Congolese army achieved several victories against the Italians in North Africa.[citation needed] Lenovo 3000 G430 4153 laptop keyboard

As the neighboring French colony of Middle Congo (Moyen Congo) also chose the name "Republic of Congo" upon achieving its independence, the two countries were more commonly known as "Congo-Léopoldville" and "Congo-Brazzaville", HP Pavilion G6-1B87CL laptop keyboard

after their capital cities. Another way they were often distinguished during the 1960s, such as in newspaper articles, was that "Congo-Léopoldville" was called "The Congo" and "Congo-Brazzaville" was called simply "Congo".[citation needed] HP Mini 110-3004tu laptop keyboard

On 5 September 1960, Kasavubu dismissed Lumumba from office. Lumumba declared Kasavubu's action unconstitutional and a crisis between the two leaders developed. (cf. Sécession au Katanga – J.Gerald-Libois -Brussels- CRISP) Lumumba had previously appointedJoseph Mobutu chief of staff of the new Congo army, Armée Nationale Congolaise (ANC). HP Pavilion dv6-2150es laptop keyboard

Taking advantage of the leadership crisis between Kasavubu and Lumumba, Mobutu garnered enough support within the army to create mutiny. With financial support from the United States and Belgium, Mobutu paid his soldiers privately. The aversion of Western powers to communism and leftist ideology influenced their decision to finance Mobutu's quest to maintain "order" in the new state by neutralizing Kasavubu and Lumumba in acoup by proxy. SONY 148084122 Laptop Keyboard

A constitutional referendum after Mobutu's coup of 1965 resulted in the country's official name being changed to the "Democratic Republic of the Congo."[1] In 1971 it was changed again to "Republic of Zaïre." TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

On 17 January 1961, Katangan forces and Belgian paratroops – supported by the United States and Belgium – kidnapped and executed Patrice Lumumba. Amidst widespread confusion and chaos, a temporary government was led by technicians (Collège des Commissaires) HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

with Evariste Kimba. The Katanga secession was ended in January 1963 with the assistance of UN forces. Several short-lived governments, of Joseph Ileo, Cyrille Adoula, and Moise Tshombe, took over in quick succession. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

In May 1960, a growing nationalist movement, the Mouvement National Congolais or MNC Party, led by Patrice Lumumba, won the parliamentary elections. The party appointed Lumumba as Prime Minister. The parliament elected as President Joseph Kasavubu, of the Alliance des Bakongo (ABAKO) party.  HP Compaq NW8440 Laptop Keyboard

Other parties that emerged included the Parti Solidaire Africain (or PSA) led by Antoine Gizenga, and the Parti National du Peuple (or PNP) led by Albert Delvaux and Laurent Mbariko. (Congo 1960, dossiers du CRISP, Belgium) The Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name "République du Congo" ("Republic of Congo" or "Republic of the Congo" in English). SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

Shortly after independence, the provinces of Katanga (led by Moise Tshombe) and South Kasai, and the Jabiyans in North Kivu engaged in secessionist struggles against the new leadership.[18] Most of the 100,000 Europeans who had remained behind after independence fled the country,[19]opening the way for Congolese to replace the European military and administrative elite.[20] SONY VAIO VGN-N21E/W laptop keyboard

The new president had the support of the United States because of his staunch opposition to Communism. Western powers appeared to believe this would make him a roadblock to Communist schemes in Africa.[citation needed] ACER TravelMate 2403 Series laptop keyboard

A one-party system was established, and Mobutu declared himself head of state. He periodically held elections in which he was the only candidate. Although relative peace and stability were achieved, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Mobutu's government was guilty of severe human rights violations, political repression, a cult of personality and corruption. (Mobutu demanded every Congolese banknote be printed with his image, hanging of his portrait in all public buildings, most businesses, and on billboards. It was common for ordinary people to wear his likeness on their clothing.) DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

Corruption became so prevalent the term "le mal Zairois" or "Zairean Sickness",[21] meaning gross corruption, theft and mismanagement, was coined, reportedly by Mobutu himself.[22] By 1984, Mobutu was said to have $4 billion (USD), an amount close to the country's national debt, deposited in a personal Swiss bank account. Packard Bell Easynote TX86 laptop keyboard

International aid, most often in the form of loans, enriched Mobutu while he allowed national infrastructure such as roads to deteriorate to as little as one-quarter of what had existed in 1960. Zaire became a "kleptocracy" as Mobutu and his associates embezzled government funds. Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

In a campaign to identify himself with African nationalism, starting on 1 June 1966, Mobutu renamed the nation's cities: Léopoldville became Kinshasa [the country was now Democratic Republic of The Congo – Kinshasa], Stanleyville became Kisangani, Elisabethville became Lubumbashi, and Coquihatville became Mbandaka. This renaming campaign was completed in the 1970s. Compaq Presario CQ42-173TU laptop keyboard

In 1971, Mobutu renamed the country the Republic of Zaire, its fourth name change in 11 years and its sixth overall. The Congo River was renamed the Zaire River. In 1972, Mobutu changed his legal name from Joseph-Désiré Mobutu to Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga (translated as "the all powerful warrior who,  Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, shall go from conquest to conquest, leaving fire in his wake"[23]), although he only used the first three of his new names. Furthermore, he decreed that Christian names had to be Africanized and refused to allow Western-styled clothing to be worn by anyone. HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

During the 1970s and 1980s, Mobutu was invited to visit the United States on several occasions, meeting with U.S. PresidentsRichard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. In June 1989, Mobutu was the first African head of state invited for a state visit with newly elected President Bush.[24] Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, however, U.S. relations with Mobutu cooled, as he was no longer deemed necessary as a Cold War ally.  ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

Opponents within Zaire stepped up demands for reform. This atmosphere contributed to Mobutu's declaring the Third Republic in 1990, whose constitution was supposed to pave the way for democratic reform. The reforms turned out to be largely cosmetic. Mobutu continued in power until the conflict forced him to flee Zaire in 1997. Thereafter, the nation chose to reclaim its name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, since the name Zaire carried such strong connections to the rule of Mobutu. COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

forces (Interahamwe) fled to eastern Zaire and began refugee camps as a basis for incursion against Rwanda. These forces allied with the Zairian armed forces (FAZ) to launch a campaign against Congolese ethnic Tutsis in eastern Zaire.[25] SONY Vaio PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

A coalition of Rwandan and Ugandan armies then invaded Zaire to overthrow the government of Mobutu, and ultimately control the mineral resources of Zaire, launching the First Congo War. This new expanded coalition of two foreign armies allied with some longtime opposition figures, led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila, SONY 147664712 Laptop Keyboard

becoming the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL). In 1997, Mobutu fled the country and Kabila marched into Kinshasa, naming himself president and reverting the name of the country to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. SONY Vaio PCG-K215S Laptop Keyboard

Later, Laurent Kabila asked foreign military forces to return to their countries because he was concerned that the Rwandan officers running his army were plotting a coup in order to give the presidency to a Tutsi who would report directly to the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame. Rwandan troops retreated to Goma and launched a new Tutsi led rebel military movement called theRassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD) TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7226 Laptop Keyboard

to fight against their former ally, President Kabila, while Uganda instigated the creation of new rebel movement called the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), led by the Congolese warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba. The two rebel movements, along with Rwandan and Ugandan troops, started the Second Congo War by attacking the DRC army in 1998. Angola,  HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

Zimbabwe and Namibia became involved militarily on the side of the government to defend a fellow SADC member.

Kabila was assassinated in 2001 and was succeeded by his son Joseph Kabila, who called for multilateral peace talks to end the war. UN peacekeepers, MONUC, now known as MONUSCO, arrived in April 2001. Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

Talks led to the signing of a peace accord in which Kabila would share power with former rebels. By June 2003 all foreign armies except those of Rwanda had pulled out of Congo. DR Congo had atransitional government until the election was over. A constitution was approved by voters, and on 30 July 2006 DRC held its first multi-party elections. SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

An election result dispute between Kabila and Jean-Pierre Bemba turned into an all-out battle between their supporters in the streets of Kinshasa. MONUC took control of the city. A new election was held in October 2006, which Kabila won with 70% of the vote and on December 2006 the transitional government came to an end as Joseph Kabila was sworn in as President. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

However, the Kivu conflict continued in the east. One of the former rebels integrated to the army, Laurent Nkunda, a member of a RCD branch, RCD-Goma, defected from the army along with troops loyal to him. They formed the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), GATEWAY NX570X Laptop Keyboard

which began an armed rebellion against the government and was believed to be again backed by Rwanda as a way to tackle the Hutu group, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). In March 2009, after a deal between the DRC and Rwanda, Rwandan troops entered the DRC and arrested Nkunda and were allowed to pursue FDLR militants. HP G61-336NR Laptop Keyboard

The CNDP signed a peace treaty with the government, in which it agreed to become a political party and its soldiers integrated into the national army in exchange for the release of its imprisoned members.[27] In 2012, the leader of the CNDP, Bosco Ntaganda, and troops loyal to him mutinied and formed the rebel military March 23 Movement, claiming a violation of the treaty by the government.[28] SONY VGN-FE31M Laptop Keyboard

In the resulting M23 rebellion, M23 captured the provincial capital, Goma, in November 2012 and withdrew in December following negotiations.[29][30]Neighboring countries, particularly Rwanda, have been accused of using rebels groups as proxies to gain control of the resource rich country and of arming rebels, a claim made by the United Nations and Human Rights Watch.[31][32] ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

On and off fighting in the Ituri conflict occurred between the Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI) and the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) who claimed to represent the Lendu and Hema ethnic groups, HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

respectively. In the northeast, Joseph Kony's LRA moved from their original bases in Uganda (where they have fought a 20-year rebellion) and South Sudan to DR Congo in 2005 and set up camps in the Garamba National Park.[33][34] In northern Katanga, the Mai-Mai created by Laurent Kabila slipped out of the control of Kinshasa. IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

In 2009, people in the Congo may still be dying at a rate of an estimated 45,000 per month,[35] and estimates of the number who have died from the long conflict range from 900,000 to 5,400,000.[36] DELL Inspiron 6000 laptop keyboard

The death toll is due to widespread disease and famine; reports indicate that almost half of the individuals who have died are children under the age of 5.[37] There have been frequent reports of weapon bearers killing civilians, HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

destroying property, widespread sexual violence,[38]causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes or otherwise breaching humanitarian and human rights law. A new study says more than 400,000 women are raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo every year.[39] HP Pavilion dv6-2173cl laptop keyboard

On February 24, 2013 a United Nations-backed accord aimed at stabilizing the Democratic Republic of the Congo called the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo was signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa by eleven African countries – Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania (UN News Centre 2013).[40]  ASUS A9R laptop keyboard

The Congo is situated at the heart of sub-Saharan Africa and is bounded by (clockwise from the southwest) Angola, the South Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania acrossLake Tanganyika, and Zambia. The country lies between latitudes 6°N and 14°S, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 laptop keyboard

and longitudes 12° and 32°E. It straddles the Equator, with one-third to the North and two-thirds to the South. The size of Congo, 2,345,408 square kilometres (905,567 sq mi), is slightly greater than the combined areas of Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. GATEWAY MX6956 laptop keyboard

As a result of its equatorial location, the Congo experiences high precipitation and has the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world. The annual rainfall can total upwards of 2,000 millimetres (80 in) in some places, and the area sustains the Congo Rainforest, the second largest rain forest in the world (after the Amazon). GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

This massive expanse of lush jungle covers most of the vast, low-lying central basin of the river, which slopes toward the Atlantic Ocean in the west. This area is surrounded by plateaus merging into savannas in the south and southwest, by mountainous terraces in the west, and dense grasslands extending beyond the Congo River in the north. High, glaciated mountains are found in the extreme eastern region (Rwenzori Mountains). IBM Thinkpad Z60m laptop keyboard

The tropical climate has also produced the Congo River system which dominates the region topographically along with the rainforest it flows through, though they are not mutually exclusive. The name for the Congo state is derived in part from the river. ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

The river basin (meaning the Congo River and all of its myriad tributaries) occupies nearly the entire country and an area of nearly 1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi). The river and its tributaries (major offshoots include the Kasai, Sangha, Ubangi, Aruwimi, and Lulonga) form the backbone of Congolese economics and transportation. They have a dramatic impact on the daily lives of the people.  HP G71-445US laptop keyboard

The sources of the Congo are in the Albertine Rift Mountains that flank the western branch of the East African Rift, as well as Lake Tanganyika and Lake Mweru. The river flows generally west from Kisangani just below Boyoma Falls, then gradually bends southwest, passing by Mbandaka, joining with the Ubangi River, and running into the Pool Malebo (Stanley Pool).Kinshasa and Brazzaville are on opposite sides of the river at the Pool (see NASA image). Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 laptop keyboard

Then the river narrows and falls through a number of cataracts in deep canyons (collectively known as the Livingstone Falls), and then running past Boma into the Atlantic Ocean. The river also has the second-largest flow and the second-largestwatershed of any river in the world (trailing the Amazon in both respects). The river and a 45 km wide strip of land on its north bank provide the country's only outlet to the Atlantic. SONY VAIO VGN-CS110D/W laptop keyboard

The previously mentioned Albertine Rift plays a key role in shaping the Congo's geography. Not only is the northeastern section of the country much more mountainous, but due to the rift's tectonic activities, this area also experiences volcanicactivity, TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

 occasionally with loss of life. The geologic activity in this area also created the famous African Great Lakes, three of which lie on the Congo's eastern frontier: Lake Albert (known during the Mobutu era as Lake Mobutu Sese Seko), Lake Edward (known during the Amin era as Lake Idi Amin Dada), and Lake Tanganyika. Lake Edward and Lake Albert are connected by the Semliki River.  HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

The Rift Valley has exposed an enormous amount of mineral wealth throughout the south and east of the Congo, making it accessible to mining. Cobalt, copper, cadmium, industrial and gem-quality diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, and coal are all found in plentiful supply, especially in the Congo's southeastern Katanga region.  HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

On 17 January 2002 Mount Nyiragongo erupted in Congo, with the lava running out at 40 mph (64 km/h) and 50 yards (46 m) wide. One of the three streams of extremely fluid lava flowed through the nearby city of Goma, killing 45 and leaving 120,000 homeless. Four hundred thousand people were evacuated from the city during the eruption. HP G61-425ES Laptop Keyboard

The lava poisoned the water of Lake Kivu, killing fish. Only two planes left the local airport because of the possibility of the explosion of stored petrol. The lava passed the airport but ruined the runway, entrapping several airplanes. Six months after the 2002 eruption, nearby Mount Nyamulagira also erupted. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Mount Nyamulagira also erupted in 2006 and again in January 2010.

The rainforests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo contain great biodiversity, including many rare and endemic species, such as the common chimpanzee and the bonobo, the African forest elephant, mountain gorilla, okapi and white rhino. Five of the country's national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites: Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

theGarumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga and Virunga National Parks, and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most biodiverse African country.[41] The civil war and resultant poor economic conditions have endangered much of this biodiversity. Many park wardens were either killed or could not afford to continue their work. All five sites are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage in Danger.  DELL XPS 15 L502X Laptop Keyboard

Over the past century or so, the DRC has developed into the center of what has been called the Central African "bushmeat" problem, which is regarded by many as a major environmental as well as socio-economic crisis. "Bushmeat" is another word for the meat of wild animals. It is typically obtained through trapping, IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R51 1833 Laptop Keyboard

usually with wire snares, or otherwise with shotguns, poisoned arrows or arms originally intended for use in the DRC's numerous military conflicts. HP G62-a20EJ Laptop Keyboard

The "bushmeat crisis" has emerged in the DRC mainly as a result of the poor living conditions of the Congolese people and a lack of education about the dangers of eating it. A rising population combined with deplorable economic conditions has forced many Congolese to become dependent on bushmeat, either as a means of acquiring income (hunting the meat and selling),  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

or are dependent on it for food. Unemployment and urbanization throughout Central Africa have exacerbated the problem further by turning cities like the urban sprawl of Kinshasa into the prime market for commercial bushmeat. This combination has caused not only widespread endangerment of local fauna, HP Pavilion DV7-3186cl laptop keyboard

but has forced humans to trudge deeper into the wilderness in search of the desired animal meat. This overhunting results in the deaths of more animals and makes resources even more scarce for humans. The hunting has also been facilitated by the extensive logging prevalent throughout the Congo's rainforests (from corporate logging, SONY VAIO VGN-CR231E laptop keyboard

in addition to farmers clearing out forest for agriculture), which allows hunters much easier access to previously unreachable jungle terrain, while simultaneously eroding away at the habitats of animals.[42] Deforestation is accelerating in Central Africa.[43] HP Pavilion dv6-2115so laptop keyboard

A case that has particularly alarmed conservationists is that of primates. The Congo is inhabited by three distinct great ape species  — the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), the bonobo (Pan paniscus) and the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). It is the only country in the world in which bonobos are found in the wild. The chimpanzee and bonobo are the closest living evolutionary relatives to humans. HP Pavilion dv6-2141ee laptop keyboard

Much concern has been raised about great ape extinction. Because of hunting and habitat destruction, the chimpanzee and the gorilla, both of whose population once numbered in the millions, have now dwindled down to only about 200,000[44] ACER MP-04653U4-698 Laptop Keyboard

gorillas, 100,000[45] chimpanzees and possibly only about 10,000[45] bonobos. Gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos are all classified as Endangered by the World Conservation Union, as well as the okapi, which is also native to the area geography. DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

After a four-year interim between two constitutions that established new political institutions at the various levels of all branches of government, as well as new administrative divisions for the provinces throughout the country, politics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have finally settled into a stable presidential democratic republic. GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

The 2003 transitional constitution[46]established a system composed of a bicameral legislature with a Senate and a National Assembly. The Senate had, among other things, the charge of drafting the new constitution of the country. The executive branch was vested in a 60-member cabinet, headed by aPresident and four vice presidents. The President was also the Commander-in Chief of the armed forces. HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

The transition constitution also established a relatively independent judiciary, headed by a Supreme Court with constitutional interpretation powers.

The 2006 constitution, also known as the Constitution of the Third Republic, came into effect in February 2006. It had concurrent authority, HP Mini 110-1150LA Laptop Keyboard

however, with the transitional constitution until the inauguration of the elected officials who emerged from the July 2006 elections. Under the new constitution, the legislature remained bicameral; the executive was concomitantly undertaken by a President and the government,  TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

led by a Prime Minister, appointed from the party with the majority at the National Assembly. The government – not the President – is responsible to the Parliament.

