This book provides a critical understanding of the emerging role of African militaries in peacetime democratic Africa.
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Table of contents :
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
List of abbreviations
Map of Africa
1 African militaries in war, peace and support for democratic development
2 The military in Nigeria: war, peace and support for democratic development
3 The Rwanda Defence Force: from genocide to peace and democratic consolidation
4 The military in Uganda: war, peace and support for democratic consolidation
5 Military response to Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria: implications for peace, security and democracy in the Lake Chad Basin
6 African solutions to Western problems: Western-sponsored training programmes for African militaries – impact on peace and democratic consolidation
7 African standby force: challenges and opportunities for support of democracy in Africa
8 African militaries, security sector reform and peace dividends: a case study of Ethiopia’s post-1998 defence reform experience and impact on democratic development
9 Egypt: the military in war, peace and democratic development
African Peace Militaries
This book provides a critical understanding of the emerging role of African militaries in peacetime democratic Africa. This book departs from the dominant perspective which simply presents the military as an ‘enemy’ of democracy because of the history and legacy of unending military coups d’état and interventions in civilian politics. In the context of Africa, the military has been blamed or largely held responsible for instigating wars, armed conflicts, political violence, poverty and underdevelopment due to bad governance and mismanagement of the state. Drawing from diverse case studies across Africa, including Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Egypt, this volume presents the argument that though the military has played a negative, and sometimes, destructive role in undermining constitutional rule and the overthrow of democratic civilian governments, the same military, now operating in a changed global environment, is making effort to support the development of democracy and democratic consolidation as well as remain subjected to civilian democratic oversight and control. Notwithstanding, the real challenge for this emerging trend of African peace militaries is the extent to which they are able to fulfil, on a predictable and consistent basis, their constitutional mandate to defend the people against ‘elected autocrats’ in Africa who try to use the military to perpetuate themselves in power. This work fills a critical gap in the literature and will be of much interest to students of African security and politics, peace and conflict studies, security studies and IR in general. David J. Francis is the most recent Head of Department of Peace Studies and is currently Director of the John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS) at the University of Bradford, UK. He is author/editor of eight books, including US Strategy in Africa (ed. Routledge, 2010).
Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution Series Editors: Tom Woodhouse and Oliver Ramsbotham University of Bradford
Gender, Peace and Security Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 Edited by Theodora-Ismene Gizelis and Louise Olsson Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation Multi-level challenges in deeply divided societies Sarah Maddison International Intervention, Identity and Conflict Transformation Bridges and walls between groups Timea Spitka Peacebuilding and Friction Global and local encounters in post conflict societies Edited by Annika Björkdahl, Kristine Höglund, Gearoid Millar, Jaïr van der Lijn and Willemijn Verkoren Resolving Deep-rooted Conflicts Essays on the theory and practice of interactive problem-solving Herbert C. Kelman Edited by Werner Wintersteiner and Wilfried Graf Climate Change and Resource Conflict The role of scarcity Judith M. Bretthauer
Ceasefire Agreements and Peace Processes A comparative study Malin Åkebo Conflict Transformation and the Palestinians The dynamics of peace and justice under occupation Edited by Alpaslan Özerdem, Chuck Thiessen and Mufid Qassoum Peacebuilding and Post-War Transitions Assessing the impact of external- domestic interactions Lisa Groß Resolving Structural Conflicts How violent systems can be transformed Richard E. Rubenstein African Peace Militaries War, Peace and Democratic Governance Edited by David J. Francis Peace Leadership The Quest for Connectedness Edited by Stan Amaladas and Sean Byrne
African Peace Militaries
War, Peace and Democratic Governance
Edited by David J. Francis
First published 2018 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2018 selection and editorial matter, David J. Francis; individual chapters, the contributors The right of the editor to be identified as the author of the editorial mater, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-1-138-68229-0 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-54523-3 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Wearset Ltd, Boldon, Tyne and Wear
List of illustrations Notes on contributors List of abbreviations Map of Africa
African militaries in war, peace and support for democratic development
vii viii xi xv
D a v id J . F rancis
The military in Nigeria: war, peace and support for democratic development
O shita O shita
The Rwanda Defence Force: from genocide to peace and democratic consolidation
M arco J owell
The military in Uganda: war, peace and support for democratic consolidation
E ric A wich O chen
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria: implications for peace, security and democracy in the Lake Chad Basin
K enneth C . O meje
African solutions to Western problems: Western-sponsored training programmes for African militaries – impact on peace and democratic consolidation D a v id C huter
vi Contents 7
African standby force: challenges and opportunities for support of democracy in Africa
K asaija P hillip A puuli
African militaries, security sector reform and peace dividends: a case study of Ethiopia’s post-1998 defence reform experience and impact on democratic development
A nn M . F it z - G erald , P aula M ac P hee A N D I an W esterman
Egypt: the military in war, peace and democratic development
J oseph L ansana K ormoh
Figure 1 Map of Africa
Tables 1.1 Military and non-military rule in Africa 1.2 The military and phenomenon of ‘elected autocrats’ in Africa 1.3 Support for democracy? Military handover of power to civilian governments in Africa 1.4 Top 10 largest economies and top 10 largest militaries/armed forces in Africa 8.1 Accountable, suitable, sustainable 9.1 GFP power index rating of 0.3056 (0.0000 being perfect)/ Egypt ranked 12 of 126
2 8 10 12 144 161
David J. Francis holds a Research Professorial Chair in African Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Bradford. Professor Francis is the most recent Head of the Department of Peace Studies and currently serves as Director of the John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS) and Commissioner for the UK Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. Oshita Oshita is the Director-General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Abuja, Nigeria. He belongs to many professional associations, including the British International Studies Association (BISA), the Network for African Peace-builders, Nigerian Philosophical Association, and he is 2nd Vice-President of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP), Nigeria. Professor Oshita has lectured in various universities in Nigeria and overseas. He served the Federal House of Representatives of Nigeria from 1992 to 1993. Marco Jowell is Director of the Africa Research Group, a research and consultancy organisation focussing on policy advice and analysis. He is also strategic adviser at the Rwanda Peace Academy, a regional Peace Support Operations (PSO) training centre in Rwanda. Marco specialises in the politics, political economy and security dynamics of East and Central Africa with a broad background in policy advice with governments, international organisations (including a range of UN agencies), international and local NGOs, and the private sector. Marco has held positions with the United Nations Group of Experts for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was Senior Research Analyst at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), was head of applied research at the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) in Kenya and was Director of Research for the Great Lakes Centre for Strategic Studies (GLCSS), Rwanda. Marco has a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London examining African Defence Forces and PSO training in Africa. Eric Awich Ochen is Commonwealth visiting Fellow at the Division of Peace and International Development at the University of Bradford, Eric Awich Ochen completed his doctoral studies at the Centre for Applied Childhood
Contributors ix Studies in the School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield in January 2012. Eric currently works as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of Makerere University. He is the author of several articles on children and young people in conflict situations, spanning publications in journals such as Child Abuse and Neglect, British Journal of Social Work, Journal of Community Practice, Anthropology Southern Africa, Infant Mental Health Journal and several high quality book chapter contributions. Dr Ochen is currently working on a post-doctoral project on how young people participate in post-conflict peacebuilding in northern Uganda, and an assessment of how youth subcultures influence young people’s behaviour in former conflict-affected areas. Kenneth C. Omeje is Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director, John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies, University of Bradford, UK; Research Fellow, Centre for African Studies, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa; and Visiting Professorial Fellow, Department of Political Science and Defence Studies, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, Nigeria. He holds a PhD degree in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford. His most recent books include Conflict and Peacebuilding in the African Great Lakes Region (co-edited, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2013), and The Crises of Postcoloniality in Africa (edited, Dakar: CODESRIA Books, 2015). He has more than 80 publications, including books, book chapters, contributions to international encyclopedias and articles in well-regarded journals. Kenneth has held visiting research fellowships at many international centres of academic excellence, including the Georg Eckert Institute (GEI), Braunschweig, Germany where he was a Georg Arnold Visiting Research Professor in Education for Sustainable Peace during the Autumn of 2014. He is a Fellow of the West Africa Institute (WAI), Praia, Cape Verde. David Chuter worked for more than 30 years for the British government, and in international organisations and think tanks. He took early retirement at the end of 2008, and is now an independent lecturer, consultant, author and translator based in Paris. His last job was as Special Adviser to the Policy Director of the French Defence Ministry. During 1993 he became involved on a personal basis in the defence and security transition in South Africa, and subsequently helped train a new generation of security sector personnel, in South Africa and the SADC region. He has taught in Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East. Dr Chuter is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cranfield, and a lecturer at Sciences Po, Paris. He is the author of four books, and numerous articles in English and French on security-related subjects. Kasaija Phillip Apuuli is Associate Professor of Political Science at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. He obtained his doctorate degree in international law at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. His research concentrates on the issue of peace and security in Africa.
x Contributors Ann M. Fitz-Gerald is a Professor of Security Sector Management at Cranfield University’s Centre for Defence Management and Leadership. She is the Course Director of the MSc Security Sector Management, which is taught in both the UK and East Africa. Ann is also a Senior Security and Justice Adviser for the UK government’s Stabilisation Unit and, in this capacity, has facilitated both national security dialogue and peace talks on the African continent. Her research focuses on strategic security reforms in conflict affected and transitional societies. Paula MacPhee is a Teaching Fellow based at Cranfield University’s School of Defence and Security. She holds a postgraduate degree in International Relations and a BA (Hons) in Languages and International Trade. She is currently a Doctoral (EdD, Learning, Leadership and Policy) candidate at Bristol University where she is researching the role of higher education in the professionalisation of armed forces in developing states. Paula teaches on Cranfield University’s Security Sector Management and Defence Leadership post- graduate education programmes, both in the UK and overseas. Ian Westerman spent 30 years in the British Army before leaving with the rank of Colonel in 2009. His last job was as an Assistant Director at the UK’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre where he led the team writing JDP 3–40, the UK’s doctrine on Stabilisation. He read for a MPhil in International Relations at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 2007, and is currently a doctoral research student with Cranfield University’s Defence Management and Leadership School in Shrivenham. His PhD considers the question of whether elements of the way in which Israel organises its civil–military relations might usefully inform an alternative Security Sector Reform model for use in conflict-affected and post-conflict states. Joseph Lansana Kormoh is a Commonwealth Doctoral Scholar in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in the UK. He is a Research Fellow in the Department of History and African Studies at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Kormoh’s most recent publication is a chapter contribution on ‘Chieftaincy Reform and Liberal Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone’ in M. Mustapha and J. Bangura (eds) Democratisation and Human Security in Post-war Sierra Leone Palgrave/Macmillan, 2016, pp. 37–58.
ACIRC ACODE ACOTA ACRI AFISMA AFRC AG AMIB AMIS AMISOM AMU APC APSA AQIM ASF AU BBC BOU BRICS CADSP CAF CDS CEWS CHOGM CIA CIC CIS CPLP CPX DAC DCAF
African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises Advocate Coalition for Development and the Environment African Contingency Operation Training and Assistance African Crisis Response Initiative African-led International Support Mission in Mali Armed Forces Revolutionary Council Action Group African Union Mission in Burundi African Union Mission in Sudan African Union Mission in Somalia Arab Maghreb Union All Progressives Congress African Peace and Security Architecture Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb African Standby Force African Union British Broadcasting Corporation Bank of Uganda Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa Common African Defence and Security Policy Central African Republic Chief of Defence Staff Continental Early Warning System Commonwealth Heads of Government and Ministers Central Intelligence Agency Commander in Chief Communication Information Systems Community of Portuguese Language Countries Command Post Exercise Development Assistance Committee Democratic Control of Armed Forces
xii Abbreviations DDR EASF ECCAS ECOMIB ECOWAS ECOMICI ECOWAS ECOMOG ECOWAS ECOWARN ECOWAS ECOWAS ECPF EFCC ENDF EPRDF ESF FANSPS FDI FEDEMU FOMAC FRELIMO FTX FUNA GDP GTP HIPC HIPPO HIV IDPs IGAD INEC ISIS ISSAT ISSI ISWAP IMAT IPOB JEFCAS KY LCBC LGAs LRA MASSOB
Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration East African Standby Force Economic Community of Central African States Mission in Guinea Bissau Mission in Côte d’Ivoire Monitoring Group Early Warning System Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Ethiopian National Defence Force Ethiopian People’s Republic Democratic Forum ECOWAS Standby Force Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy Foreign Direct Investment Federal Democratic Movement of Uganda Economic Community of Central African States Standby Force Frente de Libertação Moçambique Field Training Exercise Former Uganda National Army Gross Domestic Product Growth and Transformation Plan Highly Indebted Poor Countries High Level Independent Panel on Peacekeeping Operations Human Immunodefficiency Virus Internally Displace Persons Intergovernmental Authority for Development Independent National Electoral Commission Islamic State of Iraq and Syria International Security Sector Advisory Team Islamic States in Syria and Iraq Islamic State’s West Africa Province International Military Assistance and Training Indigenous Peoples of Biafra John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies Kabaka Yekka Lake Chad Basin Commission Local Government Areas Lord’s Resistance Army Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra
Abbreviations xiii MEND METEC MFDC MICEMA ECOWAS MICOPAX MINUCI MINUSCA MINUSMA MISCA MNC MNJTF MOH MONUC MPCI MPLA MSC MSF NAADS NARC NATO NRA NRC NRM NRM-O NURTW OAU OECD OPC OWC PASDEP PCRD PDP PRO PSC PSO QIPs RDF
Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta Metals and Engineering Corporation Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de la Casamance Mission in Mali Peace Consolidation Mission in the Central African Republic United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic Multinational Corporations Multinational Joint Task Force Ministry of Health United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo Mouvement Patriotique de Côte d’Ivoire Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola Military Staff Committee Médecins Sans Frontières National Agricultural Advisory Services North Africa Regional Capability North Atlantic Treaty Organizations National Resistance Army National Resistance Council National Resistance Movement National Resistance Movement Organization National Union of Road Transport Workers Organization of African Unity Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development O’Odua People’s Congress Operation Wealth Creation Plan for Accelerated and Sustainable Development and Growth Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development People’s Democratic Party Public Relations Officer Peace and Security Council Peace Support Operations Quick Impact Projects Rwandan Defence Force
xiv Abbreviations RDFCSC RECAMP RECs RM RPA RPGs RUF SADC SAPs SFC SMC SSF SSR STCDSS SWAPO TPLF UFM UN UNAMID UNAMSIL UNDP UNDPKO UNITA UNLA UNMIL UNMISS UNOCHA UNRF UPC UPDF US WAFF WAI WANEP WANSA
Rwandan Defence Force Command and Staff College Renforcement des capacités africaines de maintien de la paix Regional Economic Communities Regional Mechanisms Rwandan Patriotic Army Rocket Propelled Grenade Revolutionary United Front Southern Africa Development Community Structural Adjustment Programmes Special Forces Command Standing Mediation Committee Southern Africa Development Community Standby Force Security Sector Reform Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Security and Safety South West Africa People’s Organization Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Force Uganda Freedom Movement United Nations United Nations Mission in Darfur United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Sierra Leone United Nations Development Programme United Nations Department of Peace Keeping Operations National Union for the Total Independence of Angola Ugandan National Liberation Army United Nations Mission in Liberia United Nations Mission in South Sudan United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Uganda National Rescue Front Uganda People’s Congress Uganda People’s Defense Forces United States West Africa Frontier Force War Against Independence West African Network for Peacebuilding West African Network on Small Arms
Senega; .GM1bia M.uritani.
M.uritani. M.uritani. M.uritani. M.uritani. Algeria
Equetoriel GuineaStoTome. andPrincipo
M.uritani. M.uritani. M.uritani.
Comoros M.uritani. Zambia
Figure 1 Map of Africa. Source: www.dmaps.com/carte.php?num_car=25459&lang=en.
1 African militaries in war, peace and support for democratic development David J. Francis
Introduction Across Africa, it will be an understatement to say that the military and democracy do not simply go together because of the long history of constant military interventions in civilian democratic politics and constitutional rule. It is like putting a lion and a sheep together in a demarcated jungle. Based on this dominant perception about the military in Africa, this seminal book has two primary objectives. First, to provide a critical understanding of the emerging role of the military in peacetime democratic societies in Africa. Second, to examine the role and contribution of the military to the development of democracy and democratic consolidation. This original contribution fills a critical gap in the literature and our understanding of the role of African militaries in wars and armed conflicts, political violence, politics and governance, peace and security, poverty and underdevelopment in Africa’s post-colonial states. The armed forces have been blamed or partly held responsible for most of the problems of the crisis of state formation and nation building in post-independent Africa. In simple terms, the military is perceived as a source of insecurity and a threat to long-term peace, stability, democratic governance and sustainable development in Africa’s weak and fragile states. The post-colonial history of Africa is replete with the intervention of the military in domestic politics through coups d’état that overthrow constitutional rule and democratic governance. The African militaries themselves, as a legitimate state-governing institution, have been politicised, co-opted, subverted and privatised by the ruling and governing elites to serve their strategic vested interests, often based on the worst forms of neo-patrimonial governance, political ethnicity and prebendal politics. The involvement of African militaries in the politics of decline and bad governance has created and/or instigated fundamental grievances that have fuelled political violence, instability, wars and armed conflicts, in some cases hastening the failure and collapse of the state. In effect, the militaries have had significant impact on the post-colonial state, state-society relations, peace, security and development and, in particular, the international iconic image of the ‘hopeless continent’ (The Economist, 2000). Military interventions in civilian politics and governance of the state have been one of the dominant images of post-colonial Africa. Since the 1960s, the
2 D.J. Francis international media have paraded countless military juntas taking over control of the state through coups d’état and counter coups to the extent that they became the familiar picture of politics and the phenomenon of the so-called ‘African Strongman’. Since 1958 when the guns of the first military coup d’état were fired in Sudan, we have seen the military overthrow civilian governments, whether democratically elected or one-party civilian dictatorships. In general, post-colonial Africa has been a hot bed for military coups. The prevailing external (Cold War Politics), and in particular, the general socio-political, economic and underdevelopment conditions predisposed the continent to military interventions. Between 1958–2012, there have been an estimated 655 successful, attempted, plotted and alleged coups in 39 countries in Africa (Barka and Ncube, 2012). The West African sub-region has seen the most incidents of military coups and the assault of the so-called Praetorian Guard, totalling 104 successful and unsuccessful coups between 1960–2010. Central Africa counts for 35; East Africa, 48; Southern Africa 16 (Barka and Ncube, 2012). By all indications, Africa seems to be the region with the most incidents and longest duration of military intervention in civilian politics and governance of the state. Table 1.1 illustrates the dominance and duration of military governance in some selected countries in Africa. However, it is important to put this into perspective because no region of the world has been spared the scourge of military intervention in civilian politics Table 1.1 Military and non-military rule in Africa Military rule in years: 1958–2016
Non-military rule in years: 1958–2016
North Africa Libya Sudan
West Africa Nigeria Sierra Leone Liberia Guinea The Gambia Mali Togo Niger Côte d’Ivoire Guinea Bissau
29 6 10 10 23 11 16 16 1 15
29 52 48 48 56 47 42 42 57 43
Horn, East and Central Africa Central African Republic Somalia Uganda
27 22 25
31 36 33
Source: BBC Timeline www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13315719, Conflict Trends in Africa (Marshall); Coups d’Etat in Africa: 1946–2004 www.systemicpeace.org/africa/ACPPAnnex2b.pdf.
African peace militaries 3 and governance of the state. From 876 bce, when the military commander, Zimri, assassinated King Elah and usurped the Kingship of Israel, the spectre of military coups and interventions has been in all regions of the world, including regions that we now describe as Western Liberal Democracies. Important examples include Oliver Cromwell’s overthrow of King Charles I and claiming leadership of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1649 as well as the military dictatorships in Greece, Spain and Portugal in the 1970s and 1980s. The failed military coup on 15 July 2016 against the democratically elected government of President Erdogan in Turkey demonstrates that military intervention in civilian politics is not a typically African phenomenon. Nevertheless, military intervention in civilian politics has been a continuous phenomenon in Africa. In fact, there are three broad classifications of military coups and intervention in civilian politics. Phase One between 1959–1980s, marks the Cold War politics as represented by the East (Socialist/Communist) and West (Capitalist) ideological hostilities and confrontations which actively supported military interventions and coups in pursuit of their strategic Cold War political, military, security/defence and economic/commercial interests. This phase is regarded as the height of military interventions in Africa as witnessed by a plethora of coups and counter coups. Phase Two between 1990s and 2000s, marks the relative decline of military coups as rebel civil wars replaced military coups as the means to secure state power and access to its patrimonial resources. Military coups during this period were largely driven by the post-Cold War strategic imperatives; the limits of the newly introduced democratisation processes and the neopatrimonial interest of the ruling and governing elites in some of the weak, failed or collapsed states in Africa. The Third Phase between 2008 and 2012 marks the resurgence of military coups and intervention in civilian politics in countries such as Mauritania in August 2008; Guinea in December 2008; Niger in February 2010 and Mali in March 2012. This resurgence is happening against the background of three important developments including the lack of domestic and international appetite for military rule; decrease in wars and armed conflicts as well as the rebel civil war phenomenon; and the proscription by the Africa Union in its Constitutive Act of military intervention and coups in Africa. But is military intervention in civilian politics a never-ending phenomenon in Africa? (Barka and Ncube, 2012). Though internal and external factors (Cold War politics, military and security; commercial/financial interests of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) have coalesced to cause, instigate and fuel military coups and interventions in Africa, it is important to recognise that every coup or military intervention is motivated by different causes, origins and effects. As long as there is poor, if not, outright bad governance over a period of time which creates fundamental grievances and marginalisation of large segments of the country and society from the economic and political processes of the state, then military coups, or rebel civil wars, may be inevitable in Africa. It is therefore not surprising that military rule and governance of the state has been blamed for most of the problems faced by the post-colonial states including widespread poverty; underdevelopment; wars and armed conflicts; insecurity
4 D.J. Francis and political instability; state fragility and collapse; poor economic growth; depressing socio-development indicators; bad governance and failure of democratic consolidation. It is arguable whether all these problems can simply be blamed on the military. For instance, the military are part and parcel of the polity and a product of the society. In effect, the motivations for intervention in civilian politics are largely products of the society in which the military have emerged as part of the nature of domestic politics based, sometimes, on the worst forms of neo-patrimonial governance (Francis, 2006; Bayart, 2009; Reno, 1998). Equally, there are countries in Africa that have not suffered from military rule such as Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, but still share all or most of the depressing socio-economic and development indicators as well as political/ governance misrule that are often blamed on military rule in Africa. What is more, there are a few examples of ‘progressive’ military rule that tried to promote accountable, disciplined and anti-corruption governance such as Captain Thomas Sankara’s Burkina Faso and General Muhamadu Buhari’s Nigeria in the 1980s. To be clear, this book is not about understanding why and how the military in Africa intervenes in civilian politics and governance or to determine the predictability and/or prevention of military coups or reduce their occurrence. There is a vast scholarly literature explaining the motivations, causes and consequences of coups and military intervention on the state, political stability, governance, economic development and militarisation of societies (Jackman, 1978; Wells, 1974; Coleman and Brice, Jr, 1962; Collier and Hoeffler, 2005a; Johnson et al., 1984). Notwithstanding, the conceptual interpretations of military coups in post- independence Africa have focused on six broad explanations. First, that military coups are motivated by the problems and challenges of modernisation of the newly independent states. Second, cultural pluralism and, in particular, the dominance of one of two ethnic groups instigate or cause military coups (Jackman, 1978). Third, that the introduction of multi-party democracy and its divisive politics in an environment lacking democratic culture and viable democratic institutions as well as the ‘Third Term’ bid to change the Constitution to extend term limits of staying in power, all create the propensity for coups as in Niger in 2010. Fourth, poor economic governance, ineffective political and economic management of the state leading to poor standard of living, high unemployment, weak economic growth and depressing socio-development indicators, negative effects of the neo-liberal Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) and the end of Cold War rent resources to puppet regimes create the conditions for military coups (Johnson et al., 1984; Barka and Ncube, 2012). Fifth, that the military, as part of the ruling and governing elites, has a self-interest to secure and has access to state power and its neopatrimonial resources through coups. This political economy analysis argues that the military are simply motivated by ‘greed’ and thus see a correlation between high military spending and high risk of coups (Collier and Hoeffler, 2005b). Sixth, that external and structural factors such as colonial legacies, Cold War politics and economic and commercial interests of MNCs instigate support for military coups (Luckham et al., 2001; Souare, 2006; Stockwell, 1978; Agee, 1975).
African peace militaries 5 The role of external actors such as former colonial masters, foreign powers and MNCs in pursuit of strategic geopolitical, military, security, economic and financial interests played a significant role in causing military coups in Africa’s new states, thereby creating a contagion effect and a kind of esprit de corps mentality amongst the armed forces in Africa. According to declassified US documents, the US and Belgian governments actively supported the military overthrow of the new government of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo in 1961 and the overthrow of Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah in 1966. In the case of Congo, declassified documents of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee state that the CIA (Operations) secured the approval from the White House Oval Office, claiming that President Dwight Eisenhower gave ‘an order for the assassination of Lumumba’ because of his pro-Communist and anti- Western politics which were regarded as detrimental to the strategic interests of the West.1 In the case of Ghana, the CIA, with the approval of the US government, actively and covertly supported the overthrow of President Nkrumah. According to declassified documents, a memo from the President’s Acting Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Robert Komer) to President L. Johnson, described the overthrow of Nkrumah as The coup in Ghana is another example of a fortuitous windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to undermine our interests than any other black African. In reaction to his strongly pro-Communist leanings, the new military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western … my suggestion, in expressing our pleasure to Secretary of State and others over the Indonesia and Ghana coups.2 However, an important aspect of this external support for military coups in Africa that is markedly under-researched is the role of African neighbouring countries and leaders in aiding and abetting coups. Africa governments and leaders, with acrimonious relationships with their neighbours, often allowed their countries to be used as a staging post to launch military coups and armed interventions. These regimes were not only serving the strategic interests of their foreign puppet masters, but also were equally serving their own regional geo- political and national foreign and security policy objectives. For example, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, who had played a leadership role in the Southern Africa Frontline States opposing Apartheid South Africa, was also busy destabilising neighbouring pro-Socialist/Communist Angola by serving as a US puppet regime to support the UNITA rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi, against the MPLA government. According to declassified US government documents, Henry Kissinger, then Assistant to President Jimmy Carter, for National Security Affairs, provides a useful insight on how the US government used African governments and leaders to support military interventions and coups. Kissinger states that; The trouble with Africans is that you can’t just leave them alone – you have to keep pushing them to get things done.… I want action! Let’s get some
6 D.J. Francis arms to Savimbi through Zambia. Let’s move to get Kaunda a piece of the action so he doesn’t have to go through Mobuto.… I don’t see how we can be faulted on what we are doing. We are not overthrowing any government, we are not subverting anyone. We are helping moderates to combat Communist domination.3 So far, I have used the terms military (army, navy and air force) and armed forces interchangeably. Also, I have used the term coups d’etat without attempt at definition and conceptual clarity. Simply, coup d’etat is a sudden, either violent or peaceful (bloodless) overthrow of a government by a group of military and/or military, police, paramilitary and security forces to take control of the state by military force. The successful overthrow of a government often leads to suspension of the constitution, declaration of martial law and proscribing all political activities including limiting fundamental freedoms. This often involves taking over control of the state strategic infrastructure including the radio and TV stations, airports, closure of the country’s borders, telecommunication infrastructure as well as arrest, detention and sometimes, summary execution of key government officers including the deposed president. The military constitute themselves as the de facto and de jure government of the state, often describing themselves as the Supreme Council/Committee. In response to populist demands or simply due to lack of governance expertise or knowledge on the part of the armed forces on how to run a state or government, the military junta or Supreme Council often enlist the support of civilians (politicians and technocrats) who are appointed to ministerial positions thereby giving the military junta some semblance of legitimacy. These military regimes often cast their narrative for intervention in populist terms as a rescue mission. Once in power, they fail to handover power and simply transform themselves from military rulers to civilian presidents, organising their own ‘democratic’ elections that cast off their military fatigues for a business suit or turban. A few examples include Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings of Ghana; Lt. Yayah Jammeh of The Gambia; Blaise Campoire of Burkina Faso; Gen. Fata Al-Sisis of Egypt. Despite the prevalence of military coups, it is important to stress that there are countries in Africa that have had no military coups, such as Morocco, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, and Eritrea. What is more, I have also presented the military/armed forces as if they are a homogenous institution or agency. The military represent a disparate group often representing the diversity and heterogeneity of the country. The military operates in a particular, socio-political, cultural and development environment and context and as such reflects the prevailing character, values and political ethos, either personalised rule or institutionalised and accountable governance. Furthermore, the different colonial legacies have fundamentally affected the evolution, structure and modus operandi, as well as being predisposed to the post- independence character of the militaries. Like the state and polities in which they exist and operate, the militaries in Africa are diverse and differentiated. Therefore, it will be erroneous to make simple generalisations about African militaries
African peace militaries 7 because they have different levels of capacities, professionalism, competencies and effectiveness as well as relevance as political actors. Based on the above analysis, the military have emerged as one of the most powerful agencies and institutions of the state. Given the frequency of military rule in Africa, the armed forces have come to assume that they have a right and responsibility to play a major role in the political development of the state. Through the dominance of the military, the armed forces have assumed disproportionate influence and power within the state even to the extent of controlling the political economy of the country. Sometimes, the military have been forced by political crises generated by civilian political leaders to take a major role in the political development of a country. In fact, during such crises, large sections of the society often look to the leadership of the military. It is therefore not surprising that most military coups are given a populist label ostensibly made in the name of the people and the putative claim to establish or restore democracy. This is often far from the truth as there is hardly any credible example across Africa of where the military has led a popular movement to establish democracy or champion democratic reform. Notwithstanding, the general pattern has been, once in power, the military abandon all pretext to return to democratic governance and some of the military leaders transform themselves into civilian presidents through the ballot box as a means to hold on to political power. They fail to hand over power as promised and are often themselves overthrown in a military coup. See Table 1.2 for an outline of how the military have perpetuated themselves in power and the emerging phenomenon of ‘elected autocrats’ in Africa. Despite the history of the military’s efforts to undermine democratic consolidation, there are equally some credible illustrations of instances where the military, for strategic and self-motivated reasons, as well as combined domestic and international pressures, have been forced to support the development of democracy in Africa. More recently, political crisis has forced the military leaders, though not for altruistic reasons, to support popular movements in favour of democratic development. During the Arab uprisings in 2011 against autocratic rule, the military leaderships in Tunisia and Egypt made the self- interested decision to support the popular movement against the dictatorships of President Ben Ali and President Hosni Mubarrak which led to the collapse of both regimes and the establishment of nascent democracies in both countries. The Egyptian and Tunisian examples, though they have not turned out to be good illustrations of military support for democratic development and democratic transition, clearly demonstrate that militaries can and should play a catalytic role in supporting democratic development. See Table 1.3 for examples of how the military have supported the development of democracy and constitutional rule in Africa.
8 D.J. Francis Table 1.2 The military and phenomenon of ‘elected autocrats’ in Africa Countries
Military leaders staying in power through elections/democratic process
Major General Sangoula Lamizana comes to power in a military coup in 1966. Gen. Lamizana introduces new constitution and organises multi-party elections in 1977 and 1978 which allows him stay in power as civilian president until he is overthrown in a military coup in 1980. Capt. Blaise Campaore overthrows his friend Capt. Thomas Sankara in a military coup in 1987. In 1991, Capt. Campaore organises and wins multi-party elections boycotted by opposition parties. As civilian president, Campaore remaines in power until overthrown in a popular movement in 2014.
Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo
Col. Joseph Mobutu comes to power in a military coup in 1965. In 1991, Field Marshall Mobutu Seseseko introduces multi-party politics and appoints Transitional Government, remaining as civilian President until overthrown by Laurent Kabila’s rebel fighters.
July 2013, Army Chief Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi overthrows democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood Party President Mohamed Morsi who won the June 2012 multi-party elections. Marshal Sisi organises and wins the presidential elections as civilian president in January 2014.
Central Africa Republic Former Army Chief, Gen. Francois Bozize, as rebel leader, (CAR) seizes Bangui, capital of CAR in March 2003 and declares himself president. Gen. Bozize organises and wins presidential elections in May 2005. Chad
Gen. Idriss Deby overthrows Hissene Habre in 1990. Gen. Deby organises and wins first multi-party elections in 1996 and has since won five successive elections as civilian president despite limited domestic support.
Flight Lt. Jerry John Rawlings overthrows President Hilla Limann in 1981. In 1993, Fl. Lt. Rawlings organises and wins democratic elections as civilian president and remains in power until 2001.
Joao Bernardo Vieira overthrows President Luis Cabral in a military coup in November 1980. In May 1984, Vieira organises and wins democratic elections as civilian president until he was overthrown in a coup in May 1999 by Gen. Ansumane Mane.
In 1980, Master Sergeant Samuel Doe overthrows civilian government of President William Tolbert. In 1985, Doe organises and wins democratic elections as civilian president
Lt. Commander Didier Ratsiraka comes to power in June 1975 after military coup. Elected president until 1993 when he was defeated in democratic elections won by President Albert Zafy
African peace militaries 9 Table 1.2 Continued Countries
Military leaders staying in power through elections/democratic process
In 1968, Lt. Moussa Traore overthrows President Modibo Keita. In 1979, Traore introduce new constitution, organises and wins presidential elections. Traore remains in power as civilian president until overthrown in 1991.
Army Chief Ali Seybou replaces Lt. Col. Seyni Kountche as military Head of State after Kountche’s death. Seybou introduces new one-party constitution and is re-elected president until July 1991 when he is replaced by the multiparty transitional government of President Andre Salifou. In January 1996, Col. Ibrahim Mainassara overthrows President Mahamane Ousmane in a military coup. Col. Mainassara organises and wins multiparty elections remaining in power as civilian president until assassinated by bodyguards in 1999.
In 1973, Juvenal Habyarimana deposes President Gregoire Kayibanda in a military coup. In 1978, Habyarimana introduces a new one-party constitution and is elected civilian president. Habyarimana remains in power until killed in April 1994.
In 1989, Brig. Omar al-Bashir overthrows democratically elected government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. As Head of the National Salvation Council military junta, Brig. Bashir introduces a new constitution in 1998, organises and wins elections which the main opposition parties boycott. Bashir is still in power in 2016 as civilian president.
In 1976, Col. Jean-Baptiste Bagaza overthrows President Michel Micombera in a military coup. In 1981, Col. Bagaza introduces one-party constitution and serves as civilian president until overthrown in 1987 by Major Pierre Buyoya.
