Neue Sonne Uber Europa: Timeline of events in Africa, 1939-1985

Neue Sonne Uber Europa is my personal take on an Axis victory scenario, spanning from 1939 to 1985 and depicting a five-way Cold War between Germany, Italy, Japan, the Soviet Union, and the United States. In part one, we covered the timeline of events in Europe, which can be found here:

This second part will be covering events in Africa, where the old order has faded and a new order is struggling to find its footing.

Road to the Savannah War
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Pictured: South African soldiers with a captured Italian flag, May 1942

September 1939: Three days after Britain does so, South Africa declares war on Germany
  • January: A proposal for a peace settlement between Germany and South Africa is shot down in the South African parliament
  • June: Following Italy’s declaration of war on Britain and France, South Africa declares war on Italy and a British offensive into Italian Libya begins
  • July: The Royal Navy attacks Mers el Kebir and Oran, preventing the Axis from using the ships docked there
  • August: Italy conquered British Somaliland
  • September: Free French forces attempt to take the port of Dakar in French West Africa, but are unsuccessful
  • December: The first major British offensive in Africa, dubbed Operation Compass, begins
  • January: British forces launch an offensive into Eritrea, part of Italian East Africa
  • February: The Deutsches Afrika Korps, or DAK, under Erwin Rommel, arrives in Tripoli
  • March: The DAK’s first offensive begins in Cyrenaica
  • April: The Siege of Tobruk begins
  • May: South African prime minister Jan Smuts is made a field marshal of the British Army
  • July: The Northern Rhodesian Labour Party, or NRLP, holds its first congress in Nkana
  • November: Allied forces in Tobruk surrender
  • December: An Italian raid on Alexandria disables the British battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant
  • May: British forces invade Madagascar
  • July: The DAK, supported by Italian and Iraqi troops, begins a southward offensive, having pushed the British out Africa west of Cairo
  • October: One of the largest tank battles of World War II, the Battle of Dongola, begins
  • November: The Battle of Dongola ends in a German victory. Later, British and American forces attempt a naval landing at Nouakchott, which fails disastrously. Later still, the Free French execute a coup in Algiers, bringing French West Africa under their control and forcing the DAK to halt its southern offensive after the conquest of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • December: Madagascar falls to the British
  • February: Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed supreme commander of Allied forces in North Africa
  • March: Allied forces are driven out of Tunisia
  • June: The French Committee of National Liberation is formed, headquartered in Algiers
  • September: Axis forces capture Algiers
  • November: The Axis continues its advance along the Horn of Africa
  • January: The controversial Tripoli Agreement is signed between France and Free France, with the consent of Germany. Free France ends its war with the Axis and is allowed control over French West Africa. However, the rest of France’s colonies are available to the Axis
  • March: SS-Ordenstaat Madagaskar is formed, with Josef Mengele appointed to lead it
  • April: Britain and the United States break off diplomatic ties with Free France
  • June: South Africa sues for peace
  • September: With the fall of Britain, the British protectorates of Southern and Northern Rhodesia, mandate of Tanganyika, and colonies of Nyasaland and Bechuanaland come together to form the United Dominions
  • May: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and Egypt are annexed by Italian East Africa
  • July: Pierre Ryckmans, governor-general of the Belgian Congo, invites the Belgian government in exile to govern the Congo. The offer is accepted
  • August: The Belgian government in exile takes over the Belgian Congo. Though the official name of the colony becomes “Kingdom of Belgium”, it is still commonly referred to as Belgian Congo
  • October: The Fifth Pan-African Congress is held in Keetmanshoop
  • December: The Republic of Ruanda-Urundi is formed
  • March: Following the formation of a majority African government, the Republic of the Gold Coast is formed
  • June: Free France purchases French Equatorial Africa and French Cameroon
  • October: Free France adopts a new constitution, officially changing the name of the country to the Franco-African Republic. However, the common name remains Free France or French Africa
  • January: The Republic of Nigeria is formed, also under an African majority government
  • February: The Tanganyikan Revolution occurs, resulting in the formation of the Republic of Tanganyika
  • March: The Malagasy Uprising begins in Madagascar
