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This Day in African History: 9 December

A chronicle of events in African history on this day

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1909, 9 December
Birth of Kwame Nkrumah, the father of pan-Africanism and president of Ghana.

1940, 9 December - World War II: North Africa
Beginning of Operation Compass, the British offensive against Italian forces in Egypt. The British 8th Army advances on Sidi Barrani.

1961, 9 December
Tanganyika (now Tanzania) achieves independence.

1962, 9 December
Julius Kambarage Nyerere is first president of newly formed Republic of Tanganyika.

1974, 9 December
Portuguese and Rhodesian soldiers are accused in a UN report of torturing and killing over 1,000 Africans in Mozambique during the war of independence.

1982, 9 December
41 people are killed during a raid by South African forces against supposed guerrilla bases in Lesotho.

1992, 9 December
US Marines land on the coast of Somalia, part of President Bush's 'humanitarian' campaign against Somali warlords who are holding the country to ransom. Instead of meeting military opposition, the Marines are faced by the world's press.

1996, 9 December
Death of Mary Leakey, archaeologist and physical anthropologist, at the age of 83. Discovered Australopicthecus boises (Zinjanthropus) in 1959 as well as the Miocene primate Proconsul. Worked almost exclusively at Olduvai Gorge from the mid 60s. In 1978 she discovered footprint tracks at Laetoli. Mary Leakey, wife of Louis Leakey, retired from active field work in 1983.

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This Day in African History

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