In 1994, Lt. Yahya Jammeh ousts President Dauda Jawara in a coup. In 1996, Lt. Jammeh organises and wins multi-party elections which major political parties were banned from taking.
In 1984, Lansana Conte seizes power in a military coup. In 1990, Conte introduces a new constitution and in 1993 organises and wins multiparty elections.
Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz overthrows President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in a military coup in August 2008. Gen. Abdelaziz organises and wins presidential elections in 2009.
In 1967, Gen. Gnassingbe Eyadema comes to power through a bloodless coup. Gen. Eyadema organises one-party elections and is elected civilian president in 1979. Gen. Eyadema remains in power until his death in 2005.
10 D.J. Francis Table 1.3 Support for democracy? Military handover of power to civilian governments in Africa Countries
Military handover of power to civilian government
Anwar Sadat as 3rd President of Egypt, was a senior member of the Free Officers who overthrew King Farouk in 1952. During his presidency between 1970–1981, Sadat re-introduced multi-party politics.
Brig. Akwasi Afrifa, military Head of State between April 1969–August 1970 introduced new constitution and facilitated transfer of power to civilian government led by President Kofi Busia. In June 1979, Flight Lt. Jerry John Rawlings overthrew Gen. Frederick Akuffo in a military coup. In September 1979, Fl. Lt. Rawlings organised elections and handed over power to democratically elected civilian president Hilla Limann.
In March 2012, Capt. Amadou Sanogo deposed President Toumani Toure in a military coup. In April 2012, the military handed over power to interim government led by President Dioncounda Traore.
In February 2010, Col. Salou Djibo deposed President Mamadou Tandja in a military coup. In March 2010, military leader, Col. Djibo, promised to return country to civilian democratic rule. In March 2011, Col. Djibo organised multiparty elections and transfer of power to democratically elected president, Mahamadou Issoufou. Djibo’s coup is described as a ‘coup for democracy’ as the military junta not only organised and transferred power to elected civilian government, but barred itself from the democratic elections.
In 1968, military coup led by Warrant Officers ousted Col. Andrew Juxon-Smith’s military regime. The Warrant Officers handed power to Saika Stevens’ APC civilian government as prime minister and facilitated the restoration of parliamentary democracy. In January 1996, Brig. Julius Maada Bio overthrew Capt. Valentine Strasser’s military regime. Brig. Bio organised the handover of power to the democratically elected SLPP government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
In January 2010, Gen. Sekouna Konate replaced Capt. Mousa Dadis Camara who survived an assassination attempt. Gen. Konate returned the country to civilian rule by organising and handing over power to the democratically elected president, Alpha Conde.
In 1976, Lt. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo replaced Gen. Murtala Mohamed who was assassinated in a failed coup attempt. Gen. Obasanjo introduced a new constitution and organised democratic elections. Gen. Obasanjo handed power over to the democratically elected civilian government of President Shehu Shagari in 1979. In 1998, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar succeeded Gen. Sani Abacha after his sudden death. Gen. Abubakar organised parliamentary and presidential elections and handed over power to the democratically elected president, Olusegun Obasanjo.
African peace militaries 11
The military in the context of changed African and international environments At the dawn of the twenty-first Century, the general view is that the armed forces have been largely responsible for some of the internal and regional military and security threats facing most of the states in sub-Saharan Africa (Howe, 2001). Far from being protectors and defenders of the people and providers of security, the military have become a source of threat to the peoples and states of Africa. In fact, the intervention of the military in civilian politics and assumption of control over state power and its patrimonial resources has been identified as one of the major problems for the weakness, failure and collapse of the state system in Africa. Almost all the failed and collapsed states in Africa in recent decades have had military rule and intervention of one form or another including countries such as Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, Chad and Ghana in the 1980s and Libya after 40 years of Colonel Gaddaffi’s rule. The weakness, failure and collapse of the state in Africa have had a corresponding impact on military professionalism and military capabilities. Yet at the same time, the military is still expected to provide security, order and stability, what Herbert Howe describes as the ‘ambiguous order’ provided by the military in Africa (Howe, 2001). Howe argues against preference for military solutions for peaceful conflict resolution in Africa because of military unprofessionalism in the context of neo-patrimonial rule; the irrelevance of military solutions to addressing fundamental grievances; and the danger of military solutions that reinforce the conflict-trap and relapse into further violence. Given the negative role of the military in post-independent Africa, they have not only subverted democratic governance but have actively failed to support and promote democracy. It would be fair to say that the military in general, have been enemies of democratic development in Africa, despite the instances of the military handing over power to civilian democratic governments and supporting the restoration of constitutional rule. Historically, far from failing to support democratic development in Africa, they have been central to guaranteeing, maintaining and providing the ‘militarised peace’ and its association with the avoidance of war and violence. But the military in Africa today is different in several respects. With the dawn of the new millennium, the military as an institution and agency of the state, has not only changed, but it is changing rapidly and now operates in a continent that has changed fundamentally. To begin with, the military in the twenty-first century now operates in a changed international political and security environment where Cold War politics and strategic interests of promoting military coups and military intervention in civilian politics are no longer tolerated and encouraged. What is more, the end of the Cold War and the withdrawal of military and financial support for client states in Africa, coupled with the impact of the policies of neoliberal economic globalisation have meant that African militaries are under-resourced and do not have access to the usual international patrimonial resources. Just as the military now operate in a changed Africa, they are also faced with four additional crises: identity; legitimacy; purpose and capacity.
12 D.J. Francis The military today is faced with the crisis of identity in that the civilian population and societies have raised questions about whose military it is and what type of military is needed in peacetime democratic Africa. The military is not only challenged by the crisis of legitimacy but also the crisis of purpose in terms of specifying its functions in relation to the people and the state. The military is also challenged by the crisis of capacity and competence of the military to carry out its legitimate functions in a changed international conflict and security environment. In today’s Africa, the security threats to the state and people are less from external forces, but largely from internal sources. Furthermore, the increasing challenge and devastation caused by terrorism and violent extremist Jihadi groups such as Al-Shabab; Boko Haram; Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, (ISSI) in Libya and many others have fundamentally exposed not only the inability of African militaries to deal with terrorism but also the lack of capacity to respond to non-military sources of threat to security such as infectious diseases (e.g. Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa), poverty-instigated mass violence and environmental challenges. Africa has changed drastically from the ‘lost development decades’ of the 1980s and the ‘hopeless continent’ image of the 1990s. Within a decade, Africa emerged from a ‘hopeless continent’ (The Economist, 2000) to ‘Africa Rising’ (The Economist, 2010) with specular economic growth rates and socio-political progress. The McKinsey Global Institute Report (September 2016) projects that Africa’s GDP will grow to an estimated US$5.6 trillion by 2025. See Table 1.4 for an outline of Africa’s Top 10 Largest Economies and Africa’s Top 10 Largest Armies. This is reinforced by the fact that the Top 10 largest economies in Africa have the largest armies including Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Angola, Morocco, Kenya, Libya, Ethiopia and Tunisia. These Top 10 largest economies are not only described as part of the new phenomenon of ‘Africa Table 1.4 Top 10 largest economies and top 10 largest militaries/armed forces in Africa Top 10 largest economies in Africa
GDP in billion US$
Top 10 largest armies in Africa
Size of army (note: the closer to (0) the larger the size of army)
Nigeria South Africa Egypt Algeria Angola Morocco Libya Sudan Kenya Ethiopia
594.237 341.216 273.748 219.453 129.785 114.7 67.622 63 56.3 51
Egypt Algeria Ethiopia Nigeria South Africa Angola Morocco Sudan Libya DRC
0.3056 0.4514 0.7619 0.7856 0.8252 0.8878 0.9011 1.2356 1.3169 1.3384
Source on largest armies: www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing-africa.asp www.africaranking. com/largest-economies-in-africa/6/.
African peace militaries 13 Rising’ and its ‘Lion Economies’ but they also establish the link between economic power and military strength. But the so-called ‘Africa Rising’ narrative and its neo-liberal market-driven agenda is silent on the inherent tensions and contradictions that may instigate violent conflicts in which the military will be called upon to intervene. The tensions and contradictions emerge from the fact that the specular economic growth is not only driven by Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and rents from extractive economies, but most importantly, the benefits of economic growth are not equitably distributed, thereby leaving large sections of the populace red lined into poverty and social exclusion by the economic and political processes of the state. What is more, these specular economic growth rates are driven by the new scramble for Africa’s strategic resources involving Western and emerging economies such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and based on predatory capitalist exploitation. An aspect of this so-called ‘Africa Rising’ narrative that is not seriously discussed is the spectre of a new foreign debt burden estimated at US$110 billion (New African, 2016: 44–55). A combination of concessional Eurobonds, Chinese and IMF loans and debt service obligations for infrastructural development projects given to these formerly highly indebted poor countries (HIPC) are now threatening to reverse the gains of the much- criticised debt write-off for HIPC under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative in 2005. In some of these so-called Lion economies, the current debt burden constitutes a significant proportion of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For example, the current debt burden as a ratio of GDP in Ethiopia is 28.6 per cent, Zambia: 31 per cent, Uganda: 34.7 per cent, Mozambique: 55.4 per cent, Ghana: 67.6 per cent, and Zimbabwe: 77 per cent (New African, 2016) Another development is that the military in Africa now operates in a context of the ‘Third Wave’ of the re-introduction of democracy and democratic dispensation on the continent starting in the 1990s. Multi-party and pluralistic democracy has not only spread but is gaining roots on the continent with almost two-thirds of the countries in Africa now involved in some form of democratic politics with regular general elections and some constitutional limit on terms of the President. The re-introduction of new democratic dispensation across Africa has been variously described as illiberal democracies, electoral democracies, partial democracies, low-intensity democracies, flawed democracies and hybrid democracies (Zakaria, 1997; Cheeseman, 2015). Irrespective of the pejorative terms used to describe these emerging democracies and pluralist liberal politics and governance in Africa, suffice to say that this development has significant implications for the military. Within the context of this new democratic dispensation, the military are not only obligated to respect and operate according to their constitutional mandate, they are now subjected to civilian democratic control and oversight. This means that the demands and rules of democratic governance put certain constraints and restrictions on the military because as an institution of state and operational agency, they cannot now act without Parliamentary oversight and scrutiny. But some of these new democracies and, in particular, the illiberal democracies, while organising regular elections, are nothing
14 D.J. Francis more than ‘elected autocratic regimes’ that demonstrate little or no regard for democratic freedoms, the rule of law and civil liberties such as in Zimbabwe, Uganda, DR Congo, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi and Egypt. Most of these illiberal democracies lack viable democratic institutions, or collectively-owned democratic culture while the majority of the state governing institutions have been subverted, privatised and informalised by the ruling and governing elites to serve their vested neo-patrimonial interests. In some of these new democratic dispensations the periodic elections are often marred by violence with the majority of the population polarised by economic inequalities as well as the virulent politicisation of ethnicity, religion and the military and security agencies. In fact, in some of these new electoral democracies, the presidents have now resorted to removing the Constitutional term limits as a means to perpetuate themselves in power as in the case of Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, etc. The attempt to change the constitution to keep these ‘elected autocrats’ in power has led to violent and bloody confrontations in DR Congo, Burundi, Congo and Niger raising the spectre of descent into new civil wars. This new development has put the military in a very difficult situation of having to decide whether to fulfil their constitutional mandate to uphold the constitution and protect the people or to support and defend these illiberal democracies and elected autocrats. Additionally, the liberal peacebuilding interventions in conflict-prone, war- torn and post-conflict societies to reconstruct failed and collapsed states have imposed Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes on the armed forces with a view to subjecting them to civilian democratic oversight and accountability (Francis, 2012a, 2012b; Willet, 2005; Chandler, 2006; Short, 1999). In the majority of transition societies in Africa, these Western-funded SSR programmes have been implemented with the specific objective to not only reduce defence spending but to reallocate the security resources to investment in development programmes and poverty reduction. The expectation is that this will create a peace dividend from the downsizing of the armed forces, making them affordable and relevant to external and internal security threats as well as accountable to civilian democratic control and oversight. Despite the criticisms of the donor- funded liberal peacebuilding-SSR approach and interventions, the range of SSR programmes has had some positive impact on the military and security agencies and, in particular, capacitating the military to be a professional and accountable state institution with a clear understanding of its constitutional role in peacetime democratic Africa (Hills, 2000; Jackson, 2011; Abrahamsen, 2016; Engell and Halden, 2009; Francis, 2012a; Le Roux, 2006). The SSR programmes have the implicit objective to re-train, professionalise and organise African armies along Western lines and to support them to contribute to democratic development and consolidation. This is not necessarily a good thing for African militaries and in fact, some of the armed forces still perpetuate human rights violations even after going through the Western-funded SSR programmes. These developments have occurred against the background of the increasing assertive role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in peacekeeping and
African peace militaries 15 conflict management in Africa such as the Economic Community of West African States/ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOWAS/ECOMOG) peacekeeping and military interventions in West Africa; the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)-Allied Armed Forces intervention in DR Congo and the African Union peacekeeping missions and its emerging African Standby Force (ASF ). African militaries are increasingly participating in international and regional peacekeeping operations. This international and regional exposure has led to extensive interactions amongst the rank and file of the military and has provided unique opportunities to conduct bilateral quiet diplomacy (military diplomacy) on sensitive national issues that have the potential to escalate into armed violence or war between neighbouring states.4 These peacekeeping operations have provided new financial opportunities for the cash-strapped armies to augment their defence budgets with financial payments from international and regional peacekeeping deployments. At the same time, the soldiers personally benefit from being paid in foreign currencies and thus create additional career promotion opportunities. In fact, the peacekeeping deployments have become a means to occupy the often restless armies. In addition, African militaries have been exposed to a range of bilateral and multilateral training programmes geared towards building their professionalism, capacity and effectiveness. These joint training programmes are seen as good for the armed forces and hence, it is in the best interest of the military to support the development of democracy. Some of these international training programmes include; the US-led African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) in 1996; the French-led Renforcement des capacités Africaines maintien de la paix (RECAMP) in 1998; the US-led African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) programme in 2004; the British-led International Military Assistance and Training (IMAT) programme and the Africa/G8 Plan to Enhance African Capabilities for Peace Support Operations in 2005. Participation in peacekeeping deployments and international bilateral and multilateral training and capacity building programmes provides the opportunity for extensive and close interactions with other armies and thus provides a unique opportunity for African militaries to learn from the experience of how other developed and emerging democracies’ militaries have contributed to the development of democracy and in the process benefited the armed forces. The changed international and continental environment as well as the new political, economic, social and security developments have significant implications and impact on the military in Africa in terms of the civilian perception of their role in peacetime Africa as well as the resources allocated to the military to fulfil not only their constitutional mandate but also the capacity to grapple with, both military (e.g. terrorism and violent civilian protest movements) and non-military threats (e.g. imposing quarantine during Ebola Disease epidemic).
16 D.J. Francis
African peace militaries and support for democratic development: emerging norms and characteristics All of these developments have forced the military, as an institution with a constitutional mandate, to reflect on its role in the twenty-first century. The military is constantly under pressure to change and promote values that reinforce the security and development aspirations of peacetime democratic Africa. Across Africa, there are indications of the military making an attempt to accept and abide by constitutional and democratic principles and subjecting the armed forces to civilian democratic control, though with varying degrees of willingness. Historically, the military has been constitutionally established to protect the state and the people from external attacks and to only get involved in internal military operations under clear legal control and oversight. But this constitutional mandate was jettisoned by the armed forces during the dominance of military rule in Africa. Despite the diverse colonial legacies, the military were established with clear constitutional mandates that committed them to peace, security and development and were created on the principle of political neutrality and non-alignment to any political organisation, religious or sectional groups and as such they reflect the diversity and composition of the country and expect to be promoted on merit. The mandate of the military was to contribute to society and the institution itself was expected to be supervised by competent military defence ministries with national budgetary allocations. The actions of the military and operational ethos are supposed to command the respect of people and society. In fact, the post-independence constitution of Senegal created a positive role for the military in national development and democratic development. In the past decade, we have seen the military emerging as ‘protector’ of democracy and the people by overthrowing ‘elected autocrats’ and then handing power to constitutionally elected civilian governments as in North Africa’s Arab Spring, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The emerging and superficially alluring image of the military as ‘protector’ of the people and ‘custodians’ of democracy seem to reinforce the importance and centrality of African militaries in peace and democracy. The response of the often-politicised militaries across much of Africa during democratic transition processes has determined the success, failure or consolidation of the democratisation process. But is there a pro-democracy norm and ethos that is emerging amongst African militaries to favour the development of democracy and democratic consolidation? A range of factors affect the militaries support for democracy or failure to favour democratic transition. Since the re-introduction of democracy across Africa in the 1990s, the support of the military has been crucial to the success of the development of democracy and democratic transition. In countries such as Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Niger, Guinea and Egypt, military leaders have supported or have been forced to support democratic transition, albeit, often for strategic vested interests. The emerging norm of the African peace militaries is based on the fundamental premise that assumes that effective, resourced, competent and loyal militaries
African peace militaries 17 committed to their constitutional mandate will safeguard peace, security, defend the people and guarantee peaceful political order, economic development and legitimacy of the state. There is now no ambiguity in terms of the order that the military are supposed to provide and support and, in effect, the era of ‘ambiguous order’ provided by the military is now over. Across Africa, we now see more and more militaries favouring and supporting peaceful transition to democratic governance and development of democracy. This emerging norm and practice is largely driven by strategic self-interest of the military in that there is a general view among armed forces that it is in the self-interest of the military to support the development of democracy because it is good for the country, it positively enhances and strengthens civil–military relations and represents a shift from the traditional approach of regime protection to protection of the people against authoritarian rule and elected autocrats, thereby securing the support of people for emergence of a peacetime military. What is more, there is an emerging awareness among African militaries that the process of democratisation and achieving the end state of democracy are inherently problematic and by no means a short-term and quick-fix process, but rather a messy, divisive, chaotic and sometimes violent one. The emerging recognition amongst the militaries is that their role is to resist the temptation to be dragged into the civilian political crisis and allow the emerging democratic institutions and culture to serve as the adjudicator in the democratisation political crisis. Perhaps the greatest challenge for the emerging African peace militaries is how to resist and remain neutral or impartial to the dominant political ethnicity and identity politics that gives access to state power and its patrimonial resources. Increasingly, there is growing recognition by the armed forces of the importance and value to the military of supporting democratic development. An illustrative example is the role of the present support of the army for development and transition in The Gambia. The opposition led by relatively unknown political figure, Adama Barrow, won the 1 December 2016 Presidential elections. President Jammeh who has been in power for 22 years surprised his global critics by accepting defeat by the opposition on 2 December 2016. The Head of the Armed Forces of The Gambia, General Dusnan Badgie, immediately pledged loyalty to the President-elect Adama Barrow. But a week later, defeated President Jammeh annulled the elections, claiming election irregularities. The defeat of President Jammeh and the democratic transition has been largely attributed to the role and support of the military for democratic consolidation in The Gambia. The BBC reporter Umaru Fofana, emphatically stated that: Mr. Jammeh could have found a way to win despite all the adverse factors if he had the support of the army. He came to power through the army. He stayed in power through the army. He relied on the army for everything.… Intelligence and diplomatic sources say he tried to compromise the results but the top echelon of the army warned him against it. That would prove to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back. A Jammeh-inspired coup or
18 D.J. Francis other military interference could have denied Mr Barrow the presidency. But instead, the army stood by and let the democratic process carry on, as it is supposed to do.5 To reinforce this point, though the President refused to stand down after the end of his constitutional mandate on 19 January 2017 to allow for the inauguration of the President-elect, Adama Barrow, precipitating the deployment of the Senegalese-led ECOWAS military intervention force to oust Jammeh from office, the Army Chief, General Badjie stated: ‘We are not going to involve ourselves militarily, this is a political dispute. I am not going to involve my soldiers in a stupid fight. I love my men’ (BBC African News, 19 January 2017). Another major characteristic of the emerging African peace military is the recognition by the military that to ensure long-term peace, security, stability and development, a government must have the support of the people. Therefore, in situations where authoritarian regimes are challenged by the people and popular movements, the military should take the side of the people and defend them against attack by dictatorship forces. This emerging pro-people focus is creating the norm and practice that the military in Africa must be defenders of the people and not an instrument to brutalise and suppress the people. Most African military officers see this not only as their constitutional responsibility but also their patriotic commitment to defend the people and the state. This development is reinforced by the fact that the threat to security is now largely from internal political, socio-development problems rather than external military aggression. There is increasing awareness amongst African militaries that they should be part of the global democracy-building phenomenon and hence the imperative for the military to move away from supporting authoritarian and unrepresented governments. African militaries are now gradually buying into and committing themselves to the advantages of democratic systems of governance and development. This shift is supported by the fact that the new generation of military leadership and, in particular, the strategic and operational level leaders of the military, have international training and exposure, with a global outlook based on their international education, training, peacekeeping and professional experiences and extensive international networks. The new generation of African militaries believe in the role of the armed forces to support and guarantee democratic development in Africa. As Dennis Blair aptly states: ‘These generals and admirals in the top leadership positions both influence and are influenced by networks of other officers and military officials, some of whom are dedicated to positive change both in their military services and for their countries’ (2013: 8). By all indications, the African military has come a long way from its repressive, brutal and anti-democratic colonial roots through contributing to state failure and collapse by misrule and poor governance to undermining democracy and constitutional rule through unending coups and interventions in civilian politics to its transformation as a professional and peacetime legitimate institution of the state that protects the people and defends the state as well as remaining subjects to civilian democratic control and oversight.
African peace militaries 19
Outline of the book The dominance of the military in post-colonial Africa has led to the publication of a vast array of books and articles on the history, politics, roles and organisation, governance and general contribution of the armed forces in Africa (Howe, 2001; Assensoh and Assensoh, 2002, 2004; Edgerton, 2004; Latawski and Bennett, 2005; Keir Jr and Agbese, 2004; Kooings and Kruijt, 2002). What is missing is an assessment and understanding of the emerging role of the military in supporting the development of democracy and democratic consolidation in peacetime Africa. Admiral Dennis Blair’s Handbook on the role of armed forces in the support and spread of democracy worldwide, is one of the recent publications on military engagement to support the development of democracy and democratic transition (2013). This book has evolved out of a decade of research and capacity building work with African militaries in mainly conflict-prone and post-war countries including Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, DR Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan. The Africa Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (now John and Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS)) in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford have, in collaboration with UN peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), Liberia (UNMIL) and DR Congo (MONUC), and the leadership of the national armed forces, introduced and implemented curriculum and staff development programmes on peace and conflict studies, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, human rights and democratic governance at the military training academies. The research and capacity building interactions with these African militaries provided useful insights in understanding the emerging role of the military in democratic development in peacetime Africa. To further deepen the level of engagement and commitment with African militaries and in partnership with the Uganda-based Advocate Coalition for Development and the Environment (ACODE), we organised four successful Peace and Security Roundtables for the military and security forces in Africa between 2011 and 2014 in Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda. The roundtables involved only high-level strategic leaderships of the armed forces and were organised along Chatham House rules. Bringing high-level military officers to share ideas on contemporary peace and security challenges provided invaluable insights and understanding of the military’s perspective of its changing role and what positive role they could play in peacetime democratic Africa and the support for democracy. With the critical outline of the core arguments of the book, Oshita Oshita in Chapter 2 examines the role of the military in war, peace and democratic governance in a case study of Nigeria. Oshita argues that Nigeria represents the best example of the problems created by the post-colonial military to the crises of state formation and nation building in Africa. Nigeria’s post-independence political life has been dominated and controlled by the military, this has systematically undermined, subverted and eroded all the gains of parliamentary democracy inherited from British colonial rule. The military’s governance of Nigeria has affected all segments of the state to the extent of evolving the norm and practise
20 D.J. Francis of a militarised society and a culture of poor leadership and bad governance. Notwithstanding, the military have played a rather positive role in support for the development of democracy, and in the process remained subjected in civilian democratic control and oversight by the end of the 1990s. In Chapter 3, Marco Jowell assesses the evolution of the Rwanda Defence Force from its beginning as the Rwanda Patriotic Army, its role in war and the end of genocide and its emergence in the last two decades as one of the most efficient and professional militaries in Africa. Though the Rwanda Defence Force is still affected by the ‘Liberation mentality’, it has evolved over three stages including the development of a national liberation army between 1990–1994; the consolidation and securitisation of the military in the post- genocide period between 1995–2000 and the professionalisation of the military as a pro-people and peacetime military subjected to civilian democratic control. The transformation of the military and its support for the development of democracy in Rwanda has not been without its challenges as the military mentality still affects people’s perception of the military and, in particular, the dominance of the military elites in the new political and democratic dispensation. In Chapter 4, Eric Ochen examines the critical role of the military in Uganda in not only undermining democracy and constitutional rule but also in supporting the development of democratic consolidation in the past three decades. The chapter sets out the context of the type of military inherited and the impact of the British colonial legacy on post-independence Uganda as well as the politicisation of the military by the post-colonial ruling and governing elites based on political ethnicity. Ochen argues that the military has emerged as a dominant player in the political life of Uganda with significant impact on the nature of politics, the emerging democratic institutions, the contribution to political violence and wars and the misrule of the economy of the country. An important contribution of the chapter is the analysis of the emergence of Yoweri Museveni’s new Ugandan People’s Defence Force national army and how it has ensured regime survival and consolidation of Musevini’s government, from its ‘No-Party Democracy’ model to a multi-party democratic system in Uganda, whilst at the same time making the effort to remain subjected to democratic civilian control as well as supporting an ‘elected autocrat’. In Chapter 5, Kenneth Omeje critically assesses the role of the Nigerian armed forces in developing a particular brand of prebendal politics that has encouraged the emergence of poor governance by the ruling and governing elites and a militarised culture of all sections of the Nigerian polity. Omeje posits that the dominance of the military in politics and governance not only destroyed the immediate post-independence democratic institutions but importantly marginalised and created fundamental grievances that led to the emergence of radical and extremist groups such as Boko Haram. In effect, decades of military dictatorship and misrule not only produced these violent groups but the military now has to fight against marginalised sections of the society that it inadvertently helped to create. The military prosecution of the war against Boko Haram terrorists has further undermined public confidence in the armed forces. Nevertheless, Omeje
African peace militaries 21 argues that the military, despite all these problems, has contributed to the support for democracy in peacetime democratic Nigeria. In Chapter 6, David Chuter evaluates how the Western-sponsored training programmes for African militaries have impacted on their support for peace and democratic consolidation. The chapter examines the objectives, methods, contents and underlying philosophy of the Western-inspired training programmes for African militaries and concludes that they are largely part of the attempt to make African armies like Western militaries and form part of the broader Liberal Peacebuilding Security Sector Reform interventions in transition societies. Chuter assesses the predominantly American, British and French training programmes and the evolution from colonial period to the post-independence Cold War era and post-Cold War training programmes such as the US-led Africa Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) in 1996, the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) in 2004 and the French-led Renforcement des capacities Africaines de la paix in 1998. Chuter raises a fundamental question about the relevance, underlying philosophy and impact of these Western- sponsored training programmes on African militaries and their willingness to support the development of democracy in peacetime democratic Africa. Kasaija Phillip Apuuli in Chapter 7 assesses the evolution and operationalisation of the African Union Stability Force and how this new continental peace and security infrastructure contributes to the development of democracy and democratic consolidation in Africa. Kasaija Apuuli argues that the creation of the African Standby Force as a rapid deployment force is part of the new African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and is normatively driven by the desire to end wars and armed conflicts thereby creating a peaceful and stable political order that will allow democracy to thrive on the continent. The absence of a continental rapid deployment military capability has often hindered the ability of the African Union to support emerging democracies faced with the challenges of democratisation. Ann Fitz-Gerald, Paula MacPhee and Ian Westerman in Chapter 8 examine the impact of the peace dividend derived from the reform of the security sector in Ethiopia and how this has enabled the military in Ethiopia to support the development and consolidation of democracy. The chapter assesses the context of Ethiopia and how this provided the imperative for the implementation of Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the post-war 1991 period. A major focus of the chapter is the examination of the impact of donor-funded and Western-led SSR on African militaries especially the extent to which they are now able to professionalise, gain credibility and legitimacy as a key constitutional institution of the state whose raison d’être is to protect the people and the state. Ann Fitz-Taylor et al. consider whether the defence reforms by the government of Ethiopia within the wider SSR process have produced peace dividends that enable the military to support democratic consolidation.
22 D.J. Francis
Notes 1 Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the US: 1969–1979 Vol. XXVIII, Southern Africa, 123 Memo for the Record, Washington DC, August 1975. 2 Foreign Relations of the US: 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, Africa, 260. Memo from the President’s Acting Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Robert W. Komer) to President Lyndon Johnson: Washington, 12 March 1966, 10:30 am. 3 Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the US: 1969–1979 Vol. XXVIII, Southern Africa, 123 Memo for the Record, Washington DC, 8 August 8, 1975, 11:00 am, 40 Committee Meeting. 4 However, it is important to state that the participation of African militaries in peacekeeping operations has not always led to support for democracy. The participation of soldiers from Sierra Leone and The Gambia in the Nigerian-led ECOWAS/ECOMOG Peacekeeping intervention in the Liberian civil war significantly contributed to motivating ‘revolutionised’ soldiers from these countries to overthrow the civilian one-party dictatorship in Sierra Leone in 1992 led by Capt. Valentine Strasser and in The Gambia in 1994 led by Lt. Yayah Jammeh. 5 Umaru Fofana, ‘How Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh lost his grip on Power’. Available at www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38249924 (accessed 10 December 2016).
References Abrahamsen, Rita (2016) ‘Exporting Decentred Security Governance: The Tensions of Sector Reform’, Global Crime, 17(3–4): 281–295. Agee, Philip (1975) Inside the Company, CIA Diary, Associated Press, London: Penguin Books. Assensoh, A. B. and Y. Alex-Assensoh (2002) African Military History and Politics: Coups and Ideological Incursions, 1900–Present, Basingstoke: Palgrave. Assensoh, A. B. and Y. Alex-Assensoh (2004) African Military History and Politics. Gordonsville, US: Palgrave. Barka, H. Ben and M. Ncube (2012) ‘Political Fragility in Africa: Are Military Coups d’Etat a never-ending Phenomenon?’, African Development Bank, Chief Economist Complex, September, pp. 1–16. Bayart, Jean-François (2009) The State in Africa, Paris: Institut d’Etudes Politiques. BBC African News (2017) ‘Gambia Crisis: Senegal Sends in Troops to Back Elected Leader’, 19 January 2017. Available at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-38682184 (accessed 26 April 2017). Blair, Dennis (2013) Military Engagement: Influencing Armed Forces Worldwide to Support Democratic Transitions: Volume 1: Overviews and action plan, Washington, DC, Brookings Institution Press. Chandler, David C. (2006) Empire in Denial: The Politics of State-building. London: Pluto Press. Cheeseman, Nick (2015) Democracy in Africa: Successes, Failures and Struggle for Political Reform, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Coleman, J. and B. Brice, Jr (1962) The Role of the Military in Sub-Saharan Africa, Princeton: NJ: Princeton University Press. Collier, Paul and Anke Hoeffler (2005a) ‘Coup Traps: Why Does Africa Have So Many Coups d’Etat?’ Centre for the Study of African Economies, Department of Economics, University of Oxford. http://users.ox.ac.uk/~econpco/research/pdfs/Coup-traps.pdf (accessed 16 July 2016).
African peace militaries 23 Collier, Paul and Anke Hoeffler (2005b) ‘Military Spending and the Risk of Coup d’Etat’, Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford: OUP. Edgerton, R. (2004) Africa’s Armies: from Honour to Infamy, Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Egnell, Robert and Peter Haldén (2009) ‘Laudable, Ahistorical and Overambitious: Security Sector Reform Meets State Formation Theory. Analysis’. Conflict, Security & Development 9(1): 27–54. Francis, D. J. (2006) Uniting Africa: Building Regional Peace and Security Systems, Aldershot: Ashgate. Francis, D. J. (ed.) (2012a) Policing in Africa, New York: Palgrave/Macmillan. Francis, D. J. (ed.) (2012b) When War Ends: Building Peace in Divided Communities, Aldershot: Ashgate. Hills, Alice (2000) Policing Africa: Internal Security and Limits of Liberalisation, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Howe, H. (2001) Ambiguous Order: Military Forces in African States, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Jackman, Robert W. (1978) ‘The Predictability of Coups d’Etat: A Model with African Data’, American Political Science Review 72(4): 1262–1275. Jackson, Paul (2011) ‘Security Sector Reform and Statebuilding’, Third World Quarterly 32(10): 1803–1822. Johnson, T. H., R. O. Slater and P. McGowan (1984) ‘Explaining African Military Coups d’Etat: 1960–1982’, American Political Science Review, 78(8): 622–640. Keir, G. K. Jr and P. O. Agbese (2004) Military and Politics in Africa: From Engagement to Democratic and Constitutional Control, Aldershot: Ashgate. Kooings, K. and D. Kruijt (eds) (2002) Political Armies: The Military and Nation Building in the Age of Democracy, London; New York: Zed Books. Latawski, P. and M. Bennett (eds) (2005) Exile Armies, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Le Roux, L. (2006) ‘Challenges for Defence Planners in Africa: Ensuring Appropriate, Adequate, Accountable, and Affordable Armed Forces’, African Security Review, 15(4). Luckham, R., I. Ahmed, R. Muggah and S. White (2001) ‘Conflict and Poverty in Sub- Saharan Africa: an Assessment of the Issues and Evidence’. IDS Working Paper No. 128. McKinsey Global Institute (2016) Lions on the Move II: Realising the Potential of Africa’s Economies, London: McKinsey & Company. New African (2016) ‘Cover Story: Debt’, October, No. 565, pp. 44–55. Reno, W. (1998) Warlord Politics and African States, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Short, C. (1999) SSR and the Elimination of Poverty. Available at: www.clareshort.co.uk/ speeches/DFID/9 March 1999.pdf (accessed 20 June 2016). Souare, Issaka K. (ed.) (2006) Civil Wars and Coups d’État in West Africa: An Attempt to Understand the Roots and Prescribe Possible Solutions, Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America. Stockwell, J. (1978) In Search of Enemies: A CIS Story, New York: Norton & Co. The Economist (2000) ‘The Hopeless Continent’. Available at: www.economist.com/ node/21519234 (accessed 27 July 2016). The Economist (2010) ‘The Hopeful Continent: Africa Rising’. Available at: www. economist.com/node/21541015 (accessed on 27 July 2016). Wells, A. (1974) ‘The Coup d’Etat in Theory and Practice: Independent Black Africa in the 1960s’, American Journal of Sociology, 79(4): 871–887.
