United Nations Trust Territories

Wind of Change

Sub-Saharan Africa 1950.0401

United Nations Trust Territories

Africa after World War II, African independence (1 April 1950)

Historical Map of Sub-Saharan Africa

After World War II the League of Nations was replaced by the United Nations and the old League mandates became UN trust territories. In 1950 Somaliland also became a trust territory, administered by Italy - its pre-war colonial ruler - on behalf of the UN. Objecting to the UN's push for independence and self-determination in Africa, South Africa rejected UN trusteeship over South West Africa and adopted apartheid - a system of racial segregation under white domination.

Main Events

Indian Independence

Under the direction of Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma, the last Viceroy of the British Indian Empire, British India is partitioned into the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India. Indian National Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru becomes Prime Minister of India, with Mountbatten agreeing to remain as Governor-General. The British Indian Army, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury are divided between India and Pakistan.

Apartheid

On 26 May 1948 Daniel Francois Malan led the Reunited National Party (HNP) to victory in the South African parliamentary elections, narrowly defeating incumbent Prime Minister Jan Smuts and his United Party (the HNP won 70 to the UP's 65 seats, despite gaining only 37.7% of the vote to 49.18%). When Malan assumed power a week later, he began pushing through apartheid legislation to politically, economically, and socially segregate what the HNP saw as South Africa's four distinct racial groups (Whites, Blacks, Coloureds, and Indians) under the domination of the White minority. The National Party would continue to run South Africa until 1994, retaining power by removing the Coloured vote and incorporating the pro-Nationalist Whites of South West Africa into the political process.

Restoration of the Ogaden

Following continued Ethiopian pleas and under pressure from the United States, the United Kingdom ended its military administration of the Ogaden and restored the territory to Ethiopia. However, the British remained in Haud and Reserved Areas - part of the Ethiopian Ogaden but under a separate British administration - until 1955.

Trust Territory of Somaliland

In November 1949 the United Nations agreed to make Italian Somalia - at the time under British military administration - a Trust Territory under Italian administration. The Italians replaced the British on 1 April 1950 and would administer the territory for ten years until its independence as Somalia.

About this map     Download map