The new constitution also granted new powers to the provincial governments with the creation of provincial parliaments, which have oversight over the Governor, head of the provincial government, whom they elect. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The new constitution also saw the disappearance of the Supreme Court, which was divided into three new institutions. The constitutional interpretation prerogative of the Supreme Court is now held by the Constitutional Court. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2006 expressed concern that in the post-war transition period, the promotion of women's human rights and gender equality is not seen as a priority.[52][53] HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

The east of the country in particular, has been described as the "rape capital of the world" and the prevalence of sexual violence has been described as the worst in the world.[6][54] Violence against women seems to be perceived by large sectors of society to be normal.[55] In July 2007, the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed concern about the situation in eastern DRC.[56] DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

A phenomenon of 'pendulum displacement' has developed, where people hasten at night to safety. According to Yakin Ertürk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women who toured eastern Congo in July 2007, violence against women in North and South Kivu included 'unimaginable brutality'. 'SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

Armed groups attack local communities, loot, rape, kidnap women and children, and make them work as sexual slaves,' Ertürk said.[57] In December 2008 GuardianFilms of The Guardianreleased a film documenting the testimony of over 400 women and girls who had been abused by marauding militia.[58]  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

In June 2010, UK aid group Oxfam reported a dramatic increase in the number of rapes occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while researchers from Harvard discovered that rapes committed by civilians had increased seventeenfold.[59] TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-SP5165RM Laptop Keyboard

In 2003, Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti pygmies, told the UN's Indigenous People's Forum that during the war, his people were hunted down and eaten as though they were game animals. In neighbouring North Kivu province there has been cannibalism by a group known as Les Effaceurs ("the erasers") SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

who wanted to clear the land of people to open it up for mineral exploitation.[60] Both sides of the war regarded them as "subhuman" and some say their flesh can confer magical powers.[61]

The global growth in demand for scarce raw materials and the industrial surges in ChinaTOSHIBA Qosmio F20 Series Laptop Keyboard

India, Russia, Brazil and other developing countries require thatdeveloped countries employ new, integrated and responsive strategies for identifying and ensuring, on a continual basis, an adequate supply of strategic and critical materials required for their security needs. HP Pavilion dm1-1002tu laptop keyboard

Highlighting the DR Congo's importance to United States national security, the effort to establish an elite Congolese unit is the latest push by the U.S. to professionalize armed forces in this strategically important region. SONY VAIO PCG-F20 Laptop Keyboard

There are economic and strategic incentives to bringing more security to the Congo, which is rich in natural resources such as cobalt. Cobalt is a strategic and critical metal used in many diverse industrial and military applications. SAMSUNG R522 laptop keyboard

The largest use of cobalt is in superalloys, which are used to make jet engine parts. Cobalt is also used in magnetic alloys and in cutting and wear-resistant materials such as cemented carbides. The chemical industry consumes significant quantities of cobalt in a variety of applications including catalysts for petroleum and chemical processing; drying agents for paints and inks; ground coats for porcelain enamels; decolourisers for ceramics and glass; HP 519265-001 laptop keyboard

and pigments for ceramics, paints, and plastics. The country contains 80% of the world's cobalt reserves.[62]

Mobutu Sese Seko ruled the DRC, which he renamed Zaire, from 1965 to 1997. A relative explained how the government illicitly collected revenue: SONY VAIO VGN-N110G laptop keyboard

"Mobutu would ask one of us to go to the bank and take out a million. We'd go to an intermediary and tell him to get five million. He would go to the bank with Mobutu's authority, and take out ten. Mobutu got one, and we took the other nine."[47] Mobutu institutionalized corruption to prevent political rivals from challenging his control, SAMSUNG NP-NB30-KP01 laptop keyboard

leading to an economic collapse in 1996.[48] Mobutu allegedly stole up to US$4 to US$5 billion while in office;[49] in July 2009, a Swiss court determined that the statute of limitations had run out on an international asset recovery case of about $6.7 million of deposits of Mobutu's in a Swiss bank, and therefore the assets should be returned to Mobutu's family.[50]  HP Pavilion dv5t-1200se CTO laptop keyboard

Although citizens of the DRC are among the poorest in the world, having the second lowest nominal GDP per capita, the Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered to be the richest country in the world regarding natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of US$ 24 trillion.[65][66][67] The DRC has more than 30% of the world's diamond reserves and 70% of the world's coltan.[68] SAMSUNG Q320 laptop keyboard

The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a nation endowed with resources of vast potential wealth, declined drastically since the mid-1980s. Since Congo's revenue gained up to 70% of export revenue from minerals in the 1970s and 1980s, the Congo was particularly hit when resource prices deteriorated at that time. By 2005 the Congo gained up to 90% of its revenue from minerals (Exenberger and Hartmann 2007:10).[69] HP Pavilion dv6-2155dx laptop keyboard

At the time of its independence in 1960, DRC was the second most industrialized country in Africa after South Africa, it boasted a thriving mining sector and its agriculture sector was relatively productive.[70] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP6001L laptop keyboard

The two recent conflicts (the First and Second Congo Wars), which began in 1996, have dramatically reduced national output and government revenue, have increased external debt, and have resulted in deaths of more than five million people from war, and associatedfamine and disease. Malnutrition affects approximately two thirds of the country's population. SONY VGN-FE865E/H laptop keyboard

Foreign businesses have curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment. The war has intensified the impact of such basic problems as an uncertain legal framework, corruption, inflation, and lack of openness in government economic policy and financial operations. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Conditions improved in late 2002 with the withdrawal of a large portion of the invading foreign troops. A number of International Monetary Fund and World Bankmissions have met with the government to help it develop a coherent economic plan, and President Joseph Kabila has begun implementing reforms. Much economic activity lies outside the GDP data. TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 Laptop Keyboard

A United Nations Human Development Index report shows human development to be one of the worst in decades. Through 2011 the Democratic Republic of the Congo had the lowest Human Development Index of the 187 ranked countries, classified lower than Niger despite a higher margin of improvement than the latter country from 2010's numbers. Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

The economy of the second largest country in Africa relies heavily on mining. However, the smaller-scale economic activity occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data.[71] By far the largest mines in the Congo are located in the Shaba province, in the South. They are highly mechanized, HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

and have a maximum capacity of several millions of tons per year of copper and cobalt ore, with the capability of refining it into metal. The Congo is the world's largest producer of cobaltore,[72] and a major producer of copper and diamonds, the latter coming from the Kasai province in the West. The Congo has 70% of the world's coltan, DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

and more than 30% of the world's diamond reserves.[73] mostly in the form of small, industrial diamonds.Coltan is a major source of tantalum which is used in the fabrication of electronic components in computers and mobile phones. FUJITSU CP270342-02 Laptop Keyboard

 The mines are small, and non-mechanized. In 2002, tin was discovered in the east of the country, but, to date, mining has been on a small scale.[74] Smuggling of the conflict minerals, coltan and cassiterite (ores of tantalum and tin, respectively), has helped fuel the war[75] in the Eastern Congo.

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The deal was ratified by presidential decree. In 2007 a World Bank report reviewed The Democratic Republic of Congo's three biggest mining contracts finding that the 2005 deals including one with Global Enterprises Company, a company co-owned by Dan Getler, were approved with "a complete lack of transparency (Mahtani January 3, 2007)".[ TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

76][77] [78] Gertler and Steinmetz placed Global Enterprises Corporate (GEC)'S 75% share in KOV into Nikanor Plc registered in the Isle of Man, which reached a market capitalization of $1.5 billion by 2007.[77] In February 2007, 22% of the Nikanor Mining company was owned by the Gertner Family Trust and 14% by Dan Gertler.[79] In January 2008 Katanga Mining acquired Nikanor PLC for $452m.[78] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

In April 2006 Gertler's DGI took a major stake in DEM Mining. a cobalt-copper mining and services company based in Katanga.[77] In June 2006 Gertler boughtTremalt, which had a half share in the Mukondo Mine for about $60m from the Zimbabwean businessman John Bredenkamp. TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

In 2007 Tremalt was owned by Prairie International Ltd, of which Dan Gertler's family trust was a major shareholder. Tremalt owned 80% of Savannah Mining, which held concessions C17 and C18 in Katanga Province and 50% of the Mukondo project. SONY Vaio PCG-K33 laptop keyboard

The other 50% of Mukonda was held by Boss Mining, which in turn was 80% owned by Central African Mining & Exploration Company (CAMEC). Boss Mining had rented and operated Bredenkamp's half of Mukondo. Gertler terminated this arrangement.[77]  SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Katanga Mining Limited, a Swiss-owned company, owns the Luilu Metallurgical Plant, which has a capacity of 175,000 tonnes of copper and 8,000 tonnes of cobalt per year, making it the largest cobalt refinery in the world. After a major rehabilitation program, the company restarted copper production in December 2007 and cobalt production in May 2008.[80] ACER Extensa 5235 laptop keyboard

In April 2013, anti-corruption NGOs revealed that tax authorities in the country had failed to account for $88 million from the mining sector, despite booming production figures and positive industrial performance. The missing funds date from 2010 and tax bodies should have reportedly paid them into the central bank.[81] HP Mini 110-1150LA laptop keyboard

Ground transport in the Democratic Republic of Congo has always been difficult. The terrain and climate of the Congo Basinpresent serious barriers to road and rail construction, and the distances are enormous across this vast country. HP AE0P7U00010 laptop keyboard

Furthermore, chronic economic mismanagement and internal conflict has led to serious under-investment over many years. On the other hand, the Democratic Republic of Congo has thousands of kilometres of navigable waterways, and traditionally water transport has been the dominant means of moving around approximately two-thirds of the country. SONY VAIO VGN-NW110D laptop keyboard

All air carriers certified by the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been banned from European Union airports by the European Commission, because of inadequate safety standards.[82] TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1AO laptop keyboard

In 2001 the literacy rate was estimated to be 67.2% (80.9% male and 54.1% female).[85] The education system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is governed by three government ministries: the Ministère de l'Enseignement Primaire, HP Mini 210-2015la laptop keyboard

Secondaire et Professionnel (MEPSP), the M

inistère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et Universitaire (MESU) and the Ministère des Affaires Sociales (MAS). The educational system in the DRC is similar to that of Belgium. In 2002, HP G42-272BR laptop keyboard

there were over 19,000 primary schools serving 160,000 students; and 8,000 secondary schools serving 110,000 students. Primary education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not free and compulsory, even though the Congolese constitution says it should be (Article 43 of the 2005 Congolese Constitution).[86] HP Pavilion dm3-1080EF laptop keyboard

Gross enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance.[87] In 2000, 65% of children ages 10 to 14 years were attending school.[87] As a result of the 6-year civil war, over 5.2 million children in the country receive no education.[87] DELL 454RX laptop keyboard

Over 200 ethnic groups populate the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of which the majority are Bantu peoples. Together,Mongo, Luba and Kongo peoples (Bantu) and Hamitic Mangbetu-Azande peoples constitute around 45% of the population. Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

In 2009, the United Nations estimated the country's population to be 66 million people,[90] a rapid increase from 39.1 million in 1992 despite the ongoing war.[91] As many as 250 ethnic groups have been identified and named. The most numerous people are the Kongo, Luba, and Mongo. About 600,000 Pygmies are the aboriginal people of the DR Congo.[92] HP G62-225NR Laptop Keyboard

Although several hundred local languages and dialects are spoken, the linguistic variety is bridged both by widespread use of French and intermediary languages such as Kongo, Tshiluba, Swahili, and Lingala. SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

Given the situation in the country and the condition of state structures, it is extremely difficult to obtain reliable data. However, evidence suggests that DRC continues to be a destination country for immigrants in spite of recent declines. Immigration is seen to be very diverse in nature, with refugees and asylum-seekers – HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

products of the numerous and violent conflicts in the Great Lakes Region – constituting an important subset of the population in the country. Additionally, the country's large mine operations attract migrant workers from Africa and beyond and there is considerable migration for commercial activities from other African countries and the rest of the world,  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

but these movements are not well studied. Transit migration towards South Africa and Europe also plays a role. Immigration in the DRC has decreased steadily over the past two decades, most likely as a result of the armed violence that the country has experienced. According to the International Organization for Migration, HP COMPAQ NX6325 Laptop Keyboard

the number of immigrants in the DRC has declined from just over 1 million in 1960, to 754,000 in 1990, to 480,000 in 2005, to an estimated 445,000 in 2010. Valid figures are not available on migrant workers in particular, partly due to the predominance of the informal economy in the DRC. Data are also lacking on irregular immigrants, TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

however given neighbouring country ethnic links to nationals of the DRC, irregular migration is assumed to be a significant phenomenon in the country.[93] Figures on the number of Congolese nationals abroad vary greatly depending on the source, from 3 to 6 million. This discrepancy is due to a lack of official, reliable data. HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

Emigrants from the DRC are above all long-term emigrants, the majority of which live within Africa and to a lesser extent in Europe; 79.7% and 15.3% respectively, according to estimates on 2000 data. Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

New destination countries include South Africa and various points en route to Europe. In addition to being a host country, the DRC has also produced a considerable number of refugees and asylum-seekers located in the region and beyond. These numbers peaked in 2004 when, according to UNHCR, there were more than 460,000 refugees from the DRC;  IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

in 2008, Congolese refugees numbered 367,995 in total, 68% of which were living in other African countries.[93] Since 2003, more than 400,000 Congolese migrants have been expelled from Angola.[94]

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Of a population of 75 million, there are about 35 million Catholics in the country, representing nearly half of the total population[1] There are six archdioceses and 41 dioceses.[96] The impact of the Roman Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is difficult to overestimate. Schatzberg has called it the country's "only truly national institution apart from the state."[97]  HP G61-400SP laptop keyboard

Its schools have educated over 60% of the nation's primary school students and more than 40% of its secondary students. The church owns and manages an extensive network of hospitals, schools, and clinics, as well as many diocesan economic enterprises, including farms, ranches, stores, and artisans' shops. SONY VAIO PCG-F50/BP laptop keyboard

Kimbanguism was seen as a threat to the colonial regime and was banned by the Belgians. Kimbanguism, officially "the church of Christ on Earth by the prophet Simon Kimbangu", now has about three million members,[98] SONY VAIO VGN-NW320F/T laptop keyboard

primarily among the Bakongo ofBas-Congo and Kinshasa.

Sixty-two of the Protestant denominations in the country are federated under the umbrella of the Church of Christ in Congo or CCC (in French, Église du Christ au Congo or ECC). It is often simply referred to as 'The Protestant Church', since it covers most of the 35% of the population who are Protestants.  TOSHIBA K000009780 laptop keyboard

According to the Pew Forum, Islam is the faith of 1.5% of the population.[95] According to the CIA World Factbook, Muslims make up 10% of the population.[99] Islam was introduced and mainly spread by Arab traders/merchants.[100] HP G56 laptop keyboard

The first members of the Baha'i Faith to live in the country came from Uganda in 1953. Four years later the first local administrative council was elected. In 1970 the National Spiritual Assembly (national administrative council) was first elected. HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard

Though the religion was banned in the 1970s and 1980s, due to misrepresentations of foreign governments, the ban was lifted by the end of the 1980s. In 2012 plans were announced to build a national Baha'i House of Worship in the country. IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 6478 laptop keyboard

Traditional religions embody such concepts as monotheism, animism, vitalism, spirit and ancestor worship, witchcraft, and sorcery and vary widely among ethnic groups. The syncretic sects often merge elements of Christianity with traditional beliefs and rituals and are not recognized by mainstream churches as part of Christianity. Compaq 6720s Laptop Keyboard

 [citation needed] Under the weight of poverty, new variants of ancient beliefs have become widespread, lead by US inspired Pentecostal churches which have been in the forefront of witchcraft accusations particularly against children and the elderly[clarification needed]. GATEWAY MT6730 Laptop Keyboard

The usual term for these children is enfants sorciers (child witches) or enfants dits sorciers (children accused of witchcraft) and can lead to physical violence against these children[clarification needed].[102] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Non-denominational church organizations have been formed to capitalize on this belief by charging exorbitant fees for exorcisms. Though recently outlawed, children have been subjected to often-violent abuse at the hands of self-proclaimed prophets and priests.[103] HP Mini 210-2004sa Laptop Keyboard

French is the official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is meant to be an ethnically neutral language, to ease communication among the many different ethnic groups of the Congo.  ASUS M70 Laptop Keyboard

Approximately 242 languages are spoken in the country, but only four have the status of national languages: Kikongo (Kituba),Lingala, Tshiluba and Swahili. Although some people speak these regional, or trade languages, as first languages, most of the population speak them as a second language after their own tribal language.  IBM Thinkpad R61i Laptop Keyboard

Primary education tends to be in the national Bantu language of the region, and secondary education, and beyond, tends to be in French.

Lingala was made the official language of the colonial army, the "Force Publique" under Belgian colonial rule. But since the recent rebellions, a good part of the army in the East also uses Swahili where it is prevalent. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

When the country was a Belgian colony, it had already instituted teaching and use of the four national languages in primary schools, making it one of the few African nations to have had literacy in local languages during the European colonial period. During the colonial period both Dutch and French were the official languages but French was by far the most important.  Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

The culture of the Democratic Republic of the Congo reflects the diversity of its hundreds of ethnic groups and their differing ways of life throughout the country  — from the mouth of the River Congo on the coast, upriver through the rainforest and savanna in its centre, to the more densely populated mountains in the far east. ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

Since the late 19th century, traditional ways of life have undergone changes brought about by colonialism, the struggle for independence, the stagnation of the Mobutu era, and most recently, the First and Second Congo Wars. Despite these pressures, the customs and cultures of the Congo have retained much of their individuality.  Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

The country's 60 million inhabitants are mainly rural. The 30% who live in urban areas have been the most open toWestern influences.

Another notable feature in Congo culture is its sui generis music. The DROC has blended its ethnic musical sources with Cuban rumba, and merengue to give birth to soukous. Influential figures of soukous and its offshoots: N'dombolo and Rumba rock,  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

 are Grand Kalle, Dr. Nico, Franco Luambo, Tabu Ley, Lutumba Simaro, Papa Wemba King Kester Emeneya, Tshala Muana Koffi Olomide, JB Mpiana, Werrason, Kanda Bongo,Ray Lema, Mpongo Love, Abeti Masikini, Reddy Amisi, [Pasnas] Pepe Kalle, Fally Ipupa, Awilo Longomba,Gatho Buvens, Ferre Gola, Robert Maseko and Nyoka Longo.  TOSHIBA PK130260100 Laptop Keyboard

Other African nations produce music genres that are derived from Congolese soukous. Some of the African bands sing in Lingala, one of the main languages in the DRC. The same Congolese soukous, under the guidance of "le sapeur",SONY VAIO VGN-N11S laptop keyboard

Papa Wemba, has set the tone for a generation of young men always dressed up in expensive designers' clothes', they became to be known as the 4th generation of the congolese music and they mostly come from the former well known band Wenge Musica. ACER TravelMate 3012 laptop keyboard

The Congo is also known for its art. Traditional art includes masks and wooden statues. Notable contemporary artists and fashion designers are Odette Maniema Krempin, Lema Kusa, Henri Kalama Akulez, Nshole, Mavinga, Claudy Khan et Chéri Samba. SONY VAIO VGN-FS215Z laptop keyboard

After its defeat in World War I, Germany handed control of a section of the former German East Africa to Belgium.[8]On October 20, 1924, this land, which consisted of modern-day Rwanda and Burundi, became a Belgian League of Nations mandate territory, in practical terms part of the Belgian colonial empire, known as Ruanda-Urundi. However, the Belgians allowed Ruanda-Urundi to continue its kingship dynasty.[9][10] HP Pavilion dv5-1120ez laptop keyboard

Following World War II, Ruanda-Urundi was a United Nations Trust Territory under Belgian administrative authority.[9] During the 1940s, a series of policies caused divisions throughout the country. On October 4, 1943, powers were split in the legislative division of Burundi's government between chiefdoms and lower chiefdoms. HP Pavilion DV7-3067cl laptop keyboard

Chiefdoms were in charge of land, and lower sub-chiefdoms were established. Native authorities also had powers.[10]In 1948, Belgium allowed the region to form political parties.[8] These factions would be one of the main influences for Burundi's independence from Belgium.