24 D.J. Francis West Africa (October–November 1990) ‘The Forgotten Victims’, in J. M. Kabia Humanitarian Intervention in Conflict Resolution in West Africa: From ECOMOG to ECOMIL (2009). Aldershot: Ashgate. Willet, S. (2005) ‘New Barbarians at the Gate: Losing the Liberal Peace in Africa’, Review of African Political Economy, 32(106): 569–570. Zakaria, Fareed (1997) ‘The Rise of Illiberal Democracy’ Foreign Affairs, November/ December, 76(6): 22, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/1997-11-01/rise-illiberaldemocracy (accessed 17 July 2016).
2 The military in Nigeria War, peace and support for democratic development Oshita Oshita
Introduction Nigeria inherited the parliamentary system of government from the British Colonial government at independence in 1960 with very high expectations for the democratic prosperity of the country, as well as fears over the structure of the nation. The Nigerian military is one of the offshoots of the colonial establishment inherited at independence. Despite this circumstance of its origin, the military in Nigeria has played, and continues to play, significant roles in the nation’s history in terms of peace and democracy development. Kirk-Green (1971) in his treatise examined the pervasiveness of the military in the socio-economic life of the state and remarked that the military has been dynamic and in motion in nearly all national spheres. Buttressing this point, Jemibewon (1998) submitted that the Nigeria military have enormous influence in all aspects of the Nigerian state. The military as a coercive agency of state provides the state with the capacity to utilize the instruments of force to sustain its sovereignty, and when the need arises, maintain law and order during internal security operations. There is no doubt the Nigeria military over the years has been involved in the socio-economic and political development of the nation. The military institution has always influenced and even participated in national politics (Ojo, 2014; Alao, 2000). Soon after independence, the military directly intruded into the nation’s politics by the complete usurpation of civil authority and enthroning a military regime via the instrument of coup d’état. The character and nature of the execution of the first coup in 1966 further exacerbated the structural and ethnic fears that were hitherto prevalent. The development led to a counter-coup in which the execution equally had similar coloration leading many to refer to it as a revenge coup d’état. The consequence of these military actions was the civil war which the nation experienced from 1967 to 1970. One lesson from the civil war is that the same military that precipitated the actions that led the country into social and political violence, culminating in the Nigeria–Biafra war, was largely responsible for the actions that returned the country to the path of peace and constitutional rule. It can be argued that the military was itself a victim of the general politicization of social forces and institutions in the country prior to independence and
26 O. Oshita post-independence. Under colonial rule, the professional army (which included non-commissioned Nigerian soldiers in its ranks) was set up primarily as a tool for implementing colonial policies and to defend the Crown’s territories especially during the Anglo-French and other tussles for regions of the Niger. This was a significant departure from the pre-colonial non-professional armies that were found in the country which consisted mainly of able-bodied men from towns who were called upon when necessary to defend their towns (Ukpabi, 1976). This trend more or less continued after independence. Successive governments, in trying to exploit the several sets of oppositions that have plagued politics in post-independence Nigeria, have often used the military as a tool (Alao, 2000). Though military participation in government has often resulted from forceful imposition by way of military coups, there is a role for the military in peacetime democratic processes in Nigeria. This chapter begins with an examination of this role. The chapter further interrogates the critical role of the Nigerian military in peace and democracy in Nigeria as well as the extent to which its role has impacted on the nation’s economic and political prosperity. As a major state institution, the military in Nigeria has been dominant in the affairs of the nation superintending political power under military rule or providing support to civil authority under civil rule. The focus is on the contributions of the Nigerian military to peace and democracy within the context of the multiple roles of the military in politics, conflict resolution, peace and democracy building. The exertions of the military in peace support operations are also considered as constructive roles of the military in peace and democracy. Indeed, peace and democracy in Nigeria are directly connected to the Nigeria military as the military has been part and parcel of shaping the politics of the society particularly from the position of control in military regimes or of influence at different times in the civilian government of the country.
The military in politics and governance There are diverse views regarding the role of the military in governance in Nigeria. For many, the military institution in Nigeria has played what can at best be described as mixed roles in the governance of the country. Of the 56 years of post-independence existence of the country, the military have ruled for far longer periods than civilian leaders. The historical root of the Nigerian military is traceable to the regional West Africa Frontier Force (WAFF ), which served as the colonial military to ensure the success of colonial rule in Nigeria. The activities of the Royal Niger Company in 1900 and the subsequent amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates of Nigeria in the year 1914 provide the basis for understanding the historical foundation of the military in Nigeria. In more specific terms, the origin of the military in Nigeria is traceable to the various security constructs by the colonial authorities between 1862 and 1909, involving northern and southern
The military in Nigeria 27 Nigerian regiments under the West African Frontier Force (WAFF ). The first commanders of these regiments were Lt C. H. P. Carter (1899–1901) and Col J. Wilcox (1900–1909) respectively. During the intervening period, in 1891, the Oil Rivers Irregulars, the third unit, was created and became the southern regiment of the WAFF (Dummar, 1989: 18–19). The colonial military were used extensively to subjugate the people and facilitate in-country penetration for more effective resource exploitation in both the coastal areas and hinterlands of the country. The major preoccupation of the colonial military was to serve the colonial government and protect its economic interest in the colony and not necessarily to protect the interests of the Nigerian people. The loyalty that indigenous ‘soldiers’ had to their towns was replaced with a loyalty to the Crown. The British officers in the Nigerian regiment who commanded the army were instructed to secure the Crown’s territory and suppress any ethnic political uprising (Ukpabi, 1976). Even after the Crown had consolidated its control over the disputed regions in the country, some British commanders in the army were retained as political officers. Indeed, political officers were deliberately selected from the military because they possessed skills that made them effective at controlling the populace (Ukpabi, 1976). Lord Lugard, as the first Commissioner and Commandant of Northern Nigeria was one such officer. He is credited with importing the policy of indirect rule to Nigeria. It was his opinion that it would be easier to control the local populace if it was done through their local leadership. The idea was that ‘ceding’ power to these leaders and withholding financial and other support when they resisted would guarantee their loyalty to their district officers and the Crown (Falola, 1999). The policy, possibly because it was not at great variance with the pre-existing customary order there, was received with less opposition in the north than in the other regions. In the South, the system excluded a newly-emerged educated elite from government and gave too much power to the Obas. In the East, there were no paramount chiefs so Britain had to ‘enthrone’ paramount chiefs to implement the policy (Falola, 1999), again ignoring the educated elite. The people or their traditions, where such traditions existed, did not weigh upon the process for selection of these chiefs. The appointments were more or less arbitrary and the people had no powers to dethrone erring chiefs. All this served to delay the democratic consciousness and development in the country. Not unrelated, was the fact that indigenous soldiers who fought alongside British soldiers in the world wars had acquired valuable skills and knowledge that could pose credible threats to the affairs of the Crown in their countries (Ukpabi, 1976). The experiences of the World Wars helped to demystify the perceived invincibility of the white soldiers with whom the locals fought side by side. This potent threat was amplified when local military revolted in other British colonies. It is important to note that these local soldiers already felt some level of superiority over the rest of the populace due, in part, to their level of exposure. Some of them resorted to terrorizing the local populace when they returned from the wars.
28 O. Oshita The revolts by armies in other colonial countries combined with pressure from the educated elite and a desire to save money made it difficult for the British to ignore the need for more local recruitment to the military. These new recruits were drawn from across the country and consequently, they tended to align themselves with the position of their local communities even though they served in the central military. It is this powerful, highly ethnically aware, and exposed military that Nigeria inherited upon independence.
The military in post-independence Nigeria The politics and attendant constitutional development that subsequently led to Nigeria’s political independence were tainted by primordial sentiments that minimized the pan-Nigerian zest, once associated with the founding fathers of Nigeria. They had called for a strong, united and viral nation-state during independence discourses and immediately after independence. Constitutional development from the Arthur Richard’s Constitution of 1946, Sir John Macpherson Constitution of 1948 and the Oliver Lyttleton Constitution of 1954 all had their respective shortcomings manifesting the intrigues, scheming and attempts of the various groups and the preferences of the colonial authorities. Each group wanted to have an arrangement that best suited them, but the dominant group had almost always had its way (Ezera, 1960; Arikpo, 1967). In this scenario, every outcome had its consequences for the country, notwithstanding which dominant group had its way. Some of these consequences have continued to reverberate in the polity many years after political independence. According to Oyediran (1979), the north-south ethnic conflicts; politics of state creation; the Action group (AG) crisis; the census controversy of 1962–1964; the 1964–1965 federal election; and the 1965 Western election were all part of the factors responsible for the fall of the civilian government in 1966. As Oyediran (1979) further attests, the structural dilemmas of the army, which was an integral part of the body politic could hardly be immune from all the centrifugal forces in the society. The intensity of each of these forces varied, but together they were strong enough to disrupt the democratic functioning of the Nigerian political system. It was noted that the most important societal cleavage which seriously affected the organizational integrity of the Nigerian military was ethnic and regional conflict. As Adekson (cited in Oyediran, 1979) observed, prior to independence in 1960, the debate started among the political leaders as to whether courage or educational qualifications should be the basis for recruitment into and promotion within the army. Some believed that courage and discipline were the foundation of army recruitment and that to use educational qualification was to risk the officer corps being dominated by intellectuals who because of their background and training are basically not ‘doers’ but ‘talkers’. This was mainly the position of people in the north of Nigeria, who though educationally disadvantaged nonetheless desired to control the army. Those who emphasize educational qualifications argue that courage alone has become less important in modern warfare as contemporary military strategy is
The military in Nigeria 29 governed by technology and smart tactics that are very complex. This position was perceived as being canvassed mainly by people in the southern parts of Nigeria, who were more educated. To this group, management of the military, like that of any complex organization, requires specialized knowledge, acquired not out of mere experience but through formal and systematic training. The issue of a quota system for recruitment into the military became critical as government policy for recruitment into the army from 1958 was computed as follows: Northern Region, 50 per cent; Eastern Region, 25 per cent; and Western Region, 25 per cent. When the mid-West Region was created in 1963 it was allotted 4 per cent while the West Region quota was reduced to 21 per cent (Oyediran, 1979: 24). Expectedly, discipline was one of the first casualties of the politicization of recruitment and promotion in the Nigerian military. As Luckham (1971) noted, discipline was poorly institutionalized due to distorted age structure and promotional pattern in turn determined by the rapid indigenization of the officer corps. Except for eight or nine ex-non-commissioned officers at or near the top, virtually all combatant officers were within the age group 20–35 in 1966. The rate of promotion slowed down considerably after 1964. This affected the majors and captains who by 1965 had to wait much longer than their superiors had before moving up. All these factors – politicization of the army recruitment and promotion procedure as well as age differences and promotional opportunities – would on their own probably not have led to the army taking over control of political power. In the words of Luckham (1971), it was the superimposition of unfavourable environmental conditions ‘from the civil violence in the Western Region set off by the Regional violence of October, 1965 which provided the immediate stimulus for the January 1966 coup’. By meddling with recruitment standards in the military and pricing politics above professionalism, dysfunctional dynamics emerged, which stoked the crises that culminated in coups and counter coups, and eventually the 1967–70 Nigeria–Biafra war. The first two coups d’état, in January and July 1966, triggered a civil war (1967–1970). In 1979, the military handed-over political power to a democratically-elected civilian government headed by President Shehu Shagari. By 1983, the military under Major General Muhammadu Buhari took over the reins of political power in a coup. About two years later and just when the public psyche was getting sanitized by the War against Indiscipline (WAI), a palace coup brought Ibrahim Babangida to power. He initiated a tightly-controlled package of economic reforms and a democratization programme which eventually failed with the annulment of the 12 June 1993 Presidential Election. General Sani Abacha took over power in November 1993 until his sudden death in 1998. Under Abacha, Nigeria experienced one of the worst forms of dictatorship, and this experience contributed to the complete loss of legitimacy of military rule. General Abdulsalami Abubakar conducted a rapid transition to democracy and power was returned to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in May 1999 after he was declared winner in a national election. For 16 uninterrupted years to date,
30 O. Oshita Nigeria has been witnessing civil democratic rule. A significant development in Nigeria’s journey into sustainable democracy was the successful transition of power on 29 May 2015, from Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the then opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) led by General Muhammadu Buhari, after an election that defied the prediction it would end in crisis. In a nutshell, the military’s contribution to the development of democracy in Nigeria is mixed but with more positives than negatives. Ojo (2014) notes that Ben Nwabueze in 1989 identified the five phases of Nigeria’s political journey towards democracy thus: i An ‘era of colonial autocracy and absolutism’ – pre-independence period; ii An ‘era of emergence of constitutional democracy’ – 1960–1966; iii A ‘return of autocracy and absolutism under military government’ – 1966–1979; iv A ‘restoration of constitutional democracy’ – 1979–1983; and v The ‘second coming of military autocracy’ – 1983–1993. An update of this would include the following four phases: vi A temporary restoration of constitutional democracy – two months in 1993; vii Third coming of military autocracy – 1993–1998; viii Military rule – 1998–1999; and ix Restoration of constitutional democracy, 1999 to date. The first coup d’état in 1966 was ‘necessary’ because the civilian government was corrupt and lacked discipline. Of all the military leaders in post- independence Nigeria, only Major General Obasanjo and General Abubakar scheduled and implemented transition programmes. Indeed, nothing illustrates the desire for the military to hold political power better than the schemes of successive military regimes to remain in power. Most notable in this regard were the regimes of General Babangida and General Abacha. General Babangida conducted what he himself described in a 2010 CNN interview as ‘the free-est, the best election in the history of the country’ but then proceeded to annul the elections and decree that there could be no challenges to this annulment. This delivered possibly the biggest and most dangerous blow to the democratic development of Nigeria as it appeared to set the country back by several years both in terms of the ethnic and other negative sentiments it somehow managed to (re-)awaken in Nigerians and in terms of the interim government that he put in place after local and international civil society pressurized him into stepping down. Arguably the worst blow was that this paved the way for possibly the worst dictatorship the country has ever seen to take power. Under General Abacha, democratic structures were dismantled, and at one point, the government even ‘formed’ political parties and designed their manifestos. Members of the political elite were indiscriminately banned from participating in
The military in Nigeria 31 politics and former discredited political officers were called upon to assume political offices. In all this time, M.K.O. Abiola, the alleged winner of the cancelled elections languished in jail. The wider implication of the annulment of the election – together with the arrest and detention of Abiola cannot be overlooked. Abiola was popular, a popularity that cut across ethnicity and other divides. Second, the elections were conducted in such a way that there were no real challenges to its validity. Third, it made Nigerians aware that the military was willing to do anything to retain political power. During Babangida’s regime, civil society had been able to mobilize enough support to ‘force’ him to step down. The political elite who had often been criticized for calling for democratic change but were often all too eager to cooperate and even align with the military after coups were forced to take note (Alao, 2000). Abacha’s most daring move and one which, had it succeeded, would have made a great mockery of Nigeria’s democratic aspirations, was his scheming to actualize his desire to succeed himself as a civilian president. All this is not to minimize the role of the military in a democracy in peacetime. This is the subject of discussion in the next section.
The military and constitutional democracy in Nigeria In well-ordered societies the military is a creation of the constitution and not of any arbitrary authority. It is therefore important to situate the discussion of the role of the military in democracy and peace within the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, specifies the roles for which the Nigerian military was created. Part III C Section 217 (1&2) states that there shall be an armed forces of the federation, which shall consist of an Army, a Navy, an Air Force and such other branches of the armed forces of the federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly. The Constitution further states that the federation shall … equip and maintain the armed forces as may be considered adequate and effective for the purpose of: a b c
defending Nigeria from external aggression; maintaining its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation by land, sea or air; suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the president, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
The military derives its role from the constitution and since 1999 to date the military has not set-aside the constitution through coup d’état but has continued
32 O. Oshita to perform its constitutional duties in subordination to civil political authorities. The military in Nigeria has acted and continues to act in aid of civil authorities by providing security and suppressing insurrections that have manifested in different parts of the country. The military has so performed this role to the point whereby it seems to be overstretched. The military are involved in nearly all internal security management from anti-robbery squads in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force across the country, to special task forces in the south region against militants and in the north-east region against the insurgents. It would be apt to say that the military has to a very large extent performed its constitutional responsibilities in ensuring the success of democracy in Nigeria without any interruption for 16 years. The blithe yet potentially injurious practice from 1999, which increased significantly in the last decade or so, is the over exposure of the Nigerian military to the performance of internal security duties of law and order maintenance, which is constitutionally the remit of the Nigeria Police. By 2015, it was stated that more than 24 out of Nigeria’s 36 states had deployments of the military for various forms of internal security assignments, mounting road blocks or operating as various task forces. This situation has serious implications for the military and the society and calls for serious interrogation by all stakeholders. On the one hand, the exposure of the military to internal security functions reserved constitutionally for the police sends the signal that the constitutional roles of the military should be expanded and this may affect the traditional focus, discipline and professionalism of the military. On the other hand, the Nigeria Police Force and other internal security organizations may never be challenged enough to take up and meet the demands of performing their constitutional duties in terms of experience, equipment, discipline and professionalism. Generally, these practices have sparked a lot of inter-agency rivalries and created room for misunderstanding and crisis in civil–military relations.
Nigerian military and subordination to civil authority One of the earliest philosophical conceptualizations and argument for the subordination of the military to civilian authorities is contained in Plato’s Republic. Plato provides for the rulers (philosopher kings), referred to as the ‘thinking’ part of society, to superintend over the military (simply understood as soldiers) and equated with the second of the three segments of society identified with courage. The other segment of society is the masses or workers (the people), also identified as the appetitive segment of society. However, a number of literatures trace to the writings of Sun Tzu (544 bc–496 bc) and Clausewitz (ad 1780–ad 1831) some aspects of the recognition that military organizations were primarily the servants of the state and should be accountable to the state and its institutions. It can be argued that these writers understood the state differently from the modern democratic state founded on principles and processes of constitutionalism. Despite the intrusion of the military into political governance, the Nigerian military remains one of the most disciplined and professional if accounts of
The military in Nigeria 33 mission performance evaluations by officers and men are any indication. The military has excelled in different peace support operations at the regional, continental and global levels. What this indicates is that the military is conscious of its constitutional roles and is capable and willing to exert itself in this direction given the right deployment by competent authorities. The subordination of the military to civil authorities is a matter explicit in the constitution and can be activated by the President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces, an act of the National Assembly, or a combination of authorities. This is therefore a matter of processes and procedures that are entrenched in the laws of the country. Successive military regimes in Nigeria accorded differing levels of support to the development of democracy in Nigeria. As already discussed in section 2, many of the military heads of state had little interest in promoting democracy. For over 30 years, democratic consolidation was not possible because the military kept wading in and seizing power. Because the civilian leadership that often emerged after elections, and indeed the political elite as a whole, knew very little about the operations of the military, the military was more or less left to command itself with no checks thereby making it easy for them to mobilize and overthrow any elected civilian president. Initially, the military played a role in coercing the colonial government to speed up political development by their mere presence in British colonies and the threat that they might lead a revolt, as was the case in Kenya and some other colonies. Under Major General Obasanjo and General Abubakar, the military supported the police in providing security during the electoral process. In both cases, and perhaps more so in 1999, they only stepped in to support security and stepped aside to allow democratic processes to play out. In 1999, after a successful transition to civilian rule, civil society and the political elite made it clear that a primary concern was to ensure that the military recognize the supremacy of democratic institutions and processes and that they respected fundamental human rights of civilians at all times. Ironically, this transition to civilian rule came in the form of handing over to a former military head of state. It has been argued that this gave Obasanjo an edge over any other leader who might have emerged from the electoral process. It is also argued that it was because he was very familiar with the military that he immediately sought to implement security sector reforms that would ensure that the military would abstain from participation in politics (Alao, 2000). Under his reforms, Obasanjo amongst other things (Aiyede, 2015; Alao, 2000): i appointed new army chiefs; ii retired all former military men who held political offices; iii made efforts to establish legislative oversight for the military by way of a Defence Committee in the National Assembly; iv recognized the right of the Supreme Court to review actions of, or decisions taken by, the military;
34 O. Oshita v appointed a new Defence Minister with expanded roles (unlike before, the Minister was a civilian ex-service man who was very familiar with military operations and other aspects of the military); vi sought to ensure that military operations were in line with an agenda as laid out by the civilian leadership; vii instituted the Oputa Panel to investigate alleged human rights abuse during the military regimes; viii sought to foster foreign military consultancies such as the Military Profession Resources International (MPRI) to improve civil–military relations; and ix tried to reduce the size of the army. The Nigerian military has exercised restraint even when in 2010, it was rumoured that the then President Musa Yar’Adua had died. They resisted the urge, as they would perhaps have ordinarily done, to seize power on the pretext that it was necessary. Also, when, the country was plunged into civil unrest following the 2011 elections, the army just intervened to restore security and then withdrew to allow the democratically-elected officers to take charge and the courts to address the alleged election irregularities. Even in the light of the serious security challenges that the country has been faced with in recent times, the army has not taken over power. Through all these challenges, the military has supported the development of democracy and contributed to democratic consolidation by providing security support to the civilian leadership.
The military, peace and democracy in Nigeria Some scholars (Diamond, 2008; Adetula, 2011) have described democracy in developing and post-communist countries as being a superficial phenomenon, blighted by multiple forms of bad governance. These they characterize to include abusive police and security forces, domineering local oligarchies, incompetent and indifferent state bureaucracies, corrupt and inaccessible judiciaries, and venal ruling elites who are contemptuous of the rule of law and are not accountable to anyone but themselves. Consequently, Diamond argues, many people in these countries, especially the poor, are thus citizens in name only and have few meaningful channels of political participation. There are elections, but they are contests among parties that are corrupt, undemocratic and clientelistic. There are parliaments and local governments, but they do not represent broad constituencies but self-seeking ‘strong men’ and ‘god fathers’. There are constitutions, but not constitutionalism (Omilusi, 2015). Indeed, there are laws but it is the rule of impunity that is dominant. The military in Nigeria, as earlier noted, is part and parcel of the society and at different times has been the main decider of socio-economic and political patronage and direction of the country. The Nigerian military controlled political power for several years and finally carried out the transition to civil democracy in 1999. If Nigeria was peaceful and orderly in those intervening years then the whole credit would be due to the military that was in the saddle of affairs. Thus,
The military in Nigeria 35 the impact of the military control of political authority in Nigeria was not only in the domestic sphere but in the continent and the globe as a whole. This becomes clearer when we consider Ibeanu’s characterization of the three phases of Nigeria African Policy, the conservative, radical and realist (2010: 18–19). Besides, Nigeria’s glorious records in peace support operations in West Africa and elsewhere in the world experience a boost under the different military regimes. There is no doubt that in effective partnership with their civilian collaborators, and because of the global pressure for democracy across the world, coupled with the internal contradictions after the annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, it was inevitable that the Nigerian military should be mid-wife to democracy on May 29, 1999. While the contributions of the military to peace span the military and civilian eras, our focus is more on their roles in peace in the context of democracy building. It is therefore important to provide a background and the realities around the operations of democracy in Nigeria as well as how it impacts on peace, before providing some insights into the military and its nexus with peace and democracy as core human interests. Democracy allows for the ventilation of hitherto suppressed grievances, and often their manifestation in violent forms. The prevalence of social cleavages and the personalization of public offices all add-up to a reign of the culture of impunity and the absence of rule of law, making violence imminent in the society. It is the military that laid the foundation for the outburst of demands by different groups who had perceived that democracy will address their needs. However, it has been observed that in societies where ethnic, religious, racial or class divisions run deep, democratic competition, if poorly moderated, could indeed inspire and inflame political violence. Violence is often a tool to wage political struggles – to exert power, rally supporters, destabilize opponents, derail the prospect of elections altogether in an effort to gain total control of the machinery of government. This is the reality in today’s Nigeria, where incidences of violence in the forms of insurgency, ethno-religious and communal conflicts have resulted in major national challenges. This is in addition to recurring violent conflicts arising from electoral contests by the political class at all levels (Omilusi, 2015: 9). One of the obvious threats to Nigeria’s nascent democracy arises from elections that are largely blemished by violence at all levels, leading to the enthronement of usually imposed rather than elected leaders. Elections are conducted as a means of alternating power among the competing political gladiators, typically in a violent manner that reflects desperation characterized by ‘do or die tactics’ tending towards barbarism. According to the International Crisis Group (2011), politicians’ use of armed militias or youth gangs as protection and to harass opponents, intimidate voters and snatch ballot boxes is an ingrained campaign pattern in parts of the country. The background is that many states have organized suppliers of violence for hire, fed by high youth unemployment and easy availability of small arms and light weapons: from cults, area boys and local chapters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the south to radical and other armed groups in the north. Human Rights Watch
36 O. Oshita (2007: 2) reports that Nigeria’s elected leaders obtained their positions by demonstrating an ability to use corruption and political violence to prevail in sham elections. The high stakes in politics and consequent militarization of the electoral process has, with few exceptions, been implicated in the cycles of violence that attend the elections across the country. For instance, the 2014 governorship elections conducted in Ekiti and Osun states witnessed heavy presence of military men and women. Security operatives were present in strategic locations across the states. In Ekiti state, 30,790 policemen, soldiers, operatives of the state security service and members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps were deployed to the state a few days before the election while over 70,000 of the same agencies were actively involved in the 9 August 2014 Osun election. Omilusi (2015: 10) observed that the Osun election was like a war zone, as the troops took their positions. Almost every 100 metres from the entry point of the states, police officers and soldiers mounted various check points, with blood- hound dogs sniffing for any likely breach of the peace by supporters of the various political parties. Such massive deployment of security agencies has been described as militarization of the state by the federal government, which unfortunately has continued to the present day. The military has, unfortunately, been routinely involved in the electoral processes in Nigeria, a role that is constitutionally the remit of the Nigeria Police Force. While this may be seen as a positive contribution, services such as the movement of electoral materials across the country as well as providing security cover on election days are integral to policing duties. It must be noted that the military, since 1999, has continued to submit to the authority of the politicians in power as enshrined in the constitution yet this must be limited to the areas of constitutional mandate for the military. The tri-service chiefs (army, navy and air force) present and defend their annual budgetary appropriations at the National Assembly in conjunction with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the civilian Minister of Defence who oversees their affairs at the executive branch. There is, to a very large extent, democratic control of the military in Nigeria, and the extent which this is so depicts military contribution to the building and consolidation of democracy and peace in the country. There are some instances where the military was used by the political class and the outcomes led to public outcries. In the year 2000, President Olusegun Obasanjo authorized the deployment of military troops to ‘Odi’ Bayelsa state where innocent citizens were massacred without any recourse to the National Assembly. This was a breach of the 1999 Constitution as stipulated in section 217 (2) C, which requires first for some conditions to be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly for use of the military in that regard. Again, in 2001, President Obasanjo, without lawful authority authorized the deployment of military troops to Zaki Biam in Benue state, leading to the death of several people and loss of property. These have remained two clear examples of how not to deploy the military in a democratic dispensation, where the Constitution and the National Assembly of the land were expected to authorize the operations.
The military in Nigeria 37 However, the military under very lawful authorization has been engaged in operations against Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east zone of the country. At some point, the insurgents took over swathes of territories, almost 18 local government areas in Borno and Yobe states, exposing the inadequacies of the military and the challenges inherent in the institution. On taking over as President and Commander in Chief in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari reconfigured the command and control of the military, making it possible for the military to sufficiently degrade Boko Haram and restoring civil authorities in areas previously taken by the insurgents. President Buhari identified corruption as one of the reasons why the military could not acquire the appropriate equipment to counter the Boko Haram insurgency. The President implicated corruption in the procurement processes of the armed forces as well as integrity of the weapons and armaments in the failure of the military to rout the insurgents in the north- east. It is also worth mentioning that with a new order in place, the military not only forced the insurgents to retreat, but also aided civil authorities to successfully conduct elections in previously-held areas of Borno and Yobe States.
Conclusion The military has significantly contributed to the building of peace and democracy in Nigeria. While some of the contributions of the military may not be advertised, and sometimes may appear controversial, a majority of Nigerians still regard the military as the last remaining insignia of national cohesion to be trusted. Despite initial setbacks, it is unimaginable what the situation would have been if the military was unable to deal with the several counter insurgency tasks it prosecuted under the civil authority since the emergence of Boko Haram in 2009 to date. The Nigerian military has been loyal and remained so since 1999 and has continued to support and submit to the authority of the civil leadership of the democratically- elected President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. While the military remained obedient to civil authority as an institution of government, the political class sometimes attempted to abuse this subordination and cordiality by seeking to deploy to score cheap political gains over political opponents. This tendency rears its head particularly where the military is being deployed for internal security operations, including election duties. Today, the Nigerian military have internal security assignments in more than 27 of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. There is the ever-present need for the military to be insulated from the tendency of abuse by their civilian political masters and to focus on their constitutional responsibilities in a professional manner. The remarkable successes recorded by the Nigerian military in degrading Boko Haram since President Buhari was sworn in on 29 May 2015, serves as eloquent testimony of what professional armed forces can achieve without political meddling. Indeed, politicization and corruption destroy professionalism of the armed forces and can compromise the territorial integrity of the entire country. This is an important lesson for leaders who understand as well as desire to have a highly mobile military with professional fighting capability.
38 O. Oshita The years of neglect of the Nigeria Police Force gradually left the military playing many of the internal security roles that the police were constitutionally mandated to perform. The Nigerian military has therefore continued to contribute to peace and democracy beyond the threshold of its constitutional role of protecting the territorial integrity of the country. However, observers have posited that the undue exposure of the military to routine internal security duties in about 27 of the 36 states of Nigeria may portend danger in the long run. They argue that such an exposure of the military could negatively impact discipline and mobility of the military in the performance of its constitutional duties. Experience shows that fledgling democracies such as Nigeria, with her robust diversity, require firm institutions and a principled socio-political environment under the rule of law to ensure peace and stability. In Nigeria, this is obviously a work in progress, and it has been so since her independence in 1960.
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3 The Rwanda Defence Force From genocide to peace and democratic consolidation Marco Jowell
Introduction The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF ) has developed over the last two decades as one of the most efficient and professional militaries in Africa, if not the world. Contemporary Rwandan military organization and leadership finds its roots in a liberation ethos and experiences from the National Resistance Army (NRA) in Uganda followed by unique practical and pragmatic influences of liberation, ending genocide and directing state reconstruction in Rwanda. The newly integrated army was forged through various pragmatic approaches to developing cohesion within the military such as through offensive operations, peacekeeping and institutional development processes. Today the RDF is completely different from the initial force the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA), even if the most senior command is dominated by former RPA leaders. The initial RPA was a guerrilla force mainly comprised of infantry or rather fighters who employed a strategy of insurgency as well as political mobilization within Rwanda and abroad. Although liberation mentality remains at the centre of today’s RDF the institution is now a developed defence force comprising a Joint Command and tri-services of Army, Navy and Air Force. An impressive infrastructure exists with all the necessary departments for an effective military institution including training centres, support and welfare departments and command structure that includes recognizable ranks, regiments and organization. The following analysis is not a comprehensive assessment of military capability, detailed historical investigation or judgement on whether the dynamics at play are right or wrong. Instead, this chapter seeks to illuminate the trajectory of the Rwandan Military with broader implications for peace consolidation in the country by identifying processes, mechanisms and influences that have shaped the military establishment and defence institutions in Rwanda and how it relates to society. It is proposed that the RDF developed through three identifiable phases. First a phase of liberation, second securitization and third through professionalization. In doing so, unique processes of military development are highlighted which relate specifically to the Rwandan context of post-genocide dynamics and state building using the military. In outlining these features many
The Rwanda Defence Force 41 other areas are highlighted as having contributed to peace consolidation in the RDF and wider Rwandan politics.
Armed forces, society and the Rwandan context Before a detailed discussion of the Rwandan context it is important to tease out some of the issues affecting the development of African Armed Forces more broadly. Politico-sociological studies of the African military are few and far between (one that stands out is Luckham, 1971). Understanding pressures and developments shaping the military and especially officer corps is essential in understanding the dynamics of military development of the continent. As several authors note, the officer corps is one of the most important elite groups in society controlling large numbers of men whose occupation is violence (Nordlinger 1977; Gutteridge 1969; Luckham 1971). The socio-political composition of armies tends to reflect the sociology of the state they represent supporting the notion of subjectivity in the military (Huntington 1981). In Rwanda, the military finds its roots in liberation and the unique experiences of overcoming and halting genocide amidst a political environment of exclusion, as well as processes of socialization, in order to develop military cohesion (Jowell 2014). It is therefore useful to briefly summarize key features of a liberation military force. Militaries rooted in liberation tend to emerge after a civil war where one side is an outright winner and is usually a leftist revolutionary group fighting a Marxist-Leninist, Maoist or Ho Chi Minh-esque protracted bush war. Liberation or vanguard militaries prioritize political education and ideology, are intimately involved with the state and ruling party and enforce strict control and discipline. The integration of the losers at lower levels into the existing force after a lengthy process of political indoctrination is also a common feature. The leadership then is part of the political leadership and informal networks abound. Examples are prevalent across the continent and the history of African Armed Forces, closely related to societal influence. States and their armed forces such as Nyerere’s Tanzania, the MPLA in Angola, Machel’s Mozambique and Rawlings’ Ghana as well as contemporary examples from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda would be other suitable case studies (Jowell 2015). The Rwandan military most resembles the liberation vanguard military. Today’s Rwandan military originated from the NRA in Uganda. After seizing power in Uganda, the Rwandan members of the NRA fought a second liberation war into Rwanda that culminated in the 1994 genocide before the RPA took power. The largely Tutsi RPA recognized that drastic actions were needed given they were in a minority and a decision was made to integrate large numbers of Hutu government soldiers into the national army after a lengthy indoctrination and education process (Jowell 2014; Waldorf 2009; Rusagara 2009; Wilén 2012). The RPA approach combined institutionalising a liberation ethos into the military through integration and political education as well as prioritising draconian control. The newly-integrated army was forged together ‘through fire’ (Rusagara 2009: 195) by fighting together in the Congo Wars, as well as by
42 M. Jowell keeping the peace in several UN missions, notably in Darfur, CAR and South Sudan. However, senior leadership remains dominated by Tutsis born in Uganda and who fought with the NRA. Furthermore, the military elite have historically been part and parcel of the ruling party and exercise disproportionate power over affairs of the state.
