Kingdom of Lesotho

Political Status: Traditional monarchy, independent within the Commonwealth since October 4, 1966.

Area: 11,720 sq. mi. (30,355 sq. km.).

Population: 1,872,721 (2006C); 2,741,000 (2008E), even without the exclusion of expatriate workers in South Africa (approximately 150,000 in 1999), the 2006 figure would appear to reflect substantial underenumeration

Major Urban Center (2005E): MASERU (185,000).

Official Languages: English, Sesotho.

Monetary Unit: Loti (official rate December 1, 2009: 7.33 maloti = $1US). The loti is at par with the South African rand, although under a Tripartite Monetary Area agreement concluded between Lesotho, Swaziland, and South Africa on July 1, 1986, the rand has ceased to be legal tender in Lesotho.

Sovereign: King LETSIE III; became king upon the dethronement of his father, King MOSHOESHOE II. on November 6, 1990; voluntarily abdicated upon ...

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