Sub-Saharan Africa 1902: Treaty of Vereeniging
The Second Boer War resulted in an uneasy victory for the British. Not only had Britain’s ruthless suppression of the Boers led to international condemnation but the financial costs of the war had been immense. In the resulting peace treaty, the Boer republics agreed to become British colonies; in return, they were promised self-government and the issue of black enfranchisement was sidelined.
12–15 Jan 1902 Saudi capture of Riyadh▲
Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, accompanied by 40 followers and with the support of other tribesmen hostile to the Rashidis, infiltrated the Rashidi-held former Saudi capital of Riyadh. There they assaulted Al Masmak Castle, assassinating Ibn Ajlan (the Rashidi governor) and massacring the entire garrison. This capture of Riyadh greatly enhanced Ibn Saud’s reputation, and he was declared emir four months later.
23 Mar–7 May 1902 Cottenest Expedition▲
In response to Kel Ahaggar Tuareg raids on the French-protected Tidikelt, Lieutenant Cottenest led some 130 volunteers from In Salah on a punitive expedition across the Sahara. Cottenest reached Tamanrasset without incident and began his return when his patrol was attacked at Tit by some 300 Kel Ahaggar. After a two-and-a-half hour fight, the Tuareg fled, leaving 93 dead for 6 French losses and ending the legend of Kel Ahaggar invincibility in the desert.
15 May 1902–22 Mar 1904 Bailundo revolt▲
Following a dispute over payments for rum, the Kingdom of Bailundo and a number of other Ovimbundu kingdoms rose in revolt against the colonial government in Portuguese West Africa (Angola). The Portuguese suppressed the revolt in August–September 1902, but their reprisals—including the execution of Cicende king Civava—provoked another rebellion at the end of the year. The Portuguese military returned, but it was not until March 1904 that the last resistance was crushed.
15 May 1902 Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1902▲
Britain and the Ethiopian Empire signed a border treaty to demarcate the border between Ethiopia and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. As part of the treaty, Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia agreed not to construct any work across the Blue Nile, Lake Tsana, or the Sobat River, which would affect the flow of the Nile without consultation with the British. The Ethiopians also agreed to grant the British use of a port along the Baro; this would lead to the founding of a British customs station at Gambela in 1907.
31 May 1902 Treaty of Vereeniging▲
Negotiations to end the Second Boer War between Britain and the two Boer states (the South African Republic and the Republic of the Orange Free State) began in April. In May, both sides met at Vereeniging, where they agreed on a final treaty—a compromise wherein the Boer republics would accept British sovereignty in return for eventual self-government and the postponement of any move towards black enfranchisement. The treaty was signed in Pretoria on 31 May 1902, ending the Second Boer War and turning the Boer republics into the British colonies of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony.