Rhodesia, a country in southern Africa, was a fairly prosperous British colony until the mid-1960s; however, the black African majority of Rhodesia was ruled by a handful of white leaders. The country fought Great Britain in a 15-year war for independence, which it ultimately achieved in 1980. Zimbabwe, as the new country became known, saw its prosperity decline dramatically under Robert Mugabe, its first ruler. He seized total control over the country and persecuted his political enemies.
In recent years, Mugabe policies--such as military involvement in the Congolese civil war and a land redistribution program--as well as government corruption have devastated the country economically. Although Mugabe's agreed to a power-sharing arrangement in 2009, many political issues remain unresolved. As a result, the future of Zimbabwe is uncertain.
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