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 [11] Six months later, political parties were formed to bring attention to Burundi's independence from Europe and to separate Rwanda from Burundi.[11] The first of these political parties was the Union for National Progress (UPRONA). HP Pavilion DV6-1110eg laptop keyboard

Burundi's push for independence was influenced to some extent by the instability and ethnic persecution that occurred in Rwanda. In November 1959, Rwandese Hutu attacked the Tutsi and massacred them by the thousands. Many Tutsi escaped to Uganda and Burundi to find freedom from persecution.[12] The Hutu took power in Rwanda by winning Belgian-run elections in 1960.[13][14] ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

The UPRONA, a multi-ethnic unity party led by Prince Louis Rwagasore and the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) became the most prominent organizations throughout Burundi-Urundi. After UPRONA's victory in legislative elections, Prince Rwagasore was assassinated on October 13 in 1961, allegedly with the help of the Belgian colonial administration.[8][15]  IBM ThinkPad T42 laptop keyboard

The country claimed independence on July 1, 1962,[8] and legally changed its name from Ruanda-Urundi to Burundi.[16] Mwami Mwambutsa IV was named king.[13] On September 18, 1962, just over two months after declaring independence from Belgium, Burundi joined the United Nations.[17]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

Upon Burundi’s independence, a constitutional monarchy was established and both Hutus and Tutsis were represented in parliament. When King Mwambutsa appointed a Tutsi prime minister, the Hutus, who were the majority in parliament, felt cheated. An ensuing attempted coup by the Hutu-dominated police was ruthlessly suppressed by the Army, then led by a Tutsi officer, Captain Michel Micombero.[18] When the next Hutu Prime Minister, ASUS X88S laptop keyboard

Pierre Ngendandumwe, was assassinated in 1965, Hutus engaged in a series of attacks on Tutsi, which the government repressed ruthlessly,[citation needed] fearing the killings of Tutsis by Hutus, who wanted to follow the "Model Rwanda".[clarification needed] The Burundi police and military were now brought under the control of the Tutsi.  Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

Mwambutsa was deposed in 1966 by his son, Prince Ntare V, who claimed the throne. That same year, Tutsi Prime Minister Captain Michel Micombero deposed Ntare, abolished the monarchy, and declared the nation a republic, though it was in effect a military regime.[8]  Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

In 1972, an all Hutu organization known as Umugambwe w'Abakozi b'Uburundi or Burundi Workers' Party (UBU) organized and carried out systematic attacks on ethnic Tutsi with the declared intent of annihilating the whole group.[19] The military regime responded with large-scale reprisals targeting Hutus. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 laptop keyboard

The total number of casualties was never established, but estimates for the Tutsi genocide and the reprisals on the Hutus together are said to exceed 100,000 at the very least, with a similar number of asylum-seekers in Tanzania and Rwanda. In 1976, another Tutsi, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, led a bloodless coup and promoted various reforms.  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

A new constitution was promulgated in 1981, keeping Burundi a one-party state.[18] In August 1984, Bagaza was elected head of state. During his tenure, Bagaza suppressed political opponents and religious freedoms. Acer eMachines E640 laptop keyboard

Major Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, overthrew Bagaza in 1987 and suspended the constitution, dissolved the political parties, and reinstated military rule under the Military Committee for National Salvation (CSMN).[18] Anti-Tutsi ethnic propaganda disseminated by the remnants of the 1972 UBU, which had re-organized as PALIPEHUTU in 1981, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

led to killings of Tutsi peasants in the northern communes of Ntega and Marangara in August 1988. The death toll was put at 5,000[citation needed] by the government, though some international NGOs believe this understates the losses.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

The new regime did not unleash harsh reprisals (as in 1972), but the trust it gained was soon eroded when it decreed an amnesty for those who had called for, carried out, and taken credit for the killings on ethnic grounds, which amounts to genocide in international law. Many analysts consider this period as the beginning of the "culture of impunity. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

" But other analysts consider the "culture of impunity" to have started from 1965 and 1972, when the revolt of a small and identifiable number of Hutus unleashed massive killings of Tutsis on the whole territory.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

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In the aftermath of the killings, a group of Hutu intellectuals wrote an open letter to Pierre Buyoya, asking for more representation of the Hutus in the administration. The signatories were sent to gaol. Nevertheless, only a few weeks later, Buyoya appointed a new government with an equal number of Hutu and Tutsi, and a Hutu, HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Adrien Sibomana, as Prime Minister. Buyoya also created a commission in charge of addressing the issue of national unity.[18] In 1992, a new constitution that provided for multi-party system was promulgated,[18] and a civil war sprang up from Burundi's core. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5112WH Laptop Keyboard

An estimated 250,000 people died between 1962 and 1993.[20] Since Burundi's independence in 1962, there have been two events called genocides in the country. The 1972 mass killings of Hutus by the Tutsi-dominated army,[21] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

and the 1993 mass killings of Tutsis by the Hutu populace are both described as genocide in the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi presented to the United Nations Security Council in 2002.[22] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

In June 1993, Melchior Ndadaye, leader of the Hutu-dominated Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU), won the first democratic election and became the first Hutu head of state, leading a pro-Hutu government. However, in October 1993, Tutsi soldiers assassinated Ndadaye, which started further years of violence between Hutus and Tutsis. It is estimated that some 300,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the years following the assassination.[23]  ACER AEZU2R00010 Laptop Keyboard

In early 1994, the parliament elected Cyprien Ntaryamira, also a Hutu, to the office of president. He and the president of Rwanda both died together when their airplane was shot down. More refugees started fleeing to Rwanda. Another Hutu, parliament speaker Sylvestre Ntibantunganya was appointed as president in October 1994.  ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

Within months, a wave of ethnic violence began, starting with the massacre of Hutu refugees in the capital,[citation needed] Bujumbura, and the withdrawal of the mainly Tutsi Union for National Progress from the government and parliament.  Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

In 1996, Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, took power through a coup d’état. He suspended the constitution and was sworn in as president in 1998. In response to the rebel attacks, the population was forced by the government to relocate to refugee camps.[24] Under his rule, long peace talks started, mediated by South Africa. Both parties signed agreements in Arusha, Tanzania and Pretoria, South Africa, to share power in Burundi.  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The agreements took four years to plan, and on August 28, 2000, a transitional government for Burundi was planned as a part of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. The transitional government was placed on a trial basis for five years. After several aborted cease-fires, a 2001 DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

peace plan and power sharing agreement has been relatively successful. A cease-fire was signed in 2003 between the Tutsi-controlled Burundian government and the largest Hutu rebel group, CNDD-FDD (National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy).[25] HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

In 2003, FRODEBU Hutu leader Domitien Ndayizeye was elected president.[26] In early 2005, ethnic quotas were formed for determining positions in Burundi's government. Throughout the year, elections for parliament and president occurred[27]  DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

and Pierre Nkurunziza, once a leader of a Hutu rebel group, was elected president. As of 2008, the Burundian government is talking with the Hutu-led Palipehutu-National Liberation Forces (NLF)[28] to bring peace to the country.[29] HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

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Paul Kagame

The post-genocide Rwandan government took office in Kigali in July 1994.[80] It was based loosely on the Arusha Accords, but Habyarimana's party was outlawed and the positions it had been assigned were taken over by the RPF.[81] The military wing of the RPF was renamed as the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

and became the national army.[82] Paul Kagame assumed the dual roles of Vice President of Rwanda and Minister of Defence while Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu who had been a civil servant under Habyarimana before fleeing to join the RPF, was appointed president.[83][84] Bizimungu and his cabinet had some control over domestic affairs, but Kagame remained commander-in-chief of the army and was the de facto ruler of the country.[85][86]  ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

The infrastructure and economy of the country had suffered greatly during the genocide. Many buildings were uninhabitable and the former regime had carried with them all currency and moveable assets when they fled the country.[87] Human resources were also severely depleted, with over 40% of the population having been killed or fled.[87] COMPAQ Presario CQ60-201EP Laptop Keyboard

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Many of the remainder were traumatised: most had lost relatives, witnessed killings or participated in the genocide.[88] The army, controlled by Kagame, maintained law and order while the government began the work of rebuilding the country's structures.[89][90] Non-governmental organisations began to move back into the country, SONY 147664712 Laptop Keyboard

but the international community did not provide significant assistance to the new regime, and most international aid was routed to the refugee camps which had formed in Zaire following the exodus of Hutu from Rwanda.[91] Kagame strove to portray the government as inclusive and not Tutsi dominated; the indication of a citizen's ethnicity was removed from national identity cards and the government began a policy of downplaying the distinction between Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa.[89] SONY Vaio PCG-K215S Laptop Keyboard

During the genocide and in the months following the RPF victory, RPF soldiers killed many people they accused of participating in or supporting the genocide.[92] Many of these soldiers were recent Tutsi recruits from within Rwanda, who had lost family or friends and sought revenge.[92] The scale, scope, and source of ultimate responsibility of these killings is disputed. TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7226 Laptop Keyboard

Human Rights Watch, as well as scholars such as Prunier, allege that the death toll might be as high as 100,000,[93] and that Kagame and the RPF elite either tolerated or organised the killings.[94] Kagame himself, in an interview with journalist Stephen Kinzer, acknowledged that killings occurred but stated that they were carried out by rogue soldiers and had been impossible to control.[95]  HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

The RPF killings gained international attention with the 1995 Kibeho Massacre, in which soldiers opened fire on a camp for internally displaced persons in Butare Province.[96] Australian soldiers serving as part of UNAMIR estimated at least 4,000 people were killed,[97]while the Rwandan government claimed that the death toll was only 338.[98] Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

Shortly after taking power, the Rwandan government began applying legal justice for crimes committed during the genocide.[99] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, operating under a United Nations mandate, was set up in Arusha to judge the most senior leaders responsible for the genocide. SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

In addition, the Rwandan government determined to prosecute all suspected perpetrators, including the many ordinary citizens who had taken part in the killings, in order to end the "culture of impunity" that it blamed for the genocide. Between 1994 and 2000, 120,000 suspects were arrested. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The prisons were overcrowded and the courts could not process all the cases, and by 2006 only 10,000 of those arrested had been tried.[100] The government then introduced Gacaca, a village court system based on traditional Rwandan justice. The Gacaca process allowed for faster processing of cases, GATEWAY NX570X Laptop Keyboard

but lacked many safeguards and principles of international criminal law.[101]

The unity government suffered a partial collapse in 1995. The continuing violence, along with the appointing of local government officials who were almost exclusively RPF Tutsi, caused serious disagreement between Kagame and senior Hutu government members, including prime minister Faustin Twagiramungu and interior minister Seth Sendashonga.[102] HP G61-336NR Laptop Keyboard

Twagiramungu resigned in August, and Sendashonga and three others were fired the next day.[102] Pasteur Bizimungu remained president but the makeup of the new government was predominantly RPF Tutsi loyal to Kagame.[103] Twagiramungu and Sendashonga moved abroad to form a new opposition party shortly after leaving the government.[104] SONY VGN-FE31M Laptop Keyboard

Following the RPF victory, approximately two million Hutu fled to refugee camps in neighbouring countries, particularly Zaire, fearing RPF reprisals for the Rwandan Genocide.[105] The camps were set up by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), but were effectively controlled by the army and government of the former Hutu regime, including many leaders of the genocide.[106] ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

This regime was determined to return to power in Rwanda and began rearming, killing Tutsi residing in Zaire and launching cross-border incursions in conjunction with the Interahamwe paramilitary group.[107][108] By late 2006, the Hutu militants represented a serious threat to the new Rwandan regime, and Kagame launched a counteroffensive.[109] HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

Kagame's first move was to provide troops and military training[108] to aid a rebellion against Zaire by the Banyamulenge, a Tutsi group living around Bukavu in the Zairian South Kivu province.[110] With Rwandan army support, the Banyamulenge defeated local security forces and began attacking the refugee camps in the area. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

At the same time, Kagame's forces joined with Zairian Tutsi around Goma to attack two of the camps there.[110][108] Most refugees from the attacked camps moved to the large Mugunga camp, but in November 1996 the Rwandan army attacked Mugunga, causing an estimated 800,000 refugees to flee.[111] Many returned to Rwanda despite the presence of the RPF, while others ventured further west into Zaire.[112] HP Compaq NW8440 Laptop Keyboard

Despite the disbanding of the camps, the defeated forces of the former regime continued a cross-border insurgency campaign into Rwanda from North Kivu.[113] The insurgents maintained a presence in Rwanda's north-western provinces and were supported by the predominantly Hutu population, many of whom had lived in the refugee camps before they were attacked.[114] SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

 In addition to supporting the wars in the Congo, Kagame began a propaganda campaign to bring the Hutu to his side.[115] He integrated former soldiers of the deposed genocidal regime's military into the RPF-dominated national army and appointed senior Hutu to key local government positions in the areas hit by insurgency.[115] These tactics were eventually successful; by 1999, the population in the north-west had stopped supporting the insurgency and the insurgents were mostly defeated.[116] HP Pavilion dv6-2141ee laptop keyboard

HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

Although his primary reason for military action in Zaire was the dismantling of the refugee camps, Kagame also began planning a war to remove long time dictator President Mobutu Sese Seko from power.[108] Mobutu had supported the genocidaires based in the camps, and was also accused of allowing attacks on Tutsi within Zaire.[117] IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

Together with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Kagame supported the newly created Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL), an alliance of four rebel groups headed by Laurent-Désiré Kabila, which began waging the First Congo War.[118] The AFDL, helped by Rwandan and Ugandan troops, DELL Inspiron 6000 laptop keyboard

took control of North and South Kivu provinces in November 1996 and then advanced west, gaining territory from the poorly organised and demotivated Zairian army with little fighting.[119] By May 1997, they controlled almost the whole of Zaire except for the capital Kinshasa; Mobutu fled and the AFDL took the capital without fighting.[120] The country was renamed to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Kabila became the new president.[121] HP Pavilion dv6-2124eo laptop keyboard

Kagame and the Rwandan government retained strong influence over Kabila following his inauguration, and the RPA maintained a heavy presence in Kinshasa.[122]Congolese in the capital resented this, as did many in the eastern Kivu provinces, where ethnic clashes increased sharply.[123] In July 1998, Kabila fired his Rwandan chief-of-staff, James Kabarebe, and ordered all RPA troops to leave the country.[124] HP Pavilion dv6-2173cl laptop keyboard

Kagame accused Kabila of supporting the ongoing insurgency against Rwanda from North Kivu, the same accusation he had made about Mobutu.[125] He responded to the expulsion of his soldiers by backing a new rebel group, the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD), and launching the Second Congo War.[126]  ASUS A9R laptop keyboard

The first action of the war was a blitzkrieg by the RCD and RPA, led by Kabarebe; this blitzkrieg made quick gains, advancing in twelve days from the Kivu provinces west to within 130 kilometres (81 mi) of Kinshasa.[127] The capital was saved, however, by the intervention of Angola and Zimbabwe on Kabila's side.[128] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 laptop keyboard

Following the failure of the blitzkrieg, the conflict developed into a long term conventional war which lasted until 2003;[121] according to a report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), this conflict led to the loss of between 3 million and 7.6 million lives, many through starvation and disease.[129] GATEWAY MX6956 laptop keyboard

Although Kagame's primary reason for the two wars in the Congo was Rwanda's security, there are allegations that he also gained economic benefit by exploiting the mineral wealth of the eastern Congo.[130] GATEWAY NX570X laptop keyboard

The 2001 United Nations Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo alleged that Kagame, along with Ugandan President Museveni, were "on the verge of becoming the godfathers of the illegal exploitation of natural resources and the continuation of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo".[131] IBM Thinkpad Z60m laptop keyboard

The report also claimed that the Rwandan Ministry of Defence contained a "Congo Desk" dedicated to collecting taxes from companies licensed to mine minerals around Kisangani, and that substantial quantities of coltan and diamonds passed through Kigali before being resold on the international market by staff on the Congo Desk.[132ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

]International NGO Global Witness also conducted field studies in early 2013, and concluded that minerals from North and South Kivu are exported illegally to Rwanda and then marketed as Rwandan.[133] Kagame dismissed these allegations as unsubstantiated and politically motivated; in a 2002 interview with newsletterAfrica Confidential Kagame said that if solid evidence against Rwandan officers was presented it would be dealt with very seriously.[134]  HP G71-445US laptop keyboard

In the late 1990s, Kagame began to disagree publicly with Bizimungu and the Hutu-led government.[135][136] Kagame accused Bizimungu of corruption and poor management,[137] while Bizimungu felt that he had no power over appointments to the cabinet and that the National Assembly was acting purely as a puppet for Kagame.[138] Bizimungu resigned from the presidency in March 2000.[139] Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 laptop keyboard

Historians do not agree on the precise circumstances of Bizimungu's departure; American author Stephen Kinzer contends that "one of the president's friends called Kagame with the startling news that the president was preparing to resign"[140] while Prunier states that Bizimungu was forced to resign, having denounced the National Assembly and attempted to sow discord within the RPF.[138] Following Bizimungu's resignation, SONY VAIO VGN-CS110D/W laptop keyboard

the Supreme Court ruled that Kagame should become acting president until a permanent successor was chosen.[141]

Kagame had been de facto leader since 1994, but had focused more on military, foreign affairs and the country's security than day-to-day governance. SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

By 2000, the threat posed by cross-border rebels was much reduced and when Bizimungu resigned, Kagame decided to seek the presidency himself.[135] The transitional constitution was still in effect which meant the president was elected by government ministers and the national assembly rather than through a direct election.[142] TOSHIBA Qosmio F20 Series Laptop Keyboard

The RPF selected two candidates, Kagame and RPF secretary general Charles Murigande; the ministers and parliament then elected Kagame by eighty-one votes to three.[143] Kagame was sworn in as president in April 2000.[144] SONY VAIO PCG-F20 Laptop Keyboard

A number of Hutu politicians, including the prime minister Pierre Celestin Rwigema, left the government at around the same time as Bizimungu, leaving a cabinet dominated by those close to Kagame.[140] Bizimungu started his own party following his resignation, but this was quickly banned for "destabilising the country".[145]  HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

He was subsequently arrested[146] and convicted of corruption and inciting ethnic violence, and remained in prison until 2007, when he was pardoned by Kagame.[147]

Between 1994 and 2003, Rwanda was governed by a set of documents combining President Habyarimana's 1991 constitution,  HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

the Arusha Accords, and some additional protocols introduced by the transitional government.[148] As required by the accords, Kagame set up a constitutional commission to draft a new permanent constitution.[149] HP G61-425ES Laptop Keyboard

The constitution was required to adhere to a set of fundamental principles including equitable power sharing and democracy.[150] The commission sought to ensure that the draft constitution was "home-grown", relevant to Rwanda's specific needs, and reflected the views of the entire population; they sent questionnaires to civil groups across the country and rejected offers of help from the international community, except for financial assistance.[151] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

The draft constitution was released in 2003; it was approved by the parliament, and was then put to a referendum in May of that year.[152] The referendum was widely promoted by the government; ultimately, 95% of eligible adults registered to vote and the turnout on voting day was 87%.[153] The constitution was overwhelmingly accepted, with 93% voting in favour.[153] The constitution provided for a two-house parliament, Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

an elected president serving seven-year terms, and multi-party politics.[153] The constitution also sought to prevent Hutu or Tutsi hegemony over political power.[153] Article 54 states that "political organizations are prohibited from basing themselves on race, ethnic group, tribe, clan, region, sex, religion or any other division which may give rise to discrimination".[154]  DELL XPS 15 L502X Laptop Keyboard

According to Human Rights Watch, this clause, along with later laws enacted by the parliament, effectively make Rwanda a single party state, as "under the guise of preventing another genocide, the government displays a marked intolerance of the most basic forms of dissent".[155] IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R51 1833 Laptop Keyboard

Following the adoption of the new constitution in May 2003, the government set dates for the first elections to be held under the new law. The presidential poll was set for 25 August 2003.[156] In May, the parliament voted to ban the Democratic Republican Movement (MDR), following a parliamentary commission report accusing the MDR of "divisive" iHP G62-a20EJ Laptop Keyboard

deology.[157] The MDR had been one of the coalition parties in the transitional government of national unity, and was the second largest party in the country after the RPF.[158] Amnesty Internationalcriticised this move, claiming that "the unfounded allegations against the individuals mentioned in the report appear to be part of a government-orchestrated crackdown on the political opposition".[159]  ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The RPF selected Paul Kagame as its presidential candidate, to run for his first full term following his three-year transitional presidency.[160] His main challenger was Faustin Twagiramungu, who had been prime minister from 1994 to 1995, when he resigned and moved toBrussels after a disagreement with Kagame. HP Pavilion DV7-3186cl laptop keyboard