  • December: South Africa annexes Marion Island
  • January: South Africa annexes Prince Edward Island
  • February: The Veteran Riots occur in Accra after World War II veterans protesting their poor treatment by and lack of benefits from the Gold Coast. Police kill three leaders of the rioters
  • May: Daniel Francois Malan becomes prime minister of South Africa, beginning Apartheid
  • February: The Malagasy Uprising ends in failure
  • April: The N’Ko alphabet, a universal alphabet for the Manding languages of West Africa, is completed
  • May: Gold Coast and Nigeria join the newly formed Commonwealth of Nations
  • June: The first Apartheid policy, a ban of interracial marriages, is officially introduced in South Africa
  • March: A referendum in Belgian Congo reveals that 57% of the population supports keeping Leopold III as king, while the other 43% would either prefer his son, Baudouin, as king, a republic, or an independent government not under the Belgian one
  • April: The Group Areas Act is passed, formally introducing racial segregation to South Africa
  • June: The Suppression of Communism Act is passed, banning the Communist Party of South Africa and any other Communist parties in South Africa
  • July: Four Congolese workers protesting Belgian rule are shot dead near Luluabourg, sparking further protests across Belgian Congo
  • December: The War of Namibian Independence begins
  • January: The Zanzibar Revolution occurs, replacing the Sultanate of Zanzibar with the People’s Republic of Zanzibar
  • February: The Convention People’s Party wins Gold Coast’s first elections
  • June: Leopold III abdicates in favor of Baudouin
  • July: The first Volkswagen Type 1, or Beetle, rolls off of the assembly line at Uitenhage, making South Africa the only member of the UN to host Volkswagen factories
  • August: Tanganyika and Zanzibar form a defensive alliance known as the Dodoma Pact
  • October: The Egyptian Revolt begins
  • December: The colonial administration of Italian East Africa declares a state of emergency
  • January: On Black Saturday, during a riot in Cairo targeting Italian and upper class Egyptian-owned businesses, 26 people are killed and 552 are injured
  • February: Following the death of King George VI in Canada, South Africa holds a referendum on whether or not Elizabeth II should be recognized as Queen of South Africa. The majority vote to recognize her
  • March: Kwame Nkrumah is elected prime minister of Gold Coast. Later, Gold Coast begins sending monetary aid to Namibian rebels
  • April: The African National Congress merges with the South African Indian Congress, becoming the African-Indian Congress, or AIC, and beginning subversive operations opposing Apartheid
  • May: Farouk I, the former king of Egypt, declares himself king of Egypt once more, as well as a descendant of the prophet Muhammad
  • July: A group of Egyptian nationalist officers, known as the Free Officers, declares the formation of the Arab Republic of Egypt, bringing them into conflict with the monarchists
  • August: The Egyptian monarchists are defeated
  • September: Italian Eritrea is absorbed into Italian Ethiopia
  • October: The Kenyan Revolution occurs, resulting in the formation of the Republic of Kenya. Later, Kenya joins the Dodoma Pact
  • November: Tanganyika, Kenya, and Zanzibar begin sending support to Namibian rebels
  • January: The War of Namibian Independence ends with the Republic of Namibia gaining its independence. Later, Namibia joins the Dodoma Pact
  • March: A coup in Kenya replaces the authoritarian regime of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army, or KLFA, with a democracy under Jomo Kenyatta of the Kenyan African Union, or KAU
  • April: Dedan Kimathi, the former president of Kenya under the KLFA, is sentenced to life imprisonment
  • June: The Port Said Agreement is signed between Italy and Egyptian rebels, ending the Egyptian Revolt. Egypt is allowed its independence, provided that the Suez Canal remains open to international commerce
  • November: Ruandu-Urundi joins the Dodoma Pact
  • December: The First Annual Conference of the African-Indian Congress is held in Queenstown
  • January: The AIC petitions the nations of the Dodoma Pact to take action against Belgian Congo, South Africa, and the United Dominions. They agree to invade in November
  • February: Gamal Abdel Nasser is elected president of Egypt
  • March: The Soviet Union begins supplying the Dodoma Pact with materiel and military advisors
  • April: Following a general election in Belgian Congo, Achille Van Acker becomes prime minister and the Liberal and Socialist Parties form a “purple” government
  • October: The Muslim Brotherhood attempts to assassinate Nasser, but is unsuccessful
  • November: The Dodoma Pact declares war on Belgian Congo, the United Dominions, and South Africa, starting the Savannah War

