Sierra Leone the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests; the country has a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature; the country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area; these regions are subdivided into sixteen districts. Sierra Leone was a British Crown Colony from 1808 to 1961. Sierra Leone became independent from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, led by Sir Milton Margai, who became the country's first prime minister. In May 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general elections as an independent nation. On 19 April 1971, Siaka Stevens' government abolished Sierra Leone's parliamentary government system and declared Sierra Leone a presidential republic.
From 1978 to 1985, Sierra Leone was a one-party state in which Stevens' APC was the only legal political party in the country. The current constitution of Sierra Leone, which includes multiparty democracy, was adopted in 1991 by the government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh, Stevens' hand-picked successor. On 23 March 1991, a rebel group known as the Revolutionary United Front led by a former Sierra Leone army officer Foday Sankoh launched an eleven-year brutal civil war in the country, in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Sierra Leone government. In April 1992, a group of junior army officers in their twenties overthrew president Momoh from power, their leader a 25 year old captain Valentine Strasser became the world's youngest Head of State. In January 1996 Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio returned the country to multi-party democracy and the 1991 constitution was reestablished. Bio handed power to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after his victory in the 1996 Sierra Leone presidential election.
In 1997, the military overthrew President Kabbah. However, in February 1998, a coalition of West African Ecowas armed forces led by Nigeria removed the military junta from power by force and President Kabbah was reinstated as president. Sierra Leone has had an uninterrupted democracy from 1998 to present. In January 2002, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fulfilled his campaign promise by ending the civil war as the rebels were defeated by military force with the help and support of Ecowas, the British government, the African Union, the United Nations. 16 ethnic groups inhabit each with its own language and customs. The two largest and most influential are the Mende; the Temne are predominantly found in the northwest of the country, the Mende are predominant in the southeast. Comprising a small minority, about 2%, are the Krio people, who are descendants of freed African-American and West Indian slaves. Although English is the official language, used in schools and government administration, Krio, an English-based creole, is the most spoken language across Sierra Leone and is spoken by 98% of the country's population.
The Krio language unites all the different ethnic groups in the country in their trade and social interaction. Sierra Leone is a Muslim-majority country at about 78%, though there is an influential Christian minority at 21%. Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant states in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully, religious violence is rare; the major Christian and Muslim holidays are public holidays in the country, including Christmas, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha Sierra Leone has relied on mining diamonds, for its economic base. It is among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, is a major producer of gold, has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is home to the third-largest natural harbour in the world. Despite this natural wealth, 53% of its population lived in poverty in 2011. Sierra Leone is a member of many international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Development Bank and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years, populated successively by societies who migrated from other parts of Africa. The people adopted the use of iron by the 9th century and by 1000 AD agriculture was being practised along the coast; the climate changed and boundaries among different ecological zones changed as well, affecting migration and conquest. Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest and swampy environment was considered impenetrable; this environmental factor protected its people from conquests by the Mande and other African empires. This reduced the Islamic influence of the Mali Empire but Islam, introduced by Susu traders and migrants from the north and east, became adopted in the 18th century. European contacts within Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa in the 15th century. In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming the shaped formation Serra da Leoa or "Serra Leoa".
The Spanish rendering of this geographic formation is Sierra Leona, adapted and, became the country's current name. Although according to the p
Mauritius the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The main Island of Mauritius is located about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent; the Republic of Mauritius includes the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon; the capital and largest city Port Louis is located on the main island of Mauritius. In 1598, the Dutch took possession of Mauritius, they abandoned Mauritius in 1710 and the French took control of the island in 1715, renaming it Isle de France. France ceded Mauritius including all its dependencies to the United Kingdom through the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814 and in which Réunion was returned to France; the British colony of Mauritius consisted of the main island of Mauritius along with Rodrigues, Agalega, St Brandon and the Chagos Archipelago, while the Seychelles became a separate colony in 1906. The sovereignty of Tromelin is disputed between Mauritius and France as some of the islands such as St. Brandon, Chagos and Tromelin were not mentioned in the Treaty of Paris.