Evolution of the Rwandan military: liberation, securitization and professionalization Liberation: 1990–1994 The first phase of establishing the military in Rwanda came with the process of liberation which is linked to the history of Rwanda and the exclusion of segments of society and associated grievances. Within that, issues of identity, experiences of guerrilla war and liberation ideology within the NRA in Uganda and then RPA in Rwanda are the central features of this period. Banyarwanda, predominately Tutsi, have historically been marginalized and targeted by their own state as well as in states of refuge and sanctuary. Although movements of persons within the Great Lakes region of Africa has been common throughout history (Chretien 2006; Mamdani 2002; Prunier 2005; Willame 1997; Mushameza 2007; Jowell 2014) it was the exodus of Tutsis fleeing pogroms and ethnic violence in Rwanda into neighbouring states in the late 1950s that resulted in large Rwandan refugee populations in the region (Mamdani 2002: 165). Some of these refugees organized themselves into armed insurgents seeking to return to Rwanda, although ultimately these attempts were unsuccessful. However, the idea of returning home had been established and would be passed down to younger generations growing up in exile in close proximity to a homeland that was unknown to them. The younger generations of exiled Rwanda refugees, mainly Tutsi, were subject to harassment and again marginalized in their respective host states. Issues of identity, citizenship and exclusion were the most pertinent factors in formulating self-awareness. Origins in the NRA It was experiences in Uganda under this context of marginalization and exclusion that fomented the beginnings of the armed struggle and liberation ethos with a view to returning to Rwanda and overthrowing the government in Kigali. In that sense, liberation politics and liberation leaders were instrumental in influencing the future Rwanda Patriotic Army and its political wing the Rwandan Patriotic Front by first being an instrumental part of Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army in Uganda. Other experiences such as training and supporting the FRELIMO guerrilla movement in Mozambique were also crucial factors shaping world views of Rwandans who joined Museveni. The NRA itself was a liberation force on a Moaist or North Vietnamese model of a ‘People’s Army’ that employed guerrilla tactics underscored by liberation ideology. Rwandans
The Rwanda Defence Force 43 were intimately part of the NRA from day one with leaders such as Fred Rwigema and Paul Kagame being exceptionally close to Museveni having grown up in the same area of South West Uganda and importantly suffering similar trends of exclusion within Uganda’s politics, especially under the regimes of Milton Obote 1 (1966–1971), Idi Amin (1971–1979) and Obote 2 (1980–1985). The NRA strategy was to fight a protracted bush war and to immerse themselves with the people, very similar to FRELIMO and other liberation groups in the Front Line States of Southern Africa. Key features of the NRA strategy were immersing fighters with the population, political education of both combatants and non-combatants in safe or captured zones, hit and run tactics to destabilize and disempower the enemy and the integration of captured enemy soldiers into the guerrilla movement (Museveni 1997; Ngoga 1998; Brett 1995; Mudoola 1991; Hansen and Twaddle 1991). The NRA took power in Uganda in 1986 and began a process of re-constituting the military from scratch in order to avoid the colonial style and sectarian-based army of previous regimes (Museveni 1997). Although several other political-military groups were integrated into the Ugandan military the NRA always retained leadership positions (Brett 1995; Mudoola 1991). In addition to military integration, Museveni prioritized political education, ideological indoctrination and control. The NRA campaign was a bush war and all recruits and captured combatants who were deemed appropriate were given intensive political education and re-integrated into the army (Ngoga 1998: 91–107). When the NRA took power, political education and discipline continued in the military (Jowell 2014). Of a force of around 14,000 men and women, Rwandan cadres constituted a significant number of around 3000 (Rusagara 2009: 173; Wilén 2012), many of who held command positions both in the guerrilla war and in the army within the NRA/M government post-1986. The NRA experience had taught these 3000 Rwandans both the ideological underpinning of guerrilla war as well as equipping them with the necessary skills and experience to launch their own war of liberation. Which is exactly what they did.
The Rwandan civil war and genocide Only four years after the NRA success in Uganda, the Rwandan members snuck away under cover of darkness in October 1990 and launched the liberation of Rwanda under the RPA, guided by the capable leadership of the charismatic Fred Rwigema. The tactics employed were recognizably NRA influenced. Guerrilla insurgency was the method of war with the intention of securing ground, capturing and sabotaging tactical targets such as military outposts, infiltrating the enemy through intelligence networks and integrating captured enemies into combat units. However, a number of setbacks nearly stopped the campaign in the first year of the war. The government of Rwanda at the time managed to successfully repel the initial invasion, RPA commanders were caught in unknown terrain and topography which split communication and supply routes rendering some RPA elements completely cut off from the main force, and importantly, Rwigema was killed in fighting on the second day of the campaign (Prunier
44 M. Jowell 2005: 114–116). Nevertheless the RPA continued the fight and re-organized itself in line with operational realities. Some military aid was provided clandestinely from Uganda and Kagame returned from attending a course at Fort Leavenworth Command and Staff College in the US to take charge of the liberation force (Waugh 2004). It was during this period that the RPA built upon the crisis of Banyarwanda identity in the Great lakes region. During the civil war, recruitment soared from Rwandans living in Uganda who had not been part of the NRA. In addition, and owing to the particular tactics of the RPA, recruitment within Rwanda itself began to take place of all Rwandans, no matter what the identity, ethnicity or country of settlement. A crucial point was the attack on the Ruhengeri prison in 1991 where several high profile Hutu opposition figures were detained by the Habyarimana regime (Rusagara 2009; Wilén 2012; Beswick 2012; Larsen 2015). These individuals not only provided significant intelligence and information on Rwanda’s politics and demographics but also were instrumental in recruiting Hutu members to the RPA’s cause and promoting an ethos of multi-ethnicity and a genuine national movement. Recruitment in Uganda and Rwanda was followed by Rwandans joining from Burundi, DR Congo (Zaire at the time), Tanzania and even further afield in Africa and the rest of the world. At the same time, the RPA invested significantly in political mobilization, partly to maintain a steady stream of recruits but also to firmly establish a political identity and programme to secure legitimacy within Rwanda, the region and a post-Cold War world. Political cadres established mobilization networks in neighbouring states as well as in Kenya, the Front Line States of Southern Africa but also in Europe, the US, Canada and elsewhere. The comprehensive approach to mobilization, recruitment and operations was a cornerstone of RPA policy and continues to this day. Years of civil war took its toll on both sides and a peace deal was signed between government forces (FAR) and the RPA in Arusha in Tanzania in 1993 that provided for amongst other things power sharing and equitable constitution of a national army. However, on 6 April 1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane, which also had the President of Burundi on board, was shot down with heat seeking missiles over Kigali. This act of violence not only derailed the peace process but set into motion one of the greatest horrors of modern history, sparking the order for genocide (Straus 2004). Within a period of 100 days between 800,000 and one million Rwandans, predominately Tutsi, were massacred at the hands of government forces, Hutu armed groups, militias and even individuals (Prunier 2005; Gourevitch 1998; Melvern 2006; Straus 2004). Although a UN peacekeeping mission was in the country it failed to stop the killings and no international intervention force was sent in try and stop the genocide. It was the RPA who stopped the massacres. This horrific three-month period was a further influence on the RPA members, who were already convinced of the need for self-reliance and suspicious of outsiders who had never accepted them. The realization dawned on the RPA leaders that they were the only ones who were able, or rather the only ones who had the will, to stop the genocide, cementing distrust of external actors and especially the UN, whose
The Rwanda Defence Force 45 peacekeepers literally stood by and watched as men, women and children were hunted down, lined up, separated by ethnicity and then massacred, mainly with blunt instruments. The RPA launched an all-out campaign to stop the killing and seize power in Rwanda which they achieved on the 4 July 1994. The period of liberation was defining for the RPA. A history of marginalization and persecution fed into and stimulated the need to return and liberate Rwanda. On the ground fighting and experiences of guerrilla warfare with all the trimmings of political education was a further important influence. Finally, the horror of the genocide cemented the perceptions of self-reliance and importantly the need for pragmatic and innovative solutions in reconstructing the state. Consolidation and securitization: 1995–2002 The second stage of military development came post-genocide and ushered in an era of securitization. The country had been entirely decimated. All state institutions had been destroyed including the security apparatus. Although the RPA was in control there was not much left to govern. That included people. In the aftermath of the genocide the former regime fled into neighbouring states, with over 1.2 million Hutu refugees in eastern Zaire/Congo but also significant numbers ending up in Tanzania and Burundi (Prunier 2005: 312). The former government, genocidaires and extremist militias fled into Zaire amidst the mass exodus of Hutu civilians. These actors essentially formed a government in exile and organized themselves into recognizable administrative units, including military actors, within refugee camps in close proximity to the Rwanda/Zaire border (Prunier 2009; Reyntjens 2009). The intention was to return to Rwanda by force and retake power. As a result, border raids and incursions into Rwanda from camps in Zaire were orchestrated by these actors leading to what was known as the insurgency in the North West (African Rights 1998; Orth 2001). The new RPA/F government in Rwanda was thus facing the possibility of armed incursions by those responsible for the genocide leading to increased insecurity. Indeed, incursions from Zaire resulted in a number of massacres in Gisenyi prefecture in North West Province, the former support base of President Habyarimana, and in Ruhengeri Prefecture, Northern Province. The Zairian president Mobutu, himself facing calls to step down, exacerbated the situation in an attempt to stay in power by positioning himself as central to a solution to the Rwandan refugee crisis. Mobutu refused to disarm the genocidal combatants and actively supported them, not least due to a mistrust of the new predominately Anglophone leadership in Kigali who had led to the overthrow of his ally Habyarimana. Thus, a period of insecurity ensued that not only resulted in many Rwandan civilian deaths but also maintained a persistent threat of invasion. And the RPA knew only too well what militarized refugees in close proximity to home could possibly achieve. The insecurity led to a process of securitization. The RPA focused on securing territorial integrity and ending the threat posed by militants in eastern Zaire. By 1996 the regime in Rwanda had had enough of the continuous threat and of
46 M. Jowell Mobutu’s seeming collaboration and support for the Hutu militants. A decision was made in Kigali by the RPF government to invade Zaire, both through proxy forces and direct intervention, to close the refugee camps and end the threat. With like-minded allies such as Uganda’s Museveni and the blessing of Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, a coalition of forces invaded Zaire. Thus, started the Congo Wars. The first Congo War and the invasion of Zaire in 1996 were intended to close the camps and create a buffer zone to ensure the security of Rwanda. Having sourced a Congolese frontman in the form of Laurent Kabila, the Rwandan army and other partners were able to conduct operations, along with Ugandan forces, in order to secure victories in eastern Congo. The invasion was so successful that the advancing rebels, supported by Rwanda, Uganda and Angola, managed to march all the way to Kinshasa with little opposition. This was in part down to the inability of Mobutu’s rag-tag army to put up a fight due to years of dictatorship, mismanagement and decay that characterized the Zairian state and its defensive institutions (Prunier 2009; Reyntjens 2009; Stearns 2011; Wrong 2001). However, the overthrow of Mobutu did not end the issues of securitization as Kabila, on assuming power, turned against his eastern neighbours and, much like his predecessor, turned to anti-Rwandan forces that included elements of the genocidal regime commencing the second Congo War in 1998. This conflict was an entirely different situation to the previous war, although concepts of security were the initial motivation on the part of the Rwandan government (McNulty 1999; Reyntjens 1999). As the war progressed, former allies turned against each other. The Angolans supported Kabila along with many other states such as Namibia and Zimbabwe whilst the Ugandan and Rwandan forces ended up fighting each other over access to resources in Kisangani during 2001 (Waugh 2004) leading to a severing of diplomatic relations for many years between the former comrades in arms. Proxy forces mushroomed, split and reconstituted themselves in various forms, all with external patrons (Stearns 2011). Economic motivations, or at least the need for war coffers led to an added feature of the conflict that revolved around the exploitation and appropriation of minerals as well as other commodities in order to sustain the war effort. This took several forms depending on the actor in question with Ugandan forces and commanders lining their pockets while Rwandan forces used the spoils far more strategically in support of national priorities. Stalemate was the result of the protracted conflict with significant losses on all sides, not least the Congolese population, with estimates of around five million deaths in the period 1998–2001 alone. A peace agreement was established in 1999 with external pressure and the world’s largest peacekeeping mission was deployed. It was only in 2002 that foreign forces officially pulled out of eastern Congo bringing an end to the years of conflict, although low intensity conflict still persists today.
The Rwanda Defence Force 47 Professionalization 2002–present The third stage of military development in Rwanda can be seen as developing professionalization of the armed forces. This process is on-going and reflects the desire of Rwandan defence policy makers to have fully professional and modern armed forces. Important aspects implemented are corporatization, military administration and peacekeeping. The RPA since 2002 has gone through a period of corporatization. That is, the institution has been reorganized to reflect a modern-day defence force with recognisable structures and organization. The military is more autonomous from Rwandan politics than before, although it is still a key political actor given the background of the senior leadership. But at lower levels the institution is mixed, possibly the most mixed ethnically, regionally and linguistically in the country (Jones 2012: 240). Crucially, the RPA was rebranded the Rwanda Defence Force in 2002 (Jowell 2014; Beswick 2012) to position itself as a national entity and to shed connotations of being a politicized guerrilla movement. As a result, the RDF is a tri-service institution combining the Army, Air Force and Navy. These three services are subordinate to a Chief of Staff who in turn reports to the Chief of Defence Staff with political direction provided for by the Minister of Defence who sits in the defence ministry which is responsible for strategic guidance. Below the most senior positions is a coordinated and competent administration, both in terms of operations but also administration. The operational administration of the RDF consists of the top military managers in a Joint Headquarters with the recognisable positions of Personnel & Admin (J1), Military Intelligence (J2), Operations (J3), Logistics (J4), and Planning (J5). In addition, the RDF maintains a political director/commissar (J6), an indication of the importance of political education, ideological control and roots in liberation revolutionary organization. Ranks and hierarchy now consist of the spectrum of levels with general class of Brigadier (1 star) to full General (4 stars), a senior officer class of Major to Colonel and a junior officer class from Officer Cadet to Captain as well as NCOs and the rank and file. Organizationally too, the RDF has transformed itself into a system of military modernity with a number of regional divisions, Special Forces and Reserve Force as well as support networks such as military finance through the CSS Zigama Bank and health cover through Military Medical Insurance (MMI) (Jowell 2014; Behuria 2016). This modern organization and hierarchy is completely different to earlier incarnations of the Rwandan military since 1994 when it was essentially a revolutionary force with a different system of hierarchy and organization. For instance, during the civil war there were no official ranks or at least not in the form that exists today, even if individuals at the very top of the hierarchy by and large remain the same, or at least the same profile, background and experience. A key aspect of the professionalization of the RDF has not only been the re- organization of the hierarchy but the broader support and training infrastructure. The RDF has a comprehensive and modern training network of various institutions that are geared to building the different capacities and capabilities of the
48 M. Jowell Rwandan military. Most important is the Rwanda Military Academy at Gako which trains the entire army at various stages and at different levels including cadet training, basic training (soldiering skills), combat strategy and pre- deployment training for operations and peacekeeping (Jowell 2014). The Rwandan Defence Force Command and Staff College (RDFCSC) in Musanze is a further crucial training institution providing senior and junior officer instruction of lengthy periods (up to a year) with all RDF officers passing through the RDFCSC. Other education and training activities are also prioritized and implemented by the defence establishment that include specialized training such as armour and artillery as well as comprehensive and continuous political education, initially in the form of solidarity camps (including Ingando and Itorero) but also through political commissars at all levels of the RDF. A further training institution is the Rwanda Peace Academy, a regional Peace Support Operations (PSO) training centre co-located with the RDFCSC that provides conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding training to individuals from Rwanda and other African states with the aim of developing Rwandan, and also African, contributions to UN and AU peacekeeping missions. Although the RPA provides instruction to individuals the Academy is a further training institution serving the needs of the RDF through employment of officers as staff members and hosting RDF as students, complimenting their pre-deployment training in other national training centres. A third identifiable feature of the professionalization of the RDF is the expansion into other non-traditional activities such as peacekeeping, which has become the hallmark of the Rwandan military in recent years. The RDF since 2002 has been a consistent and effective contributor of soldiers and police at all levels to UN and AU peacekeeping missions (Beswick 2010; Wilén 2012) with over 41,000 individuals deployed to missions in Darfur, Haiti, Central African Republic and South Sudan (Beswick 2014; Larsen 2015; Jowell and Beswick 2013; Jowell 2014). Contributions have been in a number of deployments, at different levels and in different roles. Rwandan officers have been Force Commanders and Deputy Force Commanders, notably with UNAMID in Darfur and MINUSMA in Mali as well as supplying a number of contingents and battalions that have constituted the bulk and most effective contributions to missions in Darfur, MINUSCA in CAR and UNMISS in South Sudan. Other positions have included the deployment of Staff Officers to mission headquarters and of Military Observers. Currently, Rwanda is the fifth largest contributor to UN peacekeeping and this significant and important support to PSOs is likely to continue.
Consolidating peace: socialization, control and state building In analysing the above periods and associated practical influences of liberation, securitization and professionalization pressures and experiences are clearly visible in developing the military in Rwanda, both institutionally and at the individual level. This amounts to understanding in part what constitutes RDF military culture. However, it is not sufficient to correlate these processes alone
The Rwanda Defence Force 49 with the development of RDF military culture and therefore additional aspects need due examination. Esterhuyse, Vrey and Mandrup provide perhaps the most useful framework for analysis when seeking to understand mechanisms shaping military culture with a particular focus on African Armed Forces and which is highly relevant to the case study of Rwanda and how peace consolidation has taken root within the military. Their analysis suggests that military culture is developed through internal cohesion that includes war fighting and military professionalism as well as securing legitimacy through serving society (Vrey et al. 2013: 267). This chimes with other relevant analysis that suggests that the RDF is the school of the national and the primary actor in nation or state building and development as well as developing the role of the individual (Behuria 2016; Larsen 2015; Rusagara 2009). My own contribution concurs and suggests that internal cohesion of the RDF has in part been attributed to socialization experiences of war fighting and other elements of building inter-personal bonds within the ranks at different levels as well as a focus on control (Jowell 2014). These dynamics have undoubtedly contributed to the development of RDF military culture but importantly have also contributed to the consolidation of peace within Rwanda more broadly, given the close proximity of the military to wider state formulation and socio-political development and having undertaken a role as ‘school of the nation’ (Rusagara 2009). Several areas or mechanisms can then be identified that have consolidated institutional and thus societal gains that have contributed to peacebuilding within Rwanda since 1994. Namely, issues around socialization control and state building, based on the liberation ethos outlined above. Cohesion in the RDF has come from socialization (Jowell 2014). The continuous processes of integration have been a key feature of this beginning with the integration of captured combatants during the liberation struggle and in the aftermath of the RPA victory when around 1500 ex-FAR and armed groups were integrated into the RPA in 1995 (Waldorf 2009). Integration continued throughout the periods of liberation, securitization and professionalization with captured enemies consistently drafted into combat units both to try and secure trust between former enemies through depending on each other in operational theatres but also to provide much-needed intelligence on enemy tactics and strategy. This was a consistent feature of RPA and then RDF operations until 2002. Since then, the integration process has continued through further joint deployments of the now integrated and corporatized RDF on peacekeeping missions and on patrols at home in Rwanda. In support of, and contributing to, socialization experiences during operations has been the development of inter-personal cohesion from training in the academies and schools outlined above and in other areas, for instance, off duty ‘hang outs’ such as the mess, restaurants, recreation facilities and other social activities (Jowell 2014; Larsen 2015). A final area of socialization has been in solidarity camps and areas of political education, which is closely related to notions of control. Control, discipline and top down oversight are cornerstones of the liberation ethos that has exerted much influence on the RDF but is also a hallmark of any
50 M. Jowell national defence force. After all, military forces must follow orders to the letter, be unified in capability and ability and be cohesive in the sense of respecting hierarchy and strategic direction, or else battle effectiveness will no doubt be negatively affected as will issues around the maintenance of institutional order (Bogers et al. 2010). Political education through Ingando and political commissars at all levels as well as the ‘carrots’ of welfare provision and ‘sticks’ of severe punishment to the extent of possible bodily harm or exile, work in a symbiotic manner to ensure loyalty to the cause, institution and country. Finally, the positioning of the military as a key player in socio-economic development and state building is the third key element. Beswick describes how the Rwandan military has been immersed within society and how it has actively contributed to development projects at the national and local levels through various activities designed to make the lives of ordinary citizens better, such as road building (Beswick 2012) that Western military forces would call Quick Impact Projects (QIPs). Other activities also fit this paradigm such as the development of a modern military hospital that caters to civilians and Army Week where the military provides services such as medical inoculations and construction at the local/provincial level. However, the idea of immersing the military within the civilian population again finds its roots in the liberation ethos and previous experiences. This is especially true regarding experiences within the NRA campaign where Museveni intentionally sought to ‘demystify the gun’ through co-habitation and immersion within society (Museveni 1997). In addition to societal or micro-economic development, the RDF has played a crucial part in macro-economic development with the view that there cannot be true sustainable peace without development and state reconstruction. This perception has been translated into a mechanism of state building as well as control. As Behuria outlines in detail, economic development in Rwanda has in part been spearheaded by various military companies as well as ruling party companies, which retain independence of each other, even if individuals at the top have the same ideological and practical underpinnings. Furthermore, the strategy of using the military and military companies to stimulate economic development is also part of control and is a mechanism of managing rents, patronage and pressures from below (Behuria 2016). These issues of micro and macro development have not only been central to Rwanda’s unique approach to state building but are also closely linked to ideas of liberation and control.
Conclusion This chapter has sought to examine the influences, processes and mechanisms that have been used to develop and construct the Rwandan Defence Force. Three broad phases have been identified that have necessitated different modes of organization and development of the military in Rwanda. The initial phase of liberation is crucial to this understanding. A history of marginalization of Banyarwanda in states across central Africa lit the match of liberation ideology that matured and developed with experiences in host states providing refuge.
The Rwanda Defence Force 51 In particular, experiences with the NRA Uganda were most influential in putting into place a liberation ideology with associated experiences of fighting a guerrilla war along revolutionary grounds and subsequent modes of warfare employed would carry a heavy NRA influence. But this belies a more complicated picture, especially given the rush to join the RPA in the nineties from Rwandans in Uganda who were not part of the NRA and Rwandans from other states, notably from Rwanda itself, Zaire, Burundi and Tanzania. Finally, the dynamics of the Rwandan civil war and in particular, state-sponsored genocide and the failure of external actors to prevent the horror, had a defining effect on the RPA fighters and political cadres. Securitization was the second phase of development with the priority of securing territorial integrity, which ultimately led to the Congo Wars. Although politically problematic, especially the second Congo war and amidst accusations of abuses and targeting of civilians, the campaigns provided an opportunity for institutional development of the Rwandan military. The integration of captured forces both in Rwanda during the insurgency in the North West and during both Congo Wars contributed to fostering social cohesion within the army. Fighting, killing and dying together; forcing individuals to depend on each other and demonstrating equality in service were hallmarks of this period with broader implications for social cohesion in military service. A final phase of professionalization that remains on-going is the third phase of military development. Issues around corporatization are crucial especially the rebranding of the military to the RDF and cementing of constitutional provisions. A reorganization of the defence forces to include a Joint Head Quarters, divisions and welfare elements as well as a comprehensive training infrastructure are all key components of today’s RDF with implications for developing cohesion of the armed forces. The expansion into areas such as UN peacekeeping is also an important factor for the development of the armed forces and contributes to institutional and individual maturity, by providing operational and combat experience and access to training. These three phases of military development with associated elements of influence have contributed to developing contemporary military culture in Rwanda that relate to a symbiotic relationship of socialization, control and state building. Forging cohesion through various approaches to socialization such as integration, training and off-duty areas has been a priority for defence policy makers in Rwanda. This has been complimented by control mechanisms as well the positioning of the military as the ‘school of the nation’ and as an important actor in both societal and national economic development. This troika of approaches has contributed significantly to military development as well as the development of the country. Importantly, this has implications for broader peacebuilding in Rwanda and, in line with subjectivity of the military, reflects wider efforts for ‘top down’ reconciliation, institutional development and peace consolidation in the country.
52 M. Jowell
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The Rwanda Defence Force 53 McNulty, Mel (1999). ‘The Collapse of Zaïre: Implosion, Revolution or External Sabotage?’ The Journal of Modern African Studies, 37: 53–82. Melvern, Linda (2006). A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide. Zed Books, London. Mudoola, Dan (1991). ‘Institution-Building: The Case of the NRM and the Military 1986–89’ in Hansen, Holger and Michael Twaddle (eds) Changing Uganda. James Currey, Oxford. Museveni, Yoweri (1997). Sowing the Mustard Seed: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda. Macmillan, London. Mushameza, E. D. (2007). The Politics of Empowerment of Banyarwanda Refugees in Uganda 1959–2001. Fountain Publishers, Kampala. Ngoga, Pascal (1998). ‘Uganda: The National Resistance Army’ in Clapham, Christopher (ed.) African Guerrillas. James Currey, Oxford. Nordlinger, Eric A. (1977). Soldiers in Politics: Military Coups and Governments. Prentice-Hall, London. Orth, Rick (2010). ‘Rwanda’s Hutu Extremist Insurgency: An Eyewitness Perspective’, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 12(1): 76–109. Prunier, Gerard (2005). The Rwanda Crisis: A History of a Genocide (5th edn). Hurst & Co., London. Prunier, Gerard (2009). From Genocide to Continental War: The Congolese Conflict and the Crisis of Contemporary Africa. Hurst & Co., London. Reyntjens, Filip (1999). ‘Briefing: The Second Congo War: More than a Remake’, African Affairs, 98(86): 241–250. Reyntjens, Filip (2009). The Great African War: Congo and Regional Geo-politics 1996–2006. Cambridge University Press, London. Rusagara, Frank K. (2009). A History of the Military in Rwanda. Foundations Publishers, Kigali. Soeters, Joseph, Paul C. van Fenema and Robert Beeres (2010). Managing Military Organisations: Theory and Practice. Routledge, London. Stearns, Jason (2011). Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa. Perseus Books, Public Affairs, New York. Straus, Scott (2004). The Order of Genocide: Race, Power and War in Rwanda. Cornell University Press, Cornell. Vrey, Francois, Abel Esterhuyse and Thomas Mandrup (eds) (2013). On Military Culture: Theory, Practise and African Armed Forces. University of Cape Town Press, Cape Town. Waldorf, Lars (2009). Transitional Justice and DDR: The Case of Rwanda. International Center for Transitional Justice, June 2009. Waugh, Collin (2004). Paul Kagame and Rwanda: Power, Genocide and the Rwandan Patriotic Front. McFarland Publishers: Jefferson, North Carolina. Wilén, Nina (2012). ‘A Hybrid Peace through Locally Owned and Externally Financed SSR–DDR in Rwanda?’ Third World Quarterly, 33(7): 1323–1336. Willame, Jean-Claude (1997). Banyarwanda et Banyamulenge: Violences ethniques et gestion de l’identitaire au Kivu (Vol. 25). Institut Africain Cedaf. Wrong, Michela (2001). In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in the Congo. Harper Collins, London.
4 The military in Uganda War, peace and support for democratic consolidation Eric Awich Ochen
Introduction In this chapter, I argue that the military in Uganda has played a significant role in Uganda’s political transition and the establishment and entrenchment of democratic rule. This is visible through its participation in the re-establishment of state authority in areas faced with insurgency, also the participation in legitimate wars of liberations as well as the protection of Uganda’s territorial integrity, and more recently as a regional stabilisation force. While these are commendable achievements, I also show that the army (over the years) has been faced with historical problems which include the manipulation and misuse of the army by successive governments and the failure of the forces to demonstrate independence in matters of politics. The perceived loyalty of the army to the personalities that have ruled Uganda other than the democratic institutions of the country have been some of the foremost challenges to effective democratisation in the country. These have undermined the army’s claims to neutrality and driven the army towards partisanship, and against the true spirit of the constitution and the laws and regulations that govern the conduct of members of the armed forces. I show, however, that these endemic challenges are reflective and reminiscent of Uganda’s journey from colonialism and the failure of the post- independence government to right the wrongs which came to define Uganda’s transition to an independent nation.
Background: Uganda’s socio-political and military history Uganda is one of the top African countries with a very elaborate military establishment with a chequered history and the involvement of the army in politics. Right from precolonial history Ugandan societies extensively used the army and military conquests as avenues for establishment and expansions of dominion as well as acquisition of wealth and other important properties. Success in war was taken and rated very highly and in some communities, meritorious and decorative names were given to people who accomplished great feats in battles. As Uganda is a multi-ethnic community with tribal affiliations much more used than other considerations, the colonialists exploited this as an avenue to exert control
The military in Uganda 55 over the various communities within the country, espousing the famous philosophy of divide and rule (Kabwegyere, 1995). While these had their good points, they also presented some of the most enduring difficulties in bringing together a united country post-independence, with differences between the various ethnic groups often over-emphasised. Successive political leaders since independence, especially from Amin have consistently relied on their kin to constitute the core of their support with people from other ethnic groups only brought in to window dress and occupy less influential positions. Uganda is a former British colony which gained independence in 1962 after more than 60 years of British rule. It is a poly-ethnic country with various tribes although the dominant ethnic groups are comprised of Bantu speakers, Luo speakers, Ateker and Sudanic speakers. There are 33 million people in Uganda according to recent estimates.1 Data from the Uganda National Household Survey, 2009–2010,2 indicate that youth aged 18–30 constitute 21.3 per cent of the total population while the size of the population aged below 18 years constitutes about 57 per cent. Uganda’s poverty rate stands at 19 per cent with variance across the regions with the North posting the worst poverty indicators. The current poverty figures for Northern Uganda are still above 45 per cent, with other socio-economic and health indicators also worse than the rest of the country (UNDP, 2015). This situation has been born out of the inability of the communities (who are predominantly agricultural) to access land for cultivation at the height of the insecurity. While Uganda’s average HIV prevalence stands at 6.4 per cent, Northern Uganda’s prevalence rate has remained consistently above 8 per cent (Government of Uganda, 2010;3 MOH, 2006, 2011). The high HIV figures in the North are in one way a result of the militarisation of the North and the saturation of all areas by the armed forces. Uganda’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is estimated at US$300 (Republic of Uganda, 2010). With an annual growth rate averaging about 6 per cent since 1986, Uganda was seen as an emerging economy and a success story for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF ) policies. However, recent political unrest and the wide scale riots over increasing prices of basic items have clouded Uganda’s claims to socio-economic stability. Politically, Uganda is currently under a multi-party system of government with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in power since 1986. It has been noted however that while Uganda has made significant socio-economic progress, it still scores poorly in terms of governance indicators as indicated by the narrow political space and competition, the high level of corruption, and weak institutions for enforcing accountability (Republic of Uganda, 2010; APRM Commission, 2007).