The Savannah War
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Pictured: A Belgian convoy on the road during the Savannah War, April 1955

  • March: Gold Coast and Egypt begin supporting the Dodoma Pact
  • April: The Nyasa Republic is founded in Tanganyikan-occupied Karonga
  • May: Tanganyika and Ruanda-Urundi officially sponsor the Nyasa Republic
  • August: The Sudanese Revolt begins
  • January: The Sudanese Revolt ends after Sudan agrees not to interfere with Italian interests in Africa
  • February: South Africa requests that the Soviet Union withdraw its consulates and end its support for the Dodoma Pact
  • March: Spain invades Free French Morocco, starting the Morocco War amidst a revolt by Moroccan nationalists
  • April: The Morocco War ends after both Spanish and Free French forces are expelled from Morocco. The Kingdom of Morocco is subsequently formed, recognized first by Spain and Free France and later by the rest of the world
  • June: A Tanganyikan-backed coup occurs in Uganda, resulting in the formation of the Republic of Uganda. Later, Uganda joins the Dodoma Pact and declares war on Belgian Congo
  • July: Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal, sparking the Suez Crisis
  • October: Free France, Italy, and Spain meet in Sevres to plan an invasion of Egypt. Later, Italy and Spain begin bombing Egypt
  • November: Free French paratroopers land in the Sinai Peninsula. Later, Sudan begins sending support to Uganda while Morocco supports Namibia
  • January: The African Convention, an African nationalist party in Free France sponsored by the Dodoma Pact, is formed in Dakar
  • February: Free France begins sending support to South Africa, Belgian Congo, and the United Dominions
  • March: Egypt and the anti-Egyptian coalition agree to a ceasefire, ending the Suez Crisis. The Suez Canal is once again open to international commerce. Later, a monarchist coup in Ashanti results in the formation of the Kingdom of Ashanti under Prempeh II
  • April: Ashanti annexes the Union of the Northern Territories. Later, Ashanti declares war on Gold Coast, starting the Ghana War
  • July: Rawya Ateya join the National Assembly of Egypt, becoming the first woman in a parliament in the Arab world
  • October: Liberia begins sending support to South Africa
  • January: Tanganyikan forces enter Northern Rhodesia
  • February: A collaborationist regime, the Bechuanaland People’s Republic, is established to govern Bechuanaland as Namibian troops enter Southern Rhodesia
  • March: The United Republic of Rhodesia is established in Kasama and sponsored by Tanganyika
  • June: Joseph Darnand, chief of the French State following the May Coup, visits the Free French capital of Algiers, becoming the first French military official in Free France since 1944
  • October: Ubangi-Shari declares independence from Free France. Under pressure from the United States, Free France does not retaliate
  • November: Ubangi-Shari joins the Dodoma Pact and declares war on Belgian Congo
  • January: Following in the footsteps of Ubangi-Shari, Chad, Gabon, and Congo-Brazzaville declare independence from Free France
  • February: Congo-Brazzaville joins the Dodoma Pact and declares war on Belgian Congo. Later, Chad and Gabon jointly announce that they will not be directly intervening in the war, but may provide support to one side or another “given how advantageous it would be to the interests of our nations”
  • March: Gabon begins sending support to Namibia
  • May: The United Dominions sue for peace
  • July: Italian East Africa begins supporting Belgian Congo and South Africa
  • November: A period of ethnic violence between Hutus and Tutsis in Ruanda-Urundi called the Wind of Destruction begins
  • January: Cameroon purchases French Cameroon from Free France
  • March: The Sharpeville Massacre occurs after a demonstration in South Africa protesting South Africa’s involvement in the Savannah War turns violent. 69 are killed and 180 are injured
  • April: Togoland declares independence from Free France
  • July: The Ghana War ends after Gold Coast surrenders, resulting in it being annexed by Ashanti. Later, Prempeh II declares the reformation of the Ashanti Empire
  • August: Dahomey declares independence from Free France
  • September: Gold Coast appeals to Togoland and Dahomey for support in the war against Ashanti. However, both refuse and declare their neutrality in the Ghana War
  • October: Following a referendum on the status of the monarchy, South Africa announces its intention to become a republic
  • January: Morocco, Togoland, Dahomey, Cameroon, and Chad form an alliance, the Casablanca Group
  • February: The South African pound is replaced by the South African rand
  • March: South Africa officially leaves the Commonwealth of Nations
  • April: After the fall of the Estado Novo in Brazil, Angola and Mozambique are granted their independence
  • May: Angola and Mozambique declare war on South Africa
  • June: Angola and Mozambique finally join the Dodoma Pact
  • July: South Africa officially becomes a republic
  • September: In exchange for membership in the United Nations, Free France stops supplying aid to Belgian Congo and South Africa
  • February: Charles de Gaulle, leader of Free France since 1940, suggests that South Africa and Belgian Congo sue for peace with the Dodoma Pact
  • March: The Treaty of Cape Town is signed, ending the Savannah War. The National Party is banned in South Africa and Apartheid is ended, the Belgian government in exile is allowed to remain in Leopoldville but not to govern the Congo, which is not allowed to use the official name “Kingdom of Belgium”, and the United Dominions are replaced by the Nyasa Republic, United Republic of Rhodesia, and Bechuanaland People’s Republic

