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Amin, Idi Dada  

Nelson Kasfir

military officer and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, was probably born in Koboko district near the Sudanese border in northwestern Uganda. Few facts about his parents, his birth date, or his upbringing can be confirmed. His mother, who was Lugbara and originally Christian, separated from his father—who was Kakwa, Muslim, and possibly a convert from Christianity—shortly after his birth and raised Amin in southern Uganda.

As a Muslim belonging to both the Kakwa and the Nubian ethnic communities, Amin received little formal education and had halting command of several languages, including Swahili and English. He practiced polygamy and married at least six women: Malyamu Kibedi and Kay Adroa (both Christians prior to marriage) in late 1966 and Nora (her full name cannot be confirmed), a Langi, in 1967. He divorced all three, according to a Radio Uganda announcement on 26 March 1974 He married Nalongo ...

Article

Arafat, Yasser  

Matti Steinberg

Palestinian leader, was born in Cairo, Egypt, on 24 August 1929 to ʿAbd al-Raʾuf, his father, and Zahawa Abu-Saud, his mother, who had emigrated from Palestine in 1927 Arafat himself was mysterious about his birthplace sometimes he would say I was not born before I became Abu ʿAmmar and sometimes he insisted on being born in Old Jerusalem next to the al Haram al Sharif the Islamic sacred site this version was adopted by official publications and Web sites of Fatah Behind this obscurity probably lay the uneasiness of Arafat as the leader of the Palestinian national movement to acknowledge that he had not been born in Palestine and that his Palestinian parents had emigrated voluntarily out of personal and not national reasons from Palestine seeking a better living His full name is Muhammad ʿAbd al Rahman ʿAbd al Raʾuf Arafat al Qudwa al Husayni During the early 1950s ...

Article

Nkurunziza, Pierre  

Christine Deslaurier

ex-rebel leader who became the president of the Republic of Burundi in 2005, was born in Bujumbura, in a family from the north of the country, in Buye (Mwumba commune, province of Ngozi). Son of Eustache Ngabisha, a Catholic Hutu connected to the royal family and enlisted since 1960 in the ranks of the independence party, Unité et Progrès National (UPRONA), and Domitille Minani, a Protestant Tutsi assistant nurse, Nkurunziza grew up in a religious and relatively well-to-do home.

He was attending primary school in the province of Ngozi when his father—formerly director of an under-chiefdom south of the capital (Kabezi), then commissioner of the district (Ngozi-Kayanza) and deputy of Uprona (May 1965)—was assassinated in the course of the genocidal massacres that occurred from April through June 1972 and affected hundreds of thousands of educated or well off Hutus like him Left alone with his mother and six ...

Article

Patassé, Ange-Félix  

Richard A. Bradshaw

president of the Central African Republic (CAR), was born on 25 Jan. 1937 at Paoua, in the Ouham-Pendé region of the French Equatorial African territory of Ubangi-Shari. His father, Paul Ngakoutou, of the Souma (a type of Gbaya) ethnic group, served in the Free French army during World War II and then worked as a colonial administrator for the French in Paoua. His mother, Véronique Goumba, was a Tali from the Ouham-Pendé region. Thus Patassé is Souma/Gbaya with Tali in-laws and residential ties to the Sara people of Ouham-Pendé. His connections across various ethnic groups in the CAR were a major factor in his electoral successes.

After attending primary school in Paoua and Bozoum Patassé won a scholarship to study at the École Regionale D agriculture at Marmilhat Puy de Dôme in France He then studied at the École Supérieure d application d agriculture Tropicale at Nogent sur Marne and ...

Article

Píco, Pío  

Alva Moore Stevenson

revolutionary, governor, city councilman, landowner, and businessman, was born Pío de Jesus Píco at the San Gabriel Mission in California, the fourth of the ten children of José María Píco, founder of the Píco family in Southern California, and a native of Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico, and María Eustaquia Gutiérrez, from San Miguel de Horcasitas, Sonora, Mexico. Pío's ancestry was a combination of African, Hispanic, Native American, and European. José Píco migrated to California in 1801 with the Anza Expedition, which was authorized in 1775 by the viceroy of Spain. Soldiers and their families were recruited from Sonora to occupy and settle the port of San Francisco. A successful overland emigration and supply route was established between Sonora and Alta California. Among the positions he held were sergeant and corporal Many members of the Píco family served in the military including Pío Píco s ...

Article

Roye, Edward James  

Peter J. Duignan

fifth president of the Republic of Liberia, was born in Newark, Ohio, the son of John Roye, a wealthy merchant. His mother's name is unknown. His father died in 1829, leaving some personal property and land to Roye. He went to public schools in Ohio, attended Oberlin College, and taught for a few years in Chillicothe. He also tried his hand as a sheep trader and shopkeeper in various parts of the Midwest. After his mother died in 1840 he was influenced by the emigration movement to escape American prejudice. He rejected the idea of going to Haiti and instead traveled to Liberia in 1846 just before an independent republic was installed there in July 1847, taking with him a stock of goods.

At the time of Roye s arrival the new republic faced a variety of ills The dominant Americo Liberians remained a small minority threatened ...

Article

Seboko, Mosadi  

Agnes Leslie

the first woman to become a paramount chief in Botswana, was born in 1950, the first child of Paramount Chief Kgosi Mokgosi III. “Mosadi,” which translates as “woman” in Setswana, was born in Ramotswa, a village about twenty miles (32 kilometers) south of the capital city, Gaborone. Ramotswa is also the capital of the Balete or Bamalete, ethnic group. She had seven sisters and one brother. Her father died in 1966, and after that a paternal uncle served as a regent for her brother, who was nine years her junior. Seboko attended Moedin College in Otse Village, south of Gaborone, and obtained the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate in 1969. She started working as soon as she finished high school in order to help her mother with her siblings when her father died. She pursued a career in banking for twenty-four years, joining Barclays Bank in 1971 ...

Article

Sobhuza II  

Betty Sibongile Dlamini

King of Swaziland, was born to the reigning Swazi monarch, Bhunu (Ngwane V) and Lomawa Ndwandwe on 22 July 1899. His birth names were Nkhotfotjeni (a small beautifully marked lizard) and Mona (jealousy). A few months after Sobhuza II was born, he was selected as crown prince. He had the privilege of getting a formal education at the Zombodze School that Labotsibeni, Bhunu’s mother and the Queen Regent, had established. Labotsibeni got the best tutors from Natal to tutor the crown prince. In 1916, after Sobhuza II had completed his elementary education, his grandmother adamantly stood against the royal counselors of the time and sent him to South Africa for higher education at Lovedale Missionary Institution.

In 1919 there was pressure for the king to take his position as ruler and he was recalled from Lovedale He subsequently got his public ritualization and private preparation for his ...