Pre-colonial Uganda Uganda, as explained above, is a creation of the colonial powers. Colonialism brought together various ethnic groups, kingdoms and chiefdoms into the Uganda Protectorate in 1894 (Kabwegyere, 1995). It is important to point out that the various ethnic groups and tribes had co-existed for centuries trading and
56 E.A. Ochen interacting with each other in many ways including intermarriages (Omach, 2010b; Kabwegyere, 1995). Pre-colonial Uganda comprised both prominent and powerful kingdoms as well as smaller communities. Bunyoro was the most powerful in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. By the nineteenth century however, Buganda had become more powerful with Bunyoro declining partly due to colonial conquest (Kabwegyere, 1995). Several African leaders resisted the usurpation of their powers during the colonial conquest but what is clear is that there were no attempts to put up a united front against foreign domination. The advent of colonialism and its implications for post-colonial governance in Uganda With the establishment of the British protectorate over Uganda, the nature of relationships between the various ethnic groups changed. The colonial powers used the politics of ‘divide and rule’ to control the various ethnic groups. Besides, there were attempts by the colonialists to treat Buganda with favouritism against other ethnic groups within Uganda (Moncrieffe, 2004; Kanyeihamba, 2002; Kabwegyere, 1995). This favourable treatment of one tribe against another sowed the seeds of tribalism and ethnic politics in Uganda. To assert effective control over the country, the colonial administrators devised indirect rule systems where two governments would exist side by side: the central government and the native government. The latter was mainly presided over by chiefs who were tasked with collecting taxes, maintaining law and order and supplying labour to the central/colonial government (see Mamdani, 2004; Kabwegyere, 1995). This system of indirect rule and presence of two governments affected national integration, accentuated the differences among the various ethnic groups and also entrenched the position of chiefs as powerful people who could mete out any form of brutality against their own subjects (Mamdani, 2004). The indirect rule policy later created problems for national integration in the independent Uganda as groups still jostled for special status. Buganda, for example, wanted to maintain her special treatment under the colonial times in the post-independence government. Colonialism also created the problem of the two Ugandas: the impoverished northern part and the developed south (Bainomugisha, 2011; Kabwegyere, 1995; Omara-Otunnu, 1987). While opportunities were given to the southern regions in terms of education and commercial production of cash crops, the northern part of the country was retained as a labour reserve with minimal attention to its social and economic infrastructures. The colonial government also discouraged the production of cotton and other cash crops in the north (Moncrieffe, 2004; Kabwegyere, 1995). So, while people in the central and southern regions gained knowledge and accumulated wealth, people in the north had limited opportunities. Further, regarding participation in national politics during the colonial times, there was regional imbalance, with the west, east and central regions being heavily involved while the North was prohibited from participating in governance although there appear to have been no clear reasons for this (Moncrieffe,
The military in Uganda 57 2004; Kabwegyere, 1995). It is unfortunate that later post-colonial governments, including those led by people from the north did not address the marginalisation of the region effectively, a situation which would later constitute one of the key reasons for the commencement of the northern conflict. Political historians have noted that independence brought together a nation by accident. Many ethnic groups hitherto with their own system or organisation, sharing little in terms of culture and social ways of life were all brought together under the new modern nation state (Omach, 2010b; Mutua, 2001). The lack of shared identity and common interests generated politics of patronage and individualism, tribalism and nepotism. This is because their leaders saw their new- found powers as a privileged position from which they could enrich themselves and their families from poverty and future anticipated challenges (Oloka- Onyango, 2001). According to Moncrieffe (2004) by independence, Uganda had a very good basis for socio-economic development, although this was significantly constrained by the ethnic and parochial politics, with violence being produced and reproduced by the social inequality among the population (see also Kasozi, 1994). This inequality was in turn created by unequal access to productive resources, trade, and other development opportunities. It is sad to note that such trends continued in the post-colonial situation with access to politico-economic opportunities based heavily on ethnicity and membership of a particular party. Colonialism and its systems created a weak foundation for the establishment of a strong nation state in Uganda. It thus made it possible for the rise of self- seeking leaders who did not prioritise national development but their own ethnicity. Successive governments over the years in Uganda from Obote I to Museveni have had problems of legitimacy as leaders. Even the current NRM government has presided over events which have dented its claims to legitimacy, not least the presidential elections over the years. Uganda’s politics has been mainly ethnic-based with successive post-independence governments entrusting people from their own home areas (tribe) in the key positions of government, with others playing merely a token role (see Omach, 2010a; Omara-Otunnu, 1987; Kanyeihamba, 2002). Politics of exclusion or peripheral representation among other ethnic groups breeds dissatisfaction and discontent. Such perceptions of under representation or lack of access to economic resources and opportunities is a precursor to conflict and armed struggle (Mazrui, 2001). The centralisation of power, exclusive politics and authoritarianism all have their roots in colonialism and its practices (Mamdani, 2004; Jackson, 2002; Kabwegyere, 1995; Kasozi, 1994). In his exposition on the struggle for democracy in Uganda, Omara-Otunnu (1992) suggests that politicians in Uganda come to power riding on heavy rhetoric of good governance and accountable democracy, a thing which seems to get abandoned in due course. Omara-Otunnu suggests that there is always a big gulf between the preached idealism and the reality of practice of participatory governance and broad-based democracies. This view has also been taken up by other scholars with Oloka-Onyango (2001) noting that the so-called liberators in African
58 E.A. Ochen politics often use the common man to attain power and thereafter abandon him to his own destiny of poverty. Weak states also rely upon the military to intimidate opponents, the citizens, and to retain political power. Since independence, Uganda’s political issues have been resolved militarily with peace negotiations often not given a fair chance. The retention of military and political power by a few elites presents potential breeding grounds for discontent. Armed conflict might emerge where the excluded target groups rise-up to protect their own interests. The grim prospects for any peaceful transition of power in the country come from personal allegiance of the army to the person of the sitting president (see Omach, 2010a; Kanyeihamba, 2002; Kabwegyere, 1995). These were challenges with Obote I which were crystallised under the government of Idi Amin, continued with Obote II and became entrenched under the NRM government. Evidence suggests that promotions in both the civil service and army are still significantly skewed towards the region President Museveni comes from, a form of favouritism which also owes its origin in the colonial approach to governance (see the Observer, 24 August 20094). Weak states breed despotic leaders who wield absolute powers and manipulate the state institutions in such processes. Personal rule then sets in with the leader using state resources to reward his cronies. Political commentators have noted that Milton Obote, Idi Amin, Godfrey Binaisa, Yusuf Lule and Yoweri Museveni have all surrounded themselves with their own people, during their time in power (Kanyeihamba, 2002; Omara-Otunnu, 1987). Successive Uganda governments have played politics of nepotism, favouritism and patronage, although the degrees have varied over the years. Having considered the view that Africa’s dilemma is partly due to its extractive nature of politics, Francis (2008) suggests that neo-patrimonialism does not in itself fully explain the crisis (and tragedy) of the African State. He acknowledges the complexity and homogeneity of the different African countries’ context which cannot in all fairness be ‘explained’ by the phenomenon of personalised rule. There are other external socio-economic factors which all have a bearing on the domestic politics. Post-independence political crisis Uganda attained her independence in 1962 with Milton Obote as executive Prime Minister, and Sir Frederick Edward Mutesa II (also Kabaka of Buganda) as ceremonial president. At independence, the Uganda People’s Congress Party (UPC) and its Kabaka Yekka party alliance received instruments of power, with the Democratic Party in opposition. The coming together of the UPC and Kabaka Yekka (KY) was a political marriage to keep the DP from state power. The Kabaka Yekka party did not have a national outlook as its main interests were to promote and protect the privileged position of Buganda in the post-colonial government. The 1962 (independence) constitution retained the special status of Buganda in the new government of Uganda (Kanyeihamba, 2002). This also generated resentment from other ethnic groups who saw Buganda as being given
The military in Uganda 59 privileges. This was a continuation of the native government/central government dichotomy which constrained the achievement of an integrated nation state. Politics of intrigue and domination did not start at independence but became more pronounced with different centres of power based on parties, religion and tribal alliances jostling for the control of state power (see Kanyeihamba, 2002). The parochial outlook among the KY members was to lead to Prime Minister Obote terminating the agreement between UPC and KY in 1964. Such were the tensions between 1964 and 1966 that attempts at controlling political power in Uganda pitted Obote’s camp and President Mutesa’s camp against each other. There were also attempts by both camps to control the army. Moreover, with the British colonial troops leaving in 1964, there was a need to fill the vacuum, especially among the Officers with Ugandan personnel. This was taken up as an opportunity by the various leaders to promote only their people or those they had faith in. According to Omara-Otunnu (1987) this was the beginning of factional political interest and the manipulation of members of the armed forces in Uganda’s politics. Within a short period of time the new government faced a crisis and struggle for control of political power with Buganda clashing with the central government under Prime Minister Obote. There were also reports of some Baganda officers and politicians stockpiling weapons to engage with the national army (Kanyeihamba, 2002). Prime Minister Obote acted swiftly and ordered an assault on the Lubiri, the Kabaka’s palace.5 The Kabaka fled and Obote abolished the 1962 constitution and banned all activities of traditional leaders, paving the way for the promulgation of the 1967 constitution which confirmed Uganda as a republic with one executive president who was also the head of government (Kanyeihamba, 2002). Commentators have noted that since 1966 at the suspension of the independence constitution, Uganda has suffered from politics of violent conflict. The resultant overthrow of President Obote by Amin in 1971 was almost inevitable as the ethnic tensions within the army and country as well as the politics of intrigue, had reached a climax (Kanyeihamba, 2002).
Post-Idi Amin government, democracy quest and the building of governance institutions When Idi Amin was overthrown, the process of nation building and the process of establishment of a national professional army were disrupted by factionalism (driven by parochial and tribal sentiments) which emerged in the post-Amin government, initially under the Military Commission’s gang of four and later Yusuf Lule and Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa as interim leaders. Yoweri Museveni, for example, as minister of defence in the Military Commission recruited several thousand people of Banyankole origin and it appears he was looking at using them later for his own agenda against the government of the day. This is because the several groups that merged to topple Amin with support of the Tanzanian people’s defence forces were both jostling for control of power and the military was seen as the only sure way to keep hold of power in the long term
60 E.A. Ochen (Omach, 2010b; Omara-Otunnu, 1987). The ethnic tensions and elements in the army then became more pronounced during the 1980s and the resultant period of instability in the formation of a new government. Omach (2010a) points out that two strong blocks emerged fighting for representation in the army, North under Major General David Oyite Ojok and the West under Yoweri Museveni. It is important to note that this historical issue is at the heart of the composition of the UPDF high command.
Coups, counter-coups and the advent of the army’s role in governance Uganda has always been a constitutional democracy since the British granted Uganda independence in 1962. At independence Uganda was to have a ceremonial head of state and an executive prime minister. Trouble however, started immediately as the prime minister (Dr Apollo Milton Obote) and the president (Sir Frederick Mutesa II, also the King of Buganda) seemed to be reading from different scripts. All this boiled into a mass of toxic relationships in 1966 when Obote ordered soldiers to attack the Lubiri Palace of the Kabaka in Kampala and the president fled to exile. Political historians and commentators suggest that this was the beginning of violence and the forceful overthrow of government in Uganda. It burst the proverbial calabash which had kept the soldiers in the barracks and made them imagine that perhaps the gun could be used as an instrument to wrest and control of power (Omach, 2010a, 2010b; Kasozi, 1994; Omara-Otunnu, 1987). Military involvement in the politics of Uganda is thus traced to 1966. It should be noted that before the 1966 crisis while Uganda had an army, they were never involved in politics and both members of the armed forces and the police were subject to civilian authority with the governor as the representative of that authority. At independence, the authority was shifted to the prime minister, although an uneasy relationship remained between the prime minister and the president. It should also be noted that while later coups were directly at the instigation of the armed forces, the 1966 coup was reportedly ordered by Prime Minister Apollo Milton Obote albeit reportedly acting on a rumour that the Lukiiko had planned to throw the government out of Kampala, which was considered Buganda territory. The next coup that happened was the 1971 overthrow of President Apollo Milton Obote by General Idi Amin. Obote had earlier, in 1967 with the pigeon-hole constitution, fused the office of the prime minister with that of the president. Idi Amin took advantage of Obote’s absence at a commonwealth meeting to overthrow the government and force Obote into exile, the first of two he had to endure. Some commentators have noted that Uganda had started to gain stability during Obote’s last years in office before his overthrow by Amin, and economically Uganda was at the same stage as Singapore with potential for advances in agro-processing and related industries. However, many of these were destroyed by the ensuing economic policies under Idi Amin, including the expulsion of Uganda’s Indians and giving their businesses to people who had no
The military in Uganda 61 business skills or training (Indians had significant control of Uganda’s economy at that time). Several attempted coups and guerrilla attacks were carried out against Idi Amin but he was too strong and prepared for them and he crushed them with brutal consequences for the perpetrators and perceived collaborators, spreading further terror in the country. It should however be noted that counter coups against Idi Amin were not as robust and organised as that which Amin organised against Obote, and did not perhaps enjoy the majority of support with the ruling elites or those within the power establishment. Also, tribal engagements came as Idi Amin promoted and kept as senior military officers people from his area (West Nile, Nubian, Kakwa, Lugbara communities) and religion (who were also Muslims), people that he trusted and believed in. However, beyond the unsuccessful incursions into Uganda to fight Amin, the exiles had no significant strengths to sustain a war (logistically) against Amin, and Tanzania could not be brought to fight Amin (Uganda was a sovereign nation) over unjustifiable means. When Amin, in search of aggrandizement, attacked Tanzania’s Kagera region in 1979 and claimed to have annexed it, that was tantamount to a declaration of war against Tanzania. It was the instigation President Julius Nyerere needed to put an end to Amin’s regime, with the help of dissident soldiers from Uganda. A combined force of the Tanzanian People’s Defence forces and Ugandan dissident soldiers stormed Uganda and engaged Amin soldiers in battles until he fled the country (Omara-Otunnu, 1987). Among Uganda’s dissident groups participating in the war of liberation were Kikosi Maalum under Major General Tito Okello and Col David Oyite Ojok, Fronasa under Yoweri Museveni and several other smaller groups. There were however serious disagreements among the political heads at the Moshi Conference which was to pick Amin’s successor. These different groups fronted presidential candidates after the overthrow of Amin and elections were organised, Yoweri Museveni, having run an unsuccessful political campaign with his party winning just one seat, waged a guerrilla war against the government of Obote. This was the first protracted guerrilla activity within the precincts of Uganda. By 1984–1985 the sharp divisions within the army, coupled with the stress of fighting the NRM guerrillas, created the environment for another coup, which was carried out by the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) against its elected leader, and Dr Obote had to go into exile for the second time. Some commentators argue that Dr Obote was the last civilian ruler of Uganda (1985), as the present incumbent is a soldier who wears suits instead of uniform but retains his military fatigues for special occasions. So, that coup (1985) sent civilian authority in Uganda out of the reckoning as it was replaced by a military- appointed military commission which ruled the country for six months. After a failed peace negotiation with the National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels (abrogated mainly by the NRA), the Military Commission itself was overthrown by the NRA rebels who had used the period of cease fire to entrench themselves and stockpile more weapons and supplies. Political commentators have noted that Tito Okello wanted peace for Uganda and was not power hungry but it
62 E.A. Ochen appears the NRM and NRA only wanted to use the peace talks to establish their position to overthrow the government as in Museveni’s own words they ‘couldn’t share power with “killers” ’ (Museveni, 1997). The NRA soldiers thus staged a counter coup and forced the UNLA and their remaining forces out of Kampala and marooned others in other parts of the country (Mbarara, Masaka and other districts). Eventually the government was overthrown, and the UNLA soldiers fled north as it was already very much weakened by dissent and desertions along tribal lines, and the emerging ethnic-based divisions. Moreover, Museveni’s position was strong as he had managed to convince several other armed rebel groups to join forces with him to fight the UNLA.
Is the army in Uganda subject to civilian authority? It should be noted that the military started playing a more active role in Uganda’s politics in 1966 as already mentioned, but remained subject to civilian authority under President Dr Apollo Milton Obote. It was only when the government of Obote was overthrown by Amin that Uganda started seeing a more brutal presence of the army in the affairs of state. The brutality meted out by Amin on the Ugandan population also took an ethnic undertone, with mainly people from Acholi and Lango ethnic groups (within the forces and other senior government positions) targeted. These presented the greatest threat to the survival of Amin’s regime as they were trained, educated and belonged to the community of the president who had just been overthrown (Obote). The military under Amin owed its allegiance to the president who also remained a military man with the rank of Field Marshall. At the overthrow of Amin in 1979, different factions emerged from the UNLA, but the army, it would be argued, took a backseat role in the early 1980s, focusing mainly on security and fighting rebels. However, the death of Obote’s Chief of Staff Major General David Oyite Ojok in 1983 brought back the differences, between mainly Acholi and Langi, but also fuelled by an inept president (rumoured to have resorted to alcohol) who did not see the importance of seniority in making important military promotions (see Omara-Otunnu, 1987; Omach, 2010a). These divisions affected the morale of soldiers fighting insurgency in Luwero district and affected their capacity to sustain the gains made against the NRA guerrillas. The resultant effect of the simmering division was the 1985 coup which people saw coming but had no powers to stop. So in essence it is arguable that for much of its 54 years’ post-independence history, Uganda has only been led by a civilian president without military identity for 13 years, unlike its neighbours Kenya and Tanzania who have all been led by only civilian presidents for this duration, with the army in these two countries staying out of politics for all this time. Uganda is also the only one of the original three East African countries to have representation of the military in parliament. Incidentally, the Uganda Police and the Prisons Service are not represented in the legislature. We should note however that Yoweri Museveni as a person is also a very much feared personality within both the country generally
The military in Uganda 63 and the forces, even after coming to power in 1987 he fired his own brother who, we are told, did much of the actual fighting in the bush. He was removed as head of the army for indiscipline including drunkenness. All power flows from the presidency and there has been no military officer, including the head of the army or police who seem to exude more power than the president, which happened during Obote’s times, with untouchable, powerful generals Tito and Bazilio Okello and Oyite Ojok (when he was alive).
The NRM years: no party democracy in Uganda Riding on the euphoria of change, Museveni was sworn in as president on 29 January 1986, promising fundamental change and ‘civilian rule within four years’. Museveni, it should be noted, started off as a military ruler with the rank of Lieutenant General and ruled through the National Resistance Council (NRC), which was the equivalent of parliament today. Deriving its support from the West, the NRM used its claim to legitimacy on restoration of rule of law, democratic governance, and protection of people’s life and property. After taking over power after a cacophony of events, it used its cadres to conduct political sensitisation to entrench itself and establish grassroots support. While the restoration of democracy was one of the key tenets of its 10-point programme, Museveni refused to restore Uganda to multi-party democracy, giving Uganda instead what he termed an individual merits government where people stand on their own merits for all political offices. Even then the space of elections under the presidency was not opened until 1996 (10 years after he came to power). This had mainly NRM political wing members as ‘historicals’, army representatives and other representatives directly elected by the electorates across the country. When the Political Parties and Other Organisations Act was enacted in 2005 in preparation for the 2006 election, Museveni was ‘retired’ from the army and allowed to run as a ‘civilian’ candidate for the National Resistance Movement Organisation (NRM-O) party in 2006 against Colonel Kiiza Besigye (another retired and popular military officer). Since that time, the political space in Uganda has mainly been defined by the actions and inactions of these two individuals.
The UPDF and its role in the governance of Uganda: from no party democracy to multi-party democracy The military strength currently stands at not less than 160,000 although no clear figures are available and getting the actual military strength is always rebuffed by the army establishments for ‘security’ reasons. Political science scholars suggest that Uganda’s governance systems oscillate between military, civilian government and a dictatorship, with different facets/aspects invoked to attain the particular objectives of the ruling elite (Tripp, 2004, 2010; Omach, 2010a, 2010b; Oloka-Onyango, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2011). Consequently, semblances of both democracy and authoritarianism have been exhibited during Museveni’s rule. Oloka-Onyango (1995) argues that the emphasis on party democracy as
64 E.A. Ochen enshrined in the 1995 constitution and the lack of development of other structures of power/governance does not give a good prognosis for democracy in Uganda. Since Oloka-Onyango penned this seminal piece, there has never been a change in leadership in the country with governance embodied by no other person but Museveni. As when Museveni went to the bush and took over power by the gun, his senior commanders comprised of people who fought with him in the bush, and formed the core of the NRA which later became the UPDF. Although efforts have since been made to ensure a more representative armed force, national in character, commentators point out that dominance of military officers from the West especially at commanding level is still too conspicuous. Human rights and equity activists have suggested that promotion in the army is based more on perceived loyalty to the president and regime sustenance than other established criteria. Yet in recent years there have also been issues around the fast tracking of the first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba from a 2nd lieutenant (commissioning rank) to a major general and commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC) within the army. Critics have pointed out further that Major General Muhoozi received several trainings in a very short period of time (compared to normal trends in the army or among his cohorts, many of whom remain as captains). The army has denied that there has been any sinister interest and plan to promote Muhoozi but claim that his promotions are merited and commensurate with his experience, command and the training he has undertaken over the periods. One commentator, a senior political analyst in Uganda, mentioned in the side-lines of a government review meeting that Muhoozi actually should be a Lt General, judging by the soldiers under his direct command. While currently Museveni considers himself a civilian president, his military identity, still defines his governance approaches, as seen in his heavy reliance on the military and the police to quell demonstrations and challenges to his authority and his firm grip on the military. No senior Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF ) commander is more powerful than the president and they are all subject to his authority. This however is both a positive and a credit to him as a way to stem and prevent military coups and ensure strong discipline within the army and the respect for rules and procedures (UPDF Act, 2005). True to Museveni’s military identity, he has been seen on several occasions in his military uniform with an AK 47 slung on his back going to the frontline or trouble hotspots. This does not project the character of a civilian president who could have left some of these things to his commanders. This in a way also perhaps shows how Mr Museveni wants to be in charge of all issues within the country, and provides greater confidence to the officers and men under his overall command as the CIC. It should also be noted that the 1995 Ugandan constitution gives considerable powers to the office of the president and projects a situation of a much more powerful individual than the institutions of the country (Mwenda, 2007). Hence, one of the key criticisms under Museveni is that institutions whether democratic, administrative or otherwise have not grown nor have they been strengthened in the last 30 years, contrary to earlier promises. The personality of the president
The military in Uganda 65 towers over institutions and Uganda according to a former prime minister (Apollo Nsibambi) suffers from the culture of ‘Presidentialism’. While they do exist, they do not have the clout and power to exert influence and authority other than through the person of the president. While these views may be contested, political commentators fear such heavy concentration of power in the person of the president creates a situation of uncertainty and does not augur well for entrenching democracy and the institutions that guarantee it. Consequently, service delivery and efficiency, especially within the Civil Service, may be greatly undermined if every small thing has to wait for the president to personally intervene. One governance approach under Mr Museveni has been his preference for the ‘cadres’ to occupy key positions both within political offices and the administrative bureaucracy of government. Criticism has emerged from civil society, the academia and the general public that the president’s preoccupation with appointing his own cadres to be in charge of the key departments and institutions of both governance and service delivery has starved the country of competent individuals who may have independent or oppositional allegiances, but could have been good loyal servants and technocrats for the country. The trepidation within the NRM and in the president himself is that people whose political leanings cannot be established, or loyalties proven cannot be trusted as they could undermine and sabotage government programmes or the manifesto of the president. There is, however, no evidence to back such a claim although over the years the Uganda government civil service’s ability to deliver on government programmes and implement development projects has been questioned. Recently (July 2016) it was reported that the World Bank withdrew or suspended additional funds to Uganda (to the tune of $1.5 billion) due to reports that Uganda had significantly underperformed on most of these projects and programmes. Hence why should new programmes be funded when several hundreds of millions of dollars remain unutilised or redundant in the banks of Uganda?
Military and political participation under Museveni The fusion between the military and the official bureaucracy has also raised concerns of constitutional dons. Under Yoweri Museveni several high ranking government positions have been given to serving military officers, yet the constitution demands separation of powers and defined roles of the army and other security forces. According to Omach (2010b), these should have first resigned their positions in the army or been given early discharge to enable them to constitutionally serve in the new positions, but these have been set aside. The most notable have been Brigadier Noble Mayombo (deceased), as permanent secretary for the Ministry of Defence; General Aronda Nyakairima (deceased) as Minister of Internal Affairs and General Jeje Odongo also as State Minister for Defence. Moreover, over the last few years there have been attempts to merge the police and the army, with senior UPDF officers appointed to head the police and
66 E.A. Ochen also head other strategic units within the police force. The army has further over the years participated in several business activities such as the national enterprise corporation, the army farms and has also been earmarked to participate in the construction of the new standard gauge railways under consideration. The president also two years ago created a new programme called operation wealth creation (OWC) where activities and agricultural modernisation and expansion interventions formerly under the NAADS secretariat were all ceded to military officers of various ranks, and were deployed across the whole country. Troops were brought in as replacements at both national and local levels. His argument is that NAADS (the OWC predecessor) has been failed by unambitious and uncommitted civilian operatives, hence it is the army (that he trusts) which can deliver the objectives of the programme: enhancing household income and spurring economic development. Indeed, some commentators and political scholars have pointed out that perhaps Mr Museveni is using the NAADs programme now renamed OWC (and heavily funded) as a new strategy of keeping very high and senior military officers busy and active, when they are under-deployed within the UPDF. It is therefore visualised as an attempt to keep them from being tempted into engaging in subversive activities against the state. All these deployments, have made it difficult for a line to be drawn between the civilian duties and the role of the army. Critics have however wondered whether the army is technically equipped to engage in such a complex enterprise as the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS). What is baffling to the country is that many of these army officers have not done a course related to agriculture (or social development) and while some short certificate programmes have been organised by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Makerere University, one wonders whether it is adequate for the implementation of such a massive programme. It is therefore doubtful whether the new ‘military agriculturalists’ will succeed where technocrats have reportedly failed. The main argument of critics therefore is that the army should be confined to its peace keeping and security roles and technocrats in all fields should be allowed to carry on their duties as mandated. Already signs are visible that the Army’s experiment in agriculture may perhaps not reap the dividends expected. The president was, however, quoted on Tuesday, 31 October 2016, admitting that two years down the road he was yet to see the results of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC – the new name of the programme manned now by the army) as quoted by the Daily Monitor newspaper, 31 October 2016 (Wandera, 2016).
The army and socio-political stability It should be noted however that Museveni’s rule, just like his predecessors, has been bedevilled with a lot of opposition both civil and military, with more than 10 rebel groups waging war against the NRM government since its establishment in 1986. In some cases, some of the rebels have been former UPDF/NRA military officers such as Major Hebert Itongwa and Colonels Anthony Kyakabale
The military in Uganda 67 and Samson Mande perhaps due to muted discontent about how privileges, including promotions, are given and shared in the army. Political commentators have attributed the more than 20 years’ conflict in northern Uganda partly to the ineptitude or indifference of some of the senior UPDF commanders who saw the protracted conflict as a way to profiteer and derive personal wealth (see for example Ochen, 2011; Refugee Law Project, 2004). Moreover, the local and national militias have also been used and misused in political governance processes in Uganda. Omach (2010b) suggests that while the militia were usually associated with limited state authority (where they thrive most) in Uganda they are created by and facilitated by the state, mainly to complement the military efforts at maintaining security in volatile situations. In other cases, they have also been used to fight insurgency such as the Amuka Boys in Lango sub-region, the Arrow Boys in Teso and other militias in Acholi (Omach, 2010b). Omach suggests however that there is an ambiguity between the state and the vigilantes, noting that Uganda as a state is a creation of several ethnic groups. Political commentators have also noted that the use of militias, not necessarily under state control (perhaps quasi-state militias, e.g. Major Roland Kakooza Mutaale Boys) give the government an opportunity to use violence to its advantage and yet not take the responsibility (Omach, 2010b; Kasozi, 1994). This reportedly undermines the democratic rule of law and respect for human rights. However, in a government which is a hybrid of a civilian and military regime this is not entirely out of the realm of normal practice (Omach, 2010b; Tripp, 2010). The army remains above the control of parliament (custodian of the constitution) and is subject only to the person of the president both as the de jure commander in chief but also the de facto leader. Describing the composition of the militia in Uganda, Omach argues that when the NRM came to power in 1986 there were many military groups, with different centres of power, these were the UFM, FEDEMU, UNRF, and FUNA who had all participated in rebellion against the UNLA government. Because of this there was rampant insecurity and limited centralised control by one group. Some commentators have noted that Uganda’s biggest failure is the inability of successive governments (Museveni has had more bites at the cherry) to harness the spirit of national integration, which to ordinary Ugandans starts from equity in service delivery and accessibility to opportunities, including employment.
The UPDF as a new military force in peace-time Uganda: is there equity? It should be noted however that complaints/concerns about promotion in higher brass representation have cast a cloud over the UPDF claims to be a national army. Like its predecessor the NRA, which brought Museveni to power, a significantly higher number of senior ranks are still held by people from western Uganda who formed the core of the NRA in its guerrilla war against the UNLA government of Obote. However, while the UNLA and other forces could also be
68 E.A. Ochen accused of having more people from the north, it was mainly due to their participation in the liberation war against Idi Amin. Also, it takes time to transform an institution. In the case of the NRA and its successor the UPDF it has been 30 years under one man, Yoweri Museveni, so it can be argued there was enough time to make that transformation under the NRM government. It should be noted that within the UPDF there is a special brigade called the Special Forces command charged with the responsibility of protecting the president and his family, the vice president, the oil fields and other military installations. This brigade is headed by the president’s son, Maj Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. It is reported that this is the most heavily equipped and sophisticated unit of the UPDF with even better financial facilitation than the regular army. Recent analysis has however indicated that 90 per cent of Uganda’s generals are from one region in south-western Uganda, the president’s tribe. Discussing the disparity within the army ranks, the Daily Monitor of 27 November 2014 shows that of the nine full generals in Uganda, six are from the president’s ethnic group (Banyankole Bahiima); with the remaining three from the other three regions: one from central Uganda, one from greater northern Uganda and one from Eastern Uganda. Of the five lieutenant generals, three are from the south-western part of Uganda, and only two are from the east (Guti and Angina). The other regions have none. Of the 12 major generals, 10 are from Ankole/West, only two were from northern Uganda. Muhoozi Kainerugaba has since moved up to a major general adding to the Ankole numbers. Of the 56 brigadiers, more than half (29) are from Ankole or greater south-western Uganda, although Henry Tumukunde, formerly a brigadier, was promoted to lieutenant general and retired from the army. While we do not have information from the other ranks, anecdotal evidence suggests that from the rank of cadet 2nd lieutenant recruited to join the army, the people from western Uganda dominate in most higher ranks (commissioned officers). With such a skewed distribution of higher ranks, it is doubtful whether the army leadership can pay allegiance to another commander in chief who is not from the western region or better still the NRM party. The unequal representation of people from other regions in the senior command posts should not be arising now as there is evidence that the other regions can also provide qualified personnel who meet the requirements. It appears as if the NRM establishment is afraid of promoting people from other regions into sensitive positions hence the heavy dominance of people from the president’s tribe in the senior command positions. This follows from the old colonial and post-colonial approaches to politics in Uganda, where kin are given more opportunities out of fear and mistrust of others. All this demonstrates a patrimonial leadership tendency which does not augur well for socio-political stability (see Francis, 2007; Mwenda, 2007; Tripp, 2010).
The military in Uganda 69
The army and elections in Uganda: blind allegiance to the sitting president? The official position of the army establishment is that the army does not engage in politicking nor does it takes sides in elections. While the army has not directly involved itself in elections, the heavy deployment of the army during elections (reportedly to keep the peace) has in a way also created a state of confusion and intimidation (see Perrot et al., 2014; Makara, 2007, 2010; Makara et al., 2009). Yet the independence of the army has often been called into question by the opposition and civil society. In 2006, 2011 and 2016 therefore the government of Uganda was accused of using the army in a partisan manner to advance the interest of the ruling NRM government and not acting in the best interests of Ugandans (see also Oloka-Onyango, 2011; Oloka-Onyango and Ahikire, 2016). Subsequent election petitions (e.g. 2016, filed by candidate Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister of Uganda and Museveni’s confidant for many years) were adjudged not to have been significantly influenced by such deployments. There are reports of army units being ordered to vote for NRM candidates and reported sightings of people in military uniform blatantly abrogating the UPDF Act and campaigning for the NRM candidate who happened to be the sitting president. Such act, though sporadic, erodes public confidence in the army and also calls its neutrality into question. During election time in 2016, and in the run-up to it, several senior army officers warned the opposition’s presidential candidates that they would not recognise them even if they won the elections. To these officers, no one should challenge the person of Mr Museveni even in a democratic presidential race. The president also several times has been quoted in the local media as referring to the UPDF as ‘my army’, which some people interpret as personalising an institutional force, and also smacking of intimidation of democracy. All this tests the resilience of the UPDF as either a fully national army willing and capable of being independent or as a Museveni force bent only on preserving Museveni’s power. These utterances and propaganda surely do not augur well for the preservation of democracy and the rule of law (see also Conroy-Krutz and Kerr, 2015). Several anecdotal reports in the aftermath of the 2016 general elections in Uganda (New York Times, 17 February 2016; Global Observer, 24 February 2016) also suggests that in spite of the efforts towards democracy, Uganda seems to be descending dangerously towards a dictatorship (see also Gibb, 2016). The Global Observer specifically referred to the 2016 elections and the widespread accusations of rigging and electoral malpractices as yet another stark indicator of the country’s democratic setback. So, while institutions have been set in place to play crucial roles towards Uganda’s attainment and sustenance of democratic transition, the failure of the electoral process to return a ‘new leader’ whether within the same party or otherwise shows serious constitutional problems. It should be noted that there are variants of views within the country in terms of what democracy is perceived to be, for example, to those that are either aligned to the NRM government or benefit from the regime, they prefer to maintain
70 E.A. Ochen President Museveni as a legitimate democratic president. The favourite song of NRM functionaries has been: ‘we have brought you peace, you can now sleep peaceful at night’. Such over-simplification of democracy also appears to be one of the most effective messages the NRM has used to convince a gullible population. It should be noted however that for the older generations of Ugandans, it might well be argued that peaceful sleep may be all it matters as those who have gone through conflicts (such as the north) attest to the destructiveness of armed conflict. War destroys social and economic livelihoods and the resulting chaos and disorder disrupts physical and economic development. It should also be noted that soldiers from the past regimes were not as educated, schooled or disciplined as the current UPDF, and made many mistakes in their interactions with the civilian population. When people talk of the military it rouses shivers down people’s spines but it should also be noted that Uganda’s development course as a country had not been more than 20 years (by the early 1980s) and the country was still rebuilding from the destruction and devastation following the anti-Amin war, which disrupted the process of statehood and nation building. Analysed critically however, out of all the innuendos and the (perhaps) reported positions of particular generals, the army in Uganda as an institution is very strong, parliament of Uganda in 2005 enacted the UPDF Act which among others made it clear that the UPDF should be national in character and reflect all interest groups in Uganda. The UPDF calls upon the army to show allegiances to the constitution. The Act also set in place a process towards professionalisation of the army. It set provisions for recruiting Uganda’s highly trained professionals, and developing and implementing a training approach which has increased the level of discipline and technical knowledge and approaches of the members of the UPDF. For the avoidance of doubt the constitution of Uganda and the UPDF Act (2005) are emphatic that the army and security agencies have to be neutral and not influence the outcome of elections in any way. However, the reported confusions have led to many actors and commentators questioning the apparent fusion between the State, NRM-O party and the army as an institution. Such a scenario/ situation creates political confusion and makes a mockery of the process of institution building and professionalisation of the army in Uganda. As indicated earlier this creates problems in service delivery as people look to the president as the epitome of all answers and solutions in Uganda. It is argued that even though he is now outside the army, president Museveni remains firmly in control of the army, something which Amin had too but Obote or other leaders such as Yusuf Lule and Godfrey Binaisa did not have. Moreover, under the NRM government the army, as a special interest group, has 10 seats in parliament. We note that when it comes to voting, the army always votes on the side of the NRM caucus members. On one occasion in the 1990s when a member of the UPDF representatives in parliament voted against the preferred government position, he later lost his seat, and remained undeployed for almost two decades without even a promotion in that period. Civil
The military in Uganda 71 society has also recently questioned the relevance of the army representation in parliament under a multi-party democracy. The argument is that perhaps under the days of the individual merits and NRC you may need them, but under a multiparty system it is awkward, where do they actually belong? This perhaps can explain why many of them have tended to vote NRM government positions (looking for home?). While the military has been used as an instrument of keeping the executive in power, this has at times been through a hard line position on the opposition and their supporters. Besigye, the leader of the opposition, has been arrested numerous times and was put on virtual house arrest just a few days after the presidential election. He remained so for more than 40 days ostensibly to prevent him leading an insurrection against the newly-elected government (Gibb, 2016). He only regained his freedom after candidate Yoweri Museveni (the incumbent) was sworn in as the president for another term in office. The view within the opposition and critical media is that the NRM government under Museveni has endeavoured to exert control over state institutions including the judiciary through ‘cadre judge’ appointment to senior positions. It is feared that such partisan officials cannot rule against the state, should it be required.6 Commenting on elections under a quasi-military regime, Izama (2011) writes that the election of 2011 coming on the heels of the 2006 multi-party elections, did not show a level playing field, although it was less violent compared to the one of 2006 (see also Makara, 2007, 2010; Perrot et al., 2014). Commentators noted that the ruling NRM used a significant amount of national resources for is candidate Yoweri Museveni and this had a fundamental impact on the economy, affecting the macroeconomic balance and leading to huge inflation. Izama (2011) also points out the huge corruption involving NRM leaders in the procurement of services in regard to the Commonwealth Heads of Governments and Ministers’ meeting (CHOGM) 2007. In the 2011 elections, the message of stability and prosperity preached by people around Yoweri Museveni resonated with the population. Izama faults the state for spending about two billion dollars in the elections at the expense of official functions so that just a few months after the elections of 2011, there were virtually no funds to run government operations. Izama also notes that $700 million dollars was also withdrawn from BOU in off-government funds with parliamentary approval sought retrospectively, defying the principles of good accounting practice. However, there was improvement in the 2011 elections with less direct curtailing of opposition candidates, especially Kiiza Besigye, and the NRM eventually got more seats in parliament than in 2006. It has also been pointed out that the events in the Arab world also necessitated a cautious approach on the part of the ruling government to the 2011 elections as it was interested in maintaining civil stability as well. Over the last few years however there have been increasing reports of Museveni’s interest in installing his son (Maj. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba) as his heir apparent, although the president denies the existence of such a scheme. Commentators have argued that Museveni has been able to dominate all and remained at the top of Uganda’s leadership even in spite of a growing opposition because of the control and use
72 E.A. Ochen of the military and other security forces (Omach, 2010a, 2010b; Mwenda, 2007; Tripp, 2010). With such a firm control of the army, a compliant parliament due to the majority number of NRM MPs who owe their allegiance to President Museveni (actually positions taken in NRM caucuses often become national positions as opposition MPs are too few to mount a strong and viable resistance on the floor of parliament and back it up with numbers). The NRM party is further aided by the doctrine of collective responsibility, (party position presupposing any individual party member views) thus it becomes difficult for credible and viable opposition to remove Museveni (Mwenda, 2007; Izama, 2011). Izama shows that there is massive reported use of government resources to finance the longevity of the NRM regime. Considering Uganda’s constant talk of facilitating the ability president to do his duty and in situations where there is no acting president during election time, such expenditures arguably are legitimate, as indeed the president has combined campaigns with his official functions. In the run-up to the February 2016 presidential elections, the media (specifically the Observer newspaper in Uganda) quoted the State House Comptroller’s request for a supplementary budget, three months from the end of the financial year. She informed the parliamentary committee on budget that she had run out of cash as she used the money to facilitate President Museveni during the campaigns. This was a similar issue in the post 2011-presidential elections. It should be noted that parliament cannot deny the presidency facilitation. In essence therefore, the incumbent has special access to resources that he can use both during the campaigns and the performance of other duties, and there could be a very thin line differentiating the two. All these have starved the country of much-needed resources for social service delivery and the reinvigoration of the productive sector.
