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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Basutoland Congress Party in exile: 1974-1986
Author:Makgala, Christian JohnISNI
Periodical:African historical review (ISSN 1753-2531)
Geographic terms:Botswana
Subjects:Basotho Congress Party
political history
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17532523.2012.739750
Abstract:This article attempts to bring to light a rather neglected aspect of the history of Botswana's role in the liberation struggle of southern Africa. It demonstrates that Botswana hosted a whole political party in the form of the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP). Members of this party and others from Lesotho were refugees from Prime Minister Chief Leabua Jonathan's repressive rule in Lesotho from 1974 to 1986. In 1974 the opposition BCP resorted to acts of sabotage against Jonathan's government which responded with more repression leading to members of the BCP Central Committee fleeing the country and becoming refugees in Botswana. The Basotho refugees were largely welcome and contributed to educational and economic development in the country. Some of them became prosperous businessmen in Botswana. This is different from later situations where economic prosperity on the part of a refugee community breeds resentment and xenophobia among some sections of the host population. However, while some BCP leaders prospered in Botswana the party itself was later faced with serious internal power wrangling and split. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]