Twagiramungu had intended to run as the candidate for the MDR, but instead sought the presidency as an independent following the party's banishment.[161] Twagiramungu returned to the country in June 2003 and began campaigning in August.[161][162] Two other candidates also ran: Alvera Mukabaramba, SONY VAIO VGN-CR231E laptop keyboard

a medical doctor and former MDR member running for the newly formed Party for Progress and Concord (PPC), and Jean Nepomuscene Nayinzira, an independent and former member of parliament who cited belief in God as a central part of his campaign.[163]Mukabaramba pulled out one day before the election, HP Pavilion dv6-2115so laptop keyboard

accusing Twagiramungu of ethnic propaganda and advising her supporters to vote for Kagame.[164] The election went ahead on 25 August with Kagame, Twagiramungu and Nayinzira as candidates.[165] Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

Kagame declared victory in the election on 26 August, after partial results showed he had an almost insurmountable lead,[165] and his win was later confirmed by the National Electoral Commission.[166] The final results showed that Kagame received 95.1% of the vote, Twagiramungu 3.6%, and Nayinzira 1.3%; the voter turnout was 96.6%.[166] HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

The campaign, election day, and aftermath were largely peaceful, although an observer from the European Union (EU) raised concerns that opposition supporters may have been intimidated by the RPF.[167] Twagiramungu rejected the result of the election and also questioned the margin of victory, saying "Almost 100 per cent? DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

That's not possible".[167] Twagiramungu filed a petition at the Supreme Court to nullify the result, but was unsuccessful.[168] The EU observer also questioned the result, citing "numerous irregularities", but praised the election overall, describing it as a "positive step".[169] Kagame himself, in an interview with journalist Stephen Kinzer, FUJITSU CP270342-02 Laptop Keyboard

acknowledged that the opposition had been weak, but he believed the result was genuine. He told Kinzer "they wanted security first of all. Even people who didn't know the RPF program in detail saw us as the party that would guarantee that".[170] Kagame was sworn in on 12 September to begin his seven-year term.[171] ACER MP-04653U4-698 Laptop Keyboard

Kagame's first term expired and new elections were held in 2010.[172] Having served one term as elected president, Kagame was entitled to serve for one further term.[173] The election campaign began publicly in January 2010 when Victoire Ingabire, a Hutu who had been living abroad for some years, returned to Rwanda and announced her candidacy for the presidency.[174] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Ingabire caused some controversy in the country following her arrival, with comments relating to the genocide.[175] The government accused her of breaking the country's strict laws regarding genocide denial, and she was arrested in April 2010.[175] She was released on bail, but was prohibited from running in the election.[174] GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

In May, President Kagame was officially endorsed as the RPF's candidate for the election at the party's national congress.[176] Kagame then became the first candidate to be accepted when he presented his electoral papers in July.[174] Three other candidates registered successfully for the election; they were Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo of the Social Democratic Party,[177] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

Prosper Higiro of the Liberal Party,[178] and Alvera Mukabaramba of the Party for Progress and Concord.[179] Two other contenders failed to get official documents through and did not get accepted into the race. Human Rights Watch described Kagame's three opponents as "broadly supportive of the RPF", HP Mini 110-1150LA Laptop Keyboard

and claimed that most Rwandans would not describe them as "real" opposition, while those who criticised the RPF were barred from the election.[180]

In the run up to the election, there was some violence and a number of incidents involving prominent opposition and media figures.  TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

In February, there was a grenade attack in Kigali which killed two people. Rwandan prosecutors blamed Kayumba Nyamwasa, a dissident General who had become a critic of Kagame.[181]Nywamwasa fled to Johannesburg, South Africa, and in June he survived a shooting in the city. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Nyamwasa alleged that it was an assassination attempt, a charge Rwanda denied. Days later, journalist Jean-Léonard Rugambage, who claimed to have uncovered the regime's responsibility in the attempted murder, was shot dead.[182] In July, the vice president of the Democratic Green Party, André Kagwa Rwisereka, was beheaded in Butare. There is no concrete evidence linking Kagame with the attacks, but it was sufficient for the United Nations to demand an investigation.[183] HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

Kagame was declared the winner of the election, according to results released by the National Electoral Commission on 11 August.[184] Kagame received 93.08% of the vote, with second placed Ntawukuriryayo polling 5.15%. The turnout was 97.51% of registered voters.[185] Opposition and human rights groups later said that the election was tainted by repression, murder, and lack of credible competition. DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Kagame responded by saying "I see no problems, but there are some people who choose to see problems where there are not."[186] The election was largely peaceful, although there was a further grenade attack in Kigali hours after the election commission announced Kagame's victory, injuring about 20 people. Media reports indicated the attack may have been politically motivated and connected to earlier attacks in the same area.[187] SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

In the late 1990s, Kagame began actively planning methods to achieve national development. He launched a national consultation process[188] and also sought the advice of experts from emerging nations including China, Singapore and Thailand.[189] Following these consultations, and shortly after assuming the presidency,  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Kagame launched an ambitious programme of national development called Vision 2020.[189] The major purposes of the programme were to unite the Rwandan people and to transform Rwanda from a highly impoverished into a middle income country.[188] TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-SP5165RM Laptop Keyboard

The programme consists of a list of goals which the government aims to achieve before the year 2020.[189] These include reconstruction, infrastructure and transport improvements, good governance, improving agriculture production, private sector development, and health and education improvements.[188] DELL 454RX laptop keyboard

This paper considers the progress made in the implementation of Rwanda's Vision 2020 programme since its launch in 2000. At the halfway point, the overall picture is quite encouraging. Rwanda's economy is thriving and reporAnsoms, An1; Rostagno, Donatellaed growth figures have been impressive. HP Pavilion dm1-1002tu laptop keyboard

The country is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals in the fields of education and health care. Its political leaders have been praised for their quality of technocratic governance and their proactive approach to creating an attractive business climate. However, some indicators remain problematic. SAMSUNG R522 laptop keyboard

This paper argues that the current strategy—one of maximum growth at any cost—is counterproductive to the objective of achieving the greatest possible poverty reduction. Strong economic growth, concentrated in the hands of a small elite, results in a highly skewed developmental path with limited trickle-down potential. HP 519265-001 laptop keyboard

A possible alternative lies in an exploration of a broad-based inclusive growth model founded on existing strengths and the notion of capacity building among rural small-scale farmers. Striving for a more inclusive concept of growth would appear to be crucial not only for successful poverty reduction, but also with a view to promoting long-term stability and peace in Rwanda. SONY VAIO VGN-N110G laptop keyboard

In 2011, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning issued a report indicating the progress of the Vision 2020 goals.[190] The report examined the stated goals of the programme and rated each one with a status of "on-track", "on-watch" or "off-track". Of 44 goals, it found that 66% were on-track, 11% were on-watch, and 22% were off-track.[190] SAMSUNG NP-NB30-KP01 laptop keyboard

The major areas identified as off-track were population, poverty and the environment.[190] An independent review of Vision 2020, carried out in 2012 by academics based in Belgium, rated progress as "quite encouraging", SAMSUNG Q320 laptop keyboard

mentioning development in the education and health sectors, as well as Kagame's fostering of a favourable business environment.[191] The review also raised concerns about the policy of "maximum growth at any cost", suggesting that this was leading to a situation in which the rich prospered while the rural poor saw little benefit.[191]  HP Pavilion dv5t-1200se CTO laptop keyboard

Rwanda's economy has grown rapidly under Kagame's presidency, with per-capita gross domestic product (purchasing power parity) estimated at $1,592 in 2013,[192] compared with $567 in 2000.[193] Annual growth between 2004 and 2010 averaged 8% per year.[194] Kagame's economic policy is based on liberalising the economy, privatising state owned industries, reducing red tape for businesses,[194] HP Pavilion dv6-2155dx laptop keyboard

and transforming the country from an agricultural to a knowledge-based economy.[195] Kagame has stated that he believes Rwanda can emulate the economic development of Singapore since 1960,[196] and achieving middle income country status is one of the central goals of the Vision 2020 programme.[188] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP6001L laptop keyboard

Kagame's economic policy has been praised by many foreign donors and investors, including Bill Clinton and Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz.[197][198] However, the DRC government and human rights groups have accused Rwanda of illegally exploiting Congolese minerals,[199] which the LondonDaily Telegraph describes as an "important part" in the success of Rwanda's economy.[197] SONY VGN-FE865E/H laptop keyboard

Rwanda is a country of few natural resources,[200] and the economy is heavily dependent on subsistence agriculture, with an estimated 90% of the working population engaged in farming.[201] Under Kagame's presidency, however, the service sector has grown strongly. In 2010, it became the country's largest sector by economic output, contributing 43.6% of the country's GDP.[201] FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Key tertiary contributors include banking and finance, wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, transport, storage, communication, insurance, real estate, business services, and public administration, including education and health.[202] Information and communications technology (ICT) is a Vision 2020 priority, with a goal of transforming Rwanda into an ICT hub for Africa.[195] TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 Laptop Keyboard

To this end, the government has completed a 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) fibre-optic telecommunications network, intended to provide broadband services and facilitate electronic commerce.[203]Tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic resources and became the country's leading foreign exchange earner in 2011.[204] ACER TravelMate 2010 laptop keyboard

In spite of the genocide's legacy, Kagame's achievement of peace and security means the country is increasingly perceived internationally as a safe destination;[205] in the first half of 2011, 16% of foreign visitors arrived from outside Africa.[206] The country's mountain gorillas attract thousands of visitors per year, who are prepared to pay high prices for permits.[207] TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

Rwanda ranks highly in several categories of the World Bank's ease of doing business index. In 2009, the country topped the list of reformers,[194] and was eighth on the 2012 rankings for ease of starting a business;[208] the Rwanda Development Board asserts that a business can be authorised and registered in 24 hours.[194] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The country's overall ease of doing business index ranking is fifty-second out of 185 countries worldwide, and third out of 46 in Sub-Saharan Africa.[209] The business environment and economy also benefit from relatively low corruption in the country; in 2010, Transparency International ranked Rwanda as the eighth cleanest out of 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and sixty-sixth cleanest out of 178 in the world.[210] TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

Kagame has made education a high priority for his administration, allocating 17% of the annual budget to the sector.[211] The Rwandan government provides free education in state-run schools for twelve years: six years in primary and six in secondary school.[212] SONY Vaio PCG-K33 laptop keyboard

The final three years of free education were introduced in 2012 following a pledge by Kagame during his 2010 re-election campaign.[213] Kagame credits his government with improvements in the tertiary education sector; the number of universities has risen from 1 in 1994 to 29 in 2010,[214] and the tertiary gross enrolment ratio increased from 4% in 2008 to 7% in 2011.[215] From 1994 until 2009,  SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

secondary education was offered in either French or English;[216] since 2009, due to the country's increasing ties with the East African Community and the Commonwealth of Nations, English has been the sole language of instruction in public schools from primary school grade 4 onward.[217] The country's literacy rate, defined as those aged 15 or over who can read and write, was 71% in 2009, up from 38% in 1978 and 58% in 1991.[218] ACER Extensa 5235 laptop keyboard

Rwanda's health profile is dominated by communicable diseases,[219] including malaria, pneumonia, and HIV/AIDS. Prevalence and mortality rates have sharply declined in the past decade[220] but the short supply or unavailability of certain medicines continues to challenge disease management.[221] Kagame's government is seeking to improve this situation as one of the Vision 2020 priorities. HP Mini 110-1150LA laptop keyboard

It has increased funding, with the health budget up from 3.2% of national expenditure in 1996 to 9.7% in 2008.[221] It also set up training institutes, including the Kigali Health Institute (KHI),[222] and in 2008 effected laws making health insurance mandatory for all individuals;[223] by 2010, over 90% of the population was covered.[224] HP AE0P7U00010 laptop keyboard

These policies have contributed to a steady increase in quality of healthcare and improvement in key indicators during Kagame's presidency. In 2010, 91 children died before their fifth birthday for every 1000 live births, down from 163 under five deaths for every 1000 live births in 1990.[225] Prevalence of some diseases is declining, including the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus[226] SONY VAIO VGN-NW110D laptop keyboard

and a sharp reduction in malaria morbidity, mortality rate, and specific lethality.[219] In response to shortages in qualified medical personnel, in 2011 the Rwandan government launched an eight-year US$151.8 million initiative to train medical professionals.[227] TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1AO laptop keyboard

The Second Congo War, which began in 1998, was still raging when Kagame assumed the presidency in 2000. Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Chad had committed troops to the Congolese government side,[121] while Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi were supporting rebel groups.[228] HP Mini 210-2015la laptop keyboard

The rebel group Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD) had split in 1999 into two factions: theRCD-Goma, supported by Rwanda, and the RCD-Kisangani, which was allied to Uganda.[229] Uganda also supported the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), a rebel group from the north.[229] All these rebel groups were at war with Kabila's government in Kinshasa, but were also increasingly hostile to each other.[229] HP G42-272BR laptop keyboard

Various peace meetings had been held, culminating in the July 1999 Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement which was signed by Kabila, Kagame and all the other foreign governments.[230] The rebel groups were not party to the agreement, however, and fighting continued.[230] The RPA continued to be heavily involved in the Congo War through 2000, fighting battles against the Ugandan army in Kisangani and against Kabila's army in Kasai and Katanga.[231][232] HP Pavilion dm3-1080EF laptop keyboard

In January 2001, Kabila was shot dead inside his palace.[233] The Congolese government claimed Kabila had been killed by a rogue bodyguard, who was himself killed at the scene.[234] However, according to a report published in French newspaper Le Monde, Kabila was killed by the kadogo, an army of child soldiers he was known to have assembled during the First Congo War.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

The kadogo had suffered badly during the battles in Kasai and Katanga, were poorly paid, and had become alienated by Kabila.[234] Kabila's son Joseph was appointed president and immediately began asserting his authority by dismissing his father's cabinet and senior army commanders,[235][236] Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

assembling a new government, and engaging with the international community.[237] The new government provided impetus for renewed peace negotiations, and in July 2002 a peace agreement was reached betewen Rwanda, Congo, and the other major participants, HP G62-225NR Laptop Keyboard

in which all foreign troops would withdraw and RCD-Goma would enter a power-sharing transitional government with Joseph Kabila as interim president until elections could be held.[238] By the end of 2002, all uniformed Rwandan troops had left Congolese territory.[239] SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

Despite the agreement and subsequent ceasefire, relations between Kagame and the Congolese government have remained tense. A 2003 United Nations report alleged that Rwanda was using demobilised soldiers to continue its illegal exploitation of Congolese minerals.[239] Meanwhile, Kagame blamed Kabila for failing to suppress Hutu rebels in North and South Kivu provinces.[240]  HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Two major insurgencies have occurred in the eastern provinces: the first, from 2005 to 2009, was led by Congolese Tutsi Laurent Nkunda,[241] while the second, carried out by the March 23 Movement (M23) under leader Bosco Ntaganda, began in 2012;[242] Ntaganda turned himself in to the International Criminal Court in early 2013,  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

and peace talks have taken place, but as of May 2013 the conflict is at risk of resuming.[243] Human Rights Watch alleges that both insurgencies were supported by Rwanda, a charge Kagame denies.[244] A leaked United Nations report in 2012 also alleges Rwandan support for M23; this report cites Kagame's defence minister James Kabarebe as being effectively the commander of the movement.[245] HP COMPAQ NX6325 Laptop Keyboard

Kagame spent most of his childhood and young adult years living in Uganda, and has a personal relationship with President Yoweri Museveni dating back to the late 1970s;[20] they fought together in the Ugandan Bush War, and Kagame was appointed head of military intelligence in Museveni's national army following the NRA victory in 1986.[29] TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

When the RPF soldiers abandoned the Ugandan army and invaded Rwanda in 1990, Museveni did not explicitly support them, but according to Prunier it is likely that he had prior knowledge of the plan.[246] Museveni also allowed the RPF safe passage through Ugandan territory to the Virunga mountains after their early defeats in the war,[42] HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

and revealed in a 1998 heads of state meeting that Uganda had helped the RPF materially during the Rwandan Civil War.[247] Following the RPF victory, the two countries enjoyed a close political and trade relationship.[248] Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda and Uganda were allies during the First Congo War against Zaire, with both countries being instrumental in the setting up of the AFDL and committing troops to the war.[249] The two nations joined forces again at the beginning of the Second Congo War,  IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

but relations soured in late 1998 as Museveni and Kagame had very different priorities in fighting the war.[250]In early 1999, the RCD rebel group split into two, with Rwanda and Uganda supporting opposing factions,[250] and in August the Rwandan and Ugandan armies battled each other with heavy artillery in the Congolese city of Kisangani.[231] HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

 HP G61-400SP laptop keyboard

The two sides fought again in Kisangani in May and June 2000, causing the deaths of 120 soldiers and around 640 Congolese civilians.[251] Relations slowly thawed through the 2000s, and by 2011 the two countries enjoyed a close friendship once more.[252] SONY VAIO PCG-F50/BP laptop keyboard

In 2007, Rwanda joined the East African Community, an intergovernmental organisation for the East Africa region comprising Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda. The country's accession required the signing of various agreements with the other members, including a defence intelligence sharing pact, SONY VAIO VGN-NW320F/T laptop keyboard

 a customs union, and measures to combat drug trafficking.[253] The countries of the Community established a common market in 2011, and plan further integration, including moves toward political federation and a possible single currency.[254][255] Acer eMachines E640 laptop keyboard

France maintained close ties with President Habyarimana during his years in power, as part of its Françafrique policy.[256] When the RPF launched the Rwandan Civil War in 1990, Habyarimana was immediately granted assistance from the President of France, François Mitterrand.[257]  TOSHIBA K000009780 laptop keyboard

France sent 600 paratroopers, who effectively ran the government's response to the invasion and were instrumental in regaining almost all territory the RPF had gained in the first days of the war.[258] France maintained this military presence throughout the war, engaging Kagame's RPF forces again in February 1993 during the offensive that doubled RPF territory.[259] HP G56 laptop keyboard

In the later stages of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, France launched Opération Turquoise, a United Nations mandated mission to create safe humanitarian areas for protection of displaced persons, refugees, and civilians in danger; many Rwandans interpreted it as a mission to protect Hutu from the RPF, including some who had participated in the genocide.[260] The French remained hostile to the RPF, and their presence temporarily stalled Kagame's advance in southwestern Rwanda.[261] HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard

France continued to shun the new RPF government following the end of the genocide and the withdrawal of Opération Turquoise.[262] Diplomatic relations were finally reestablished in January 1995, but remained tense as Rwanda accused France of aiding the genocidaires, while France defended its interventions.[263][264][265] IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 6478 laptop keyboard

In 2006, French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière released a report on the assassination of President Habyarimana which concluded that Kagame had ordered the shooting of the plane. Bruguière subsequently issues arrest warrants for nine of Kagame's close aides.[266] Kagame denied the charges and immediately broke off diplomatic relations with France.[267] Compaq 6720s Laptop Keyboard

Relations began to thaw in 2008,[268] and diplomacy was resumed in late 2009.[269] In 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy became the first French president to visit Rwanda since the genocide, admitting for the first time that France made "grave errors of judgment".[270]Kagame reciprocated with an official visit to Paris in 2011.[271] GATEWAY MT6730 Laptop Keyboard

Since the end of the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, Rwanda has enjoyed a close relationship with the English speaking world, in particular the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK). The two countries have been highly supportive of the RPF programme of stabilisation and rebuilding, with the UK donating large sums each year in budget support,[272] HP Mini 210-2004sa Laptop Keyboard

and the US providing military aid[272] as well as supporting development projects.[273] As president, Kagame has been critical of the West's lack of response to the genocide, and the UK and US have responded by admitting guilt over the issue: Bill Clinton, who was President of the United States during the genocide, has described to his failure to act against the killings as a "personal failure".[272] During the 2000s, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Clinton and UK prime minister Tony Blair praised the country's progress under Kagame, citing it as a model recipient for international development funds, and Clinton referred to Kagame as "one of the greatest leaders of our time".[272] Both Clinton and Blair have maintained support for the country beyond the end of their terms of office, Clinton via the Clinton Global Initiative and Blair through his role as an unpaid advisor to the Rwandan government.[274]  ASUS M70 Laptop Keyboard