The UPDF and how it relates to civilian population In spite of its challenges, the UPDF is actually a much friendlier army and its engagement and interaction with the civilian population has been generally quite cordial. While isolated cases of violence against civilians do occur by both members of the armed forces and other armed individuals, such as sporadic shooting in public and other closed spaces, these do not seem to define the policy and picture of the UPDF as an institution. The civil military cooperation and the public relation’s office of the army coordinate and manage the relationships between the army and the population especially in situations of distress such as an errant officer shooting or attacking members of the civilian population. These have often acted in a way to reduce tensions and such cases are often prosecuted and the culprits face the full force of the law. Initially the UPDF used firing squads to execute officers convicted of the murder of civilians, but these have over time been transferred to more formal military courts martial and the suspects given opportunities to defend themselves like officers who are implicated in other crimes. The office of PRO has been very constructive especially in the conflict period in northern Uganda, managing civil–military issues.
The military in Uganda 73 During the armed insurrections in the northern, western and eastern parts of the country in the 1980s to the early 2000s, the president used the army and relied upon them to quell the insurrections and execute counter-insurgency operations. The army has participated in many other areas of government as resident district commissioners (appointed representatives of the president at district levels), ministers and other official positions. It is in no doubt that the strength of the UPDF has been used as a means of retaining power by the NRM. Perhaps other rebel groups could have overpowered them and retaken government. It is important to note however that the UPDF is more reflective of a national army as recruitment over the years has been carried out across the different parts of the country.
UPDF ’s regional and peace keeping roles The UPDF has been involved in several missions and assignments on behalf of the African Union, IGAD and other regional bodies in Africa. Most notable is Uganda’s operation in Somalia, which was in a state of virtual state collapse and lawlessness. Uganda was one of the first African countries to send soldiers to Somalia and as of now Somalia has been stabilised and vast area of the country returned to normal administration under the parliament and the presidency. Uganda has also had incursions to Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic, the latter as part of regional force to hunt down Joseph Kony and restore peace within the great lakes region. Uganda has also in 2015–2016 played a critical role in preserving the South Sudanese government of Salva Kiir. Information at the time from Juba suggests that it was only the intervention of the UPDF in support of Kiir that saved his government, otherwise the forces of Dr Riek Machar were likely to defeat Kiir’s forces and overthrow the government. More importantly it should be noted that the constitution calls for Uganda’s military mission outside the country to be seconded through parliament. These approvals have in most cases been given retrospectively, undermining the independence of the legislature. It should be noted however that all these military excursions gave Yoweri Museveni the enviable position of the East African super president, who succeeded where even the Americans failed (in Somalia). All this improved his international stature and also gave the NRM party political mileage (during election), as the only party with a candidate who could keep the country peaceful. It should be noted that up to 2001, Yoweri Museveni was a serving military officer. The UPDF also has collaborations with several bilateral bodies, often representatives of foreign governments. These include the US Army, South Korean and North Korean army institutions, and the African Union. The presence of these trainers and instructors on Ugandan soil has provided technical expertise on modern army approaches and many technical issues that are needed in an effective response to fighting insurgencies and also counter insurgencies as well as combating global terrorism. The percentage of senior military commanders and other commissioned officers, who are graduates, has increased significantly over the years.
74 E.A. Ochen The UPDF Act 2005 clearly states the role of the army/defence force preserving and defending the sovereignty and internal integrity of Uganda, and cooperation with civilian authorities in every situation including national disasters. Indeed, the National Policy for Disaster Management indicates that a senior army officer should head the National Emergency Coordination Centre during major humanitarian crises. The most recent coordinator of the standby centre has held the rank of major general. The UPDF Act 2005 further recognises the role of the army in fostering harmony between the defence forces and civilians.
The consequences of military rule on the nature of politics in Uganda The major consequence of military rule on Uganda has been described by several scholars (see Omach, 2010a; Omara-Otunnu, 1987; Bainomugisha, 2011; Kasozi, 1994; Brett, 1995; Izama, 2011, Mwenda, 2007). What all these scholars agree to is that the most outstanding effect has been the proliferation of violence in the country, and an easier disposition of rival groups or factions to resort to violence to resolve a political dispute/issues and the allocation of or access to state resources. Commentators on Uganda’s post-colonial and post- independence history point to politics of individualism, tribalism and new patrimonialism as constraining and competing with the politics of nation building. The emphasis for most if not all post-independence leaders was on self- protection, personal aggrandizement, the socio-economic progress of their family and kin rather than emphasis on social equity and justice issues that were pointed out by both Kasozi (1994) and Kabwegyere (1995). Social inequality and lack of equity of access to resources and opportunities seem still to define Uganda’s situation today. Northern Uganda especially remains marginalised with limited representation in the cabinet, in other government appointees and the military top brass and the police. Moreover, successive governments (even those led by people from the North) the historical injustices which had set the northern and southern parts of the country on separate development courses persist. Could the preoccupation with the survival of leaders (mainly military) have affected the resources available to devote to such a massive strategic development programme? The parochial approach to politics and governance when leaders preach non-sectarianism by word of mouth (but not practice) makes a mockery of democracy and continually reproduces violence and discrimination to the detriment of social integration. The media, especially social media, are full of resentment with people saying ‘we are waiting for them when their turn ends’. All this added to the massive unemployment among young people does not augur well for Uganda’s stability and development. The military question in Uganda has been at the root of violence and the utilisation of violence to address socio-economic and political issues. According to Kasozi (1994), Uganda experienced more violence between 1964 and 1985 than
The military in Uganda 75 its East African counterparts. He states that well over one million people were killed in Uganda in that period, many by state operatives. He notes that most of those died after 1971, as between 1962–1971 only about 400–1,000 people could have died as a result of violence involving state agents. It is important to note that the period 1962–1971 was generally peaceful except for the 1966 crisis pitting the central government against Buganda kingdom (Mengo), where most of the 400–1,000 could have died. Kasozi notes further that anywhere between 50,000 to 300,000 died during the Amin regime of 1971–1979 and anywhere between 300,000 to 1,000,000 could have died between 1980 and 1985. One critical issue Kasozi points out is the multiplication of violence: violence stopped being a preserve of the army but permeated Ugandan society with civilians among some of the worst instigators of violence against fellow civilians, increase in mob justice and other such practices fuelled by mob psychology and group think. These have also been helped by the divisive messages and tribalistic sentiments of those in positions of power and responsibility. Kasozi attributes the roots of violence to several factors: social inequality, sub states and ethnic groups, flimsy mechanisms for conflict resolution and absence of an indigenous property-owning class; reduction in production and weak or poorly educated leaders as well as absence of a common uniting language. These. according to Kasozi. have been at the forefront of violence in Uganda. Yet contemporary analysis suggests that most of these issues have not been given the attention they deserve and continue to foment violence in Uganda, with the military establishment in part used as an instrument of oppression within the population. For political commentators, the violence that erupted in northern Uganda was inevitable as the historical injustices and the stark divisions between the south and the north were not addressed. Kasozi thinks the failure to build a Ugandan middle class who could sustain institutions building and development is at the core of the violence problem, but in contemporary Uganda the middle class is mechanical and not organic, it is being built based on favouritism and direct state subsidies, where access to opportunities are mainly controlled by state agents who dole out contracts and punishment as they deem fit. As it is, a significant part of the population (belonging to the right party) are given unrivalled access to means and resources for production. On the other hand, people with no known state connections have to manage business and employment intricacies without state support and compete with those receiving huge favours. This is compounded by what Kasozi calls the ‘bushman mentality’ which does not promote the growth and development of institutions (Kasozi, 1994). This is further exacerbated by successive governments’ failure to right the wrongs made by the colonialists and the emphasis on state consolidation since independence; with centralisation of power the key focus. Unlike Kenya and Tanzania which have Kiswahili as a language they can utilise to foster national integration and unity, Uganda lacks such, with the bigger ethnic groups attempting to impose their language as ‘the national language as it is spoken by many, or majority in the country’ such an approach would by no means produce the results that a neutral central unifying language
76 E.A. Ochen would bring, yet it is not dismissed by political powers. Kasozi (1994) attributes most of Uganda’s current challenges and disposition to violence to the failure to enforce African moral philosophy derived from traditional authority.
Conclusions This chapter sought to highlight the role of the military in Uganda’s governance and democratic transitions. Uganda has come a long way in its torturous path to democracy, although the journey ahead doesn’t seem to be any less easy. The struggle for democracy has seen the utilisation of the army (military) both as liberators to restore the rule of law and good governance as well as social justice and accountability; but has also seen a negative side to the military. The military has in the second instance also been used to abuse and perpetuate acts of repression against the very people they were intended to protect, acting as obstacles to democracy with their major aim being to serve a ruling leader bent on perpetuating his stay in power and not national development and progress. The increasing personalisation of power and with it state institutions in Uganda, present challenges to the effective independence of the military and its allegiance. It also makes a mockery of democracy when the constitution says that power belongs to the people who must decide how they should be led and governed. For democracy to be sustained therefore, there is need to take away considerable power from the presidency and to strengthen the institutions of government to do their work effectively.
Notes 1 World Bank World Development Indicators 2010 http://data.worldbank.org/data catalog/world-development-indicators?cid=GPD_WDI. 2 UBOS (2010) Uganda National Household Survey, Abridged Report, November 2010. 3 UNGASS country progress report 2008–2009. 4 Army rank saga ruffles NRM government, Observer newspaper, 24 August 2009. 5 The Kabaka was then both the King of Buganda, a kingdom and the Head of State of Uganda. 6 Kafeero, Stephen (2016), Uganda’s Judiciary weekend by Museveni’s appointments, The Monitor, 11 November 2016.
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78 E.A. Ochen Oloka-Onyango, Joe (2011) Uganda’s Elections. An Excuse in Shamed-faced Endorsement. Manji, Firoze and Ekine, Sokari, African Awakening: The Emerging Revolutions. Cape Town: Fahamu Books (Pmabazuka). Oloka-Onyango, Joe and Ahikire, Josephine (2016) Controlling Consent: Uganda’s 2016 Elections. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. Omach, Paul (2010a) Politics, Conflict and Peace building in Uganda. Dusseldorf: VDM Verlag Academic Publishing. Omach, Paul (2010b) ‘Political Violence in Uganda: The Role of Vigilantes and Militia’. Journal of Social Political and Economic Studies, 35(4): 426–449. Omara-Otunnu, A. (1987) Politics and the Military in Uganda, 1890–1985. Oxford: Macmillan Press. Omara-Otunnu, A. (1992) ‘The Struggle for Democracy in Uganda’. Journal of Modern African Studies, September, 30(3): 443–463. Perrot, Sandrine, Makara, Sabiti, Lafargue, Jérôme and Fouéré, Marie-Aude (2014) Elections in a Hybrid Regime. Revisiting the 2011 Ugandan Polls. Kampala: Fountain Publishers. Refugee Law Project (2004) Behind the Violence: Causes, Consequences and the Search for Solutions to the War in Northern Uganda, Kampala, Refugee Law Project Working Paper no. 11. Republic of Uganda (2010) The National Development Plan 2010/2011–2014/2015. Kampala: Government of Uganda. Tripp, Marie, Aili (2004) ‘The Changing Face of Authoritarianism in Africa: The Case of Uganda’. Africa Today, 50(3): 3–26. Tripp, Marie, Aili (2010) Museveni’s Uganda: Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. UNDP (2015) Uganda Human Development Report 2015: Unlocking the Development Potential of Northern Uganda. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Kampala. UPDF Act (2005) The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF ) Act 2005. Kampala: Government of Uganda. Wandera, Dan (2016) Museveni demands results for OWC (Operation Wealth Creation) Projects in Luweero. The Daily Monitor newspaper, Uganda, Monday 31 October 2016.
5 Military response to Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria Implications for peace, security and democracy in the Lake Chad Basin Kenneth C. Omeje Introduction This chapter explores the operational dynamics of the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency in Nigeria, as well as its implications for security and peacebuilding in the West African Lake Chad Basin sub-region. For several decades, especially since the late 1970s, Northern Nigeria has been repeatedly plagued by the excesses of radical Islamist sects who on different occasions have advocated a greater role for extremist versions of Islam in state organisation. Prominent among previous fundamentalist groups are the Izala Islamic movement, Shai Islamic Brotherhood or the Zakyzaky movement (Zakyzaky being the name of the group’s leader), Muslim Students’ Society and the Maitatsine group led by the ebullient Cameroonian preacher Mohammed Marwa who was killed by the Nigerian security forces during one of the militant group’s uprisings in December 1980 (Worldwatch Monitor, 18 October 2014). Boko Haram is therefore one in a series of radical Islamist groups that have emerged in a region not known for a shortage of Salafist groups, albeit the Boko Haram has exceeded all previous groups in terms of both the sheer scale and the severity of its activities. Similar insurgencies focusing more on ethnic nationalism as opposed to ethno-religious extremism have occured in other parts of Nigeria over many years. These include the separatist-minded Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in the ethnic Ibo-dominated south eastern Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) in the oil-rich Niger Delta region otherwise known as South-South region; the vociferous O’Odua People’s Congress (OPC), an ethnic army in the Yoruba-dominated south western region of Nigeria, etc. Clearly, all of these insurgencies point to the embarrassing fragility of the Nigeria state and its inability to guarantee equitable national development, provide security, and ensure sustainable democratic governance based on respect for human rights and social justice (Omeje, 2013; Emmanuelar, 2014). Many African states are described as fragile states because of the pro liferation of weak governance structures, high levels of violent conflicts, widespread inequality and economic exclusion, and mass poverty (Aghedo, 2014: 234).
80 K.C. Omeje It is, however, pertinent to ask: why has Nigeria’s recent political history, especially during the past two to three decades, been plagued by militant youth activities and insurgencies of diverse kinds? My hypothesis is that the aggravation of militant activities and insurgencies by young people in Nigeria is largely attributable to the destructive impact of military dictatorship on the state’s political structures. Military dictatorship has further destabilised the correlated culture of politics in Nigeria, thereby paving the way for charlatans and militant youth groups to occupy a large playing space.
Military dictatorship and the growth of insurgencies in Nigeria The military has played an extensive role in Nigeria’s post-colonial history. Until the present fourth civilian republic which was inaugurated on 29 May 1999, the military had dominated the post-independence political space, holding the reins of power from January 1966 to October 1979 and again from December 1983 to May 1999, two dispensations that witnessed at least six successful military coups and several abortive and phantom coups. Control of natural resource rents amongst sections of the political elites and factional in-fighting within the military provided enormous incentive for unconstitutional change of government through military coups and counter-coups d’état over the combined period of 29 years that Nigeria was under military dictatorships (Onwuejeogwu, 2000; Collier and Hoeffler, 2005). Unlike the military establishments in most of the developed Western countries that evolved as a people’s army to galvanise the opposition of the populace against external imperialist interests and aggression, the Nigerian military (and indeed, the military establishments in many ex-colonial countries in Africa) was created as an anti-people army to conquer and subjugate a recalcitrant population under colonial dictatorship. Established first in 1886 as the Royal Niger Company Constabulary, and later renamed the Nigeria Coast Constabulary, the Nigeria military was originally formed to protect British trading interests against the hostilities of the exploited natives and other competing colonial interests. Evolving through a number stages as regiments of conquest and occupation, this constabulary was ultimately renamed the Nigerian military, Royal West African Frontier Force in June 1956, some four years before Nigerian independence. Having been created to serve British colonial interests, the Nigerian military under colonial rule was used to fight imperialist wars, protect imperialist economic investments in Nigeria and crush internal protests against the colonial state, including by buffeting, victimizing, and repressing the progressive nationalists and their followers who waged the struggle for independence. Most of those originally recruited into the military were illiterates and non-urbanites, the majority of whom were deliberately recruited from the more docile northern region that played only a minimal part in the anti-colonial struggles for independence (Momoh, 1997: 41).
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 81 With this sociological background, it is evident that the Nigerian military was one of the most backward and reactionary legacies left behind by the colonial authority. It is little wonder that their impact in the post-colonial dispensation during the years they held political power has been largely ruinous of the political culture and structures of the state. There are at least three different ways in which prolonged military dictatorship has destabilised Nigeria’s political structures and culture, thus creating the institutional dysfunction that has enabled militant groups such as Boko Haram to emerge and fester in the present fourth civilian democratic republic. The first is that in the course of their prolonged stay in power, the Nigerian military distorted and ruined the structure of federalism, which is the hallmark of presidential democracy that has been adopted in the country since the second democratic republic in October 1979. Probably due to their unified command structure, previous military governments proved incapable of running a federal system with its essence of the centre respecting the power of eminent domains of the hierarchically subordinate spheres of government (Okoli, 1980; Agbakoba, 2000). Hence, since the first military coup in January 1966, Nigeria has witnessed a blatant over-centralisation of power and resources, worsened by the whimsical multiplication of states and local governments that suffer from eroded autonomies. For instance, in 1963 there were 41 administrative divisions in the Northern region and 55 in the Southern (Eastern and Western regions) but today the former Northern region comprises 19 states and 414 local government areas (LGAs) while the South has 17 states and 355 LGAs. All these changes in the administrative structure of the country were created by successive military governments. From a 50–50 equity share between the federal and regional governments in 1960, for instance, allocation of revenues from the federal to state governments based on resource derivation has more or less whittled down to less than 15 per cent against exponential increases in oil revenues – a major source of national income (Human Rights Watch, 1999: 42; Fubara, 2002: 25). The centre retains a lion’s share of the monthly shared revenues between the federal government and the subordinate governments. Furthermore, Nigerian laws exclusively vest the ownership of all mineral resources, including oil, in the federal government; likewise defence and police forces (the armed forces), land ownership (but most ambiguously not land allocation and usufruct) and law enforcement mechanisms are all centralised. The security implication of having an overly powerful federal government at the expense of the substantially weakened sub-national governments is that if an illegal armed group such as Boko Haram emerges as a security threat in any state(s) and the Abuja-based federal government which control the entire armed forces, for any reason, is unwilling to take serious counteractive action, the insurgency is most likely to fester and grow in scale and intensity. The state governments in whose immediate territories the militant groups operate can hardly take any consequential action to protect their citizens. It is evident that the initial indifference of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled federal government to Boko Haram at the early stages of the emergence of the
82 K.C. Omeje terror group (2002 to 2009 when local politicians armed and bankrolled the sect for electoral advantages was an errant factor that aided the terror group. Second, the involvement of the military in government in Nigeria left a monumental legacy of indiscipline in the country’s political system and within the military as an establishment. Under the prolonged years of military dictatorship, there was a ubiquitous diversion of the army to civic duties. Apart from holding key political offices such as federal ministers, state governors, heads of para statals, state commissioners, and so on, the Nigerian army were used in day-today civic and police duties such as mounting motorised patrols and road check points, supervision of the distribution of fuel and other essential commodities, supervision of the monthly environmental sanitation, enforcement of domestic law and order, control and prevention of drug trafficking, and so forth. While some of the top military officers in high level positions of power indulged in barefaced looting of public treasury and used their positions to enact diverse decrees and policies whose implementation was seriously compromised for self- aggrandizement (e.g. the Land Use Decree of 1978; Indigenization of Foreign Enterprises Decree of 1976, and so on), the low ranking officers engaged in daily mundane civic duties becoming agents of extortion, intimidation and terror (Ukwu, 2000; Omeje, 2006). The massive diversion of the military to both high profile and mundane civic duties was a recipe for the institutionalisation of coercion, lawlessness, prebendal corruption and impunity throughout the institutions and structures of the state and economy. It is this legacy of ubiquitous engagement of the military in civilian affairs and routine law enforcement duties that has mostly characterised the security sector and structures of the fourth civilian republic. Until June 2015 when President Buhari ordered the Nigerian Army to withdraw soldiers from military checkpoints in relatively secure parts of the country and concentrate more on ending the Boko Haram insurgency, soldiers were a major menace to motorists and road users, often clashing with the police over the right to mount road blocks and extort road users (Point Blank News, 22 June 2016). The use of the Nigerian military in mundane civic duties and day-to-day law enforcement actions (i.e. the ordinary responsibilities of the police, customs, immigration, and allied agencies) has continued almost unabated since the inauguration of the fourth civilian republic in 1999. Specialised law enforcement task forces to tackle criminal operations, and youth-led peaceful and non-peaceful protests, are almost always exclusive military task forces or joint military and mobile police task forces (the mobile police in Nigeria being a combative arm of the police akin to the military). Some of the examples of these army-dominated task forces that have been charged with mundane civic duties since the fourth civilian republic include “Operation Sweep and Search” launched by the Special Military Task Force in the ethnic and religious conflicts in Plateau state in July 2012, “Operation Mkpochapu” (Ibo word for “thorough sweep or clearance”, literally translated) launched in July 2000 by Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju against alleged criminal gangs terrorising commercial towns in Anambra State and reinvented in October 2014 by Governor Willie Obiano against alleged criminal gangs
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 83 kidnapping people for a ransom; and “Operation Tiger Claw” launched to rescue some vulnerable villages from Boko Haram insurgents in July 2016 (PM News, 15 July 2012; Odogwu, 2014; Nigerian Army Bulletin, July 2016), and so on. Even when the motives for setting up some of these special military task forces could be remotely justified as some analysts have occasionally argued (ibid.), their actual operations are always ridden with extra-judicial violation of citizens’ fundamental rights and impunity. Apparently, nowhere in Nigeria has government’s use of specialised military operations in law enforcement and civic duties been as brutal and devastating as in the Niger Delta where since the present civilian dispensation there has been a quick succession of these lawless special task forces deployed against many Ijaw towns, villages, innocent youths and anti-oil militants, such as “Operation Hakuri II”, “Operation Restore Hope”, “Operation Pulo Shield” and “Operation Delta Safe” (The Pointer, 2016; ERA, 2002). Whole village communities such as Odi and Choba have been ransacked and destroyed in the name of the war against Niger Delta militants, resulting in thousands of deaths (ibid.). In the case of the Ijaw community of Odi, for instance, the elected civilian government of President Obasanjo deployed about 2,000 soldiers under Operation Hakuri II and burnt down the entire community, destroying about 2,275 buildings and killing some 2,483 civilians (Environmental Rights Action, 2002). On 19 February 2014, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt gave a judgement ordering the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay, within three weeks, 37.6 billion Naira (about US$250.7 million by 2014 exchange rate) as compensation for the 1999 destruction of Odi (The Tide, 2 February 2015). However, after repeated appeals and delaying tactics the government negotiated and paid a compensation of 15 billion Naira (about US$100 million) to the community in May 2014 – thanks to the pressure from the British government whose oil major Anglo-Dutch Shell is at the centre of the Odi saga (The Tide, 2 February 2015). Other military-led wasting of innocent civilian lives in the history of the present democratic dispensation include the killing of more than 100 people by Nigerian soldiers intervening in ethnic conflicts in Zak Ibiam in Benue State in October 2001, the killing of over 200 civilians and razing of houses in Baga in April 2013 by the military in an alleged campaign to flush out Boko Haram, the killing of 347 Shiite Muslims in a peaceful demonstration in Zaria by Nigerian soldiers in December 2015, and so on (The News, 1 November 2001; Premium Times, 11 April 2016). Indeed, the tradition of the Nigerian military’s extra-judicial acts of mass murder in domestic law and order management, a duty they are least equipped to handle, has been an endemic part of the politics of the fourth civilian republic and this is a phenomenon that has played out prominently in the fight against Boko Haram. Ostensibly, the third and deleterious consequence of prolonged military dictatorship in Nigeria is the despoiling of the country’s political culture. I use the term political culture in the broadest sense conceptualised by Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba (1965) as the “set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments that give order and meaning to a political process and which provide the
84 K.C. Omeje underlying assumptions and rules that govern behavior in the political system” (quoted in Kubicek, 2016: 236). Political culture sets the context for the enduring values, beliefs and norms that inform political socialisation and the dominant behavioural tendencies of political actors and subjects in a polity (ibid.). The decisive paradigm of military dictatorship experienced in Nigeria, especially in the later phase of vicious neo-patrimonial misrule under the regimes of Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Sanni Abacha were extremely destructive of all civic norms and institutions of politics. It is a decadent paradigm that bastardised the people’s cognitive understanding, orientation and attitudes to public office, further entrenching and perpetuating a barrack mentality (i.e. a mindset of regimentation and command and control disposition) and culture of impunity in the body-politic. Apparently, the embeddedness of this barrack mentality, authoritarian command and control, as well as a legacy of neo-patrimonial impunity and a perverted value system has tended to define Nigerian politics since the advent of military rule but especially in the past three decades. This destabilisation of the country’s political culture or the culture of politics by the military has had far- reaching negative impact on the paradigm of democratic politics in the country. For instance, the operation of the consequential and powerful political parties in Nigeria (both ruling parties and the opposition), have been systematically characterised by a quasi-military authoritarian command and control culture, which inadvertently alienates large sections of the principled and cultured elite from the political space. For the most part, democratic politics is left in the hands of a dysfunctional brood comprising potentates, strongmen, charlatans and thugs. Influential political parties have almost always been hijacked by this dysfunctional brood (amongst them retired senior military officers and civilians groomed in public office under military dictatorships) who use the party machinery to impose themselves and their stooges as candidates for various elective offices. Many of such imposed candidates, as is too well known, recruit and arm jobless youths as political thugs who ultimately use disingenuous violent devices (subterfuge, terror, harassment, intimidation, persecution and occasional assassination of opponents; ballot rigging, and so on) to scale through the polls. It is these political thugs often created, armed, funded and used to win elections by politicians (but too often dumped and abandoned as soon as the elections are over) that have frequently reinvented themselves as militias and insurgents waging anti-establishment campaigns under various disguised rhetorics. In the process, they terrorise the public and threaten the stability of the political system. The Islamist Boko Haram and many other militant groups and insurgencies in contemporary Nigerian history are part of the externalities of a dysfunctional political system that exhibits the legacy of destabilisation by a fundamentally self-serving and anti-people military force.
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 85
Background and mission of Boko Haram Boko Haram has been popularly categorised as Nigeria’s home-grown Islamist terrorist movement. It is a complex insurgency operation that at the same time expresses the internal sectarian fight between Muslims, an uprising against the secular state, a counter-culture against modern civilisation, and a fight against every non-supportive religious, social and political group. This complex ideological-cum-empirical nature leaves the sect with highly prolific battle fronts. Membership of the group is mostly drawn from illiterate and semi-literate poverty-stricken young Sunni Muslim men in north eastern Nigeria. Although Boko Haram emerged as a home-grown insurgency group with some local grievances, the dynamics of the group’s activities has progressively posed a significant threat to regional peace and security (Onuoha, 2014: 3; 2016). Founded in 2002 under the spiritual leadership of the young and charismatic Mohammed Yusuf, the group was originally known by the Arabic name “Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad ”, literally translated as “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”. Until the death of its founder in July 2009, the group was also known by two different other names – “Nigerian Taliban” and Yusifiyya or followers of the cleric Mohammed Yusuf. The group’s activities originally centred around two identifiable objectives. The first was opposition to Western education in Nigeria. The idea of opposition to Western education was borne out of the frustration among the largely semi-literate and illiterate leaders and members of the group that Nigeria’s modern political leaders at all levels of state and society have mostly been recipients and licentiates of Western education. However, it is the perception of sect members that the educated elites have failed the country as their leadership has been marred by extreme corruption, self-serving aggrandizement of power and public resources, progressive impoverishment of the masses and gross insensitivity to the plight of the underprivileged. The failure of the governing educated elite both at the national level and in the Muslim-dominated northern states, from the group’s perspective, is in sharp contrast with the teachings of Islam and the tenets of Koranic education which emphasise equity, kindness, brotherly love, hospitality, solidarity, and servant-leadership in the Ummah or Islamic supranational community. Boko Haram (originally a nickname of the sect) is a local Hausa colloquial expression which contextually translated into English means “Western education is a sham or fraud and forbidden”; Hausa is the most widely spoken local language throughout northern Nigeria (Pérouse de Montclos, 2016: 3). The colloquial rhetoric, Boko Haram, became the rallying mantra of the fundamentalist group which conversely romanticised and advo cated that Koranic education alone is good enough for Muslims and therefore should be propagated in northern Nigeria. Under the leadership of its founder Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram was a comparatively less violent Jihadist group that mainly relied on anti-government rhetorics focusing on the corruption of the political elite, the hardship inflicted on the masses by corrupt politicians and the un-Islamic callousness of the modern Western institutions to recruit followers.
86 K.C. Omeje Sporadic use of violence such as attacks on police posts, public buildings, and schools were sometimes inevitable as a logical consequence of indoctrination or retaliation against crackdowns by state security forces. The second objective of Boko Haram at its inception was the advocacy for Islamic jurisprudence as the basis for governance expressed by opposition to secular authority and preference for the imposition of strict Sharia Laws. This second objective resonated with the popular movement in favour of Sharia law in many parts of northern Nigeria which coincided with the emergence of an elected Christian president from south-western Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, in 1999 to mark Nigeria’s return to democracy after about 17 years of military dictatorship. The years of military dictatorship were characterised by unbroken northern Muslim hegemony. By the early 2000s, when Boko Haram was founded, Sharia laws had been adopted by at least 12 of the 19 states in northern Nigeria. The pro-Sharia inclination of Boko Haram made it relatively popular among large sections of the local Muslim population in northern Nigeria during the early years of the sect. One of the factors that aided and strengthened Boko Haram in its early years was its clientelist role in the political process by which group members were hired, armed and used by a number of prominent politicians as election-related thugs. The use of armed thugs for carrying out attacks against political opponents and their supporters, providing private security to candidates and perpetration of electoral fraud (e.g. ballot box snatching and stuffing, intimidation of electoral officials, confrontation of state security officials and destabilisation of voting) has been a major and recurrent feature of democratic elections in post- colonial Nigeria. Between 2002 and 2009, Boko Haram members were hired in large numbers by some northern politicians of both the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition for election-related violence. Given its strategic informality and guerrilla tactics, it has always been difficult to achieve a reliable estimate of the numerical strength of Boko Haram. In the past year, the group has been severely beaten by the combined forces of the Nigerian military and the African Union’s Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF ). The sect was at its peak between 2009 and 2014. Most estimates of the group believe that the active members and foot-soldiers of the sect have hardly ever exceeded a few thousand militants, mostly jobless youth, invisible guerrillas and informants residing in vast rain forests and also mixed with civilian populations in towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria and the adjoining communities overlapping national boundaries (Onuoha, 2012, 2014; Nwozor, 2015). In January 2015, Amnesty International estimated Boko Haram fighters to be at least 15,000 militants while the America CIA pegs their own estimate of the group’s fighting troops at about 9,000 men (UK Government Home Office, 2015: 10–11). The vast majority of the members of the sect are ethnic Kanuri and vulnerable youth conscripted from the neighbouring ethnic communities in north-eastern Nigeria. The Kanuri are the largest ethnic group in the three northern states controlled by Boko Haram at the peak of the insurgency (Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa states) and the group also straddles Nigerian borders with Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon.
