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Botswana

Yearbook 1998

Botswana. According to Countryaah, Vice President and Minister of Finance Festus Mogae took office in April as new president. Then his representative Ketumile Masire had decided to resign. In July, former Vice President Ian Khama, the son of the country's first President Seretse Khama, was appointed new Vice President. In recent years, Ian Khama has led a major military armament.

1998 Botswana

In September, South African and Botswana troops jointly intervened in Lesotho, whose government requested assistance in fighting a revolt. Resistance became tougher than expected and many victims were called in before the troops began to withdraw after a few months.

During the year, Botswana was in political conflict with Namibia over the right to some islands in a border river. But basically, the battle was about control of the important water resources. At the end of the year, Botswana received hundreds of flying Namibian rebels who demanded independence for the Caprivi Strip.

The economically important diamond industry was hit by adversity due to sharply falling prices on the world market. Botswana was thus threatened by the first government deficit since the beginning of the 1980s.

In October, Botswana was identified in a UN report as the second worst AIDS-afflicted country in Africa. Between four and fifth adults are estimated to be HIV-infected, and the average life expectancy of the population drops dramatically.

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