In 1965, three years prior to the independence of Mauritius, the UK split the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritian territory, the islands of Aldabra and Desroches from the Seychelles, to form the British Indian Ocean Territory. The UK forcibly expelled the archipelago's local population and leased its largest island, Diego Garcia, to the United States; the UK has restricted access to the Chagos Archipelago. The sovereignty of the Chagos is disputed between Mauritius and the UK. In February 2019, in an advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice on this dispute, the ICJ ordered the UK to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius as as possible; the people of Mauritius are multiethnic and multilingual. The island's government is modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system, Mauritius is ranked for democracy and for economic and political freedom; the Human Development Index of Mauritius is one of the highest in Africa. Mauritius is ranked as the most competitive and one of the most developed economies in the African region.
The main pillars of the Mauritian economy are manufacturing, financial services and information and communications technology. Mauritius is a welfare state. Along with the other Mascarene Islands, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island; the island was the only known home of the dodo, along with several other avian species, was made extinct by human activities shortly after the island's settlement. The first historical evidence of the existence of an island now known as Mauritius is on a map produced by the Italian cartographer Alberto Cantino in 1502. From this, it appears that Mauritius was first named Dina Arobi around 975 by Arab sailors, the first people to visit the island. In 1507, Portuguese sailors visited the uninhabited island; the island appears with a Portuguese name Cirne on early Portuguese maps from the name of a ship in the 1507 expedition. Another Portuguese sailor, Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, gave the name Mascarenes to the Archipelago.
In 1598, a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island Mauritius, in honour of Prince Maurice van Nassau, stadholder of the Dutch Republic. The island became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France. On 3 December 1810, the French surrendered the island to Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. Under British rule, the island's name reverted to Mauritius. Mauritius is commonly known as Maurice and Île Maurice in French, Moris in Mauritian Creole; the island of Mauritius was uninhabited before its first recorded visit during the Middle Ages by Arab sailors, who named it Dina Arobi. In 1507, Portuguese sailors came to the uninhabited island and established a visiting base. Diogo Fernandes Pereira, a Portuguese navigator, was the first European known to land in Mauritius, he named the island "Ilha do Cirne". The Portuguese did not stay. In 1598 a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island "Mauritius" after Prince Maurice of Nassau of the Dutch Republic.
The Dutch inhabited the island in 1638, from which they exploited ebony trees and introduced sugar cane, domestic animals and deer. It was from here; the first Dutch settlement lasted twenty years. Several attempts were subsequently made, but the settlements never developed enough to produce dividends, causing the Dutch to abandon Mauritius in 1710. France, which controlled neighbouring Île Bourbon, took control of Mauritius in 1715 and renamed it Isle de France. In 1723, the Code Noir was established to categorise one group of human beings as "goods", in order for the owner of these goods to be able to obtain insurance money and compensation in case of loss of his "goods"; the 1735 arrival of French governor Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais coincided with development of a prosperous economy based on sugar production. Mahé de La Bourdonnais established Port Louis as a shipbuilding centre. Under his governorship, numerous buildings were erected, a number of which are sti
Northern Rhodesia was a protectorate in south central Africa, formed in 1911 by amalgamating the two earlier protectorates of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia. It was administered, as were the two earlier protectorates, by the British South Africa Company, a chartered company on behalf of the British Government. From 1924 it was administered by the British Government as a protectorate under similar conditions to other British-administered protectorates, the special provisions required when it was administered by BSAC were terminated. Although under the BSAC charter it had features of a charter colony, the BSAC's treaties with local rulers and British legislation gave it the status of a protectorate; the territory attracted a small number of European settlers, but from the time these first secured political representation, they agitated for white minority rule, either as a separate entity or associated with Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The mineral wealth of Northern Rhodesia made full amalgamation attractive to Southern Rhodesian politicians, but the British Government preferred a looser association to include Nyasaland.
