Does Nigeria have a history of military dictatorships?

           Nigeria has been home to a number of ancient and indigenous kingdoms and states over the millennia. However, the modern state of Nigeria largely dates back to the British colonial rule that started in the 19th century; its present territory took shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria in 1914.

          Nigeria became independent in 1960 and in 1963; the country adopted a republican constitution. The country also underwent military dictatorships; Nigerians witnessed bloodshed and violence by various groups. This continued until 1999; that was when a stable democracy came to power.   

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Why did the French launch Operation Serval?

          The mystical place Timbuktu is very famous. The famous trading region is situated in modern day Mali. Mali was once part of the three great pre-colonial Sudanic empires: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.

          France seized control of Mali in the late 19th century and made it a part of French Sudan. In 1959, French Sudan joined with Senegal and became known as the Mali Federation, though later Senegal withdrew from the federation.

          An armed conflict broke out in northern Mali in 2012; Tuareg rebels took control of a territory called Azawad. The issue was worsened by the involvement of the military. The French military launched Operation Serval in this context.

          Within a month after its launch in January 2013, Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north.

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How did Botswana get its name?

           Botswana is named after its dominant ethnic group, the Tswana. Botswana is Africa’s oldest and longest continuous multi-party democracy.

          The country held its first general elections based on the 1965 constitution that granted universal suffrage and it gained independence on 30 September 1966. Till then, Botswana was a British protectorate known as Bechuanaland.

         Seretse Khama, a leader in the independence movement became the first President following the elections. He was re-elected twice. The eleventh election was the most recent which was held on 24 October 2014. Though one of the poorest and least developed countries, Botswana was largely stable.

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Is Morocco the only monarchy in North Africa?

          Africa is the homeland of many empires and kingdoms who practised powerful monarchical rule. Today Morocco is the only monarchy in North Africa; it is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. It is also the fifth largest economy in Africa.

         King Idris founded the first Moroccan state in 788 AD. Since then, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties. Morocco reached the heights of glory under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties. The Alaouite dynasty came to power in 1631 and rules to this day.

          Morocco was under French protection from 1912 to 1956. Sultan Mohammed became the king during this period. In 1961, he was succeeded by his son, Hassan II. He ruled for 38 years and played a prominent role in the search for peace in the Middle East. Ironically, he also ruthlessly suppressed domestic opposition.

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Which was the first sub-Saharan country to break free from colonial rule?

           In 1957, Ghana gained independence from its British rulers and became the first country to break free from colonial rule. Its economy has flourished since then. Ghana has become a major African power due to its economic prosperity and democratic political system.

          The first permanent state in modern day Ghana started in the 11th century. A home to many powerful kingdoms and empires, Ghana enjoyed the perks of stability and peace. The Kingdom of Ashanti was the most powerful among Ghana’s rulers. Gold attracted settlers to Ghana, and many countries colonized this area for the same. It was also a hub of the Atlantic slave trade in which many like the Portuguese, Dutch, English and French participated. In the 1900s, Ghana came to be known as the British Gold Coast.

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