End of Colonialism

Pictured: A pro-Massu barricade in Algiers, October 1964

1962 (cont.)
  • April: Nelson Mandela is elected the first president of South Africa. Later, Belgian Congo’s official name becomes the Republic of Zaire, and a new flag is introduced accordingly
  • June: The Mali Federation, consisting of Senegal and French Sudan, declares independence from Free France
  • July: Upper Volta declares independence from Free France
  • August: Senegal declares independence from Mali
  • December: Katanga declares independence from Zaire
  • January: A coup in Togoland results in a pro-Free French government under Emmanuel Bodjolle being installed
  • May: The Dodoma Pact is reformed into the Organization of African Unity, or OAU, with all countries in Africa except for Free France, Egypt, and Sudan joining
  • June: South Kasai declares independence from Zaire
  • July: Cameroonian harbors and airports are officially closed to Portugal and South Africa
  • October: Nigeria leaves the Commonwealth of Nations
  • December: Ivory Coast declares independence from Free France
  • January: Niger declares independence from Free France
  • February: A coup in Gabon installs a pro-Free France government under Hilaire Aubame
  • March: Following an alleged assassination attempt by German agents on Hassan II for nebulous reasons, more than 50 Moroccan students break into the German embassy in Rabat and stage a sit-in. The German ambassador to Morocco, Walther Hess, is murdered, but he is the only casualty
  • April: Mauritania declares independence from Free France
  • June: Jacques Massu attempts a coup in Algiers. However, he is unsuccessful. Later, the Tunis Agreement is signed. Free France grants Guinea independence, changes its official name to the French Republic of Algeria-Tunisia, and promises to grant Algeria and Tunisia their independence upon Free France’s return to the mainland
  • July: The National Movement of the Revolution, or MNR, is founded and becomes the sole legal party in Congo-Brazzaville
  • August: Congo-Brazzaville’s membership in the OAU is suspended. Later, all independent African countries which are not yet members of the OAU except for Free France, including Zaire and South Africa, are invited to join. The only one that does not accept is Ashanti
  • September: The OAU holds an emergency meeting debating whether or not they should intervene in Congo-Brazzaville. They decide to, eventually, intervene
  • October: Gabon, Zaire, Ubangi-Shari, and Cameroon are chosen as the countries to intervene in Congo-Brazzaville, with the South African Air Force providing air support from airfields in Angola
  • December: The OAU’s intervention in Congo-Brazzaville, codenamed Operation Hyena, begins
  • February: Congolese president Alphonse Massambe-Debat is deposed in a coup by General Alfred Raoul, who seeks an armistice with the OAU. They refuse, believing that his government will be a military dictatorship
  • March: The last Congolese forces surrender and Operation Hyena is declared a success. The country is placed under OAU occupation while a new government is formed
  • September: Togoland, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Mali, all representing the OAU, issue a joint statement claiming that, if Prempeh II does not abdicate or reform Ashanti into a constitutional monarchy, they will invade
  • October: Prempeh II narrowly avoids being assassinated while visiting Kumasi
  • November: Following the attempt on Prempeh II’s life, martial law is declared in Ashanti
  • January: A military coup occurs in Upper Volta. The new president, Sangoule Lamizana, announces that the country will return to a “more competent” civilian government after four years
  • February: A military coup occurs in Nigeria. Later, Cameroon and Dahomey begin sending aid to Nigerian dissidents
  • March: The Chadian Civil War begins