This was intended to protect Africans in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland from discriminatory Southern Rhodesian laws. The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland formed in 1953 was intensely unpopular among the vast African majority and its formation hastened calls for majority rule; as a result of this pressure, the country became independent in 1964 as Zambia. The geographical, as opposed to political, term "Rhodesia" referred to a region comprising the areas that are today Zambia and Zimbabwe. From 1964, it only referred to the former Southern Rhodesia; the name "Rhodesia" was derived from Cecil John Rhodes, the British capitalist and empire-builder, a guiding figure in British expansion north of the Limpopo River into south-central Africa. Rhodes pushed British influence into the region by obtaining mineral rights from local chiefs under questionable treaties. After making a vast fortune in mining in South Africa, it was his ambition to extend the British Empire north, all the way to Cairo if possible, although this was far beyond the resources of any commercial company to achieve.
Rhodes' main focus was south of the Zambezi, in Mashonaland and the coastal areas to its east, when the expected wealth of Mashonaland did not materialise, there was little money left for significant development in the area north of the Zambezi, which he wanted to be held as cheaply as possible. Although Rhodes sent European settlers into the territory that became Southern Rhodesia, he limited his involvement north of the Zambezi to encouraging and financing British expeditions to bring it into the British sphere of influence. British missionaries had established themselves in Nyasaland, in 1890 the British government's Colonial Office sent Harry Johnston to this area, where he proclaimed a protectorate named the British Central Africa Protectorate; the charter of BSAC contained only vague limits on the northern extent of the company's sphere of activities, Rhodes sent emissaries Joseph Thomson and Alfred Sharpe to make treaties with chiefs in the area west of Nyasaland. Rhodes considered Barotseland as a suitable area for British South Africa Company operations and as a gateway to the copper deposits of Katanga.
Lewanika, king of the Lozi people of Barotseland sought European protection because of internal unrest and the threat of Ndebele raids. With the help of François Coillard of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society he drafted a petition seeking a British protectorate in 1889, but the Colonial Office took no immediate action on it. However, Rhodes sent Frank Elliott Lochner to Barotseland to obtain a concession, offered to pay the expenses of a protectorate there. Lochner told Lewanika that BSAC represented the British government, on 27 June 1890 Lewanika consented to an exclusive mineral concession; this gave the company mining rights over the whole area in which Lewanika was paramount ruler in exchange for an annual subsidy and the promise of British protection, a promise that Lochner had no authority to give. However, the BSAC advised the Foreign Office; as a result, Barotseland was claimed to be within the British sphere of influence under the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1891, although its boundary with Angola was not fixed until 1905.
In 1889, although Britain recognised the rights of the International Association of the Congo to large sections of the Congo basin, which formed the Congo Free State under the personal rule of King Leopold II of Belgium, it did not accept its effective occupation of Katanga, known to have copper and was thought might have gold. Rhodes prompted by Harry Johnston, wanted a mineral concession for the BSAC in Katanga, he sent Alfred Sharpe to obtain a treaty from its ruler, Msiri which would grant the concession and create a British protectorate over his kingdom. King Leopold II of Belgium was interested in Katanga and Rhodes suffered one of his few setbacks when in April 1891 a Belgian expedition led by Paul Le Marinel obtained Msiri's agreement to Congo Free State personnel entering his territory, which they did in force in 1892; this treaty produced the anomaly of the Congo Pedicle. The two stages in acquiring territory in Africa after the Congress of Berlin were, firstly, to enter into treaties with local rulers and, secondly, to make bi-lateral treaties with other European powers.
By one series of agreements made between 1890 and 1910, Lewanika granted concessions covering a poorly defined area of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia, a second series covering a disputed part of North-Eastern Rhodesia was negotiated by Jose
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. It is 34 kilometres in length and up to 23 km in width, covering an area of 432 km2, it is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. It is about 168 km east of both the countries of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 400 km north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt, its capital and largest city is Bridgetown. Inhabited by Kalinago people since the 13th century, prior to that by other Amerindians, Barbados was visited by Spanish navigators in the late 15th century and claimed for the Spanish Crown, it first appeared in a Spanish map in 1511. The Portuguese claimed the island in 1536, but abandoned it, with their only remnants being an introduction of wild hogs for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. An English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1625.
