The Kingdom of Lesotho, formerly known as Basutoland, gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. For the first two decades of the nations existence The Basuto National party was in power, until 1990 when King Moshoeshoe was exiled. In 1993 the Kingdom of Lesotho returned to a constitutional government after a seven-year period of military rule. In 1992 King Moshoeshoe returned to Lesotho and worked to regain power in 1995, he was then succeeded by his son King Letsie III in 1996. In 1998 protests broke out among civilians and the military following a disputed election necessitating intervention by South African and Botswana military forces under the South African Development Community. After these incidents some constitutional reforms were reinstated and restored temporary stability. In May of 2012 elections for Prime Minister occurred, Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane replaced a 14-year incumbent in a peaceful transfer of power.

General Information
Official Name: 
Kingdom of Lesotho, 'Muso oa Lesotho
Capitol: 
Maseru
Population: 
1,942,008
Languages: 
Sesotho, English, Zulu, Xhosa
Geographic Region: 
Geographic Size (km sq): 
30,355
Year of UN Membership: 
1966
Year of Present State Formation: 
1966
Online Profiles
Key Statistics & Indicators
Gross Domestic Product (GDP, Nominal): 
$2.457 Billion
Per Capita Income (PPP Adjusted): 
$1,444 (CID)
GDP Growth: 
4.10 (%)
Human Development Index (HDI): 
0.49
Gini Index (Income Inequality): 
63.20
Economic Grouping: 
Developing Country
Landlocked Developing Country
Least Developed Country
History
International Relations
UN Voting Blocs & Caucuses: 
Group of 77 (G-77)
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
African Group
Major International & Regional Organizations: 
ACP: African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States
AfDB: African Development Bank
AU: African Union
Commonwealth of Nations (British)
CD: Community of Democracies
ICRM: International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
IFRCS: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Interpol: International Criminal Police Organization
IOC: International Olympic Committee
IOM: International Organization for Migration
IPU: Inter-Parliamentary Union
ISO: International Organization for Standardization
SACU: Southern African Customs Union
SADC: Southern African Development Community
WCO: World Customs Organization
WFTU: World Federation of Trade Unions
UN Specialized Agencies & Organizations: 
CTBTO: Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency
IBRD: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organization
ICSID: International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
IDA: International Development Association
IFAD: International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFC: International Finance Corporation
ILO: International Labor Organization
IMF: International Monetary Fund
ITU: International Telecommunications Union
MIGA: Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
OPCW: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNIDO: United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNWTO: United Nations World Tourism Organization
UPU: Universal Postal Union
WBG: World Bank Group
WHO: World Health Organization
WIPO: World Intellectual Property Organization
WMO: World Meteorological Organization
WTO: World Trade Organization
Bilateral Relations
United Nations Data
Government Sources
UN Mission
204 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
(212) 661-1690/1691/1692
(212) 682-4388
lesotho@un.int
Profile Completion: 

View Another Country