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Republic of Rhodesia
Republic of Rhodesia
1965 / 1970-1979
Flag of Zimbabwe # Historical flags
Coat of arms of Rhodesia
flag coat of arms
Motto : Sit Nomine Digna

( Latin for: May it prove worthy of its name )

Official language English
Capital Salisbury
Form of government Parliamentary Monarchy (1965–1970)
Parliamentary Republic (1970–1979)
Head of state Elizabeth II (1965–1970)
President of Rhodesia (1970–1979)
Head of government Ian Smith
surface 390,580 km²
population 6,930,000 (1978)
Population density 17.7 (1978) inhabitants per km²
currency Rhodesian pound (1964–1970)
Rhodesian dollar (1970–1980)
independence April 18, 1980 by Great Britain as Zimbabwe (Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence from Great Britain on November 11, 1965 was not internationally recognized)
National anthem Rise O Voices of Rhodesia
Time zone UTC +2
License Plate RSR

Rhodesia was the name of the area of ​​the former British colony of Southern Rhodesia , today's Republic of Zimbabwe in southern Africa , after the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia was granted independence as the Republic of Zambia on October 24, 1964 . The name was derived from Cecil Rhodes , the founder of the De Beers mining company and the colony. At times, Southern and Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi ) formed the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland . In 1980 it became independent as the Republic of Zimbabwe .


Declaration of Independence of Rhodesia

As a British crown colony that had ruled itself until then, Southern Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from Great Britain on November 11, 1965. Prime Minister Ian Smith sent the telegram to British Prime Minister Harold Wilson at 1 p.m. local time (11 a.m. in London), just as the victims of the two world wars were commemorated in London for two minutes of silence. Thereupon the High Commissioner John Baines Johnston left the country. Internationally, the declaration of independence was not officially recognized by any state, but from then on the neighboring regional powers South Africa and Portugal worked closely with the Rhodesian government. First, Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen of Rhodesia. The Queen did not accept this title. The Rhodesian Governor General Sir Humphrey Gibbs , who had been its representative since 1959, was ignored by the latter after he had announced his rejection of the unilateral declaration of independence and tried to dismiss the Smith government. The Rhodesian Prime Minister appointed the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Clifford Dupont as the new Head of State representing the Queen with the title “Officer Administering the Government” .

On March 2, 1970, the government proclaimed the republic and Dupont became the first President of Rhodesia . Britain still officially considered Rhodesia a colony. Many states boycotted Rhodesia. The International Olympic Committee decided on August 22, 1972 to exclude the Rhodesian Olympic team from the Olympic Games in Munich . In 1972 the civil war began . To end the guerrilla warfare , the Rhodesia Conference began in Geneva in 1976 .

At the end of September 1976 a few discussion partners met in Washington to discuss the establishment of an international trust to support the country. South Africa's US ambassador, Pik Botha , offered Rhodesia the alternative of accepting whites willing to immigrate.

Prime Minister Ian Smith negotiated parliamentary elections in an internal settlement agreement with two moderate black African parties in 1978 . After its implementation in the same year, the black majority of the population with Bishop Abel Muzorewa provided the Prime Minister ( Zimbabwe-Rhodesia ) for the first time . However, the sanctions remained because the guerrilla movements ZANU and ZAPU , which were partly influenced by communism , were not involved. At the end of 1979 the conference achieved a breakthrough with the Lancaster House Agreement . The country temporarily became a crown colony of Great Britain again, under whose supervision elections took place in March 1980 with the participation of all political groups, which Robert Mugabe's ZANU party won. On April 18, 1980, independent Zimbabwe was proclaimed.


The asteroid (1197) Rhodesia was named after the area.

The sleeping sickness parasite Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense was also named after the area.

Web links

Commons : Rhodesia  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Rhodesia  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ SAIRR: A Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1976 . Johannesburg 1977, pp. 454-455