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 87
Escalation of jihadist violence: contributing factors and dynamics Boko Haram turned into an extremely self-radicalised Islamist sect in 2009 when the group became a highly militant organisation, leaning more towards organised Jihadist terror. Three crucial factors accounted for this development. The first is the group’s betrayal by politicians who used the militants for election-related violence and dumped them thereafter. Election-related politicisation witnessed the carving out of different militant factions from Boko Haram, the most prominent and well-resourced being the faction nicknamed “ECOMOG” (after the no- nonsense regional peacekeepers) alleged to have been propped up by Ali Modu Sheriff, a frontline politician (senator and twice governor of Borno state) to aid his governorship ambition in the 2003 national elections. It is remarkable that Mr Sheriff and a former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, were named by an Australian hostage negotiator, Stephen Davies, hired by the Nigerian government as sponsors of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group, an allegation that Messrs Sheriff and Ihejirika strongly denied and which Mr Davies apparently failed to substantiate with evidence of culpability (Premium Times, 22 April 2015). The second factor behind the extremist radicalisation of Boko Haram is an ideological struggle in the sect’s leadership and the influence of international Jihadist rhetorics. Boko Haram has hardly ever been a unified coherent group. Emerging in the post-9/11 2001 international order as a home-grown Islamic purist sect at a time when similar radical Islamist sects elsewhere in the Arab Maghreb/Sahel region and the Middle East were embracing the rhetoric of international Jihad, there were some influential members of the group who favoured a more radicalised violent posture and operational alliance with Al Qaeda and other forces of international Jihadist movements as a means of maximizing visibility, and mobilisation of funds, weapons and personnel. Whilst Mohammed Yusuf, the founding leader of Boko Haram was against aligning the movement with international Jihad, Abubakar Shekau (the current leader of the group and ex-second in command) and some other influential members were in favour of an extremist posture, an ideological tendency that engendered uneasy tension and occasional polarisation in the group’s modus operandi. The third and ultimate cause of the sect’s extremist radicalisation was the killing of the sect’s founding leader (Mohammed Yusuf ) and over 700 members of the group during “Operation Flush”, a brutal combative operation launched in 2009 by the Nigerian security forces under the influence of the Borno state government. Boko Haram was becoming more violent following a discord with some top state government officials who consequently labelled the group as an Al Qaeda affiliate organisation and its members as agents of terrorism. In the crackdown that followed, several leaders and members of the group were either arrested or killed by a joint military task force, including its founder Mohammed Yusuf. The 29-year-old was arrested and later killed in police custody under controversial circumstances. Yusuf ’s detention by the Nigerian police and his
88 K.C. Omeje eventual death in police custody sparked off a flurry of protests and riots by sect members and sympathisers in which hundreds of people were killed, mostly Boko Haram members. Many public properties, police stations, prisons, schools and churches were destroyed and burnt by the protesters. The extra-judicial killing of Mohammed Yusuf in the custody of the police was an avoidable climax that conveniently played into the hands of the proponents of extremist radicalisation in the Salifist movement. Abubakar Shekau, the group’s hard line deputy leader and one of the most vociferous proponents of violent insurrection became the spiritual head of the group and quickly used the opportunity to transform the movement into a formidable transnational terrorist movement with progressive declarations of public allegiance and alleged networking with likeminded international Jihadist groups like Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Under Shekau’s leadership Boko Haram has gravitated between a concentric of three interrelated agendas discernible from how the rhetorics of the movement have evolved. The first was to Islamise Nigeria. The second was to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria while the third was to create an Islamic state in the sect’s home turf of north-eastern Nigeria. When in June 2014, ISIS declared an Islamic caliphate over the vast territory of Iraq and Syria it occupied and controlled, Boko Haram seemed more persuaded that its third agenda, the creation of an Islamic caliphate in north-eastern Nigeria was a feasible goal. In a well- choreographed propaganda video the group declared allegiance to ISIS in March 2015 and consequently renamed itself “Islamic State’s West Africa Province” (ISWAP). The sect’s indiscriminate attacks in various parts of the Muslim- dominated northern Nigeria – attacks that ironically produced more Muslim casualties than otherwise – had incensed the vast majority of Muslims in Nigeria’s northern region against the group. From the standpoint of logistical capability, the group could hardly sustain an effective extension of its insurrection and occupation activities outside the north-eastern region even though it occasionally carried out terrorist bombings and attacks in the federal capital city of Abuja and other northern towns and communities. Shekau’s leadership of the home-grown terrorist group has made strong and sustained efforts to spread and regionalise the group’s operations, taking advantage of the geo-ethnic affinity of the militants in the sub-region to mount prolific cross-border attacks in the Lake Chad Basin. In the aftermath of the 2009 extremist radicalisation of the sect and anti-state revolt, many members of Boko Haram were alleged to have fled to North Africa to train with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). In 2013, it was reported that a large contingent of Boko Haram fighters joined an AQIM training camp in Timbuktu, Mali, to learn how to fix Kalashnikovs and launch shoulder-fired weapons and to acquire the skills of bomb making (Onuoha, 2014: 5). It was also further reported that some Boko Haram members attended Al Shabaab training camps in Somalia where they were taught how to construct and detonate improvised explosive devices, as well as how to use suicide bombers (ibid.). The Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud revealed at an international security
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 89 conference in Munich, Germany on 14 February 2016 that “there are proofs and evidence that for some time Boko Haram has been trained in Somalia and they went back to Nigeria” although the President did not substantiate his claim and neither has there been any independent verification of his claim (Leadership, 15 February 2016). Some of these reported external networks have led scholars like Kyari Mohammed (2016: 9) argue that although Boko Haram emerged as a home-grown insurgency group with local grievances, developments in Mali and the international scenes have increasingly drawn the group into regional and global jihadi networks. Some of the prominent tactics adopted or in most cases intensified by Boko Haram since its 2009 radical escalation of violence include: 1
4 5 6
Arson attacks and bombing of public properties (notably schools, hospitals, and government offices); Christian churches and security forces (police, military barracks, etc). The UN head office in Abuja was attacked by two Boko Haram suicide bombers on 26 August 2011, an attack in which 21 people died and more than 70 people were injured. Sporadic terrorist bombings have been carried out on various targets in northern Nigeria, too often using abducted, brainwashed and hopeless young men, girls and widows. Attacks on soft civilian targets, including gender-based violence – abduction of girls and women, sex slavery, widespread rape and violation of girls and women; bomb explosion in markets, shopping malls, and populated neighbourhoods. One of the most horrendous and widely publicised abductions perpetrated by Boko Haram was the kidnapping of some 276 girls from a public secondary school in the relatively obscure village community of Chibok in Bornu state in mid-April 2014 (McCoy, 2014; Onuoha, 2014: 5). The incident precipitated massive international outcry and sensitisation to Boko Haram’s extremism. After more than two years of captivity, one of the kidnapped girls was able to escape on her own from the terrorist group’s Sambisa forest hideout in May 2016 while in October 2016, Boko Haram surprisingly released 21 of the kidnapped girls in a secret deal they reached with the Nigerian government (BBC News, 15 October 2016). Criminal plundering, mass slaughter and torching of villages and grassroots communities particularly in many parts of north-eastern Nigeria where the terrorist group has on different occasions overrun and occupied various towns and villages for varying periods of time. Targeted assassinations of people including security personnel, politicians and traditional and religious leaders. Invasion of army barracks, state security armoury and prisons, ambushing of security checkpoints; release of prisoners and looting of arms. Disruptive attacks on special public events – national day, elections, etc. Elections have been repeatedly disrupted, cancelled or postponed in many parts of north-eastern Nigeria due to the disruptive operations and threats of Boko Haram.
90 K.C. Omeje 7
Hostage taking of innocent civilians, foreigners and security officials. Oftentimes hostages are killed or freed through negotiated payment of huge ransoms but the aspect of ransom payment has usually been denied by both the Nigerian government and security forces. It is believed that Boko Haram earns millions of dollars annually through its kidnapping racket in Nigeria and to a lesser extent Cameroun and Niger, which is ostensibly its main source of funding (McCoy, 2014; Tull, 2015).
Whilst Boko Haram’s sources of funding remain largely opaque, it is apparent that most of the sect’s funds and ammunitions are derived from some of its lucrative criminal activities including, raiding towns and villages – often ransacking homes and looting banks and businesses, hostage taking for a ransom; extorting money from businessmen, politicians and government officials by threatening them with abduction if they fail to pay up; and criminal violence along motorways. Prior to becoming extremely notorious, the sect used to be hired by politicians for election-related violence. There has been no evidence that the group receives funds from the international Jihadist movement even though some Western analysts have claimed (albeit, without any verifiable evidence) that Boko Haram have in the past received millions of dollars from Al Qaeda and other alleged clandestine funders of international Jihad based in Great Britain and Saudi Arabia (McCoy, 2014; Counter Extremism Project, 2016). What is evident is that the insurgents have ties with arms smugglers in the lawless parts of the vast Maghreb/Sahel region from where they source and procure weapons and ammunition. Until the government forces began to gain an upper hand on the battle front, the militants had on repeated occasions overrun state police stations and military bases giving the militants a huge arsenal, including – armoured personnel carriers, pickup trucks, rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles (Chothia, 2015).
Consequences of the sect’s extremist jihad and terrorist violence: local, regional and international ramifications Boko Haram controlled several north-eastern towns and villages when the group was at the peak of their escapades, especially the communities around the sprawling Sambisa forest that happens to be their major hideout and safe haven. The gravitation to extremist Jihad came with full-scale violence from Boko Haram, which provoked a prolific crackdown by the state security forces. For its part, Boko Haram progressively overran one territory after another, including sprawling villages and major towns like Bama and Gwoza (the second largest city in Borno state), and Mubi, the second largest city in Adamawa state. As they lost one major city after another to the apparently better equipped and more determined Boko Haram fighters, the highly demoralised Nigerian army simply fled, many to neighbouring Cameroun (Paden, 2015: 4). Consequently, Boko Haram fighters seized the armoured vehicles and looted the armoury of the fleeing Nigerian soldiers and became even stronger in victory. As reported in
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 91 The Economist of 6 September 2014, despite the large increase in the government military spending to counter the insurgency, the soldiers deployed to fight Boko Haram in the Nigerian north-east were suffering from malfunctioning equipment, low morale, desertions, and mutinies; many of the troops had arrears of unpaid wages. Meanwhile, in May 2013, the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the three northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe most affected by the insurgency and deployed over 2000 troops to intensify the crackdown in the militants. In early June 2013, the Obama administration in the US extended its global war on terror to securitise the Boko Haram movement in Nigeria by promising a cash reward of $7 million to anybody who could provide information leading to the capture of the Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. The state of emergency imposed by President Jonathan continued for the remaining part of his administration and a reinforced assault has been in place since his successor President Mohammadu Buhari assumed office in Nigeria in late May 2015. The insurgency and the crackdown on militants have produced a largescale humanitarian disaster of regional proportion. It is estimated that more than 20,000 people have been killed in northern Nigeria in militant-related operations since 2009 (Guardian, 26 December 2015; BBC News, 15 October 2016). United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) sums up the humanitarian situation within Nigeria as follows: 14.8 million people are affected by the crisis in the north east of Nigeria precipitated by Boko Haram – the total population of the four states (Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe) that make up the region being 15.2 million. Seven million people are suffering from extreme consequences of the armed conflict including displacement, deprivation and disease, affecting the most vulnerable in particular. 2.2 million people have been displaced, many for over a year. Over 80% of IDPs are living in host communities where space and resources are over-stretched and belongings worn out from protracted displacement. Three million people are estimated to be trapped in accessible areas. People are subject to killings, security incidents and flagrant human rights violations. A high toll of physical abuse, abduction, extortion, disappearances, maiming, forced conversion, theft, sexual exploitation, sexual violence and forced recruitment into Boko Haram has been endured by women and children.… Public infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged; over 600,000 children have lost access to learning due to the conflict. (UNOCHA, November 2015: 3–5) At the sub-regional level, it is indicative that around 200,000 people have sought refuge across Nigerian borders in the communities near Lake Chad in Cameroun, Chad and Niger which is known as the Lake Chad Basin; a further 200,000 Cameroonians, Chadians and Nigerians are displaced within their countries
92 K.C. Omeje (UNOCHA, October 2015). It is estimated that humanitarian agencies in the region including UN agencies (UNOCHA, UNHCR, IOM, UNDP), international civil society organisations such as Oxfam, International Committee of the Red Cross, Action Against Hunger, Norwegian Refugee Council, Jama’atu Nasril Islam and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF ); local NGOs and government agencies require at least $400,000 million for emergency relief operation to save lives and help protect those most at risk, but they have so far received only 41 per cent of this funding requirement (ibid.). The conflict has destabilised the economies of the Lake Chad Basin in the Sahel, a region, frequently buffeted by natural disasters (notably drought and famine), and which has some of the world’s highest poverty rates and human security deficits. The violence has obstructed traditional agricultural activities (farming, fishing and cattle herding), major roads and commercial transport corridors, causing trade in the Lake Chad Basin to plummet by more than 80 per cent (ibid.). The conflict casualties and devastation have been heightened by the indecisive and ineffective response of the Nigerian military, which is clearly unskilled in handling guerrilla insurgency and transnational terrorist operations like the Boko Haram. Overrun and out-gunned by militants at the peak of the insurgency, the Nigerian military apparently adopted an indiscriminate bombardment strategy against civilian communities suspected to be infiltrated or occupied by Boko Haram fighters. Amnesty International (June 2015) reports that in the course of security operations against Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria, Nigerian military forces have extra-judicially executed more than 1,200 people; they have arbitrarily arrested at least 20,000 people, mostly young men and boys; and have committed countless acts of torture. At least 7,000 people (Boko Haram suspects) have died in military detention since 2011, the report continues. The human rights body called for some top Nigerian military commanders to be investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity as a result of the reported extra-judicial killings. The Nigeria army has been widely criticised because of the punitive way it has treated Boko Haram suspects in the past, subjecting them to prolonged periods of extra-judicial incarceration and torture. In 2014, the US government refused to supply vital arms to Nigeria, citing human rights abuses and misappropriation of funds in the counter-insurgency operation. Whilst the allegations of war crimes and extra-judicial killings were all denied by the Nigerian government, what is clear is that the Boko Haram insurgency has greatly exposed the inherent weaknesses of the Nigeria military and security forces – corruption, poor training, lack of combat equipment and other facilities, infidelity and sabotage, etc. One of the startling revelations that has emerged since the democratic change of government in Nigeria in 2015, is that Mr Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly misappropriated the sum of $2.1 billion budgeted for the purchase of arms and related military equipment for the fight against the insurgents Boko Haram, sharing the money with cronies and top ranking politicians loyal to Jonathan at the expense of the military campaign (Daily Trust(a), 27 April 2016). This monumental scandal popularly dubbed Dasukigate by the Nigerian
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 93 media is the subject of a heated court trial in Abuja, Nigeria at the time of writing this chapter. In fact, it is alleged by the government’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that altogether a total of $15 billion earmarked for the procurement of arms and armament for counter-insurgency operations under the Jonathan administration was diverted and squandered by a cabal comprising top politicians and military officers (Daily Trust(a), 27 April 2016). Many of these arms procurement funds misappropriation cases are currently under investigation and prosecution. Large scale public sector corruption, especially in defence budgets and spending is a major impediment to security and the efforts to combat both insurgency and terrorism in Nigeria. As Transparency International coalesced the discourse in their report, there is a dangerous correlation between corruption and insecurity in Nigeria (Daily Trust(b), 23 January 2016). The human rights group ranks Nigerian defence institutions “E” implying that they are at “a high risk of corruption” (CISLAC, 2016). Gaping holes in military budgets, down to a lack of oversight and transparency, are contributing to a rise in support of extremism and crucially disabling the fight against it. This has undermined efforts to combat the growing threat of Boko Haram. (Daily Trust(b), 23 January 2016)
Major impediments to the war against Boko Haram and the 2015 election-postponement turning point Until February 2015 when the ruling PDP in Nigeria commenced an open agitation for the postponement of the general election scheduled for the next month for fear of losing to the opposition on account of monumental failure in the anti-insurgency campaign in the north-eastern region of the country, Boko Haram clearly had the upper hand in the battlefield against the Nigerian joint military task force. The failure to contain and defeat Boko Haram was in spite of the staggering amount of money the government had budgeted over the years to fight the insurgency. The need to combat the insurgency had made the Military/Defence Sector top the federal government budget since 2012; a sector that for the same reason had gulped between 9 and 10 per cent of federal government expenditure since 2009 – amounting to about $32 billion (Sun, 21 November 2014). Information I obtained from middle-ranking military officers involved in the anti-Boko Haram campaign using a confidential military contact, outlines the detailed nature of disadvantages suffered by the Nigerian joint military task force in relation to Boko Haram: 1
Nigerian troops lacked adequate ammunitions to fire their AK47 rifles. In contrast, Boko Haram insurgents engaged troops with Mounted General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs) with an abundance of ammunition.
94 K.C. Omeje 2
3 4 5 6
Boko Haram fighters were in possession of the latest sophisticated anti-tank weapons which they mounted on Hilux vehicles and used against Nigerian soldiers. They had the latest anti-aircraft guns such as Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs). In contrast, the RPGs used by Nigerian soldiers were obsolete and non-functional. Main battle tanks such as T-55 and T-72 in the Nigerian army inventory were obsolete and dysfunctional; likewise their artillery guns. The Nigerian troops had obsolete and dysfunctional attack and surveillance helicopters. Nigerian forces lacked ground-to-air communication equipment, which made coordination between the Air Force and ground troops extremely difficult. The Nigerian troops had obsolete and dysfunctional signal communication equipment. This made communication between troops operating in the frontline and command headquarters impossible.1
Scared of losing the March 2015 election, the federal government made a rapid investment in the purchase of military weapons and the securing of external combat operation assistance once they were able to prevail on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the elections by six weeks. The government procured brand new T72 tanks, Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers, ammunitions and operational vehicles, and also secured air support from a private military company in South Africa.2 The battle swiftly turned against Boko Haram within the six weeks of election postponement. Many insurgents were killed, captured or forced to surrender while most towns and villages were liberated from their control. Some of the insurgents retreated across the borders with Cameroun, Chad and Niger while some others simply melted into civilian populations. The offensive against Boko Haram however temporarily slowed down with the defeat of the PDP government in the Nigerian elections of April 2015, a trend partly aggravated by the “settling-down transition period” of the new APC government. This gave the insurgents a grace period of at least four months (May–August 2015) to regroup, re-arm and relaunch attacks. This apparently accounted for the attacks that were stepped up after the APC leader Mohammadu Buhari assumed office as Nigerian President. After assuming office in May 2016, President Buhari sought to revive the military’s counter-insurgency efforts by replacing the armed forces’ leadership, relocating the military command centre from Abuja to Maiduguri, and forging closer partnerships with Chad, Niger, and Cameroun to combat Boko Haram and redevelop the affected region (Freedom House, 2016). Boko Haram suffered significant losses as a result of the reinforced offensive, leading to the liberation of all the major towns they hitherto captured. Presently, the insurgents are scattered in Sambisa forest (impervious to heavy military equipment during rainy season) and (semi-)rural Borno. More than 1,000 girls and women held hostage in the Sambisa forest and other remote hideouts by the fleeing insurgents have been rescued and liberated by the Nigerian troops. It is
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 95 evident that Boko Haram’s capacity to fight has been significantly reduced. Being in disarray, the insurgents have begun to change tactics from open battle confrontation with the Nigerian military to mainly suicide bombing and isolated attacks in remote village communities and urban centres.3 Occasional raids and related operations have also continued in neighbouring countries – Chad, Niger and Cameroun. Similarly, the crackdown against the rebels has also intensified. In March 2016, Cameroun sentenced 89 Boko Haram members to death over terrorist charges based on a new anti-terror legislation adopted by the country in December 2014. There are nearly 1,000 alleged Boko Haram members presently detained in Camerounian prisons, awaiting or undergoing trials.
Intervention strategies and politics: African regional institutions A significant part of the credit on the gains made against Boko Haram in the battlefield goes to the role played by external actors, especially the immediate frontline states sharing borders with the volatile north-eastern region of Nigeria (Niger, Cameroun and Chad), the main site of the insurgents’ operations. At the behest of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) states, African Union (AU) announced in January 2015, a 7,500 “Multinational Joint Task Force” (MNJTF ) to fight Boko Haram. MNJTF includes a police and civilians component. The Chadian capital N’djamena was designated as the headquarters of MNJTF. Until the AU’s announcement, Nigeria’s security policy has been that no foreign troops will be allowed inside Nigerian territory to fight Boko Haram, a policy ostensibly informed by national pride. Given Nigeria’s reputation as a regional power in Africa and one that had led successful regional peacekeeping operations in the 1990s against rebel insurgencies in the West African war-torn countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Nigerian government and sections of the public are sensitive to the embarrassment that welcoming foreign troops on to Nigeria’s soil would adversely portray the country as a “failed state”. Nigeria, together with four of its neighbours – Chad, Niger, Cameroun and Benin – pledged a sub-regional force of 8,700 troops to fight the insurgents – with the major frontline countries having to deploy their troops within and along their national borders. Not being directly on the frontline of the Boko Haram insurgency, Benin has negotiated to deploy its own troops in April 2016 to the MNJTF headquarters in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena. “The Benin troops are expected to perform garrison duties, provide escort and security for humanitarian operations, protect VIPs, and also serve as a reserve force for quick intervention when necessary” (Africa Review, 16 March 2016). The 8,700 troops pledged by Nigeria and its neighbours make MNJTF an LCBC/ECOWAS-led operation. It is noteworthy that Nigeria continues to disallow any foreign troops from entering its territory as part of MNJTF but would only grant limited authorisation within the framework of a bilateral military agreement, thus making it impossible for the AU-mandated MNJTF to deploy in Nigeria. Chadian troops were
96 K.C. Omeje granted limited authorisation to enter Nigerian territory in February 2015 for a hot pursuit and combat operation against the insurgents (Aljazeera News, 3 February 2015). The United States government pledged $5million to MNJTF and also to provide technology allowing African partners fighting Boko Haram to communicate between cellphones, radios and computers. In October 2015, the Obama administration announced that the US would deploy some 300 non- combat troops (90 of them being immediately deployed), along with surveillance drones, to Cameroun to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations to bolster MNJTF operation in the region (BBC News, 14 October 2015). In March 2015, the UK government pledged £5 million to support MNJTF (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 2015). The G7 countries pledged in their June 2015 Summit in Germany to help the region defeat Boko Haram by providing training, equipment and intelligence assistance.
Moving forward: need for a multi-dimensional hard and soft security approach From the standpoint of a regional security complex, Boko Haram is without doubt a regional security menace and many factors both within and beyond the Lake Chad Basin have aided the persistence and survival of the group. First, there are the instability and spill-over effects of conflicts that could be and are affected by the new regional dynamic. Conflict in Mali, unrest in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, DRC and South Sudan, civil war in Libya, terrible economic situations in Chad and Niger, as well as an economic crisis in Nigeria are all factors that terrorists and insurgents successfully exploited in recent years. These conditions are also quite favorable for trafficking and smuggling, economically and structurally beneficial for terrorists. (MOSECON, 2015) The insurgency has greatly devastated all aspects of life (trade and commercial activities, agriculture and local economy, lives and property, religion and education, political governance and elections, and so on) not only in north-eastern Nigeria where it originated but elsewhere in the Lake Chad Basin. The fight to defeat the insurgency and the gains so far made have of necessity required a coordinated regional military response. It is however vital to stress that while regional military action is needed, military action alone is not likely to bring an end to the insurgency. Regional intervention mechanisms need to involve effective community policing within and across national frontiers, trans-border intelligence and surveillance efforts, as well as transnational cooperation at civil society and grassroots community levels, among other things, rehabilitate ex-militants and victims of the insurgency and also to prevent new recruitments. There is the further need for building and using regional monitoring networks to not only prevent insurgents from
Military response to Boko Haram insurgency 97 operating across national borders, but also to deny them any effective safe havens. Moreover, there is an urgent need to strengthen public security and border control institutions in order to check the influx of illegal weapons and drugs, as well as the vulnerable youth and transboundary mercenaries used as foot soldiers in insurgencies (Aghedo, 2014: 246). All these intervention proposals call for purposeful bilateral counter-insurgency cooperation between states and non-state actors in the region as well as multi-lateral cooperation under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, ECOWAS/AU and the UN. Furthermore, at a more domestic level, it is important to emphasise that for Nigerian military action to be effective, there is the need for continued reformation of the Nigerian military through constructive (re-)training, re-education, professionalisation, as well as systematic subjection to constitutional order and civilian democratic control and oversight. It is pertinent to note that some measure of security sector reform has been ongoing in the Nigerian military since the fourth civilian republic (notably as it relates to modalities for personnel recruitment, training, deployment, promotion, peacekeeping, external capacity- building partnerships, etc.); however, the impact of previous reforms on professional ethics, military – police relations, military – civilian public relations, and constitutional accountability has been quite minimal (Aiyede, 2015). The institutions and capacity for these faulty aspects of ongoing reforms, especially with regard to civilian constitutional and democratic oversight of the military have to be massively strengthened. Military reforms have to be pursued hand in hand with capacitation and reform of the police force to enable them effectively to rise to their professional and constitutional responsibility of maintaining law and order. Boko Haram is a multi-dimensional insurgency with economic, religious, ethnic, political and opportunistic motives and dimensions. Research has shown that faced with extreme poverty, hopelessness and deprivation, some young people have joined Boko Haram for economic survival while others are motivated by ethno-cultural solidarity and religious indoctrination (El-Bushra et al., 2013; Nwozor, 2015). There are also militants who join or are conscripted into the insurgency for political opportunism as thugs and hit squads of local politicians. On the other hand, a large number of the militants joined the sect as overwhelmed conscripts who were forced to undergo radicalisation and take up arms as fighters and bombers as a means to save their own lives. These various factors explaining why many vulnerable young people have become members and fighters of Boko Haram are not mutually exclusive but are intricately linked. Radical Islam needs to be defeated on all fronts – military, socio-economic, cultural, religious and political. There is therefore the need for a multi- dimensional hard and soft security approach akin to the US-led operation in Afghanistan. A clear and strong de-radicalisation strategy is important. The US and UN, to a lesser extent, have supported Islamist de-radicalisation programmes in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and South East Asia (notably Indonesia and Malaysia). The de-radicalisation programmes involve long periods of:
98 K.C. Omeje • • • •
Psychological rehabilitation. Religious rehabilitation. Social rehabilitation with community involvement and family support. Monitored release into society – vocational skills training, modern education, entrepreneurship training, gainful employment, and so on. (Bakrania, 2014)
In April 2016, the Nigerian army announced plans to introduce a de- radicalisation programme for over 800 surrendered Boko Haram fighters. The ex-militants would be profiled, documented, rehabilitated and reintegrated back into society using re-education, skills training, and other social and economic empowerment schemes in some yet to be designated camps and training centres (This Day, 8 April 2016). This announcement is a welcome departure from the previous hard security crackdown approach of the Nigerian military but it is pertinent to add that in order to achieve maximum results the government has to go beyond the military as an institution in developing and implementing a comprehensive counter-Jihadist de-radicalisation programme. Finally, there is the need for vigorous and long-term investment in modern education, entrepreneurship development for job creation, legislation regulating religious teaching and sermons with strong enforcement agencies and sanction regimes, as well as enforceable legislations outlawing and punishing the recruitment, arming and use of thugs or any form of sponsored violence in politics and elections throughout the region. Similarly, a phased comprehensive demobilisation, disarmament, resettlement and rehabilitation programme rooted in proactive indigenous values and institutions will help to complement other measures in de-radicalising the ex-militants and repositioning them for meaningful and productive life in society. In addition, there is also the need for investment in promoting conflict- sensitive education-for-peace, which among other things should aim at fostering core values of peace, peacebuilding and peaceful co-existence; sensitising school children and young adults to the dangers of extremist radicalisation and the use of violence as a means of goal attainment; as well as exploring and promoting the nexus between peace, security, democratic governance and development. Comprehensive curriculum reform across the various levels of education (primary, secondary and tertiary levels) will be required for an effective nationwide education-for-peace. Other important complementary requirements include systematic investments in strengthening the capacity of the education sector’s regulatory bodies and in supporting context-relevant research for textbook production.
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6 African solutions to Western problems Western-sponsored training programmes for African militaries – impact on peace and democratic consolidation David Chuter Introduction The names are strange and evocative when you come across them in war cemeteries and on war memorials, not only in Africa, but in a startling variety of other places as well. The King’s African Rifles, the Tirailleurs Sénégalais, the Gold Coast Regiment, the Regiment de marche du Tchad, the Sudan Camel Corps, the Régiment de marche de Spahis Marocains were all actual military units, and left complicated legacies. (The Regiment de marche du Tchad is now a unit in the French Army, for example.) This reminds us that there is nothing new in training programmes for African militaries, and indeed the same methods, and often the same objectives, recur, again and again, over the last century and a half. From the first days of colonial rule, the intention was to train and organise professional African militaries along Western lines. The fact that some of these forces proved to be highly effective, and fought with distinction in various wars, may give us pause for reflection when we consider the much patchier record of African militaries today. The current round of Western-sponsored training programmes can be seen as the fourth, since the first substantial European military engagement in Africa. These were successively, the raising and training of colonial militaries, the training of the militaries of the newly-independent African states, the many interventions during the post-colonial era and the Cold War, and the varied initiatives from then up to the present day. Although this chapter is primarily focused on the last, the other stages will be reviewed as well, because there are surprising similarities. The suggestion that “the nature and character of the pre-1964 Zambian military is critical to understanding subsequent developments” is true of most other African militaries as well (Lungu and Ngoma, 2005: 313) This historical dimension often comes as a surprise to those arriving fresh to the subject, and unaware that, even over the last generation, their predecessors have often tried the same strategies and techniques, with varying degrees of success. Those who have been professionally involved with African militaries for some time generally feel that donor organisations and Western governments
104 D. Chuter do not understand this historical context, or just consider it unimportant. This is unfortunate when their African interlocutors have seen such initiatives come and go, in the military area as well as in many others, and so may no longer respond to the latest donor proposal with the hoped-for level of interest. The present chapter, rather than being a dry catalogue of successive, usually abandoned, training initiatives, tries to focus on the origins of Western-inspired training programmes, and why they have encountered the problems they have. It argues that, in spite of the advertised objectives of assisting peace and democracy, such initiatives have actually had little effect on either, but that there are grounds for thinking that other sorts of initiatives ultimately might. By “training” here I include not only basic training in military skills, but higher-level training and education.
Colonial origin It is often said that colonial forces in Africa were essentially domestically focused, and existed to support the colonial power and to repress dissent. There is much truth to this generalisation, but the reality was more complicated. Colonies served a variety of purposes, and these changed over the centuries. Some were important sources of raw materials as well as markets for Western products. Some served a strategic political or military function, whilst others were essentially prestige symbols. Some began life as joint-stock companies, others as attempts to physically expand the territory of the colonising power and settle large European populations. Colonies were expensive, and were generally in deficit throughout their existence. Their exports (rubber, minerals, later petrol) might be strategically vital, but they were costly to defend and administer, and it was impossible for colonial powers to station large numbers of their own troops there. However, most colonial powers were primarily focused on a possible land war in Europe, and the vast majority of their militaries were conscripts, who could not be sent to fight overseas. To minimise the financial strain, therefore, all colonial powers without exception raised indigenous military forces, organised into the battalions and regiments that were the norm in Europe, with the same rank structures, and mostly equipped and trained as light infantry or cavalry.1 In all cases, senior officers were European, indigenous troops could hope to rise to NCO rank or occasionally to become junior officers, but there was no doubt about who was in charge. These forces were professional, which not only went completely against African military tradition, but, even more oddly, against the practices of the colonial powers themselves, where (apart from of Britain) fully professional militaries were unknown. But no colonial power ever attempted to establish conscription in peacetime, or even a system of part-time military service. The forces were also extremely small – a typical colony might have only two battalions of soldiers in peacetime. Even the vast territory of the Sudan never had more than about 5000 soldiers, responsible for frontier defence as well as
African solutions to Western problems 105 internal security. This was for financial reasons as much as anything else – then as now, professional armies were expensive. Whilst colonial armies did put down revolts (what we would now describe as ensuring the state’s monopoly of violence) many colonies were actually relatively peaceful, since, as in Sudan, the colonial powers co-opted “indigenous structures of authority, employing indigenous law or custom, as far as this was consistent with British ideas of good government and justice” (Johnson, 2006: 11). Colonial armies existed partly to defend territory against other colonial powers, and to provide a reservoir of manpower for wars elsewhere. So they often fought each other in the territorial interests of the colonial powers, most notably in the First World War. (Colonial troops also fought in Europe.) In the case of France, the need to find extra troops for a putative war with Germany, with almost twice France’s population, was a significant motive for colonisation in the first place, and a major reason for equipping and training local forces (Haberbusch, 2014). In the Second World War, this proved to be decisive. Around two-thirds of De Gaulle’s Free French Army consisted of colonial troops, and about half of the units of LeClerc’s Division that liberated Paris in 1944 were from North Africa, largely volunteers. From Algeria, with its Tirailleurs, to the Royal West African Frontier Force in Nigeria, and to the Schutztruppen in Tanganyika to the Grupos Especialis in Mozambique and Angola, the pattern was essentially the same. Officers were usually seconded from the parent Army. In general, they were volunteers, attracted by the promise of promotion and higher pay, by the chance to escape boring garrison duty and to experience a bit of adventure and travel (Boustead, 1934). They were seldom in the country long enough to learn a local language, and so the colonial language was the language of command. The troops were long-service volunteers, drawn from those ethnic groups with the strongest military traditions. It is not impossible, therefore, that a French or British officer on a training mission in Africa today could be the great grandchild of a colonial commanding officer in the same country. France was a partial exception to this rule, because of the strategic importance of its African colonies and because Algeria was technically French territory (the Foreign Legion was based there until 1961). This meant that the very few professional units in the French Army (essentially the Legion and the Troupes de Marine) spent part of their careers in Africa, and inevitably had a major influence on the training and operations of local forces, both before and after independence. Until recently, French officers concerned with the training of African forces, whether deployed on the ground or back in Paris, would almost certainly come from one of these two regiments, and often have personal relationships with their African counterparts going back decades. Of course, the recruitment and training of local militaries did not take place in a vacuum. The colonial system had many other elements, even if the wilder dreams of colonial advocates proved unrealistic and unaffordable. As well as the military structures, there were both colonial administrators and missionaries, thus inaugurating a tension that essentially persists until the present day, between
106 D. Chuter those who wanted to Do Things and those who wanted to Do Good (Stirrat, 2000). Administrators were mainly concerned to bring good government (we would now say “governance”) to the natives, especially through the creation of a Western-style legal and justice system. Promising locals were identified and sent to the colonial country for education and training, thus creating a local elite that spoke the colonial language, and partially identified with the colonial power, and in some cases, had good careers in the local colonial services. By contrast, local leaders suspected of trying to obstruct progress and create political conflict were targeted by the various intelligence and political police forces operating in the colonies. Missionaries were a much larger part of the colonial system than is often appreciated. The London Missionary Society, formed in 1795, was especially concerned with Africa, and at the height of the colonial period had an entire infrastructure of missions throughout the continent. Missionaries were often particularly concerned with education and founded the first universities in Africa (such as Fort Hare where Nelson Mandela studied). They were often also very active in what we would now think of as Human Rights issues, sometimes to the annoyance of the local authorities. The Catholic Church was no less active. Scarcely had Algeria been pacified by the French than plans were made to construct a basilica in Algiers, eventually completed in 1872. Notre Dame d’Afrique not only dominates the city, even today, but, as its name implies, was seen as the HQ for the spread of the Catholic religion in Africa. Missionaries fanned out across most of the continent in the decades that followed, and their deeds are commemorated in the murals of the church. As the years passed, Africans were increasingly trained as missionaries themselves, broadening somewhat the local elite speaking the colonial language. Christianity, it is important to remember, was the first universalist system of thought. Previous religions had been local and animistic, and focused on pacifying the gods, so that they would not send disease or ruin crops. When the missionaries arrived this was the world of Homer, and also of African civilisation. But Christianity was (or claimed to be) a religion for the entire world, with a universally applicable system of ethics and behaviour. By definition, a universalist system cannot admit of exceptions, since it would then no longer be universal. Where indigenous ethical and moral views were opposed to those espoused by missionaries (and the colonial power structure in general) they were therefore simply wrong, if not downright evil, because colonial norms and values were valid in all places at all times. As St Paul said in his Letter to the Galatians, “[t]here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (III, 28). Missionaries aimed not only to save souls, but also to transform societies. Like the administrators, they hoped to change “primitive” ethical beliefs and “barbarous” practices into those more typical of the then developed world. (Joseph Conrad’s International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs in his novella The Heart of Darkness (1899) is not entirely a joke.) Colonialism, as already noted, was a complex phenomenon, and amongst its frequent rapacity
African solutions to Western problems 107 and brutality there were idealists, hoping to improve the lot of the locals. In Britain and France particularly, there was a fairly clear Development lobby: after a long but finite period of time, it argued, the “savages” would have evolved to the point where they could govern themselves, and their countries would have been transformed, through investment and education, into versions of the colonial mother country. In the case of France (with its own universalist ideology of Republicanism and human rights) this did actually happen to a limited extent, and was theorised as “assimilation” (Girault, 1894). It is worth adding that many Africans who had been to Europe, including many who went on to positions of power after independence, entirely shared the view that their own culture and ethical and political systems were grossly inferior to European models, and Africa “would prosper on condition of rejecting itself ” (a view that still has consequences today) (Davidson, 1992: 199). European-educated elites in French-speaking countries were referred to (and saw themselves) as “évolués” – literally, “those who had evolved”. By the height of the colonial era, therefore, the main lines for dealing with issues of African governance and the military had been established, as well as many of the habits of dealing with wider African society. They have not changed markedly over the last century. Evidently, this does not mean that military training and development aid today are just new forms of neo-colonialism (though some Africans do believe this). There are many differences, as well as many similarities. But the problems of trying to effect change at a considerable distance, with overwhelming power but limited local resources, in the face of language and cultural barriers, and with a constant turnover of staff with strong normative views but little practical experience are, if not unvarying, at least the kind of problems that change only very slowly.