As part of his policy of maintaining close relations with English speaking countries, Kagame sought membership of the Commonwealth of Nations, which was granted in 2009.[275] Rwanda was only the second country, after Mozambique, to join the Commonwealth having never had colonial links to the British Empire.[275]  IBM Thinkpad R61i Laptop Keyboard

Kagame attended the subsequent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, addressing the Business Forum.[276] Rwanda also successfully applied for a rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2012, taking over the presidency of that organisation in April 2013.[277] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

Kagame's relations with the US and UK have come under strain in the early 2010s, following allegations that Rwanda is supporting the M23 rebel movement in Eastern Congo.[272] The UK suspended its budgetary aid programme in 2012, freezing a £21 million donation.[278] The US has also frozen some of its military aid programme for Rwanda, although it stopped short of suspending aid altogether.[279]  Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

China has been investing in Rwandan infrastructure since 1971, with early projects including hospitals in Kibungo and Masaka.[280] Under Kagame's presidency, trade between the two countries has grown rapidly. ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

The volume of trade increased five-fold between 2005 and 2009,[281] and it doubled again in the following three years, being worth US$160 million in 2012.[282] Projects completed include the renovation of the Kigali road network, funded using a Chinese government loan and undertaken by China Road and Bridge Corporation;[283] the Kigali City Tower, which was built by China Civil Engineering Construction;[284] and a pay television service operated by Star Media.[285]  Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

Kagame has been vocal in his praise of China and its model for relations with Africa, saying in a 2009 interview that "the Chinese bring what Africa needs: investment and money for governments and companies."[286] This is in contrast to Western countries, whom Kagame accuses of focussing too heavily on giving aid to the continent rather than building a trading relationship; ACER TravelMate 3012 laptop keyboard

he also believes that they keep African products out of the world marketplace by the use of hightariffs.[286] China does not involve itself in the domestic affairs of the countries with which it trades,[286] hence has not followed the West in criticising Kagame's alleged involvement in the war in the Congo. SONY VAIO VGN-FS215Z laptop keyboard

Kagame's ultimate goal in international relations is to shift Rwanda from a country dependent on donor aid and loans towards self-sufficiency, trading with other countries on an equal footing. In a 2009 article, Kagame wrote that "the primary purpose of aid should ultimately be to work itself out", and should therefore focus on self-sufficiency and building private sector development.[287] HP Pavilion dv5-1120ez laptop keyboard

Kagame cited an example of donor countries providing free fertilisers to farmers; he believes this to be wrong because it undercuts local fertiliser businesses, preventing them from growing and becoming competitive.[287] In 2012, Kagame launched the Agaciro Development Fund, following proposals made at a national dialogue session in 2011.[288] HP Pavilion DV7-3067cl laptop keyboard

Agaciro is a solidarity fund whose goal is to provide development finance sourced within Rwanda, supplementing aid already received from overseas.[289] The fund invites contributions from Rwandan citizens, within the country and in the diaspora, as well as private companies and "friends of Rwanda".[288] ASUS M70 laptop keyboard

The fund will allocate its funds based on consultations with the populace,[288] as well as financing projects contributing to the Vision 2020 programme.[290] HP Pavilion DV6-1110eg laptop keyboard

Most observers describe Kagame's personality as one of seriousness and intelligence.[197] Richard Grant, writing in London's Daily Telegraph, described Kagame as radiating "a quality of intense seriousness that is both impressive and intimidating". Roméo Dallaire, commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide, ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

described Kagame as having a "studious air that didn't quite disguise his hawk-like intensity".[291] Kagame has a highly dominant personality, which he uses to enforce his rule and to ensure that his vision for the country is followed.[197] American journalist Stephen Kinzer, who wrote the biography A Thousand Hills in collab

oration with Kagame himself, describes him as "one of the most intriguing leaders in Africa". IBM ThinkPad T42 laptop keyboard

 [293] In his interview with Grant, Kagame claimed he sleeps for only four hours per night, devoting the remainder of his day to work, exercise, family, and reading academic texts and foreign newspapers.[197]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

In Rwanda, Kagame's RPF is seen as a Tutsi-dominated party, and in the years following the 1994 genocide, it was deeply unpopular with the Hutu, who constitute 85% of the population.[112] Approximately two million Hutu lived as refugees in neighbouring countries until 1996, when Kagame forced them to return home.[112] ASUS X88S laptop keyboard

Many Hutu also supported the late 1990s cross-border insurgency against Kagame by defeated forces of the former regime.[113] By 1999, however, when the RPF had weakened the insurgents and the north-west became peaceful, the Hutu population became broadly supportive of Kagame.[116] Since becoming president in 2000,  Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

Kagame has won two presidential elections with over 90% of the vote each time. Despite criticisms over opposition repression during these elections, and accusations that the figures were inflated,[167] Kagame does receive genuine support from the population, who credit him with ensuring continued peace, stability, and economic growth.[294]  Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

Kagame's image amongst international observers is varied. Human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Freedom House, claim that Kagame suppresses the freedoms of opposition groups by restricting candidacies in elections to government-friendly parties, suppressing demonstrations, and arresting opposition leaders and journalists.[295][296] TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 laptop keyboard

Human Rights Watch criticised laws criminalising genocide ideology,[155] but praised some aspects of Kagame's rule, such as the progress made in the delivery of justice and the abolition of the death penalty.[297] Kagame's image amongst foreign leaders was very positive until the late 2000s. He was credited with ending the genocide, bringing peace and security to Rwanda, and achieving development. Since 2010, however,  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

  the international community has increasingly criticised Kagame following a leaked United Nations report alleging Rwanda's support for the rebel M23 movement in Congo.[245] In 2012, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and several other countries suspended programmes of budget support to Rwanda, with many redirecting their aid to project-based assistance.[298] SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

Kagame promotes the internet as a means of communication between leadership and ordinary people. In addition to his personal website, which contains a personal blog, he has accounts on Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.[299] In 2011, he argued with British journalist Ian Birrell on Twitter following a tweet by Birrell about media freedom in Rwanda.[300] As of 2013, he is the second most followed African leader on Twitter, with 104,082 followers.[301] ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

Kagame has received a number of honours and accolades during his presidency. These include honorary degrees from the American University of the Pacific,[302],Oklahoma Christian University,[303], and the University of Glasgow,[304] the Andrew Young Medal for Capitalism and Social Progress by Georgia State University,[305] HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

and a Clinton Global Citizen Award.[306] Kagame has also received the highest awards bestowed by the countries of Liberia and Benin, theDistinction of the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of Pioneers,[307] TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5112WH Laptop Keyboard

and the Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit[308]respectively. In September 2010, the British magazine New Statesman named Kagame one of its 50 most influential figures for that year, placing him in 49th place.[309] The Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations football tournament has been named the Kagame Interclub Cup since 2002, due to Kagame's sponsorship of the event.[310] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

The Rwandan Civil War was a conflict within the Central African nation of Rwanda, between the government of President Juvénal Habyarimana and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The conflict began on 1 October 1990 when the RPF invaded and ostensibly ended on 4 August 1993 with the signing of the Arusha Accords to create a power-sharing government.[2] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

However, the assassination of Habyarimana in April 1994 proved to be the catalyst for the Rwandan Genocide, the commonly quoted death toll for which is 800,000. The closely interrelated causes of the war and genocide led some observers to assume that the reports of mass killings were in fact some new flaring of the war, rather than a different phase. The RPF restarted its offensive,  ACER AEZU2R00010 Laptop Keyboard

eventually taking control of the country. The Hutu government-in-exile then proceeded to use refugee camps in neighboring countries to destabilize the new RPF government. The RPF and its proxy rebel forces prosecuted the First Congo War (1996–1997),  ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

which led in turn to the Second Congo War (1998–2003), all of which involved a Hutu force with the objective of regaining control of Rwanda. Thus while the civil war officially lasted until 1993, some literature has the war ending with the RPF capture of Kigali in 1994 or with the disbanding of the refugee camps in 1996, while some consider the presence of small rebel groups along the Rwandan border to mean that the civil war is ongoing.  Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The ethnic tensions between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority had their roots in the Belgian colonial era, where the ruling Belgian authorities empowered the Tutsi aristocracy, and cemented the second class status of Hutus, in what had previously been a fairly fluid social system. Upon leaving Rwanda, Belgian diplomats stirred the pot by reversing their favoritism, encouraging nationalist Hutu uprisings in the name of democracy.  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Episodes of violent attacks and reprisals between Hutus and Tutsis flared up in the first two decades following Rwanda's independence, building tensions and resentment that would explode in the civil war and genocide of the 1990s.[3][citation needed] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

A new wave of ethnic tensions were unleashed in 1990. One of the main causes was a slumping economy and food shortages. Throughout the year, the country was subject to bad weather and lessening coffee prices. These problems helped create a dangerous political climate. Further political tension was evident following a call by the for increased democracy in Francophone Africa. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

France, though not traditionally associated with Rwanda, began to show that it would put political pressure on Rwanda if it didn't make concessions to democracy. Many Rwandans heard the call, and began forming a democracy movement which protested during the summer.[citation needed]  DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Another source of mounting tensions in 1990, were the grumblings of the Tutsi diaspora. Those Tutsi who had been exiled over thirty years were now coming together in an organized group known as the RPF. The Hutu in Rwanda considered these Tutsi an evil aristocracy which had rightly been exiled. They pointed out that the descendants of these Tutsi no longer had any knowledge of Rwanda, and spoke English instead of French. The exiled Tutsi,  TOSHIBA PK130260100 Laptop Keyboard

however, demanded recognition of their rights as Rwandans which included the right to live there. These Tutsi began to pressure the Rwandan government, and eventually forced the Habyarimana government to make concessions.[citation needed] The RPF was under the command of Major-General Fred Rwigyema, who had risen to be deputy minister of defense in Uganda. However, SONY VAIO VGN-N11S laptop keyboard

growing xenophobia had led to his removal and new legislation prohibiting non-Ugandan nationals, including Rwandan refugees, from owning land. It was this "push" factor from Uganda, as much as the "pull" of their ancestral homes, that led the RPF to fight for citizenship in Rwanda.[4] SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

Habyarimana found himself forced to set up a national committee to examine the "Concept of Democracy" and to work on the formation of a "National Political Charter" which would help reconcile the Hutus and Tutsis. During this crucial point in negotiations the situation went bad. The RPF was simply unwilling to wait any longer for the Rwandan government to come through on its promises.[citation needed] TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5165 laptop keyboard

At 2:30 pm on 1 October 1990, fifty RPF rebels deserted their posts and crossed the border from Uganda into Rwanda, killing a customs guard at the Kagitumba border post.[8] They were followed by hundreds more rebels, dressed in the uniforms of the Ugandan national army and carrying Ugandan weaponry, including machine guns and rocket launchers.[8] HP Pavilion dv6138TX laptop keyboard

RPF demands included an end to ethnic segregation and the system of identity cards, as well as other political and economic reforms that portrayed the RPF as a democratic and tolerant organization seeking to depose a dangerous and corrupt regime.[4] Both President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Habyarimana of Rwanda were in New York attending the United Nations World Summit for Children.[9] Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

The role of Uganda was immediately brought into question. It is likely that Museveni knew of the RPF and its planned invasion, but did not explicitly support it.[10] Museveni had several motives for not interfering, including stability in western Uganda and the possibility of a strengthened position in future refugee negotiations with Habyarimana.[11] TOSHIBA PK130260100 laptop keyboard

Museveni denies any knowledge however, stating years later in a conference with fellow African heads of state, that the RPF had launched the invasion "without prior consultation".[12] Museveni also said later that "faced with [a]  APPLE 607-3241-A Laptop Keyboard

fait accompli situation by our Rwandan brothers," Uganda went "to help the RPF, materially, so that they are not defeated because that would have been detrimental to the Tutsi people of Rwanda and would not have been good for Uganda's stability."[12]  HP Mini 110-1150LA Laptop Keyboard

In the first few days of fighting, the RPF made significant progress, advancing 60 km (37 mi) south to the town of Gabiro.[13] Their Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) opponents were numerically superior, with 5,200 soldiers, and possessed armoured cars and helicopters supplied by France, but the RPF benefitted from the element of surprise.[13] SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

The RPF suffered a significant reversal on the third day, however, when commander Fred Rwigyema was killed. It is likely that Rwigyema was killed by his subcommander Peter Bayingana, following an argument over tactics,[14] although the current RPF-led Government of Rwanda contend that he was killed by a stray bullet.[15] HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

The offensive failed after France and Zaire militarily intervened. Zaire sent several hundred troops of the elite Special Presidential Division (DSP) to fight alongside Rwandan government troops. In a military operation code-named Noroît, France deployed the 1st and 3rd companies of the 8th Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment, consisting of 125 soldiers, who were based in the Central African Republic, to support the Rwandan government.[16][17] TOSHIBA NSK-TAE01 Laptop Keyboard

These forces were later joined by elements of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment and 13th Parachute Dragoon Regiment.[17] France, which had signed a defense pact with Habyarimana in 1975, insisted that its forces had been deployed strictly to protect its nationals, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

but the parachute companies set up positions blocking the RPF advance to the capital and Kigali International Airport. Col. René Galinié had command of the initial deployment, but was replaced by Col. Jean-Claude Thomann on 19 October. France also supplied the Rwandan government with shipments of artillery, mortars and other military equipment,  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

along with financial aid. France claimed to be countering "aggression launched from an English-speaking country."[18] At first, Belgium also supported the government but cut all military aid shortly after hostilities began, citing a domestic law prohibiting their military from taking part in a civil war. France, in contrast, supported the regime and gave significant military and financial support, thus replacing Belgium as Rwanda's major foreign sponsor.[18][19] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

On 7 October 1990, the government forces launched a counter-offensive. The RPF who had only prepared for a short war began to fall back when it became clear that they did not have the heavy equipment needed to face the government forces in a conventional conflict.[citation needed] Major Paul Kagame, SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Laptop Keyboard

 who was in theUnited States taking a course at the Command and General Staff College, was contacted and returned to take control of the rebel forces. To make matters worse, on 23 October,[citation needed] two more RPF commanders Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

, Major Peter Bayingana, who had taken de facto command, and Chris Bunyenyezi, were arrested by Salim Saleh, the Ugandan president's brother, for the murder of Rwigyema and brought back to Uganda for interrogation and eventual execution.[20] The RPF force was thrown into confusion and by the end of the month, had been pushed back into Akagera National Park in the northeast corner of the country.[21][22] French spotter planes were used to find retreating RPF units so they could be destroyed by the FAR.[19] DELL NSK-DB301 laptop keyboard

On the night of 4 October, the Rwandan government staged a fake attack on Kigali with gunfire and explosions around the city. This piece of theater was intended to frighten the populace into supporting the war and encouraging the reporting of suspected RPF sympathizers among the Tutsi. Over 10,000 people were arrested. HP Mini 110-1150LA laptop keyboard

The reaction also included directed killing. A witness testified that, on 2 October, para-commandos under Major Aloys Ntabakuze separated civilians fleeing the fighting at Umutara into Hutu and Tutsi, and used grenades to kill the Tutsi. Eight days later, another witness testified that Ntabakuze ordered the ethnic cleansing of a village called Bahima. APPLE 607-3241-A laptop keyboard

Ten days after the invasion, local officials in Kibilira were told to kill the local inyenzi and burn down their homes because of the threat of the RPF offensive. At least 348 civilians were killed in 48 hours.[23] SONY VAIO VGN-CR31/P laptop keyboard

On his arrival, Koufos Shabbazzamad began to reorganize the RPF forces, which had been reduced to less than 2,000 troops, and decided to develop a guerrilla warfare in the north of the country.[24] Museveni granted permission for the RPF to retreat back into Uganda for one night, during which Kagame and the troops completed a tiring overnight march west to the Virunga mountains, a high altitude area in which the Rwandan army could not attack them.[25] TOSHIBA Satellite M30X-214 laptop keyboard

The RPF spent two months in the mountains, without engaging the government forces. Conditions were harsh and some members of the army perished due to freezing temperatures.[26]  Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

The time in the Virungas was spent reorganising the army and rebuilding the leadership that had suffered so much during the fighting. Alexis Kanyarengwe, a Hutu and former ally of Habyarimana, was appointed RPF chairman; however, Tutsis continued to make up the majority of the leadership.[26] During this time, HP Pavilion dv5-1215ca laptop keyboard

the RPF also recruited from the Tutsi diaspora. In addition to Ugandans, new members arrived from Burundi, Tanzania, Zaire, the United States, and Europe.[27]By early 1991, the RPF had grown to 5,000; by 1992 it had reached 12,000 and during the 1994 genocide it numbered 25,000.[28]  HP Mini 210-1140LA laptop keyboard

In addition to recruiting personnel, the RPF carried out fund raising activity. The Tutsi diaspora worldwide contributed, as did some businessmen within Rwanda who were the victims of corruption by the Habyarimana regime.[29] The RPF rearmed itself, both by purchasing arms on the international market and relying on clandestine supply from former colleagues in officer corps of the Ugandan army.[30] Packard Bell Easynote TM81 laptop keyboard

By January 1991, Kagame restarted the war. The first move, on 23 January 1991, was a surprise attack on the northern town ofRuhengeri. Ruhengeri was chosen due to its proximity to the Virunga mountains and its perception as being a stronghold of the Habyarimana regime.[31] The RPF captured the town, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7222 laptop keyboard

benefiting from the element of surprise, and held it for one day before retreating back to the forests.[32] During the occupation they captured weapons and equipment from the Rwandan army and stormed Ruhengeri prison, freeing political prisoners.[32] The attack succeeded in creating a climate of fear in Rwanda.[32] Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

Following this action the RPF withdrew and began to carry out a classic hit and run style guerrilla war. Low intensity fighting dragged on with neither side managing to inflict any major defeats on the other. The RPF started broadcasting from Uganda into Rwanda on its own radio station, called Radio Muhabura in 1991. ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

It was monitored by the BBC starting in 1992, and was mostly a propaganda instrument for the RPF. It accused the Habyarimana government of genocide as early as January 1993, even before the Arusha accords. Over the next few years there were numerous attempts at ceasefires, though they achieved little and the fighting continued until 13 July 1992 when a cease-fire was signed in Arusha. ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

The war dragged on for almost 2.5 years until a cease-fire accord was signed on 12 July 1992, in Arusha, Tanzania, fixing a timetable for an end to the fighting and political talks, leading to a peace accord and power sharing, and authorizing a neutral military observer group under the auspices of the Organization for African Unity. The cease-fire took effect on 31 July 1992, and political talks began 31 September 1992. HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Over the course of the following months negotiations continued, though without any serious breakthroughs and with the tension on both sides mounting. Finally, following reports of massacres of Tutsi, the RPF launched a major offensive on 8 February 1993. HP AELX6U00210 Laptop Keyboard

This offensive forced the government forces back in disarray, allowing the RPF to quickly capture the town of Ruhengeri, and then to turn south and begin advancing on the capital. This caused panic in Paris (a long term supporter of the Habyarimana regime) which immediately sent several hundred French troops to the country along with large amounts of ammunition for the FAR artillery. SONY VAIO VGN-FS515B Laptop Keyboard

The arrival of these French troops in Kigali seriously changed the military situation on the ground. Implicit in their support for the government and their rapid deployment was the threat that, should the RPF advance on the capital, then they may find themselves fighting French paratroopers as well as Rwandan government soldiers. HP COMPAQ NC6320 Laptop Keyboard

On 20 February, with the RPF only 30 km (19 mi) north of Kigali, the rebels declared a unilateral ceasefire and over the following months pulled their forces back. By that time, over 1.5 million civilians, mostly Hutu, had left their homes. .[citation needed]

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Over the following months the peace process developed. One of the stipulations of the agreement was that the RPF would station a number of diplomats in Kigali at the CND parliament building. These men were to be protected by between 600-1000 RPF soldiers. HP Mini 210-2032tu laptop keyboard

The Tutsi diaspora miscalculated the reaction of its invasion of Rwanda. Though the Tutsi objective seemed to be to pressure the Rwandan government into making concessions which would strip Tutsi of their largely 'second class' status,[citation needed] the invasion was seen as an attempt to bring the Tutsi ethnic group back into power. The effect was to increase ethnic tensions to a level higher than they had ever been. SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W laptop keyboard

Hutu rallied around the President. Habyarimana himself reacted by instituting genocidal programs, which would be directed against all Tutsi and against any Hutu seen as in league with Tutsi interests. Habyarimana justified these acts by proclaiming it was the intent of the Tutsi to restore a kind of Tutsi feudal system and to thus enslave the Hutu race.[33] HP G42-265LA laptop keyboard

The main RPF forces in the north began a three pronged attack on the morning of 8 April. One group moved west to Ruhengeri and Char Mobile Force commanded by col Gashumba engaged government forces there, although they would make little progress and were more likely a defensive force securing the right flank of the RPF advance south. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The second group under the command of Colonel Eugen Bagire (Commanding officer of the 7th Battalion) and Lieutenant-Colonel Fred Ibingira (Commanding officer of the 157 Battalion) moved down the eastern border of the country towards Kibungo. The third group under the command of Colonel Sam Kaka (commander of ALFA Mobile Force), Col. Charlis Ngoga (59th Battalion), Col. Musitu (21st Battalion), Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

Charlis Muhire (101 Battalion) and Ludovic Twahirwa (known as Dodo, commander of the Bravo Mobile force) managed to make a major advance towards the capital by the evening of 11 April. Both sides began to reinforce and strengthen their positions, with the RPF beginning a slow but effective encirclement of the city. On 12 April, the provisional government fled to Gitarama in an attempt to escape the fighting.  HP G62-b12SA laptop keyboard

In the east, the RPF faced little government resistance and reached the Tanzanian border on 22 April. However, with almost all of the RPF's heavy equipment focused on the battle for Kigali, the western advance on Ruhengeri stalemated. TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s1196 laptop keyboard

In the capital, the RPF advance continued its slow yet methodical encirclement of the city, forcing the airport to close on 5 May due to intense shelling. A further sign of the success of Kagame's troops was the cutting of the Kigali-Gitarama road on 16 May. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

This was followed six days later by the capture of Kigali International Airport. In an attempt to reverse the defeats that it was suffering, the FAR launched a counter-attack on 6 June, although this was halted almost immediately and failed to achieve any significant gains. HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

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overthrew the government and Kabila proclaimed himself the new president of the renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in May 1997.

