rigged elections followed until 1991 when competing factions agreed to form a

Rigged elections followed until 1991 when competing

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rigged elections followed until 1991 when competing factions agreed to form a transitional government and free elections were held in 1995. In spite of a recent serious droughts (2010, 2011) and political unrest, democratic government seems to continue as the norm in Ethiopia. It is interesting to note that President Franklin Roosevelt hoped that the Atlantic Charter would provide a blue print for decolonization. We have seen how France and Britain reluctantly accepted reality and that the most difficult decolonization efforts were in colonies held by the smallest and weakest European nations, especially the Netherlands , Belgium and Portugal . Belgium and Portugal had been especially brutal in their exploitation of natural resources and both fiercely resisted decolonization . It is also important to understand that this and most ethnic violence in post World War II Africa underscored the brutal fact that, thanks to European imperialism , new African nations were often burdened with artificial boundaries that didn’t recognize ethnic or religious realities. - 4 -
Portuguese Angola and Mozambique were Portuguese colonies which Portugal tried to keep as colonies as long as possible. As a result, both were mired ( stuck ) in pro-independence guerrilla warfare until 1975 and then – wholly unprepared for independence - were torn apart by civil wars fueled by Cold War tensions. The United States and the Soviet Union both had ties to the warring factions. In 1992, the fighting stopped in Mozambique and in 2002, the fighting stopped in Angola. Tensions remain high, but both countries were devastated by decades of war. However, rebuilding has begun. In 1994, Mozambique held its first free elections and has been working – with some unrest – towards democracy; Angola is advancing more slowly. Rwanda , which supports the densest human populations in continental Africa, was not only unprepared for independence because of Belgian self interest but also because its two principal tribes, the Hutu and Tutsi , were traditional enemies. After independence in 1962, tensions simmered for three decades until 1994 when extremist Hutu leaders urged their followers to kill their Tutsi and moderate Hutu neighbors. This Rwandan Genocide cost 800,000 people their lives; moreover, another 3-million people lost their homes. France finally sent in troops to restore order and the U. N. has sent assistance to help Rwanda rebuild, but the problem of ethnic tension remains. The current president is Paul Kagame who helped end the genocide and stabilize the government. Burundi , a small, neighboring nation, also has a mix of Hutu and Tutsi and a similar post colonial history. While the civil struggle between the two tribes did not reach genocidal levels, the groups fought for a longer period not signing a peace accord until 2000. Tension and sporadic violence remain.

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