  • April: A conspiracy against Gamal Abdel Nasser is uncovered in Egypt. Later, the OAU’s occupation of Congo-Brazzaville ends and the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville is reformed, once more a democracy
  • May: The Rhodesian Civil War begins. Later, the government of Nigeria forbids all political activity in the country for the next 30 months
  • July: The Nigerian Civil War begins
  • August: Biafra declares independence from Nigeria
  • September: A military coup occurs in Ashanti, overthrowing Prempeh II in favor of Joseph Arthur Ankrah. The OAU gives him a six-month deadline to transition Ashanti to a democracy
  • October: Ashanti’s official name is changed to the Ashanti Republic
  • November: The OAU announces its support for Biafra, which joins the OAU while Nigeria’s membership is suspended
  • December: South Africa intervenes in Rhodesia on the side of the government
  • January: Another military coup occurs in Togoland, installing an anti-Free France military government under Gnassingbe Eyadema
  • March: The deadline for the OAU’s ultimatum to Ashanti arrives. With Ashanti still a dictatorship, Dahomey, Upper Volta, and Ivory Coast declare war, starting the Second Ghana War
  • April: Katangan president Moise Tshombe dies suddenly in his sleep. Later, Zaire occupied Katanga, sparking the Katanga Crisis
  • May: Zaire’s membership in the OAU is suspended
  • July: The War of Katangan Independence begins. Later, Angola, South Kasai, and Ruanda-Urundi begin sending support to Katangan rebels
  • August: After the signing of the Leopoldville Accords, the War of Katangan Independence ends and Katanga gains independence
  • September: Jean Schramme, the Belgian mercenary who had led Katanga during its independence war, steps down and a presidential election is held, which Jean-Baptiste Kibwe, the old vice president of Katanga under Tshombe, wins
  • November: The Rhodesian government begins implementing policies similar to Apartheid. Later, South Africa begins supporting rebel forces in Rhodesia, the Rhodesian People’s Liberation Army, or RPLA
  • January: South Africa introduces a new flag
  • March: The South African Defense Force, or SADF, is sent to Rhodesia to aid the RPLA
  • April: Zaire permits its mercenaries to work for the RPLA
  • May: Port Harcourt comes under OAU occupation to ensure supplies still reach civilians in Biafra
  • August: Ethiopian monarchists start an uprising in Italian East Africa, starting the Third Italo-Ethiopian War
  • September: South Africa grants Swaziland its independence
  • October: Spanish Guinea is granted its independence, taking the name of Rio Muni
  • November: A military coup occurs in Mali
  • June: South Africa officially severs diplomatic relations with the Rhodesian government
  • July: Pope Paul VI becomes the first reigning pope to visit Africa after visiting Entebbe, Uganda
  • September: The Libyan Revolution begins
  • October: The Somali War of Independence begins
  • January: The Nigerian Civil War ends in victory for anti-government forces. Democracy in Nigeria is restored and Biafra is allowed to keep its independence
  • April: The OAU’s withdrawal from Port Harcourt is completed
  • May: Ashanti surrenders, ending the Second Ghana War. The Ashanti Republic is reformed into a democracy
  • July: The Aswan High Dam is completed in Egypt
  • August: Italy officially grants Ethiopia, Somalia, and Libya independence, ending the Third Italo-Ethiopian War, Libyan Revolution, and Somali War of Independence
  • September: Italian Eritrea is transferred to Ethiopia. Later, Haile Selassie returns to Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Empire is reformed
  • October: Mengele is assassinated, resulting in the collapse of SS-Reichskolonie Madagaskar and the formation of the Malagasy Republic, commonly just Madagascar
  • December: To commemorate the downfall of the last colonial state in Africa, Biafra, Madagascar, and Rio Muni are invited into the OAU