In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England, it became an English and British colony. As a wealthy sugar colony, it became an English centre of the African slave trade until that trade was outlawed in 1807, with final emancipation of slaves in Barbados occurring over a period of years from 1833. On 30 November 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as its queen, it has a population of 287,010 people, predominantly of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, where it is ranked as a leading tourist destination. Forty percent of the tourists come from the UK, with the US and Canada making up the next large groups of visitors to the island; the name "Barbados" is from either the Portuguese term Os Barbados or the Spanish equivalent, Los Barbados, both meaning "the bearded ones". It is unclear whether "bearded" refers to the long, hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree, indigenous to the island, or to the bearded Caribs who once inhabited the island, or, more fancifully, to a visual impression of a beard formed by the sea foam that sprays over the outlying reefs.
In 1519, a map produced by the Genoese mapmaker Visconte Maggiolo showed and named Barbados in its correct position. Furthermore, the island of Barbuda in the Leewards is similar in name and was once named "Las Barbudas" by the Spanish, it is uncertain. One lesser-known source points to earlier revealed works predating contemporary sources indicating it could have been the Spanish. Many if not most believe the Portuguese, en route to Brazil, were the first Europeans to come upon the island; the original name for Barbados in the Pre-Columbian era was Ichirouganaim, according to accounts by descendants of the indigenous Arawakan-speaking tribes in other regional areas, with possible translations including "Red land with white teeth" or "Redstone island with teeth outside" or "Teeth". Colloquially, Barbadians refer to their home island as "Bim" or other nicknames associated with Barbados, including "Bimshire"; the origin is uncertain. The National Cultural Foundation of Barbados says that "Bim" was a word used by slaves, that it derives from the Igbo term bém from bé mụ́ meaning'my home, kind', the Igbo phoneme in the Igbo orthography is close to.
The name could have arisen due to the large percentage of enslaved Igbo people from modern-day southeastern Nigeria arriving in Barbados in the 18th century. The words'Bim' and'Bimshire' are recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary and Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionaries. Another possible source for'Bim' is reported to be in the Agricultural Reporter of 25 April 1868, where the Rev. N. Greenidge suggested the listing of Bimshire as a county of England. Expressly named were "Wiltshire, Hampshire and Bimshire". Lastly, in the Daily Argosy of 1652, there is a reference to Bim as a possible corruption of'Byam', the name of a Royalist leader against the Parliamentarians; that source suggested the followers of Byam became known as'Bims' and that this became a word for all Barbadians. Amerindian settlement of Barbados dates to about the 4th to 7th centuries AD, by a group known as the Saladoid-Barrancoid; the Arawaks from South America became dominant around 800 AD, maintained that status until around 1200.
In the 13th century, the Kalinago arrived from South America. The Spanish and Portuguese claimed Barbados from the late 16th to the 17th centuries; the Arawaks are believed to have fled to neighbouring islands. Apart from displacing the Caribs, the Spanish and Portuguese made little impact and left the island uninhabited; some Arawaks continue to live in Barbados. In the early years the majority of the labour was provided by European indentured servants English and Scottish, with enslaved Africans and enslaved Amerindian providing little of the workforce. During the Cromwellian era this included a large number of prisoners-of-war and people who were illicitly kidnapped, who were forcibly transported to the island and sold as servants; these last two groups were predominately Irish, as several thousand were infamously rounded up by Engli
Malta known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia, 333 km north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2, Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country, its capital is Valletta, the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union. Malta has been inhabited since 5900 BC, its location in the centre of the Mediterranean has given it great strategic importance as a naval base, with a succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Greeks, Normans, Knights of St. John and British. Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country's ancient culture. Malta became a British colony in 1815, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet.
It played an important role in the Allied war effort during the Second World War, was subsequently awarded the George Cross for its bravery in the face of an Axis siege, the George Cross appears on Malta's national flag. The British Parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and queen; the country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence, joined the European Union in 2004. Malta has a long Christian legacy and its Archdiocese is claimed to be an apostolic see because Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked on "Melita", according to Acts of the Apostles, now taken to be Malta. While Catholicism is the official religion in Malta, Article 40 of the Constitution states that "all persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship."Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni and seven megalithic temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
The origin of the name Malta is uncertain, the modern-day variation is derived from the Maltese language. The most common etymology is that the word Malta is derived from the Greek word μέλι, meli, "honey"; the ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη meaning "honey-sweet" for Malta's unique production of honey. The Romans called the island Melita, which can be considered either a latinisation of the Greek Μελίτη or the adaptation of the Doric Greek pronunciation of the same word Μελίτα; this spelling is found in the New Testament. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth, "a haven", or'port' in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. Few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary. Malta has been inhabited from around 5900 BC, since the arrival of settlers from the island of Sicily. A significant prehistoric Neolithic culture marked by Megalithic structures, which date back to c. 3600 BC, existed on the islands, as evidenced by the temples of Mnajdra and others.
