Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. This tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands, is one of the smallest on the African continent. President Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country since 1979 when he seized power in a coup. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, the 1996, 2002, and 2009 presidential elections – as well as the 1999, 2004, and 2008 legislative elections – were widely seen as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has discouraged political opposition. Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest oil exporter. Despite the country’s economic windfall from oil production, resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, improvements in the population’s living standards have been slow to develop.
It’s been a really long time since a new country has visited our blog but I am psyched to say # 206th country Somalia has stopped by…that is 206 countries….all I can say is WOW…
Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland and form the new nation of Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed SIAD Barre ushered in an authoritarian socialist rule characterized by the persecution, jailing, and torture of political opponents and dissidents. After the regime’s collapse early in 1991, Continue reading “Thank you country #206 Somalia Population: 10,251,568”
Welcome the 205th Country to visit our BLOG….We are so grateful that so many countries have stopped by…it’s a very cool feeling…
Burundi’s first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. More than 200,000 Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen years. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced or became refugees in neighboring countries. An internationally brokered power-sharing agreement between the Tutsi-dominated government and the Hutu rebels in 2003 paved the way for a transition process that led to an integrated defense force, established a new constitution in 2005, and elected a majority Hutu government in 2005. The government of President Pierre NKURUNZIZA, who was reelected in 2010, continues to face many political and economic challenges. Continue reading “#205 = Burundi Population: 10,888,321”
Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war from 1991 to 2002 that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about a third of the population). The military, which took over full responsibility for security following the departure of UN peacekeepers at the end of 2005, is increasingly developing as a guarantor of the country’s stability. The armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 and 2012 national elections but still look to the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) – a civilian UN mission – to support efforts to consolidate peace. The new government’s priorities include furthering development, creating jobs, and stamping out endemic corruption. Continue reading “Welcome SIERRA LEONE – 204th Country to visit out BLOG!”
Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Current President Blaise COMPAORE came to power in a 1987 military coup and has won every election since then. Burkina Faso’s high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens.
Explore the wilderness with us… Within the next 10-15 years we will see the last-remaining wilderness area on earth dominated by the demands of growing human populations and undermined by accelerated climate change. When the earth’s last wild places are gone, all we will have are fenced off protected areas dependent on constant intervention to persist and marginalized by the demands of sustained development in emerging markets. Guides, rangers, researchers, ecotourists, photographers, artists and conservationists around the world apply themselves everyday to sharing, studying, photographing, writing about, protecting, conserving and celebrating the “wild” with their guests, co-workers, colleagues, and local communities. These amazing photographs are a window into their world, a world where the lions, elephants, orangutans and leopards still reign supreme and we can dream of that perfect morning in the wilderness…
The Bush Boyes and Ranger Diaries have teamed up to bring you the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness”. These stunning photographs are selected from hundreds of submissions and are intended to bring the beauty, freedom and splendor of the wilderness to as many people as possible around the world. Please submit your best photographs from the wildest places to the Ranger Diaries wall (www.facebook.com/rangerdiaries) and stand a chance of being featured in the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness” published each week. This initiative is all about SHARING and CARING about wild places. Please “Like” this blog post and share this link with as many people as possible… So begins the “Ranger Revolution”… Anyone can be an “honorary ranger” if they share and care about the wilderness, stimulating positive change for wild places around the world… Join the revolution now!
Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name – to MOBUTU Sese Seko – as well as that of the country – to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA. He renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by a second insurrection again backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Angola, Chad, Namibia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe intervened to support KABILA’s regime. A cease-fire was signed in July 1999 by the DRC, Congolese armed rebel groups, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe but sporadic fighting continued. Laurent KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 and his son, Joseph KABILA, was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying eastern Congo; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003. Joseph KABILA as president and four vice presidents represented the former government, former rebel groups, the political opposition, and civil society. The transitional government held a successful constitutional referendum in December 2005 and elections for the presidency, National Assembly, and provincial legislatures in 2006. The National Assembly was installed in September 2006 and KABILA was inaugurated president in December 2006. Provincial assemblies were constituted in early 2007, and elected governors and national senators in January 2007. The next national elections are scheduled for November 2011. Continue reading “WELCOME # 178 – Democratic Republic of the Congo Population: 71,712,867”
Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Republic of Benin. A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent. YAYI has attempted to stem corruption and has strongly promoted accelerating Benin’s economic growth. Continue reading “Welcome Country #176 – Benin Population: 9,325,032”
In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed up to a million of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias, and established an RPF-led government of national unity. Approximately 2 million Hutu refugees – many fearing Tutsi retribution – fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC; the former Zaire) and formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF tried in 1990. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda in 2009 staged a joint military operation with the Congolese Army in DRC to rout out the Hutu extremist insurgency there and Kigali and Kinshasa restored diplomatic relations. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009. Continue reading “#173 Country to STOP by our BLOG! Thank you Rwanda Population: 11,370,425”
Thought we would do our part and share this video to help spread the word. Thanks Dave one of our Blog readers for reminding me this should be posted on our Blog and FB pages. It’s long but well worth viewing the entire video. Learn the history of this amazing man who made the video and about the disgusting acts of KONY!
KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.
Welcome to Glen Heggstad”s ultimate motorcycle journey into the vibrant landscape of humanity. Find out how it all got started and where it led and why National Geographic Channel made a documentary about him. Check out Glen’s books or schedule a multimedia show via http://www.strikingviking.net or contact direct: firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure you watch his incredible story! Thanks Gary in Alaska for the tip!