Alternate History

Lesotho (1983: Doomsday)

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OTL equivalent: The Kingdom of Lesotho
Flag of Lesotho LesothoCoA
Flag Coat of Arms
Lesotho map
Location of Lesotho
Capital Maseru
Largest city Maseru
Other cities Motimphoso, Ficksburg, Quoling, Mafeteng, Hleoheng, Quthing, Quolakheng, Ladybrand, Thaba-Tseke, Mokhotiong, Teyateyaneng, and several smaller towns.
Language Sesotho, English
Religion Christian
King Letsie III
Prime Minister Morena Letapata Makhaola
Area 14,800 sq mi km²
Population 2,060,000 (Feb 2011) 

The Constitutional Monarchy of Lesotho is a small country in the remnants of South Africa. It is bordered by several countries including KwaZulu and KwaXhosa, with which it has good relations. After Doomsday, it was one of the few states to stay entirely stable. In fact, it expanded slightly.



Basutoland gained its independence from Britain and became the Kingdom of Lesotho in 1966.

In January 1970 the ruling Basotho National Party (BNP) lost the first post-independence general elections, with 23 seats to the Basutoland Congress Party's 36. Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan refused to cede power to the Basotho Congress Party (BCP), declared himself Tona Kholo, and imprisoned the BCP leadership.

BCP began a rebellion and then received training in Libya for its Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA) under the pretense of being Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) soldiers of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). Deprived of arms and supplies by the Sibeko faction of the PAC in 1978, the 178-strong LLA were rescued from their Tanzanian base by the financial assistance of a Maoist PAC officer but launched the guerrilla war with only a handful of old weapons. The main force was defeated in northern Lesotho and later guerrillas launched sporadic but usually ineffectual attacks. The campaign was severely compromised when BCP's leader, Ntsu Mokhehle, went to Pretoria. In the early 1980s, several Basotho who sympathized with the exiled BCP were threatened with death and attacked by the government of Leabua Jonathan. In September 1981 the family of Benjamin Masilo was attacked. A few days later, Edgar Mahlomola Motuba was taken from his home and murdered.

The BNP ruled from 1966 till January 1970. What later ensued was a "de facto" government led by Dr Leabua Jonathan. On Doomsday, the effects mainly came as widespread panic and the cutting off of funds from Western countries. However, the government quickly installed military law until 1987, when it was ended.


Immediately Post-Doomsday, Lesotho was the last stable state in most of Africa, definitely in the region. Though some expansion occurred, they were mostly busy trying to maintain order in the region and the state. In one rebellion, the entire country was plunged into a nine-year long civil war. However, the government forces were victorious in the end, but the massive losses the country took prevented any real expansion until the modern day.

Lesotho was plunged into martial law due to many attempts at looting in the first year post doomsday, but even after the rebellions ceased, martial law continued due to a coup d'etat in 1985. This was followed by two years martial law until the death of the chief of army, when a rebellion threw them out of power. Known as the Maseru Uprising, 20,000 angry Basotho took to the streets to protest the military dictatorship. 

Between 1988 and 1995 is often called the Post Doomsday Golden Age in Lesotho, because during that period the government spent large amounts of money on public works projects to help their citizens. However, on June 9th, 1995, an attempted military coup turned into a full blown rebellion with three factions, the military, the government and the Democratic Alliance, a militant group opposed to the Prime Minister who had stayed in power despite his term having ended. However, the DA and the government joined forces in 2000 with the promise that the Prime Minister would serve out one more term and then not install his son as the next, as was widely expected.

In 2004, the war ended with a Government/DA victory. Order was restored and the country continued rebuilding and urbanizing. Today it is one of the most advanced countries in Southern Africa. It has decent relations with most of its neighbors, save for the OFS. Mostly isolationist, it nevertheless maintains one of the most powerful militaries in South Africa.

Lesothan Civil War

Main Article: Lesothan Civil War (1983: Doomsday)

In 1995, tensions flared up when a group known as the DA - Democratic Alliance - started protesting nonviolently against the Prime Minister, Tom Thabane, who had stayed in power for the past seven years, despite Lesotho's laws against that. Some abortive negotiations were held, but failed, and the DA threatened to launch a Civil War, despite Thabane's popularity. During this, an attempted military coup was held. Approximately 40% of the army was behind this. However, they were the cream of the army, including most of the generals. The DA then launched a rebellion of their own, with another 15% of the army defecting to them. They also raised a large contingent of civilian soldiers. By the end of the year, the armies were roughly equal, though the DA's was somewhat smaller than the others.

However, the government had no good generals, as all had defected to the rebels or the DA. The DA had two generals who had defected out of 16, and the army had the other 14. By 2001, both the DA and the government looked as if they would lose until they formed an alliance, on the agreement that free elections be held. Within a year, the miitary had been defeated in the most of the nation, and elections took place. However, the army was still very strong in the highlands and it took a further two years to subdue them. The war would finally end in 2004.


Lesotho's military is around 100,000, but in an emergency draft, can summon up to 700,000 and arm them all, so it is a powerful force in South Africa. It has fought border skirmishes with many of its neighbors but never actually declared war. It also has launched raids in force into the OFS, then withdrawn back before force could meet the problem.


The economy of Lesotho is agricultural. However, during the Post Doomsday period, Lesotho was untouched and thus started building an industrial base. This includes the mining of surrounding mountains for diamonds - several new ones were found in 2005, 2009 and early 2011.

Politics and Government

Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy. There is a main Voting House, the House of Basotho, and the House of Nobles is less important. However, the Prime Minister must be a noble, although he is elected by popular election. Currently, the Socialists are in power, though a Coalition of the Liberals and the Consolidationists is expected to defeat them next year. The current democracy has been around since 2003, when the government and the DA started to win the civil war against the military rebels. The Prime Minister is elected every three years, and can only be elected twice.

External Relations

Lesotho is part of the NUSA. It is also a full member of the LoN as of 7th August 2011.

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