St. Lucia

St. Lucia

History: St. Lucia, in WEstern Caribbean, is the second largest island in the Windward group. Volcanic in origin. St Lucia was ceded to Britain by France in 1814. Self-government was granted in 1967. It became independent on Feb. 22, 1979. There is a 17-seat house of Assembly.

Economy: The economy is agricultural, coconut, bananas and cocoa being the main crops: manufactures include soap, plastics, garments and beer.

St. Vincent & The Grenadines

History: One of the Windward islands, west of Barbados, St. Vincent became a British Associated State in 1969 and achieved independence on Oct. 27, 1979.

St. Vincent (345 sq.km.), chief island of the chain, is dominated by the volcano La Soufriere. (It erupted in 1979). The Grenadines is a chain of islets with a total area of 43 sq.km.

The population is of mixed origin: European-negro and Carib-Indian.

Economy: Bananas, arrowroot, copra, sea island cotton and spices are the main products. Industry: Food-processing, electronic equipment assembly, garments, tourism.

Sudan

History: The Sudan, the largest African country, is a republic in north east African. The White Nile flows through the middle of the country and joins the Blue Nile at Khartoum. Sudan became a sovereign independent republic in Jan. , 1956.

The 12 northern provinces are predominantly Arab-Muslim, and the 3 southern provinces are populated largely by Christians and animists.

The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) (the mainstream rebel group which has been fighting for 16 years to free many Christian and animist south Sudan from domination by Islamic, Arabised north) maintains guerilla activities in the south. 1.5m. people have been dead from violence and famine.

In Apr. ’97, Sudan’s Islamic government and four southern rebel groups signed a peace treaty to end the civil war, by which a referendum is to be held after four year for Southerners to decode whether to secede r remain in Sudan. Famine and starvation were reported to be the worst in 1998. UN World Food Programme were flying in food as SPLA called a unilateral ceasefire in their fight with the north. Peace talks in Addis Ababa failed in August.

Economy: The main agricultural crop sorghum is the country’s staple food and cotton is the most important cash crop and main export. Other products include gum arabic (world’s principal producer), sugarcane, sesame, peanuts, dates, hides and skins, chillies, beans and corn. Forests cover about one-fifth of the land area, and most productive woodland is state-owned. Sudan’s mineral wealth includes copper, gold, iron and oi. Industry: Textiles, food processing.

Recent Events: Sudan and rebels signed a peace agreement in January 2005 to end Africa’s longest-running conflict, concluding an 8-year process to stop civil war. John Garang, the Sudanese-rebel-leader-turned-vice-president, died in a helicopter crash.

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