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Lesotho Country Profile

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Lesotho at a Glance

Location:Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa
Climate:temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers
Terrain:mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains
Resources:water, agricultural and grazing land, diamonds, sand, clay, building stone
Hazards:periodic droughts
Population:2,130,819




A Brief Profile of Lesotho

Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. The Basuto National Party ruled for the first two decades. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990, but returned to Lesotho in 1992 and was reinstated in 1995. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 after seven years of military rule. In 1998, violent protests and a military mutiny following a contentious election prompted a brief but bloody intervention by South African and Botswanan military forces under the aegis of the Southern African Development Community. Subsequent constitutional reforms restored relative political stability. Peaceful parliamentary elections were held in 2002, but the National Assembly elections of February 2007 were hotly contested and aggrieved parties continue to periodically demonstrate their distrust of the results.






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