Post-Colonial Africa

Pictured: SADF soldiers in Rhodesia, June 1973

  • January: A military coup occurs in Uganda. Later, Tanganyika invades Uganda, starting the Uganda War
  • February: An emergency session of the OAU is convened regarding the Uganda War. The OAU decides to suspend Uganda’s membership and officially support Tanganyika
  • April: The Confederation of Egypt-Libya is formed. Later, the Republic of Sierra Leone is formed
  • May: An attempted coup in Egypt fails
  • July: In Nyasaland, Hastings Banda is made president for life. However, he is not granted absolute authority. Later, the OAU decides that, because Banda has not yet officially become a true autocrat, it will not intervene in Nyasaland
  • August: An attempted coup in Morocco fails. Later, Abdel Khaliq Mahjub, leader of the Sudanese Communist Party, is hanged
  • September: Idi Amin, the military dictator of Uganda, commits suicide, causing the government of Uganda to surrender, ending the Uganda War. The Uganda Reconstruction Authority is established to oversee the restoration of democracy in Uganda
  • January: Ignatius Kutu Achaempong briefly takes power in Ashanti following a military coup, but an operation by Free France’s 1st Marine Infantry Paratroopers, codenamed Operation Sabre, deposes him and returns his predecessor, Kofi Abrefa Kusia
  • March: The Chadian Civil War ends in government victory
  • April: In secret, the Hutu Genocide begins in Ruanda-Urundi
  • July: Over 20,000 Soviet advisors in Egypt are expelled
  • August: Fighters of the Royal Moroccan Air Force attempt to shoot down King Hassan II’s plane, but are unsuccessful
  • September: After exactly one year of occupation, the reformed Republic of Uganda replaces the Uganda Reconstruction Authority and Tanganyikan troops withdraw
  • October: A coup occurs in Dahomey, where Mathieu Kerekou reveals that the previous government had turned the country into an oligarchy while continuing to pose a democracy. He promises that civilian rule and general elections will return in 1975
  • May: The Polisario Front is formed and the Sahrawi Insurgency begins
  • October: Bissau declares independence from Guinea
  • December: The Rhodesian Civil War ends in victory for the RPLA. The first Communist state in Africa, the Rhodesian People’s Republic, is formed
  • September: The Ethiopian Civil War begins
  • February: After just six days in office, Richard Ratsimandrava, president of Madagascar, is assassinated
  • April: A military coup occurs in Chad
  • May: Universal free and compulsory education is introduced in South Africa
  • June: The Economic Community of West African States, or CEDEAO, is formed
  • August: Free France, along with the rest of the UN, declares war on Germany
  • November: The Angolan Civil War begins
  • January: Free France begins providing aid to the Polisario Front
  • February: Another attempted coup in Nigeria is foiled. However, during the attempt, Murtala Mohammed, the president of Nigeria, is assassinated
  • March: Madagascar recognizes the sovereignty of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, the official government of the Polisario Front. Later, the Congolese Revolution results in the formation of the People’s Republic of Congo-Brazzaville, a Communist state under Marien Ngouabi
  • April: The SADF completes its withdrawal from Rhodesia
  • June: Supporters of the Reconstituted National Party, or HNP, an Afrikaner nationalist and pro-German party, stage the Soweto Riot in South Africa. At least 179 are killed and over a thousand are injured
  • August: The Confederation of Egypt-Libya is dissolved
  • December: Ubangi-Shari president Jean-Bedel Bokassa declares himself Emperor Bokassa I and the Empire of Ubangi-Shari is formed
  • January: Congo-Brazzaville invades Ubangi-Shari, starting the Ubangi-Shari War
  • February: Ubangi-Shari’s membership in the OAU is suspended. Later, after being reminded that their memberships are still also suspended, Zaire and Nigeria’s memberships in the OAU are restored
  • June: French Somaliland declares independence, taking the name Adal
  • July: Adal joins the OAU. Later, Ruanda-Urundi, Zaire, Kenya, Tanganyika, and Uganda form the East African Community
  • August: Somalia invades the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, starting the Ogaden War. Later, a series of border clashes between Egypt and Libya, dubbed the Libyan-Egyptian War, occurs
  • December: Ubangi-Shari surrenders to Congo-Brazzaville, ending the Ubangi-Shari War. Bokassa is executed and the Ubangi-Shari Democratic Republic, a client state of Congo-Brazzaville, is formed under the Ubangi-Shari Communist Party, or PCUS
  • January: The German ambassador to Ethiopia, Oskar Fischer, is declared persona non grata and asked to leave the country. The next day, an Ethiopian anti-air battery, believing his plane to be a Somali bomber, shoots Fischer’s plane down, killing him and triggering the Ethiopian Embassy Riot in Berlin
  • March: The Ogaden War ends. No terms are imposed on Somalia, which lost the war. Somalia spirals into a political crisis until, later, the Somali Civil War begins
  • June: The War of Eritrean Independence begins
  • July: The OAU announces its support for Eritrean independence and suspends Ethiopia’s membership
  • January: Following a military rebellion in Uganda, the Ugandan Civil War begins
  • February: Chadian prime minister Hissene Habre attempts a coup against president Felix Malloum, but is unsuccessful. Later, Habre is executed for treason
  • June: The Ugandan Civil War ends in loyalist victory
  • August: A military coup occurs in Rio Muni
  • September: South Africa announces its goal to reform into a confederation by 1985
  • October: Nigeria adopts a new constitution, taking the new official name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • April: A coup by Samuel K. Doe occurs in Liberia
  • July: Following the death of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, while in exile in Cairo, the Egyptian president Anwar Sadat orders that his body be cremated to prevent it from being defiled by agents of the new Islamic Republic of Iran. Later, Iran cuts all diplomatic ties with Egypt
  • October: With the formation of the French Fourth Republic, the French Republic of Algeria-Tunisia is replaced by the Republic of Algeria and Republic of Tunisia. Later, following the assassination of Sadat, Hosni Mubarak becomes president of Egypt