The Phoenicians colonised Malta between 800 -- 700 BC, bringing their Semitic culture. They used the islands as an outpost from which they expanded sea explorations and trade in the Mediterranean until their successors, the Carthaginians, were ousted by the Romans in 216 BC with the help of the Maltese inhabitants, under whom Malta became a municipium. After a period of Byzantine rule and a probable sack by the Vandals, the islands were invaded by the Aghlabids in AD 870; the fate of the population after the Arab invasion is unclear but it seems the islands may have been depopulated and were to have been repopulated in the beginning of the second millennium by settlers from Arab-ruled Sicily who spoke Siculo-Arabic. The Muslim rule was ended by the Normans who conquered the island in 1091; the islands were re-Christianised by 1249. The islands were part of the Kingdom of Sicily until 1530, were controlled by the Capetian House of Anjou. In 1530 Charles I of Spain gave the Maltese islands to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in perpetual lease.
The French under Napoleon took hold of the Maltese islands in 1798, although with the aid of the British the Maltese were able to oust French control two years later. The inhabitants subsequently asked Britain to assume sovereignty over the islands under the conditions laid out in a Declaration of Rights, stating that "his Majesty has no right to cede these Islands to any power...if he chooses to withdraw his protection, abandon his sovereignty, the right of electing another sovereign, or of the governing of these Islands, belongs to us, the inhabitants and aborigines alone, without control." As part of the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Malta became a British colony rejecting an attempted integration with the United Kingdom in 1956. Malta became independent on 21 September 1964. Under its 1964 constitution
Maindy Centre, known as Maindy Stadium, now known as Maindy Pool and Cycle Track, includes a cycle track and indoor swimming pool facility in the Maindy area of Cardiff, Wales. The cycle track was used in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and the swimming pool was opened in 1993; the 460 metres outdoor floodlit cycling velodrome was well known for its slight uneveness, caused by subsidence, as the stadium is built on the site of an old tip. There was a six-lane cinder running track inside they cycle track at one point, but this has since been removed and replaced by a mini football pitches and a road section for traffic safety courses (in the middle of the velodrome. There was extensive seating and covered area with a judges box in the 1960s, on an area, now a grass bank behind the back straight of the cycle track. At that time, the finish line on the cycle track was located at the opposite side of the cycle track to its current location. Maindy remains to be used extensively for training and racing and hosts many events such as the Cardiff International Grand Prix.
It is used in particular for teaching youngsters to ride. At 460 metres in length and 25 degree bankings, the track is not as steep as the majority of velodromes, therefore perfect for those new to the sport; the concrete surface is used for floodlit training sessions during the winter, where road bicycles are used as opposed to track bicycles. The cycle track has been resurfaced, seeing an end to the characteristic red asphalt surface which covered it for several years, funded by the Eddie Smart memorial fund; the Maindy Flyers Youth Cycling Club is based at the stadium, boasts past members such as Geraint Thomas. Riders from the club have gone on to win four of the eight Olympic gold medals won by Welsh sportspeople between 1976 and 2016; the British National Derny Championships were held at the stadium in 2007, local riders and past members of Maindy Flyers, Alex Greenfield and Katie Curtis came second and third respecitvley. Another past members of Maindy Flyers, Matthew Rowe, finished third in the men's championships.
Other notable ex-members include Luke Rowe and Owain Doull. The facility has a 6-lane 25 metres length swimming pool, opened in 1993, a 5-a-side pitch,Boxing matches took place at Maindy Stadium between May 1935 and July 1963. List of Commonwealth Games venues Official website Maindy Centre on Citypedia