Kabila soon turned on his Rwandan and Ugandan supporters, who reinvaded the DRC in 1998 to overthrow Kabila. DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Kabila formed an alliance with the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda, the successor organization to the Rassemblement Démocratique pour le Rwanda. After Kabila was assassinated in 2001 and his son Josephbecame president, Hutu militants reformed into the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

The war ended officially in 2003.[clarification needed] However, the remnants of the FDLR and possibly other Hutu militants maintain a presence in eastern Congo. While not strong enough to pose a threat to the Kagame government, they continue to destabilize the Rwanda-DRC border region.  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime and ended the genocide in July 1994, but approximately two million Hutu refugees - some who participated in the genocide and feared Tutsi retaliation - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. Thousands died in epidemics of cholera and dysentery that swept the refugee camps. TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-SP5165RM Laptop Keyboard

The international community responded with one of the largest humanitarian relief efforts ever mounted. The Rassemblement Démocratique pour le Rwanda, composed of Hutu troops and militia members, began to militarize the camps, using them as bases to overthrow the new RPF-dominated government. SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

See also: Great Lakes refugee crisis, First Congo War, and Second Congo War

Its patience exhausted, Rwanda sponsored an invasion of Zaire in 1996. Its chosen proxy force was the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo(AFDL) led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila. The AFDL and Rwandan forces, supported by Uganda, cleared the border refugee camps easily. However, many Hutu militants fled westwards, TOSHIBA Qosmio F20 Series Laptop Keyboard

away from the border. The AFDL followed behind, marching towards Kinshasa as the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko collapsed. The AFDL

With the fall of Kigali, the government forces began to disintegrate. The army lost cohesion and began to rout, being closely pursued by the RPF. This made defending the last two northern towns of Ruhengeri and Gisenyi almost impossible. SONY VAIO PCG-F20 Laptop Keyboard

With his forces in the capital now freed up from the battle for Kigali, Kagame moved the bulk of his army north to capture the government's new power base. On 13 July, Ruhengeri finally capitulated, followed on 18 July by Gisenyi.  HP G42-364LA Laptop Keyboard

In the south-west of the country, French forces from Operation Turquoise controlled a large area, which was given over to the RPF on 21 August 1994, thus giving the RPF complete control of the country.

According to UN sources, they had almost completely run out of ammunition. The following day, after a three-month long battle, the RPF moved in and captured the entire capital.  HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard

In the meantime, the RPF's eastern forces had reached the south eastern edge of the country and then swung on an axis, hinged on Kigali, westward. Through June they pushed the government forces west through the southern region, along the border with Burundi. They finally stopped following their capture of Butare on 2 July and the arrival of the French, who blocked their path with the implementation of Opération Turquoise. HP G61-425ES Laptop Keyboard

The RPF forces, having control of the northern, eastern and southern suburbs, began to move north around the south-western edge of the city. This put further pressure on Gitarama which fell on 13 June. At this point, the RPF began to close in on the center of the capital, hoping to defeat the government forces in the field. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

This took the form of putting pressure on three sides of the city with infantry and light artillery and mortars, allowing the defenders no respite. Heavy fighting continued through June and into the first week on July. However, on 3 July the government forces began to withdraw from the capital, taking with them the majority of the civilian population. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

officially the Republic of Rwanda (Kinyarwanda: Repubulika y'u Rwanda;French: République du Rwanda), is a sovereign state in central and east Africa. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. All of Rwanda is at high elevation, with a geography dominated by mountains in the west, savanna in the east, and numerous lakes throughout the country.  DELL XPS 15 L502X Laptop Keyboard

The population is young and predominantly rural, with a density among the highest in Africa. Rwandans form three groups: the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa. The Twa are a forest-dwelling pygmy people who descend from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants, but scholars disagree on the origins of and differences between the Hutu and Tutsi; IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R51 1833 Laptop Keyboard

some believe that they are derived from former social castes, while others view them as being races or tribes. Christianity is the largest religion in the country, and the principal language is Kinyarwanda, which is spoken by most Rwandans. Rwanda has a presidential system of government. The president is Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), HP G62-a20EJ Laptop Keyboard

who took office in 2000. Rwanda has low corruption compared with neighbouring countries, but human rights organisations allege suppression of opposition groups, intimidation, and restrictions on freedom of speech. The country has been governed by a strict administrative hierarchy since precolonial times; there are five provinces, which are delineated by borders drawn in 2006. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Hunter gatherers settled the territory in the stone and iron ages, followed later by Bantu settlers. The population coalesced, first into clans and then into kingdoms. The Kingdom of Rwanda dominated from the mid-eighteenth century, with the Tutsi kings conquering others militarily, centralising power, and later enacting anti-Hutu policies. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP6001L laptop keyboard

Germany colonised Rwanda in 1884, followed by Belgium, which invaded in 1916 during World War I. Both European nations ruled through the kings and perpetuated pro-Tutsi policy. The Hutu population revolted in 1959, massacring a large number of Tutsi and ultimately establishing an independent Hutu-dominated state in 1962. SONY VGN-FE865E/H laptop keyboard

The Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front launched a civil war in 1990, which was followed by the1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The RPF ended the genocide with a military victory.FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda's economy suffered heavily during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, but has since strengthened. The economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing sector and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner; TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely, and visitors are prepared to pay high prices for gorilla tracking permits. Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan culture, particularly drums and the highly choreographed intore dance. Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, including imigongo, a unique cow dung art. Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

Humans moved into what is now Rwanda following the last glacial period, either in the Neolithic period around 8000 BC, or in the long humid period which followed, up to around 3000 BC.[6] Archaeological excavations have revealed evidence of sparse settlement by hunter gatherers in the late stone age, followed by a larger population of early Iron Age settlers, who produced dimpled pottery and iron tools.[7][8] HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

These early inhabitants were the ancestors of the Twa, a group of aboriginal pygmy hunter-gatherers who remain in Rwanda today.[9]Between 700 BC and 1500 AD, a number of Bantu groups migrated into Rwanda, and began to clear forest land for agriculture.[10][9] The forest-dwelling Twa lost much of their habitat and moved to the slopes of mountains.[11] DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Historians have several theories regarding the nature of the Bantu migrations; one theory is that the first settlers were Hutu, while the Tutsi migrated later and formed a distinct racial group, possibly of Cushiticorigin.[12] An alternative theory is that the migration was slow and steady, with incoming groups integrating into rather than conquering the existing society.[13][9] Under this theory, the Hutu and Tutsi distinction arose later and was a class distinction rather than a racial one.[14][15] FUJITSU CP270342-02 Laptop Keyboard

The earliest form of social organisation in the area was the clan (ubwoko).[16] Clans existed across the Great Lakes region, with around twenty in the area that is now Rwanda.[17] The clans were not limited to genealogical lineages or geographical area, and most included Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa.[17] From the 15th century, the clans began to coalesce into kingdoms;[18] by 1700 around eight kingdoms existed in present-day Rwanda.[19] ACER MP-04653U4-698 Laptop Keyboard

One of these, the Kingdom of Rwanda, ruled by the TutsiNyiginya clan, became increasingly dominant from the mid-eighteenth century.[20] The kingdom reached its greatest extent during the nineteenth century under the reign of King Kigeli Rwabugiri. Rwabugiri conquered several smaller states, expanded the kingdom west and north,[21][20] and initiated administrative reforms; these included ubuhake, DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

in which Tutsi patrons ceded cattle, and therefore privileged status, to Hutu or Tutsi clients in exchange for economic and personal service,[22] anduburetwa, a corvée system in which Hutu were forced to work for Tutsi chiefs.[21] Rwabugiri's changes caused a rift to grow between the Hutu and Tutsi populations.[21] The Twa were better off than in pre-Kingdom days, with some becoming dancers in the royal court,[11] but their numbers continued to decline.[23] GATEWAY NV-54 Laptop Keyboard

The Berlin Conference of 1884 assigned the territory to Germany as part of German East Africa, marking the beginning of the colonial era. The explorer Gustav Adolf von Götzen was the first European to significantly explore the country in 1894; he crossed from the south-east to Lake Kivu and met the king.[24][25] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

The Germans did not significantly alter the social structure of the country, but exerted influence by supporting the king and the existing hierarchy and delegating power to local chiefs.[26] Belgian forces took control of Rwanda and Burundi during World War I, beginning a period of more direct colonial rule.[27] HP Mini 110-1150LA Laptop Keyboard

Belgium simplified and centralised the power structure,[28] and introduced large-scale projects in education, health, public works, and agricultural supervision, including new crops and improved agricultural techniques to try to reduce the incidence of famine.[29] Both the Germans and the Belgians promoted Tutsi supremacy,  TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

considering the Hutu and Tutsi different races.[30] In 1935, Belgium introduced identity cards labelling each individual as either Tutsi, Hutu, Twa or Naturalised. While it had previously been possible for particularly wealthy Hutu to become honorary Tutsi, the identity cards prevented any further movement between the classes.[31] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Belgium continued to rule Rwanda as a UN Trust Territory after World War II, with a mandate to oversee independence.[32][33]Tension escalated between the Tutsi, who favoured early independence, and the Hutu emancipation movement, culminating in the 1959 Rwandan Revolution: Hutu activists began killing Tutsi, HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

 forcing more than 100,000 to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.[34][35] In 1962, the now pro-Hutu Belgians held a referendum and elections in which the country voted to abolish the monarchy. Rwanda was separated from Burundi and gained independence in 1962.[36] Cycles of violence followed, with exiled Tutsi attacking from neighbouring countries and the Hutu retaliating with large-scale slaughter and repression of the Tutsi.[37] SONY VAIO VGN-NW110D laptop keyboard

In 1973,Juvénal Habyarimana took power in a military coup. Pro-Hutu discrimination continued, but there was greater economic prosperity and a reduced amount of violence against Tutsi.[38] The Twa remained marginalised, and by 1990 were almost entirely forced out of the forests by the government; many became beggars.[39] Rwanda's population had increased from 1.6 million people in 1934 to 7.1 million in 1989, leading to competition for land.[40] TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1AO laptop keyboard

In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel group composed mostly of Tutsi refugees, invaded northern Rwanda, initiating theRwandan Civil War.[41] Neither side was able to gain a decisive advantage in the war,[42] but by 1992 it had weakened Habyarimana's authority; mass demonstrations forced him into a coalition with the domestic opposition and eventually to sign the 1993 Arusha Accords with the RPF.[43] HP Mini 210-2015la laptop keyboard

The cease-fire ended on 6 April 1994 when Habyarimana's plane was shot down near Kigali Airport, killing him[44] The shooting down of the plane served as the catalyst for the Rwandan Genocide, which began within a few hours. Over the course of approximately 100 days, between 500,000 and 1,000,000[45] HP G42-272BR laptop keyboard

Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu were killed in well-planned attacks on the orders of the interim government.[46] Many Twa were also killed, despite not being directly targeted.[39] The Tutsi RPF restarted their offensive, and took control of the country methodically, gaining control of the whole country by mid-July.[47] HP Pavilion dm3-1080EF laptop keyboard

The international response to the Genocide was limited, with major powers reluctant to strengthen the already overstretched UN peacekeeping force.[48] When the RPF took over, approximately two million Hutu fled to neighbouring countries, in particular Zaire, DELL 454RX laptop keyboard

fearing reprisals;[49] additionally, the RPF-led army was a key belligerent in the First and Second Congo Wars.[50] Within Rwanda, a period of reconciliation and justice began, with the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the reintroduction of Gacaca, a traditional village court system. During the 2000s Rwanda's economy, tourist numbers and Human Development Index grew rapidly;[51][52] HP Pavilion dm1-1002tu laptop keyboard

between 2006 and 2011 the poverty rate reduced from 57 to 45 per cent,[53] and child mortality rates dropped from 180 per 1000 live births in 2000 to 111 per 1000 in 2009.[54] Persistant efforts at economic and political reform gave Rwanda some of the lowest corruption ratings in Africa, where giving a bribe is unknown. SAMSUNG R522 laptop keyboard

Income has doubled between 1994 and 2012, but electricity remains scarce, expensive and internal transport is difficult. Rule of law and efforts to clear red tape have given it a business friendly climate, leading journalists to call Rwanda the "Singapore of Africa"[55] HP 519265-001 laptop keyboard

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The President of Rwanda is the head of state,[56] and has broad powers including creating policy in conjunction with the Cabinet,[57]exercising the prerogative of mercy,[58] commanding the armed forces,[59] negotiating and ratifying treaties,[60] signing presidential orders,[61] and declaring war or a state of emergency.[59] SAMSUNG NP-NB30-KP01 laptop keyboard

The President is elected by popular vote every seven years,[62] and appoints the Prime Minister and all other members of Cabinet.[63] The incumbent President is Paul Kagame, who took office upon the resignation of his predecessor, Pasteur Bizimungu, in 2000. Kagame subsequently won elections in 2003 and 2010,[64][65] although human rights organisations have criticised these elections as being "marked by increasing political repression and a crackdown on free speech".[66]  HP Pavilion dv5t-1200se CTO laptop keyboard

The current constitution was adopted following a national referendum in 2003, replacing the transitional constitution which had been in place since 1994.[67] The constitution mandates a multi-party system of government, with politics based on democracy and elections.[68] However, the constitution places conditions on how political parties may operate. SAMSUNG Q320 laptop keyboard

Article 54 states that "political organizations are prohibited from basing themselves on race, ethnic group, tribe, clan, region, sex, religion or any other division which may give rise to discrimination".[69] The government has also enacted laws criminalising genocide ideology, which can include intimidation, defamatory speeches, HP Pavilion dv6-2155dx laptop keyboard

genocide denial and mocking of victims.[70] According to Human Rights Watch, these laws effectively make Rwanda a one-party state, as "under the guise of preventing another genocide, the government displays a marked intolerance of the most basic forms of dissent".[71] Amnesty International is also critical,  IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

saying that genocide ideology laws have been used to "silence dissent, including criticisms of the ruling RPF party and demands for justice for RPF war crimes".[72]

The Parliament consists of two chambers. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

It makes legislation and is empowered by the constitution to oversee the activities of the President and the Cabinet.[73] The lower chamber is the Chamber of Deputies, which has 80 members serving five-year terms. Twenty-four of these seats are reserved for women, elected through a joint assembly of local government officials;  HP G61-400SP laptop keyboard

another three seats are reserved for youth and disabled members; the remaining 53 are elected byuniversal suffrage under a proportional representation system.[74] Following the 2008 election, there are 45 female deputies, making Rwanda the only country with a female majority in the national parliament.[75] SONY VAIO PCG-F50/BP laptop keyboard

The upper chamber is the 26-seat Senate, whose members are selected by a variety of bodies. A mandatory minimum of 30 per cent of the senators are women. Senators serve eight-year terms.[76] SONY VAIO VGN-NW320F/T laptop keyboard

Rwanda's legal system is largely based on German and Belgian civil law systems and customary law.[77] The judiciary is independent of the executive branch,[78] although the President and the Senate are involved in the appointment of Supreme Court judges.[79] Human Rights Watch have praised the Rwandan government for progress made in the delivery of justice including the abolition of the death penalty,[80] ACER TravelMate 2010 laptop keyboard

but also allege interference in the judicial system by members of the government, such as the politically motivated appointment of judges, misuse of prosecutorial power, and pressure on judges to make particular decisions.[81] TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

The constitution provides for two types of courts: ordinary and specialised.[82] Ordinary courts are the Supreme Court, the High Court, and regional courts, while specialised courts are military courts and the traditional Gacaca courts, which have been revived to expedite the trials of genocide suspects.[83] TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

Rwanda has low corruption levels relative to most other African countries; in 2010, Transparency International ranked Rwanda as the eighth cleanest out of 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and 66th cleanest out of 178 in the world.[84] The constitution provides for an Ombudsman, whose duties include prevention and fighting of corruption.[85][86] SONY Vaio PCG-K33 laptop keyboard

Public officials (including the President) are required by the constitution to declare their wealth to the Ombudsman and to the public; those who do not comply are suspended from office.[87]

The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) has been the dominant political party in the country since 1994. The RPF has maintained control of the presidency and the Parliament in national elections, with the party's vote share consistently exceeding 70 per cent.SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The RPF is seen as a Tutsi-dominated party but receives support from across the country, and is credited with ensuring continued peace, stability, and economic growth.[88] Human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Freedom House, SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

claim that the government suppresses the freedoms of opposition groups by restricting candidacies in elections to government-friendly parties, suppressing demonstrations, and arresting opposition leaders and journalists.[72][89] ACER Extensa 5235 laptop keyboard