Forward Unto Dawn

Pictured: An SADF staging point in Rhodesia, 1984

1981 (cont.)
  • December: A military coup occurs in Ashanti
  • February: The Senegambia Confederation is formed
  • August: An attempted coup in Kenya fails
  • September: The Belgian government in exile completes its withdrawal from Zaire
  • November: Paul Biya becomes president of Cameroon, quickly establishing himself as a dictator
  • December: The Congolese Air Force begins bombing Cameroon in an operation codenamed Operation Rainy Day, starting the Cameroon War
  • March: Cameroon surrenders, ending the Cameroon War. The Cameroon Socialist Republic is formed
  • July: Congo-Brazzaville, Ubangi-Shari, and Cameroon unite to form the West African Socialist Federative Republic
  • August: West Africa invades Rio Muni and Gabon, starting the ongoing West African War
  • May: Fearing the spread of Communism to their countries, South Africa, Bechuanaland, and Mozambique invade Rhodesia, starting the ongoing War in Rhodesia
  • August: Over 18 years after Lamizana stated that Upper Volta would return to civilian rule within four years, his successor, Saye Zerbo, steps down and democracy in the country is restored
  • September: The Ethiopian Civil War, and with it, the Eritrean War of Independence both end in victory for the Derg. Eritrea gains its independence and the Ethiopian Empire is replaced by another Communist state, the Socialist Republic of Ethiopia
  • April: Interracial marriage, not prosecuted since the Savannah War, is formally legalized in South Africa
  • December: Eritrea joins the OAU

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. The next timeline will be of events in the Middle East from 1939 to 1985. Farewell!