Lesotho. According to
Countryaah.com, King Moshoeshoe II died in January in connection
with a car accident and was replaced by his son Letsie III.
The leader of the opposition party United Party and three
militants were indicted in March, suspected of treason. The
crime consisted in transmitting a radio message calling for
a coup d'état.
Prime Minister Ntsu Mokehle dismissed five ministers in
May without giving any explanation. Asea Brown Boveri (ABB)
received an order for equipment for a new hydropower plant
that receives assistance from SIDA.
In February 2000, the King married a 23-year-old college
educated woman. According to statements from the king, she
will be his only wife.
In April 2001, South Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki
visited Lesotho for the purpose of improving relations
between the two countries. The president was forced to pay a
cow in fines. The reason was that he had not attended the
king's wedding the year before and Mbeki should have
attended since his mother hails from Lesotho. The opposition
was also critical of the visit following South Africa's
intervention in the country in 1998.
In March 2002, after several months of speculation, the
king announced the conduct of parliamentary elections on May
25. At the same time, the electoral system was changed, so
that 80 of the National Assembly's 120 members will in
future be elected in single-member circles, while the
remaining will be elected by proportional elections. The
election was characterized by international observers as
free and fair.
In February 2004, Lesotho's Minister of Industry,
Commerce, Mpho Malie criticized the US and the EU for double
standards. This happened during a meeting between African
Trade Ministers, US Trade Representative Bob Zoellick, EU
Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and WTO Secretary-General
Supachai Panitchpakdi. Malie stated that the US and the EU
cannot require African countries to open their markets while
the US and the EU simultaneously protect theirs. The meeting
dealt with a number of issues of fundamental importance to
Africa's development, which has otherwise remained silent
since the Uruguay Round of 1994. The purpose was also to
create a joint negotiating block for the 2005 WTO Summit in
That same month, Mosisili declared the country in an
emergency, asking for international relief in the form of
food. Those in charge of the emergency declared that
thousands were dying of hunger after three years of vain
struggle against the severe drought in the country.
In March, the government officially inaugurated the first
phase of the hydroelectric project in the Highlands of
Lesotho. Around 2010, the country was self-sufficient with
electricity from hydropower and could then begin to supply
electricity to South Africa.
In June, the EU adopted an aid package of DKK 1 million.
Euro for food benefits among Lesotho's most starving.
Armed men attacked the residence of Prime Minister
Mosisili in April 2009 in an attempt to kill him. Three of
the attackers, one of whom was a soldier, were killed by the
prime minister's guards. Mosisili escaped unharmed. Six men
were tried in July 2009, accused of assisting the coup
attempt, described by Lesotho Communications Minister as an
attempt by South African and Mozambican mercenaries to
conduct a coup in the country.