Rwanda is a member of the United Nations,[90] African Union, Francophonie[91], East African Community[92], and the Commonwealth of Nations[93]. For many years during the Habyarimana regime, the country maintained close ties with France, as well as Belgium, the former colonial power.[94] Under the RPF government, HP Mini 110-1150LA laptop keyboard

however, Rwanda has sought closer ties with neighbouring countries in East Africa and with the English-speaking world. Diplomatic relations with France were suspended between 2006 and 2010 following the indictment of Rwandan officials by a French judge.[95] Relations with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were tense following Rwanda's involvement in the First and Second Congo Wars;[50] HP AE0P7U00010 laptop keyboard

the Congolese army alleged Rwandan attacks on their troops, while Rwanda blamed the Congolese government for failing to suppress Hutu rebels in North and South Kivu provinces.[96][97] Rwanda's relationship with Uganda was also tense for much of the 2000s following a 1999 clash between the two countries' armies as they backed opposing rebel groups in the Second Congo War.[98] As of 2012, relations with both Uganda and the DRC are improved.[98][99]  IBM Thinkpad R61i Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda has been governed by a strict hierarchy since precolonial times.[100] Before colonisation, the King (Mwami) exercised control through a system of provinces, districts, hills, and neighbourhoods.[101] The current constitution divides Rwanda into provinces (intara), districts (uturere), cities, municipalities, towns, sectors (imirenge), cells (utugari), and villages (imidugudu); the larger divisions, and their borders, are established by Parliament.[102] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

The five provinces act as intermediaries between the national government and their constituent districts to ensure that national policies are implemented at the district level. The "Rwanda Decentralisation Strategic Framework" developed by the Ministry of Local Government assigns to provinces the responsibility for "coordinating governance issues in the Province, as well as monitoring and evaluation."[103]  Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

Each province is headed by a governor, appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.[104] The districts are responsible for coordinating public service delivery and economic development. They are divided into sectors, which are responsible for the delivery of public services as mandated by the districts.[105] ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

Districts and sectors have directly elected councils, and are run by an executive committee selected by that council.[106] The cells and villages are the smallest political units, providing a link between the people and the sectors.[105] All adult resident citizens are members of their local cell council, from which an executive committee is elected.[106] The city of Kigali is a provincial-level authority, which coordinates urban planning within the city.[103]  Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

The present borders were drawn in 2006 with the aim of decentralising power and removing associations with the old system and the genocide. The previous structure of twelve provinces centred around the largest cities was replaced with five provinces based primarily on geography.[107] These are Northern Province,Southern Province, Eastern Province, Western Province, and the Municipality of Kigali in the centre.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

At 26,338 square kilometres (10,169 sq mi), Rwanda is the world's 149th-largest country.[108] It is comparable in size toHaiti or the state of Maryland in the United States.[77][109] The entire country is at a high altitude: the lowest point is the Rusizi River at 950 metres (3,117 ft) above sea level.[77] Rwanda is located in Central/Eastern Africa, Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

and is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, and Burundi to the south.[77]It lies a few degrees south of the equator and is landlocked.[95] The capital, Kigali, is located near the centre of Rwanda.[110] HP G62-225NR Laptop Keyboard

The watershed between the major Congo and Nile drainage basins runs from north to south through Rwanda, with around 80 per cent of the country's area draining into the Nile and 20 per cent into the Congo via the Rusizi River.[111] The country's longest river is the Nyabarongo, which rises in the south-west, flows north, SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

east, and southeast before merging with theRuvubu to form the Kagera; the Kagera then flows due north along the eastern border with Tanzania. The Nyabarongo-Kagera eventually drains into Lake Victoria, and its source in Nyungwe Forest is a contender for the as-yet undetermined overallsource of the Nile.[112]  HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda has many lakes, the largest being Lake Kivu. This lake occupies the floor of the Albertine Rift along most of the length of Rwanda's western border, and with a maximum depth of 480 metres (1,575 ft),[113] it is one of the twenty deepest lakes in the world.[114] Other sizeable lakes include Burera, Ruhondo, Muhazi, Rweru, and Ihema, the last being the largest of a string of lakes in the eastern plains ofAkagera National Park.[115]  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Mountains dominate central and western Rwanda; these mountains are part of the Albertine Rift Mountains that flank the Albertine branch of the East African Rift; this branch runs from north to south along Rwanda's western border.[116] The highest peaks are found in the Virunga volcano chain in the northwest; this includes Mount Karisimbi, HP COMPAQ NX6325 Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda's highest point, at 4,507 metres (14,787 ft).[117] This western section of the country, which lies within the Albertine Rift montane forestsecoregion,[116] has an elevation of 1,500 metres (4,921 ft) to 2,500 metres (8,202 ft).[118] The centre of the country is predominantly rolling hills, while the eastern border region consists of savanna, plains and swamps.[119] TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda has a temperate tropical highland climate, with lower temperatures than are typical for equatorial countries because of its high elevation.[95] Kigali, in the centre of the country, has a typical daily temperature range between 12 °C (54 °F)and 27 °C (81 °F), with little variation through the year.[120] HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

There are some temperature variations across the country; the mountainous west and north are generally cooler than the lower-lying east.[121] There are two rainy seasons in the year; the first runs from February to June and the second from September to December. These are separated by two dry seasons: Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

 the major one from June to September, during which there is often no rain at all, and a shorter and less severe one from December to February.[122] Rainfall varies geographically, with the west and northwest of the country receiving more precipitation annually than the east and southeast.[123]  Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

In prehistoric times montane forest occupied one-third of the territory of present-day Rwanda. Naturally occurring vegetation is now mostly restricted to the three National Parks, with terraced agriculture dominating the rest of the country.[125] TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 laptop keyboard

Nyungwe, the largest remaining tract of forest, contains 200 species of tree as well as orchids and begonias.[126] Vegetation in the Volcanoes National Park is mostly bamboo and moorland, with small areas of forest.[125] By contrast, Akagera has asavanna ecosystem in which acacia dominates the flora. There are several rare or endangered plant species in Akagera, including Markhamia lutea and Eulophia guineensis.[127]  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The greatest diversity of large mammals is found in the three National Parks, which are designated conservation areas.[128]Akagera contains typical savanna animals such as giraffes and elephants,[129]  TOSHIBA K000009780 laptop keyboard

while Volcanoes is home to an estimated one-third of the worldwide mountain gorilla population.[130] Nyungwe Forest boasts thirteen primate species including chimpanzeesand Ruwenzori colobus arboreal monkeys; the Ruwenzori colobus move in groups of up to 400 individuals, the largest troop size of any primate in Africa.[131] Acer eMachines E640 laptop keyboard

There are 670 bird species in Rwanda, with variation between the east and the west.[132] Nyungwe Forest, in the west, has 280 recorded species, of which 26 are endemic to the Albertine Rift;[132] endemic species include the Ruwenzori Turaco and Handsome Francolin.[133] Eastern Rwanda, by contrast, features savanna birds such as the Black-headed Gonolek and those associated with swamps and lakes, including storks and cranes.[132] HP G56 laptop keyboard

Rwanda's economy suffered heavily during the 1994 Genocide, with widespread loss of life, failure to maintain the infrastructure, looting, and neglect of important cash crops. This caused a large drop in GDP and destroyed the country's ability to attract private and external investment.[77] The economy has since strengthened, HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard

with per-capita GDP (PPP) estimated at $1,592 in 2013,[3] compared with $416 in 1994.[134] Major export markets include China, Germany, and the United States.[77] The economy is managed by the central National Bank of Rwanda and the currency is the Rwandan franc; in June 2010, the exchange rate was 588 francs to the United States dollar.[135] IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 6478 laptop keyboard

Rwanda joined the East African Community in 2007 and there are plans for a common East African shilling, which could be in place by 2015.[136]

Rwanda is a country of few natural resources,[95] and the economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture by local farmers using simple tools.[137] An estimated 90% of the working population farms, and agriculture comprised an estimated 42.1% of GDP in 2010.[77] Compaq 6720s Laptop Keyboard

Since the mid-1980s, farm sizes and food production have been decreasing, due in part to the resettlement of displaced people.[138][139] Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with population growth, and food imports are required.[77] GATEWAY MT6730 Laptop Keyboard

Crops grown in the country include coffee, tea, pyrethrum, bananas, beans, sorghum and potatoes. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export, with the high altitudes, steep slopes and volcanic soils providing favourable conditions. Reliance on agricultural exports makes Rwanda vulnerable to shifts in their prices.[140] HP Mini 210-2004sa Laptop Keyboard

Animals raised in Rwanda include cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chicken, and rabbits, with geographical variation in the numbers of each.[141] Production systems are mostly traditional, although there are a few intensive dairy farms around Kigali.[141] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Shortages of land and water, insufficient and poor-quality feed, and regular disease epidemics with insufficient veterinary services are major constraints that restrict output. Fishing takes place on the country's lakes, but stocks are very depleted, and live fish are being imported in an attempt to revive the industry.[142]  ASUS M70 Laptop Keyboard

The industrial sector is small, contributing 14.3% of GDP in 2010.[77] Products manufactured include cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles and cigarettes.[77] Rwanda's mining industry is an important contributor, generating US$93 million in 2008.[143]Minerals mined include cassiterite, wolframite, gold, and coltan, which is used in the manufacture of electronic and communication devices such as mobile phones.[143][144] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda's service sector suffered during the late-2000s recession as banks reduced lending and foreign aid projects and investment were reduced.[145] The sector rebounded in 2010, becoming the country's largest sector by economic output and contributing 43.6% of the country's GDP.[77] Key tertiary contributors include banking and finance, wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

transport, storage, communication, insurance, real estate, business services and public administration including education and health.[145] Tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic resources and became the country's leading foreign exchange earner in 2011.[146] In spite of the genocide's legacy, the country is increasingly perceived internationally as a safe destination;[147]  DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

The Directorate of Immigration and Emigration recorded 405,801 people visiting the country between January and June 2011; 16% of these arrived from outside Africa.[148] Revenue from tourism was US$115.6 million between January and June 2011; holidaymakers contributed 43% of this revenue, despite being only 9% of the numbers.[148]  TOSHIBA PK130260100 Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely; gorilla tracking, in the Volcanoes National Park, attracts thousands of visitors per year, who are prepared to pay high prices for permits.[149] Other attractions include Nyungwe Forest, home to chimpanzees, Ruwenzori colobus and other primates, the resorts of Lake Kivu, and Akagera, a small savanna reserve in the east of the country.[150] SONY VAIO VGN-N11S laptop keyboard

The largest radio and television stations are state-run. Most Rwandans have access to radio and Radio Rwanda is the main source of news throughout the country. Television access is limited mostly to urban areas.[151] The press is tightly restricted and newspapers routinely self-censor to avoid government reprisals.[151]Nonetheless, publications in Kinyarwanda, ACER TravelMate 3012 laptop keyboard

English, and French critical of the government are widely available in Kigali. Restrictions were increased in the run-up to the Rwandan presidential election of 2010, with two independent newspapers, Umuseso and Umuvugizi, being suspended for six months by the High Media Council.[152] SONY VAIO VGN-FS215Z laptop keyboard

Rwandatel is the country's oldest telecommunications group, providing landlines to 23,000 subscribers, mostly government institutions, banks, NGOs and embassies.[153] Private landline subscription levels are low. As of 2013, mobile phone penetration in the country is 57%,[154] up from 35% in 2011.[155] The leading provider is MTN, HP Pavilion dv5-1120ez laptop keyboard

with around 2.5 million subscribers, followed by Tigo with 700,000.[155] A third mobile phone service, run by Bharti Airtel, launched in March 2012.[156] Rwandatel also operated a mobile phone network, HP Pavilion DV7-3067cl laptop keyboard

but the industry regulator revoked its licence in April 2011, following the company's failure to meet agreed investment commitments.[157] Internet penetration is low but rising rapidly; in 2010 there were 7.7 internet users per 100 people, up from 2.1 in 2007.[158] In 2011, a 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) fibre-optic telecommunications network was completed, intended to provide broadband services and facilitate electronic commerce.[159] ASUS M70 laptop keyboard

This network is connected to SEACOM, a submarine fibre-optic cable connecting communication carriers in southern and eastern Africa. Within Rwanda the cables run along major roads, linking towns around the country.[159] Mobile provider MTN also runs a wireless internet service accessible in most areas of Kigali via pre-paid subscription.[160] HP Pavilion DV6-1110eg laptop keyboard

The Rwandan government prioritised funding of water supply development during the 2000s, significantly increasing its share of the national budget.[161] This funding, along with donor support, caused a rapid increase in access to safe water; in 2008, 73% of the population had access to safe water, up from about 55% in 2005.[161] ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

The country's water infrastructure consists of urban and rural systems which deliver water to the public, mainly through standpipes in rural areas and private connections in urban areas. In areas not served by these systems, hand pumps and managed springs are used.[162] Despite rainfall exceeding 100 centimetres (39 in) annually in many areas,[120]  IBM ThinkPad T42 laptop keyboard

little use is made of rainwater harvesting.[162]Access to sanitation remains low; the United Nations estimates that in 2006, 34% of urban and 20% of rural dwellers had access to improved sanitation.[163] Government policy measures to improve sanitation are limited, focusing only on urban areas.[163] The majority of the population, both urban and rural, use public shared pit latrines for sanitation.[163]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

Rwanda's electricity supply was, until the early 2000s, generated almost entirely from hydroelectric sources; power stations on Lakes Burera and Ruhondo provided 90% of the country's electricity.[164] ASUS X88S laptop keyboard

A combination of below average rainfall and human activity, including the draining of the Rugezi wetlands for cultivation and grazing, caused the two lakes' water levels to fall from 1990 onwards; by 2004 levels were reduced by 50%, leading to a sharp drop in output from the power stations.[165] This, coupled with increased demand as the economy grew, precipitated a shortfall in 2004 and widespread loadshedding.[165]  Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

As an emergency measure, the government installed diesel generators north of Kigali; by 2006 these were providing 56% of the country's electricity, but were very costly.[165] The government enacted a number of measures to alleviate this problem, including rehabilitating the Rugezi wetlands, which supply water to Burera and Ruhondo and investing in a scheme to extract methane gas from Lake Kivu, TOSHIBA NSK-TAE01 Laptop Keyboard

expected in its first phase to increase the country's power generation by 40%.[166] Only 6% of the population had access to electricity in 2009.[167]

The government has increased investment in the transport infrastructure of Rwanda since the 1994 Genocide, with aid from the United States, European Union, Japan, and others. The transport system centres primarily around the road network, SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Laptop Keyboard

with paved roads between Kigali and most other major cities and towns in the country.[168] Rwanda is linked by road to other countries in East Africa, such as Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya, as well as to the eastern Congolese cities of Goma and Bukavu; the country's most important trade route is the road to the port of Mombasa via Kampala and Nairobi.[169] The principal form of public transport in the country is the shared taxi. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Express routes link the major cities and local service is offered to most villages along the main roads. Coachservices are available to various destinations in neighbouring countries. The country has an international airport at Kigali that serves one domestic and several international destinations.[170] As of 2011 the country has no railways, although funding has been secured for a feasibility study into extending the Tanzanian Central Line into Rwanda.[171]  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

There is no public water transport between the port cities on Lake Kivu, although a limited private service exists and the government has initiated a programme to encourage development of a full service.[168] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

In 2012, estimates place Rwanda's population at 11,689,696.[77] The population is young: an estimated 42.7% are under the age of 15, and 97.5% are under 65. The annual birth rate is estimated at 40.2 births per 1,000 inhabitants, and the death rate at 14.9.[77] The life expectancy is 58.02 years (59.52 years for females and 56.57 years for males), which is the 30th lowest out of 221 countries and territories.[77][172] The sex ratio of the country is relatively even.[77] SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

At 408 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,060 /sq mi), Rwanda's population density is amongst the highest in Africa. Historians such as Gérard Prunier believe that the 1994 genocide can be partly attributed to the population density.[40] The population is predominantly rural, with a few large towns; ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

dwellings are evenly spread throughout the country.[95] The only sparsely populated area of the country is the savanna land in the former province of Umutara and Akagera National Park in the east.[173] Kigali is the largest city, with a population of around one million.[174] Its rapidly increasing population challenges its infrastructural development. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Other notable towns are Gitarama, Butare, and Gisenyi, all with populations below 100,000.[177] The urban population rose from 6% of the population in 1990,[175] to 16.6% in 2006;[178] by 2011, however, the proportion had dropped slightly, to 14.8%.[178]TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5112WH Laptop Keyboard

Rwanda has been a unified state since pre-colonial times,[30] and the population is drawn from just one ethnic and linguistic group, the Banyarwanda;[179] this contrasts with most modern African states, whose borders were drawn by colonial powers and did not correspond to ethnic boundaries or pre-colonial kingdoms.[180]Within the Banyarwanda people, there are three separate groups, the Hutu (84% of the population as of 2009), COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Tutsi (15%) and Twa (1%).[181][77] The Twa are a pygmy people who descend from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants, but scholars do not agree on the origins of and differences between the Hutu and Tutsi.[182]Anthropologist Jean Hiernaux contends that the Tutsi are a separate race, with a tendency towards "long and narrow heads, faces and noses";[183] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

others, such as Villia Jefremovas, believe there is no discernible physical difference and the categories were not historically rigid.[184] In precolonial Rwanda the Tutsi were the ruling class, from whom the Kings and the majority of chiefs were derived, while the Hutu were agriculturalists.[185] The current government discourages the Hutu/Tutsi/Twa distinction, and has removed such classification from identity cards.[186]  ACER AEZU2R00010 Laptop Keyboard

The majority of Rwandans are Catholic, but there have been significant changes in the nation's religious demographics since the Genocide, with many conversions to Evangelical Christian faiths and Islam.[187] As of 2006, Catholics represented 56.5% of the population, Protestants 37.1% (of whom 11.1% were Seventh Day Adventists) and Muslims 4.6%.[188]  ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

1.7% claimed no religious beliefs.[188] Traditional religion, despite officially being followed by only 0.1% of the population, retains an influence. Many Rwandans view the Christian God as synonymous with the traditional Rwandan God Imana.[189]  Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The country's principal language is Kinyarwanda, which is spoken by most Rwandans. The major European languages during the colonial era were German, and then French, which was introduced by Belgium and remained an official and widely spoken language after independence.[190]  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The influx of former refugees from Uganda and elsewhere during the late 20th century[190]has created a linguistic divide between the English-speaking population and the French-speaking remainder of the country.[191] HP Mini 210-1140LA laptop keyboard

Kinyarwanda, English and French are all official languages. Kinyarwanda is the language of government and English is the primary educational medium. Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, is also widely spoken, particularly in rural areas.[191] Additionally, inhabitants of Rwanda's Nkombo Island speak Amashi, a language closely related to Kinyarwanda.[192] Packard Bell Easynote TM81 laptop keyboard

Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings and storytelling. The most famous traditional dance is a highly choreographed routine consisting of three components: the umushagiriro, or cow dance, performed by women;[193] the intore, or dance of heroes, performed by men;[193] and the drumming, also traditionally performed by men, on drums known as ingoma.[194] TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7222 laptop keyboard

The best known dance group is the National Ballet, established by President Habyarimana in 1974, which performs nationally and internationally.[195] Traditionally, music is transmitted orally, with styles varying between the social groups. Drums are of great importance; the royal drummers enjoyed high status within the court of the King (Mwami).[196] Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

Drummers play together in groups of varying sizes, usually between seven and nine in number.[197] The country has a growing popular music industry, influenced by East African, Congolese, and American music. The most popular genre iship hop, with a blend of rap, ragga, R&B and dance-pop.[198] ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

The cuisine of Rwanda is based on local staple foods produced by subsistence agriculture such as bananas, plantains (known asibitoke), pulses, sweet potatoes, beans, and cassava (manioc).[199] Many Rwandans do not eat meat more than a few times a month.[199] For those who live near lakes and have access to fish, tilapia is popular.[199] SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

The potato, thought to have been introduced to Rwanda by German and Belgian colonialists, is very popular.[200] Ubugari (or umutsima) is a paste made from cassava or maize and water to form a porridge-like consistency that is eaten throughout East Africa.[201] Isombe is made from mashed cassava leaves and served with dried fish.[200] TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5165 laptop keyboard

Lunch is usually a buffet known as mélange, consist

ing of the above staples and sometimes meat.[202] Brochettes are the most popular food when eating out in the evening, usually made from goat but sometimes tripe, beef, or fish.[202] In rural areas, many bars have a brochette seller responsible for tending and slaughtering the goats, skewering andbarbecuing the meat, and serving it with grilled bananas.[203] HP Pavilion dv6138TX laptop keyboard

Milk, particularly in a fermented yoghurt form called ikivuguto, is a common drink throughout the country.[204] Other drinks include a traditional beer called urwagwa, made from sorghum or bananas, which features in traditional rituals and ceremonies.[200]Commercial beers brewed in Rwanda include Primus, Mützig, and Amstel.[201] Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, although most originated as functional items rather than purely for decoration. Woven baskets and bowls are especially common.[205] Imigongo, a unique cow dung art, is produced in the southeast of Rwanda, with a history dating back to when the region was part of the independent Gisaka kingdom. TOSHIBA PK130260100 laptop keyboard

The dung is mixed with natural soils of various colours and painted into patterned ridges to form geometric shapes.[206] Other crafts include pottery and wood carving.[207] Traditional housing styles make use of locally available materials; circular or rectangular mud homes with grass-thatched roofs (known as nyakatsi) are the most common.  HP Mini 110-1150LA Laptop Keyboard

The government has initiated a programme to replace these with more modern materials such as corrugated iron.[208][209]

Rwanda does not have a long history of written literature, but there is a strong oral tradition ranging from poetry to folk stories. Many of the country's moral values and details of history have been passed down through the generations.  APPLE 607-3241-A Laptop Keyboard

The most famous Rwandan literary figure was Alexis Kagame (1912–1981), who carried out and published research into oral traditions as well as writing his own poetry.[210] The Rwandan Genocide resulted in the emergence a literature of witness accounts, essays and fiction by a new generation of writers such as Benjamin Sehene. SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

A number of films have been produced about the Rwandan Genocide, including the Golden Globe-nominated Hotel Rwanda, Shake Hands with the Devil, Sometimes in April, and Shooting Dogs, the last two having been filmed in Rwanda and having featured survivors as cast members.[211] HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Eleven regular national holidays are observed throughout the year, with others occasionally inserted by the government.[212] The week following Genocide Memorial Day on 7 April is designated an official week of mourning.[213] The victory for the RPF over the Hutu extremists is celebrated as Liberation Day on 4 July. The last Saturday of each month is umuganda, a national day of community service, during which most normal services close down from 07:00 in the morning until 12:00 noon.[214] SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W laptop keyboard

The Rwandan government provides free education in state-run schools for nine years: six years in primary and three years following a common secondary programme.[216] President Kagame announced during his 2010 re-election campaign that he plans to extend this free education to cover the final three secondary years.[217] HP G42-265LA laptop keyboard

Many poorer children still fail to attend school because of the necessity of purchasing uniforms and books and commitments at home.[218] There are many private schools across the country, some church-run, which follow the same syllabus but charge fees.[218] A very small number offer international qualifications. From 1994 until 2009, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

secondary education was offered in either French or English; because of the country's increasing ties with the East African Community and the Commonwealth, only the English syllabi are now offered.[219] The country has a number of institutions of tertiary education, with the National University of Rwanda (UNR), Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

and Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) being the most prominent.[218] In 2011, the gross enrolment ratio for tertiary education in Rwanda was 7%, from 4% in 2008.[220] The country's literacy rate, defined as those aged 15 or over who can read and write, was 71% in 2009, up from 38% in 1978 and 58% in 1991.[221]  HP G62-b12SA laptop keyboard

The quality of healthcare is generally low, but improving. In 2010, 91 children died before their fifth birthday for every 1000 live births,[222] often from diarrhoea, malaria or pneumonia.[223] However, this figure is improving steadily; in 1990 there were 163 under five deaths for every 1000 live births.[222] TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s1196 laptop keyboard

There is a shortage of qualified medical professionals in the country, and some medicines are in short supply or unavailable.[224] 87% have access to healthcare but there are only two doctors and two paramedics per 100,000 people.[225] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The government is seeking to improve the situation as part of the Vision 2020 development programme. In 2008, the government spent 9.7% of national expenditure on healthcare, compared with 3.2% in 1996.[224] It also set up training institutes including the Kigali Health Institute (KHI).[226] Health insurance became mandatory for all individuals in 2008;[227] in 2010 over 90% of the population was covered.[228]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

Prevalence of some diseases is declining, including the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus[229]and a sharp reduction in malaria morbidity, mortality rate, and specific lethality,[230] but Rwanda's health profile remains dominated by communicable diseases.[229] DELL NSK-DB301 laptop keyboard

HIV/AIDS seroprevalence in the country is classified by the World Health Organization as a generalized epidemic; an estimated 7.3% of urban dwellers and 2.2% of rural dwellers, aged between 15 and 49, are HIV positive.[230] HP Mini 110-1150LA laptop keyboard

Paul Kagame (/kəˈɡɑːmeɪ/ kə-GAH-may; born 23 October 1957) is the sixth and current President of Rwanda, having taken office in 2000 when his predecessor, Pasteur Bizimungu, resigned. Kagame previously commanded the rebel force that ended the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, and was considered Rwanda's de facto leader when he served as Vice President and Minister of Defence from 1994 to 2000. APPLE 607-3241-A laptop keyboard

Kagame was born to a Tutsi family in southern Rwanda. When he was two years old, the Rwandan Revolution ended centuries of Tutsi political dominance; his family fled to Uganda, where he spent the rest of his childhood. In the 1980s, Kagame fought in Yoweri Museveni's rebel army, becoming a senior Ugandan army officer after Museveni's military victories carried him to the Ugandan presidency. Kagame joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), SONY VAIO VGN-CR31/P laptop keyboard

which invaded Rwanda in 1990; leader Fred Rwigyema died early in the war and Kagame took control. By 1993, the RPF controlled significant territory in Rwanda and a ceasefire was negotiated. The assassination of Rwandan President Habyarimana was the starting point of the genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Kagame resumed the civil war, and ended the genocide with a military victory. TOSHIBA Satellite M30X-214 laptop keyboard

During his vice presidency, Kagame controlled the national army and maintained law and order, while other officials began rebuilding the country. Many RPF soldiers carried out retribution killings; it is disputed whether Kagame organised these, or was merely powerless to stop them. Hutu refugee camps formed in Zaire and other countries,  Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

which were controlled by the genocidaires (participants in the genocide) and threatened Rwanda's security. The RPF attacked and disbanded the camps in 1996, forcing many refugees to return home, but insurgents continued to attack Rwanda. As part of the counterinsurgency, Kagame sponsored two controversial rebel wars in Zaire. HP Pavilion dv5-1215ca laptop keyboard

The Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed rebels won the first war (1996–97), installing Laurent-Desire Kabila as president in place of dictator Mobutu and renaming the country as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

The second war was launched in 1998 against Kabila, and later his son Joseph, following the DRC government's expulsion of Rwandan and Ugandan military forces from the country. The war escalated into a continent-wide conflict which lasted until a 2003 peace deal and ceasefire. HP 640208-001 Laptop Keyboard

As president, Kagame has prioritised national development, launching a programme which aims to transform Rwanda into amiddle income country by 2020. As of 2013, the country is developing strongly on key indicators including health care and education; annual growth between 2004 and 2010 averaged 8% per year. HP Probook 4710S Laptop Keyboard

Kagame has had mostly good relations with the East African Community and the United States, while his relations with France were poor until 2009. Relations with the DRC remain tense despite the 2003 ceasefire; human rights groups and a leaked United Nations report allege Rwandan support for two insurgencies in the country, TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

a charge Kagame denies. Several countries suspended aid payments in 2012 following these allegations. Kagame is popular in Rwanda and with some foreign observers; however, human rights groups accuse him of political repression. He won an election in 2003, under a new constitution adopted that year, and was elected for a second term in 2010. TOSHIBA Satellite M305 Laptop Keyboard

Kagame was born in October 1957, the youngest of six children,[2] in Tambwe, Rwanda-Urundi, a village located in the modern Southern Province of Rwanda.[3] His father, Deogratias, was a member of the Tutsi ethnic group, from which the royal family had been derived since the eighteenth century or earlier.[4] SONY KFRMBA221A Laptop Keyboard

Deogratias had family ties to King Mutara III, but he chose to pursue an independent business career rather than maintain a close connection to the royal court.[2] Kagame's mother, Asteria Rutagambwa, was also a Tutsi from the family of the last Rwandan queen, Rosalie Gicanda.[2] HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

At the time of Kagame's birth, Rwanda was a United Nations Trust Territory; long-time colonial power Belgium still ruled the territory, but with a mandate to oversee independence.[5][6] Rwandans formed three distinct groups: the minority Tutsi were the traditional ruling class, and the Belgians had long promoted their supremacy,[7] GATEWAY V030946FS1 US Laptop Keyboard

while the majority Hutu were agriculturalists.[8] The third group, the Twa, were a forest-dwelling pygmy people who descended from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants and formed less than 1% of the population.[9] Tension between Tutsi and Hutu had been escalating through the 1950s, and culminated in the 1959 Rwandan Revolution. HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Hutu activists began killing Tutsi, forcing more than 100,000 to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.[10][11] Kagame's family abandoned their home, living for two years in the far north-east of Rwanda and eventually crossing the border into Uganda. They moved gradually north, and settled in the Nshungerezi refugee camp in the Toro sub-region in 1962.[2] HP AELX6U00210 Laptop Keyboard

It was around this time that, as young boys, Kagame and his future comrade, Fred Rwigyema, first met one another.[12]

Kagame began his primary education in a school near the refugee camp, where he and other Rwandan refugees learned English and began to integrate into Ugandan culture.[13] At the age of nine he moved to the respected Rwengoro Primary School, SONY VAIO VGN-FS515B Laptop Keyboard

around 16 kilometres (10 mi) away, graduating with the best grades in the district.[14] He subsequently attended Ntare School, one of the best schools in Uganda, and also the alma mater of future Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.[14]The death of Kagame's father in the early 1970s, HP COMPAQ NC6320 Laptop Keyboard

and the departure of Rwigyema to an unknown location, led to a decline in his academic performance and an increased tendency to fight those who belittled the Rwandan population.[15] He was eventually suspended from Ntare and completed his studies without distinction at Old Kampala Secondary School.[16] SAMSUNG N145 Laptop Keyboard

After finishing his schooling Kagame made two visits to Rwanda, in 1977 and 1978. He was initially hosted by family members of his former classmates, but upon arrival in Kigali he made contact with members of his own family.[17] HP Mini 210-2032tu laptop keyboard

 He kept a low profile on these visits, believing that his status as a well-connected Tutsi exile could lead to arrest; on his second visit he entered the country through Zaire rather than Uganda to avoid suspicion.[17] Kagame used his time in Rwanda to explore the country, familiarise himself with the political and social situation and make connections that would prove useful to him in his later activities.[17] TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

In 1978, Fred Rwigyema returned to western Uganda and reunited with Kagame.[18] During his absence, Rwigyema had joined the rebel army of Yoweri Museveni, which was based in Tanzania and aimed to overthrow the government of Idi Amin.[18] Rwigyema then returned to Tanzania and fought in the 1979 war in which Museveni's army, DELL Inspiron 6400 Laptop Keyboard

allied with the Tanzanian army and other Ugandan exiles, defeated Amin.[19] Following Amin's defeat, and inspired by Rwigyema, Kagame and other Rwandan refugees pledged allegiance to Museveni, who was a cabinet member in the transition government. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard [21]

In late 1980 a general election was held in Uganda, which was won by former incumbent Milton Obote. Museveni disputed the result, and he and his followers withdrew from the new government in protest. In 1981, Museveni formed the rebel National Resistance Army (NRA); Kagame and Rwigyema joined as founding soldiers, SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

along with thirty eight Ugandans.[22][23] The army's goal was to overthrow Obote's government, in what became known as the Ugandan Bush War.[23][24] Kagame and Rwigyema joined the NRA primarily to ease conditions for Rwandan refugees persecuted by Obote. However, they also had a long term goal of returning with other Tutsi refugees to Rwanda; Compaq 6720s Laptop Keyboard

military experience would enable them to potentially fight the Hutu-dominated Rwandan army.[25] In the NRA, Kagame specialised in intelligence gathering and he rose to a position close to Museveni.[26]  DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

The NRA, based in the Luwero triangle, fought the Ugandan army for the next five years and continued the war despite Obote's deposition in a 1985 coup d'état and subsequent peace talks.[27] In 1986, the NRA captured Kampala with a force of 14,000 soldiers, including 500 Rwandans, and formed a new government.[28] TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

After Museveni's inauguration as president, he appointed Kagame and Rwigyema as senior officers in the new Ugandan army; Kagame was the head of military intelligence.[29][30] As well as fulfilling their army duties, Kagame and Rwigyema began building a covert network of Rwandan Tutsi refugees within the army's ranks, DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

intended as the nucleus for a putative attack on Rwanda.[31] In 1989 Rwanda's President Habyarimana and many Ugandans in the army began to criticise Museveni over his appointment of Rwandan refugees to senior positions,[32] which led him to demote Kagame and Rwigyema.[33] They remained de facto senior officers, HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

but the change caused them to accelerate their plans to invade Rwanda.[34] They joined an organisation called the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a refugee association which had been operating under various names since 1979.[35] Rwigyema became the RPF leader shortly after joining and, while still working for the Ugandan army, he and Kagame finalised their invasion plans.[36]TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

In October 1990, Rwigyema led a force of over 4,000[37] RPF rebels into Rwanda at the Kagitumba border post, advancing 60 km (37 mi) south to the town of Gabiro.[38] Paul Kagame was not present at the initial raids, as he was attending a course at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, United States. HP COMPAQ NX6325 Laptop Keyboard

Rwigyema was killed on the third day of the attack,[39] throwing the RPF into confusion. France and Zaire then deployed forces in support of the Rwandan army, and by the end of October the RPF had been pushed back into the far northeast corner of the country.[40] Kagame returned to Africa following Rwigyema's death and took command of the RPF forces,  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X301 2779 Laptop Keyboard

which had been reduced to fewer than 2,000 troops.[41] Kagame and his soldiers moved west, through Uganda, to the Virunga mountains, a rugged high altitude area where they were protected from attacks by the Rwandan army.[42] SONY N860-7676-T101 Laptop Keyboard

From there he rearmed and reorganised the army, and carried out fundraising and recruitment from the Tutsi diaspora.[43] Kagame restarted the war in January 1991, with a surprise attack on the northern town of Ruhengeri. The RPF captured the town, benefiting from the element of surprise, and held it for one day before retreating back to the forests.[44]  TOSHIBA Tecra M10-S3454 Laptop Keyboard

For the next year, the RPF waged a classic hit and run style guerrilla war, capturing some border areas but not making significant gains in the war against the Rwandan army.[45] In June 1992, following the formation of a multiparty coalition government in Kigali, Kagame announced a ceasefire and began negotiations with the Rwandan government in Arusha, TOSHIBA NB100-11G Laptop Keyboard

  Tanzania.[46] In early 1993, several extremist Hutu groups formed and began campaigns of large scale violence against the Tutsi.[47] Kagame responded by suspending peace talks and launching a major attack, gaining a large swathe of land across the north of the country.[48] Peace negotiations eventually resumed in Arusha; the resulting set of agreements, ACER PK1301K0200 laptop keyboard

known as the Arusha Accords, were signed in August 1993 and gave the RPF positions in a Broad-Based Transitional Government (BBTG) and in the national army.[49][50] The United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), a peacekeeping force, arrived in the country and the RPF were given a base in the national parliament building in Kigali, for use during the setting up of the BBTG.[51] TOSHIBA Tecra M10-S3454 laptop keyboard

On 6 April 1994, Rwandan President Habyarimana's plane was shot down near Kigali Airport, killing Habyarimana and the President of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, as well as their entourage and three French crew members.[52][53] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

It is unknown who carried out the attack. Historian Gérard Prunier, in his book written shortly after the incident, concluded that the shooting of the plane was most likely a coup d'etat by extreme Hutu members of Habyarimana's government and was planned as part of the genocide;[54] this theory was contradicted in 2006 by French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, who alleged that Kagame and the RPF were responsible.[55] DELL NSK-DB301 laptop keyboard

The French government later ordered a more thorough judicial inquiry, which employed ballistics experts and concluded in 2012 that the shots emanated from Camp Kanombe, an area controlled at the time by the Rwandan army; this report reaffirmed the initial theory that Hutu extremists assassinated Habyarimana.[56]Following Habyarimana's death, SONY KFRMBA221A laptop keyboard

a military committee led by Colonel Theoneste Bagosora took immediate control of the country.[57] Under the committee's direction, the Hutu paramilitary group Interahamwe and the presidential guard began to kill Hutu and Tutsi opposition politicians and other prominent Tutsi figures;[58]within 24 hours all moderate leaders had been killed,[59] GATEWAY V030946FS1 US laptop keyboard

including prime minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana.[60] The killers then began targeting the entire Tutsi population, as well as moderate Hutu,[61] beginning the Rwandan Genocide.[62]

On 7 April, Kagame warned the committee and UNAMIR that he would resume the civil war if the killing did not stop.[63] The next day, the Rwandan government forces attacked the national parliament building from several directions, HP Pavilion DV7-3183cl laptop keyboard

but the RPF troops stationed there successfully fought back;[64] Kagame then began an attack from the north on three fronts, seeking to link up quickly with the isolated troops in Kigali.[65] An interim government was set up but Kagame refused to talk to it, believing that it was just a cover for Bagosora's rule.[66] Over the next few days, SONY VAIO VGN-AR320E laptop keyboard

the RPF advanced steadily south, capturing Gabiro and large areas of countryside to the north and east of Kigali.[67] They avoided attacking Kigali or Byumba at this stage, but conducted maneouvres designed to encircle the cities and cut off supply routes.[68] The RPF also allowed Tutsi refugees from Uganda to settle behind the front line in the RPF controlled areas.[68] SONY VAIO VGN-FS515B laptop keyboard

Throughout April there were numerous attempts by UNAMIR to establish a ceasefire, but Kagame insisted each time that the RPF would not stop fighting unless the killings stopped.[69] In late April the RPF secured the whole of the Tanzanian border area and began to move west from Kibungo, to the south of Kigali.[70]  SONY KFRMBA220A laptop keyboard

They encountered little resistance, except around Kigali and Ruhengeri.[66] By 16 May, they had cut the road between Kigali and Gitarama, the temporary home of the interim government, and by 13 June, they had taken Gitarama itself, following an unsuccessful attempt by the Rwandan government forces to reopen the road;  ASUS F83 laptop keyboard

the interim government was forced to relocate to Gisenyi in the far north west.[71] As well as fighting the war, Kagame was recruiting heavily to expand the army. The new recruits included Tutsi survivors of the genocide and refugees from Burundi, but were less well trained and disciplined than the earlier recruits.[72] HP Pavilion G6-1227TU laptop keyboard

Having completed the encirclement of Kigali, Kagame spent the latter half of June fighting for the city itself.[73] The government forces had superior manpower and weapons, but the RPF nonetheless steadily gained territory as well as conducting raids to rescue civilians from behind enemy lines.[73] According to Roméo Dallaire, the force commander of UNAMIR, this success was due to Kagame being a "master of psychological warfare";[73]  TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7335 laptop keyboard

he exploited the fact that the government forces were concentrating on the genocide rather than the fight for Kigali, and capitalised on the government's loss of morale as it lost territory.[73] The RPF finally defeated the Rwandan government forces in Kigali on 4 July,[74] and on 18 July took Gisenyi and the rest of the north west,  Lenovo 45N2240 Laptop Keyboard

 forcing the interim government into Zaire and ending the genocide.[75] At the end of July 1994, Kagame's forces held the whole of Rwanda except for a zone in the south west which had been occupied by a French led United Nations force as part of Opération Turquoise.[76] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W laptop keyboard

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