Sub-Saharan Africa 1908: Belgian Congo
News of atrocities in the Congo Free State - personally ruled by King Leopold II of Belgium since the 1880s - led to public outcry in the early 20th century. Bowing to international pressure, the parliament of Belgium annexed the territory as the Belgian Congo in November 1908, bringing an end to an exploitative regime which had presided over some 6-10 million native deaths.
29 Mar 1908-27 Oct 1911 Ouaddai War▲
Encouraged by the Senussi, Sultan Dud Murra of the Wadai Sultanate declared a jihad against the encroaching French in 1908. The French promptly invaded Wadai, decisively defeating the sultan’s forces at Dokotachi and Djoua, before entering the capital of Abeche in June 1909 and installing Dud Murra’s cousin Adam Asil as their puppet. Dud Murra fled east, continuing to resist until his final surrender to the French in October 1911.
16 May 1908 Italo-Ethiopian Convention▲
The Italian and Ethiopian governments defined the eastern portion of the Eritrea-Ethiopia frontier as well as the frontier between Italian Somalia and Ethiopia. This convention completed the definition of Ethiopia’s borders except for some dispute as to which route the frontier took across the Ogaden to the British Somaliland border.
15 Nov 1908 Belgian Congo▲
From around 1900 news of atrocities in the Congo Free State led to a growing public outcry against King Leopold of Belgium’s exploitative rule of that country. Bowing to international pressure, the parliament of Belgium annexed the Congo Free State, assuming sovereignty over the territory as the Belgian Congo in November 1908. Nonetheless, much of the colonial administration remained in place and Théophile Wahis, Governor-General of the Congo Free State since 1900 and a staunch advocate of Leopold’s methods, would continue as Governor-General of the Belgian Congo until 1912.