Independence: now what? Independence came much more quickly than anticipated to African territories, but in many different ways, and at different speeds. For the French and British, their empires had been a source of strength in World War Two, and were their principal claims to continued status as world powers, and notional equals of the United States. The Portuguese and the Belgians had no such aspirations, but no intention of surrendering their empires either. There is one basic distinction which helps to explain the varying pace and different levels of violence associated with independence, and what followed. In countries where there were few white settlers, independence in general came peacefully. In those with a substantial settler presence it was usually resisted. In turn, these experiences came to partly determine the later relationship with the former colonial power, especially in defence and security. This is why it is misleading to speak of African armies today simply as the creations of colonial powers: the reality is much more complicated. Many former British and French colonies achieved independence peacefully. For the British, Africa had never been as strategically important as Asia and
108 D. Chuter the Middle East. African colonies were expensive, and had never shown the anticipated economic benefits. Some efforts were made to retain Kenya, where the Mau-Mau rising was brutally repressed, because there was a significant white population. But by the time independence approached for Northern Rhodesia (as it then was) the British government was putting pressure on the settler administration to give up power peacefully, although without success. Whilst generally peaceful, independence transitions were often complicated. In Tanzania, for example, the British had taken over an existing colony and many colonial troops from Germany in 1919. On independence, the King’s African Rifles became the Tanganyika Rifles but little else changed. Yet the Army subsequently mutinied, and had to be disarmed by British troops. A completely new Army was then formed, based around the single political party – the Tanzanian African National Union – of President Nyerere (Omari, 2003). By the mid-1960s, however, with the independence of Kenya, essentially a single pattern was being followed throughout the former British colonies. British officers stayed on to set up and help run Staff Colleges, British units would visit occasionally for exercises. Promising African officers would be invited for training in the UK. Beyond that, Africa was not a priority, and was significant largely for the long-running sore of Rhodesia and its consequences. The French case was entirely different. The Empire had saved France in World War Two, and every major political party (including the Communists) was committed to keeping it. Africa became the strategic centre of French security policy, its card in international power games and its pré carré, its walled garden. As well as other raw materials, the French colonies contained uranium – essential for the nuclear weapons programme on which French security and independence were based after the 1950s. De Gaulle, always realistic, understood after taking power in 1958 that the situation could not continue forever. France was effectively subsiding its colonies economically, and their administration and defence were major and unaffordable commitments. The answer was to offer the French territories (divided into a number of small states) a form of qualified independence. They would be formally independent, but their defence and security needs would be taken care of by France. French troops would remain stationed in Africa (some remain even today) and secret treaties gave France the effective ability to intervene militarily.2 In a way, this system could be said to have worked well from the 1960s to the 1980s. French Africa was generally stable, and French tutelage also meant that armies could be small and cheap. It also meant total foreign military domination: African militaries were trained according to French methodology, promising African officers were sent for training in France, and French “advisers” were attached at all levels everywhere. The consequences of this tutelage are visible even today. Moreover, it was not actually necessary for such armies to have much military capability, since France would defend the countries if there were any problem. The drawbacks of such a system were obvious: with all defence and security questions effectively decided in Paris, and militaries structured, trained and commanded according to French doctrine, there was little room for
African solutions to Western problems 109 any indigenous capability to develop. The longer this situation went on, the stronger became French dominance and the more dependent became their former colonial subjects.
Cold War: new actors But not all colonies achieved independence peacefully, and where there was conflict, the influence of the Cold War was inescapable and long lasting. The terrible Algerian struggle, which began in 1954, posed for the first time the question of how independence movements could to get military training. The rebels in Algeria had support and training from the new government of President Nasser in Egypt, but much of the effort came from the Soviet bloc, then positioning itself as the champion of independence and liberation movements everywhere. However, indigenous groups also sided with the colonial power, and served it militarily. There were significant numbers of Algerian soldiers in the French Army, some at senior level, as well as large numbers of auxiliary militia during the war itself. Reliable figures are impossible to come by, and it is possible that, there were more Algerians fighting with the French than against them (Hamoumou, 2004). This produced a highly complex situation after independence (which still has consequences today), where officers from many different backgrounds found themselves serving together in a newly created Army. Much the same pattern was repeated in other countries that fought for their independence. For example, the independence war in Rhodesia was fought by two guerrilla armies, using very different tactics, one supported by Russia and the other by China, against a settler government most of whose military personnel were in fact indigenous Africans. This also produced an extremely complex situation when the new Zimbabwe National Army was created after independence, with jealousies, rivalries and even open conflict among the various factions. The solution was to bring in outsiders – the British, who deployed a Military Advisory and Training Team to the country (Chitiyo and Rupiya, 2005). Much the same model was employed in Namibia after independence in 1989, where SWAPO guerrillas and soldiers who had been loyal to the South African administration had to be integrated and then trained. The independence struggles of Angola and Mozambique, especially the former, lasted the longest and were by some distance the most complex. Once more loyalties were divided as, in Angola, three resistance movements fought both the Portuguese and each other, while significant numbers of indigenous Angolans fought for the Portuguese. The wars were brought to an end by the 1974 military coup in Portugal, which overthrew the Salazar dictatorship and opened the way to rapid independence. But whilst the Marxist-influenced MPLA was in control in the capital, Luanda, Western and South African-supported rebel groups controlled much of the rest of the country. The ensuing war lasted a quarter of a century and was of bewildering complexity. Cuban troops and advisers, together with Soviets and East Germans, trained the government forces and, in the case of the Cubans, fought with them. The main opposition group,
110 D. Chuter Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA, was initially backed by China (and so adopted a Maoist philosophy) but was subsequently supported by the United States and South Africa, with contributions and training from France, Israel and other countries. To add to the complexity, after 1975, the African National Congress was able to open training camps for its military wing in Angola, so many officers in the South African National Defence Force today received basic training there, as well as more advanced training in Cuba and the Soviet Union, among other places (Leao and Rupiya, 2005; Schmidt, 2013: 79–101). Finally, Angolan exiles made up the majority of two South African infantry battalions which both fought in Angola and in a counter-insurgency role in Namibia. Each of these examples is much more complex in detail than is presented here, and others could be added. But between them, they demonstrate two things. The first is that the stereotype of African armies structured and trained by the colonial power is too simplistic. How independence arrived, and what happened afterwards are often more important. Second, external powers involved themselves in Africa in new ways, and found training to be a major tool for influence and for the extension of power. The availability of even small numbers of well- trained troops could completely alter the balance of a military confrontation. Perhaps the ultimate and most ironic example of this is the training provided to the Angolan government in the 1990s by former South African counter- insurgency officers, which is credited with helping to turn the tide against UNITA, their former allies. It was not lost on intelligent observers that training was often the decisive factor in a conflict in Africa. Armies were small, and force to space ratios were very low, so a small but well-trained force could defeat much greater numbers of poorly trained combatants. And as always in war, it is less the absolute level of expertise that counts than having a level of training which is higher than that of the opposition. As in the colonial period, African armies were trained according to the assumptions of foreign powers. Instructors were sent from the home country to teach basic military skills, and the use of the higher-technology weapons which were also provided. Unlike the colonial period, however, there was no common language, and so almost all training was done through local interpreters, with the attendant inefficiency and risk of misunderstanding. Few foreign powers made much of an effort to train Africans according to local circumstances, and Soviet advisors, for example, notoriously trained locals the same way everywhere as they would have trained their own recruits. This created a confusing patchwork of different training styles, especially when political fashions changed, and one set of foreign trainers replaced another. Additionally, promising locals were singled out for training in the home country, not only in Staff Colleges but in specialised training institutes which, once more, operated according to standardised syllabuses, and often had students from many countries. The result of these interventions, especially combined with the tendency to integrate military forces after a conflict, was that the resulting forces were often very heterogeneous, and had been trained in many different ways.
African solutions to Western problems 111
Training for what? The popular image of Africa as a continent wracked by conflict has never been really accurate: many African countries have been largely peaceful since independence. But this posed, and continues to pose, a series of almost existential questions, notably, what are the majority of African armies actually for, and what should they be trained to do? Armies caught up in independence struggles or Cold War conflicts had their roles fixed for them by others (neither for the first nor the last time). But what of the many states that reached independence peacefully, or settled down after conflict was over? Their constitutions were in almost all cases written by the former colonial power, and were often very vague about such questions. Indeed, the 1959 Constitution of Senegal did not even mention the military, presumably because the French retained all defence and security matters in their hands. Nonetheless, there was an Army. What was it for? Many other new African states were gifted constitutions that said little or nothing about the military’s functions. Sometimes an anodyne reference to “defence of national territory” was included, or added at a subsequent stage. In reality of course, such a mission was impossible for most if not all African armies, given their small size and the extent of their national territories. So in practice they improvised. The emphasis on territorial defence, now found in most African constitutions, is understandable given that those constitutions were originally drafted at the end of the only historical period (roughly from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries) when territorial defence was a major preoccupation for many Western armies, and so regularly trained for. In the 1960s, the foreign advisers who arrived to train African armies were generally deep into a territorial defence mindset. In addition, this was during the domination of (largely American) theories of civil–military relations, which constrained the military entirely to external defence. These theories (which are still influential) caused much confusion, and contributed to the doctrinal and training vacuum in Africa. For the reality was that few African states faced classic external threats, and so, whatever a constitution may say, no African Army has ever been properly trained and equipped for territorial defence. Consequently, most African militaries have taken on a series of missions on an ad hoc basis, usually without any special training. A good example is Ghana, which essentially stumbled into peacekeeping as a way of keeping the Army occupied, earning money for the defence budget, and reassuring the population by having part of the Army abroad. But as Ghanaian officials privately concede, this was never a deliberate decision, supported by appropriate doctrine and training. Lack of funding, lack of training and lack of doctrine produced an unstable situation in many countries. Some militaries became involved in tasks such as disaster relief, policing and even development. In a few cases (Algeria, Ethiopia) this has been officially recognised. But in many cases, bored Army officers played at politics, since that was the only game available. In poor nations, or in nations dependent on revenues from raw materials, the only real source of wealth
112 D. Chuter was the state, and targeting the state, through a coup of some kind, was effectively the only sure way to acquire wealth, which is why poor and resource- dependent states tend to have coups. Naturally, many national leaders were reluctant to see their troops better trained and more professional, since that would increase their value as a power-base for potential competitors.
Change without change The changes that have taken place in Western policy towards training African Armies since the end of the Cold War have been numerous, varying over time and not internally consistent. Here, I trace the main ones, emphasising that, as usual, initiatives have come from outside rather than inside the continent. What we refer to as “the end of the Cold War” was not one event, but a whole series of interlinked events, lasting from the mid-1980s for the best part of a decade. Significantly, cooling political tensions between East and West allowed for the end of the war in Angola (at least in theory), the independence of Namibia, the end of the fighting in Mozambique, and a peaceful transfer of power in South Africa. Thus, one layer of foreign involvement and complication was removed, but others were soon added. Some of the influences came directly from changes in Western strategy and practices. For most Western governments, the priority was the preservation of NATO in some form, after its stated role had become an anachronism. Apart from the search for new members (which was ultimately also to have an indirect influence on training in Africa) NATO stumbled, more or less by accident, into a peacekeeping operation, and then into multinational operations outside Europe. The forces in Bosnia after 1995 were under NATO command, not because that was necessarily the best solution but because it was the only command structure available. The bombing of Serbia in 1999, and the deployment of forces following the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 reinforced the trend. NATO had previously operated multinational forces only at the highest level, but, from 1995, such forces began to be multinational down even to the level of companies. At the same time, the EU began to develop an indigenous capability for multinational operations. Thus, Western and international actors became habituated to thinking of large, complex, multinational operations. This dovetailed with the raucous debate in the 1990s about alleged “failures” of UN peacekeeping in that decade. This debate took place not among those actually involved, but in New York and among the major powers, and relied on a highly selective and heavily moralised impression of various tragedies of that period, notably the Rwandan crisis of 1990–1994, and the massacre of surrendered soldiers and others who had fled from the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995. Although the UN was a minor player in both episodes, the inherently myopic quality of large organisations ensured that both the UN and major powers indulged for years almost exclusively in ritual self-flagellation, over who was “responsible” and how repetitions could be avoided.
African solutions to Western problems 113 This coincided with a massive increase in the political power of the Human Rights lobby, with the coming to power of the Clinton government in the US, and the Blair government in the UK, both heavily politically indebted to Human Rights NGOs. From this developed the idea of “intervention”, most typically “humanitarian intervention”, which implied the despatch of troops in a timely fashion to prevent “genocide”, “ethnic cleansing” and other terms of the period. This was not a strategy with a clear doctrine, but rather a moral imperative, whose opposite was “non-intervention”. How it was supposed to work in practice was never clear, and since it was perceived as a kind of Kantian moral imperative, the success or failure of individual operations did not affect the purity of the concept.3 Finally, from Bosnia in 1995, post-conflict operations began to become increasingly complicated and multi-dimensional. No longer was it a question of monitoring ceasefires, now, the military task was to create a secure environment in which the necessary political changes could take place, backing up the mission with force if necessary. This produced a whole succession of concepts based around the word “peace” from “second-generation peacekeeping” to “peace support” as far as “peace enforcement”, which, as was noted at the time, effectively defined war as peace. Even today, when a very great deal has been written on the subject, and every organisation (including the African Union) has its own concept, there is little agreement on how to conduct such operations, or even, in some cases, what the words employed in the documents mean (Chuter, 2014). Nonetheless, this has been the inspiration for ever more elaborate and complex international engagement since, notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo, perhaps the epitome so far of waste and failure (Melmot, 2008; Trefon, 2011). This combination of Western-inspired concepts, politically powerful and at that point largely untested, was the background to the creation of the African Peace and Security Architecture, and specifically the African Standby Force. It was assumed that future crises in Africa would resemble the popular (if erroneous) interpretation of the evolution of the Rwandan crisis, and could be dealt with by the rapid deployment of light, mobile, multinational forces, to be followed by reconciliation, DDR, the training of a new national Army and so forth. Of course, these ideas were not, in themselves, exclusively developed by Westerners, but the realities of international power are such that they were popular at the time, held by influential actors, and therefore understandably adopted by the architects of the African Union. (It should also be added that some of the components of this approach (notably reconciliation, an idea promoted heavily by President Thabo Mbeki) were at least partly of African origin.) The story of the vicissitudes of the ASF is well known. Originally intended to be fully operational in 2010, it has no current firm date for attaining this capability. Moreover, neither the concept nor the embryonic Force has been employed in actual operations, ranging from Somalia to Mali and the current conflict with Boko Haram. From the beginning it was clear that Western powers would not play a major military role in Africa. From the mid-1990s, they were obsessed with the Balkans, and subsequently with the Middle East. There was little effort to spare
114 D. Chuter for Africa. The British, apart from one diversion into Sierra Leone in 2000, under immense popular and parliamentary pressure, were fully occupied elsewhere. Any lingering belief the French might have in unilateral intervention after the Rwandan trauma was extinguished by the events in the Côte d’Ivoire in 2002 (Glaser and Smith, 2005). Most EU states were not interested in Africa, and attempts to create European Battle Groups for deployment got effectively nowhere. European deployments were short-term and focused, largely concerned with building an effective EU military capability (Chuter, 2012). So from the mid-1990s onwards, there was a turning back to the colonial concept of training Africans along European models to provide African security. There were almost too many initiatives to recount easily, and they overlapped and were to some extent in competition with each other. The most elaborate was the French RECAMP scheme (for Renforcement des capacités africaines maintien de la paix) launched in 1998. The US-led African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) of 1996, was specifically situated within the common Western understanding of the Rwandan crisis, and advertised as a preventative measure against a similar crisis in neighbouring Burundi. It is not unfair to suggest that the target of this initiative was as much the NGO community in Washington as Africans, given that the former had been bitterly critical of what they described as the “failure” of the US in Rwanda.4 The ACRI initiative was never operationalised, and was replaced by the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) programme from 2004. Meanwhile, the British had been persevering with their small-scale Military Assistance and Training Teams, which did valuable work in Sierra Leone and South Africa. An ambitious Joint Plan between the G8 and the African Union and sub-regional organisations was agreed in 2005, although little of it seems to have been implemented. What is striking about these initiatives is the breadth of training envisioned. Previously, military training had been largely technical, even if the transmission of some normative elements was inevitable. During the 1990s, however, new actors became involved. With the end of the Cold War, African states were pressed by the West to quickly develop multi-party systems, as well a whole political apparatus typical of Western countries. Russia was rapidly disintegrating under Yeltsin. China was, as yet, not really interested, so there was an unprecedented opportunity for Western states to acquire massive influence over African governments at a time of political transition. This resulted in two things. First, the involvement of new actors who had never been imperial powers and who were much more interested in political and economic aspects of development. Some of these were countries (Canada, Germany or Japan), and some were international organisations such as the World Bank and the new European Union. Second, in countries with existing military involvement with Africa, new donors appeared in the form of development ministries. None of these actors, of course, had any previous expertise in the security area, no African state would spontaneously turn to them for advice on military reform. What these organisations did was to change the nature of the game by defining the reform of African (and other) militaries to be largely about non-military issues. This was possible
African solutions to Western problems 115 because development donors, both national and international had very large amounts of operational funding available, whereas traditional partners (defence and foreign ministries) were heavily extended financially and had little money in comparison. As usual therefore, military training priorities in Africa were determined by those who had the money and the power. The new actors brought with them a loosely defined but very influential set of theories based on liberal capitalist ideas, which some in the West had come to see as a new universalist ideology. Key elements of this ideology included the traditional liberal distrust of government as a threat to individual liberty, and a particular suspicion of the military. The first was to be dealt with by “accountability” and “transparency”, designed to keep a suspicious eye on government, particularly through the strengthening of other actors such as parliaments and the courts.5 Liberals had always feared the Army as a potentially repressive force, and wished to see it as small as possible. George Washington’s belief that a standing Army was the greatest threat to the liberties of the citizen led naturally to the view that African armies were dangerous just because they existed. This liberal prejudice was encouraged by the fact that military governments were very common in Africa (as in Latin America and elsewhere) for a long period after independence. Civil–military relations theory, developed originally in the United States in the 1950s, seemed to confirm this view. It proposed a model of politics in which the highly organised and highly trained military were always trying to usurp power. They could only be stopped through the imposition of external controls, and through a reduction in their size and budget. Political theorists struggled to interpret developments in Africa through this lens (Nugent, 2004: 204–259). These ideas were not based on empirical research, and when actually tested turned out to be extremely misleading (Chuter, 2009). But they provided an entire ideology for new actors to use to influence the militaries of African countries. In parallel, and from much the same premises, members of the international community began developing theories of conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction, which became steadily more elaborate with the new century. Although never really systematised, they reflected much the same liberal assumptions about politics, conflict and peace. Peace was natural, and conflict was caused by inadequate dialogue, by “political entrepreneurs” stirring up “ethnic tensions”, or by bad governance in the country itself. Politics was the business of professionals, divorced from society as a whole, and competing in organised parties for votes. Ethnic or other divisions were not politically relevant unless instrumentalised. In principle, the political system should be able to contain differences, and conflicts were capable of resolution by negotiation. After a conflict, reconciliation of warring communities, punishment of guilty individuals and the re-construction of the state were assumed to follow the deployment of a military mission to establish a secure environment. It was clear even a decade ago that this approach had severe and perhaps insuperable problems (Jenkins and Plowden, 2006). Nonetheless, the new agenda gave rise to a whole new set of training objectives. Historically, military training
116 D. Chuter had been relatively technical, but this changed substantially in the 1990s. Although it is not often realised, a large part of the funding (almost all in the case of certain donors) goes on training officers and civilian defence officials in what are essentially theoretical and normative subjects. As well as technical and management competencies, and knowledge of politics and international security, courses by many donors feature modules on human rights, gender sensitivity, Parliamentary oversight and the need for something described as “civilian control”, deriving from classic civil–military relations theory. The difficulty, of course, is that whereas more technical subjects can be taught through the transmission of knowledge, and political and management subjects can be taught through an introduction to different ways of thinking, normative universalising teaching is not really teaching at all in the sense of the transmission of information. Rather, it is the attempt to get students to accept certain postulates, and think in certain ways, much as missionaries may have exhorted their grandfathers, and as political commissars may have indoctrinated their parents. Training in management and strategic subjects, in the experience of the author and others, can be of great value, partly because it is of immediate practical benefit, partly because such subjects have a robust academic foundation. By contrast, many normative subjects lack that foundation, and there is no agreement on what even basic terms mean. As I have suggested elsewhere, this is not an accident, and indeed serves various political ends (Chuter, 2014). So whilst military professionals might disagree on how best exactly to conduct a section attack, or plan a civilian evacuation from a war-zone, they would at least be arguing within a defined context. By contrast, successive training courses on human rights, run by different donors, might have almost nothing to do with each other, so slippery and fluid are the concepts employed. It is necessary – even essential – that officers learn about the laws of armed conflict, but respect for those laws comes from discipline and leadership, not rote learning by soldiers of human rights norms. Indeed, the problems now being faced by African militaries in the interpretation of the law of armed conflict are particularly complex, and there is little sign that donors are prepared to provide the training required. For many years, African troops have been confronted by a problem recounted to the author by a Ghanaian officer who had commanded a battalion in ECOMOG: “Sir, what do I actually do when a twelve-year old points an AK-47 at me and threatens to kill me?” To which one might add a more contemporary scenario: in an area known for suicide bombings, how to react to a teenage girl walking towards you with a backpack and refusing to stop when challenged. There is training that can help to deal with such problems, but little sign that most donors are interested in providing it. Yet one should not be too critical of donors, many of whose staff do the best they can in difficult circumstances. They have to reckon with national parliamentary and elite opinion generally deep into a liberal mindset, which sees the military as a threat, and controls on the military as enhancing stability and preventing conflict. Recent research has developed much more sophisticated concepts of peace and conflict, notably in Africa, but such ideas have yet to
African solutions to Western problems 117 substantially penetrate the political world (Reno, 1998, 2011; Herbst, 2000; Cramer, 2006; Chabal, 2009; Keen, 2012). Thus, parliaments often place substantial limits on what donor agencies are allowed to do: some forbid direct contact with the security forces at all.6 Moreover, military training is inherently risky politically, especially today when an alleged violation of human rights by a single soldier can be tweeted around the world in minutes. For donors, association with such a controversy may be politically unacceptable. Much better to spend the money on seminars on human rights, than on realistic training of soldiers in public order scenarios. At least the money is likely to be spent correctly and within budget, to the satisfaction of the Finance Ministry. Conflict in Africa has turned out to be very different, in its origins and nature, from that implied by the APSA/ASF template. Perhaps it always has been. And not the least of the problems is the reluctance of donors to recognise that security problems in Africa, ever since the Arab conquests, are largely the direct and indirect consequences of outside action. As we have seen, this continued in the Cold War, and even after.7 Economically, conflict in Africa has been partly driven by Western-originated changes such as the deregulation of raw material processing in the 1980s, the abolition of fixed exchange rates and the imposition of the free movement of capital. Even if the main cheerleaders for such ideas are themselves now having second thoughts (Ostry et al., 2016), the damage has largely been done. When we hear that Angola and Nigeria, impacted by the fall in oil prices, are being offered IMF help in return for more “structural adjustment”, we can see that further conflict may not be far away.
New threats, new hopes Today’s African security problems are either related to political tensions in multi-ethnic states (the Ivory Coast or the Central African Republic) or the activities of non-state violent actors (mainly Islamic) in an arc extending from Somalia to the Atlantic. Little of the crisis-management theory of the last generation is relevant here. Al-Shabab and Boko Haram are not interested in negotiations or inclusive political agreements. They deny the very legitimacy of the international system, and of the colonial borders around which the whole of the APSA is constructed. It is true, of course, that such organisations find it easier to recruit new members because of economic despair and political failure, but the cure for such a problems is, once again, not in the hands of Africans, but of the outsiders who are largely responsible for their creation. But, as a consequence, Africans are left with genuine security problems that have to be addressed in part by better training and equipment. Over the last decade, training and assistance has increasingly been provided, usually, though not only, by Western powers. For obvious reasons, the activities are conducted discreetly, and it is unwise to rely on media reports for detail, although the United States has officially recognised that it is providing training to African forces fighting Boko Haram (Department of State, 2016). But moves in this direction have given rise to some protests in the West from groups who think that training in counter-insurgency tactics,
118 D. Chuter for example, could have adverse consequences for human rights training. As should be clear by now, this is to get the argument backwards. People want protection, and look to their governments to provide it. If their governments are incapable they seek protection from others. People are prepared to put up with a great deal in order to feel secure, and the idea that states that behave in an authoritarian or repressive manner can be a cause of conflict, whilst attractive as a theory, seems to have no practical foundation whatever. We can see this in our own countries, where for 15 years governments have shredded traditional human rights protections and taken unprecedented powers in the security area. Yet not one Western parliament has declined to vote the necessary legislation, and no measures have ever been withdrawn because of public opposition. The public wants more powers for the government, not less. At the time of writing, for example, France is under an almost-wartime state of emergency, with soldiers on the streets, the power to ban demonstrations, house arrest and unprecedented powers of search and detention for the state. Yet most French people do not think these powers are enough: three quarters of them would like to see anyone suspected of terrorist links interned without trial (Le Huffpost, 2016). It is improbable that the populations of African states feel much differently. The most valuable contribution that African militaries can make to peace and democratic consolidation is the traditional one of guaranteeing the legitimate monopoly of force of the state. This requires training and equipment that, for the first time in a long time, looks as though it might actually be pertinent. Of course, within this training, as the West knows from bitter experience, must be consideration for the rights and interests of the people. But this is itself a matter of leadership, and discipline, and practical military training, not of abstract normative instruction.
Notes 1 There are few comprehensive studies of such forces, but see for example Moyse- Bartlett (1956) on the King’s African Rifles. The wider background is in Kennedy (2008). More has been written on French colonial forces, e.g. Duval (2005) and more generally Coquery-Vidrovitch and Goerg (1999). 2 See Glaser and Smith (2005), and more generally Gourévitch (2004). 3 In case this should be thought unfair, recall that Kant argued strongly that mere experience should never be allowed to pollute the purity of moral judgement. The arguments of Kant (albeit vulgarised for the most part) continue to exert a baleful influence on the conception and conduct of “peace” operations even today. 4 For an account of tangled US/RPF relations, and manipulation of the former by the latter, see Reydams (2013). On the manipulation of history by the RPF in general, see Pottier (2002). 5 Such initiatives in Africa have faced the same presentational problem that exists in most countries. The Army, on the whole, is a relatively respected institution, whereas the organisations charged with its “control” (parliament, the courts, even the media) in general have much less respect (Chuter and Gaub, 2016: 31–32). This seems to be an international constant: in the United States, the military is respected far above any other organisation (Pew Research Centre, 2013).
African solutions to Western problems 119 6 This even extends to operations: the European Union has made 50M euro available for international operations against Boko Haram, but none of it may be used for the purchase of equipment or weapons (Institute for Security Studies, 2016). 7 On recent involvement by Great (and less-great) powers, see Péan (2010).
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120 D. Chuter Johnson, D. (2006) The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars (3rd edn). Oxford, James Currey. Keen, D. (2012) Useful Enemies: When Waging Wars is More Important Than Winning Them. New Haven, Yale University Press. Kennedy, G. (2008) Imperial Defence. London, Routledge. Le Huffpost (2016) Les Français ne croient plus à l’état d’urgence après les attentats de Nice et Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, www.huffingtonpost.fr/2016/08/04/etat-urgencesecurite-des-francais-preoccupation-numero-chomage-sondage-exclusif-yougov_n_ 11315414.html (accessed 16 September 2016). Leao, A. and Rupiya, M. (2005) “A Military History of the Angolan Armed Forces from the 1960s Onwards – As Told by Former Combatants”, in M. Rupiya (ed.), Evolutions and Revolutions: A Contemporary History of Militaries in Southern Africa. Pretoria, Institute for Security Studies. Lungu, H. and Ngoma, N. (2005) “The Zambian Military – Trials, Tribulations and Hope”, in M. Rupiya, Evolutions and Revolutions: A Contemporary History of Militaries in Southern Africa. Pretoria, Institute for Security Studies. Melmot, S. (2008) Candide au Congo: L’échec annoncé de la réforme du secteur de sécurité. Paris, IFRI. Moyse-Bartlett, H. ( 2002) The King’s African Rifles: A Study in the Military History of East and Central Africa 1890–1945. Naval and Military Press, London. Nugent, P. (2004) Africa since Independence: A Comparative History. New York, Palgrave/Macmillan. Omari, A. (2003) “Civil–Military Relations in Tanzania”, in R. Williams, G. Cawthra and D. Abrahams (eds) Ourselves to Know: Civil–Military Relations and Defence Transformation in Southern Africa. Pretoria, Institute for Security Studies. Ostry, J., Loungani, L. and Furceri, D. (2016) “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” Finance & Development, June 2016, 53 (2). www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2016/06/pdf/ ostry.pdf. (accessed 16 September 2016). Péan, P. (2010) Carnages: Les Guerres secrètes des grandes puissances en Afrique. Paris, Fayard. Pew Research Centre (2013) Public Esteem for Military Still High, www.pewforum. org/2013/07/11/public-esteem-for-military-still-high/#about (accessed 16 September 2016). Pottier, J. (2002) Re-Imagining Rwanda: Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Reno, W. (1998) Warlord Politics and African States, Boulder, CO, Lynne Rienner Publishers. Reno, W. (2011) Warfare in Independent Africa. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Reydams, L. (2013) Let’s Be Friends: The United States, Post-Genocide Rwanda, and Victor’s Justice in Arusha, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) of the University of Antwerp, Discussion Paper. Schmidt, S. (2013) Foreign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Stirrat, R. (2000) “Cultures of Consultancy”, Critique of Anthropology, 20(1), 31–46. Trefon, T. (2011) Congo Masquerade: The Political Culture of Aid Inefficiency and Reform Failure. London, Zed Books.
7 African standby force Challenges and opportunities for support of democracy in Africa Kasaija Phillip Apuuli
Introduction The establishment of the African Standby Force (ASF ) has been a work in progress since 2003. Since then great strides have been taken towards its full operationalization which was announced in 2016. The establishment of the ASF it is hoped will lead to the institutionalization of the practice of civilian control of the military in Africa. The continent has outlawed unconstitutional changes of government particularly military coups d’état. This chapter discusses the challenges and opportunities of the establishment of the ASF in the context of establishment and consolidation of democracy in Africa. The African Standby Force (ASF ) was established under the Protocol relating to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) (2002) (hereinafter Protocol) ‘to enable the PSC perform its responsibilities with respect to the deployment of peace support missions and intervention pursuant to article 4 (h) and (j) of the Constitutive Act’.1 The force is composed of standby multidisciplinary contingents, with civilian and military components in their countries of origin and ready for rapid deployment at appropriate notice.2 The ASF is mandated to: [conduct] observation and monitoring missions; [carry out] other types of peace support missions; intervene[e] in a Member State in respect of grave circumstances or at the request of a Member State in order to restore peace and security, in accordance with Article 4 (h) and (j) of the Constitutive Act; [undertake] preventive deployment in order to prevent (i) a dispute or a conflict from escalating, (ii) an ongoing violent conflict from spreading to neighbouring areas or States, and (iii) the resurgence of violence after parties to a conflict have reached an agreement; [conduct] peace-building, including post-conflict disarmament and demobilization; [undertake] humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of civilian population in conflict areas and support efforts to address major natural disasters; and [conduct] any other functions as may be mandated by the PSC or the Assembly.3 Generally, the ASF is intended to provide the AU with a means of responding to conflict in a manner that is timely and efficient and, for the first time, provide Africa with a common position and action plan for the development of its peace support operations capacity (Kasumba and Debrah, 2010: 13).
122 K.P. Apuuli Africa has been a theater of violence for a long time arising from many sources inter alia the military’s intervention in politics. Since 1952 when the first military coup d’état took place in Egypt, several other countries have seen unconstitutional changes of government mainly led by the military. However, in 1997, the African leadership through the Organization of African Unity (OAU) took a stance of condemning unconstitutional changes of government especially military coups d’état. This stance was subsequently expounded on further in the Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government (2000); and restated in the Constitutive Act of the AU (2000), Protocol relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the AU (2002), the Solemn Declaration on a Common African Defence and Security Policy (2004) and the Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007). Within the context of these documents, the establishment of the ASF aims at providing the continent with a framework that can promote peace and security which are a prerequisite for the development and consolidation of democracy. Whilst the main tenets of democracy are ‘consent, popular participation and accountability’, democratic consolidation refers to ‘a situation in which a transition from an authoritarian phase is completed’ (Makinda and Okumu, 2008). Democracy is consolidated when democratic norms and institutions are strengthened and the new regime does not have preserved elements undermining democracy’s basic characteristics (Valenzuela, 1992). The chapter discusses the challenges and opportunities of the establishment of the ASF in the context of establishment and consolidation of democracy in Africa. The establishment of the ASF, it is hoped, will lead to the institutionalization of the practice of civilian control of the military in Africa and thus end military authoritarianism which has bedeviled the continent for a long time. In January 2016, the full operational capability of the force was declared (AU, 2016: 2). Nevertheless, whilst the establishment of the force still faces a number of challenges, opportunities abound for the ASF to be an instrument of democracy and democratic consolidation.
Context Not only have civil, regional and internationalized wars ravaged large parts of the continent since independence, but the instances where regimes are the chief perpetrators of violence against their own citizens through genocide and mass murder have been pervasive (Porto, 2008: 46). Africa’s wars have cost the continent dear in many respects: they have killed many millions of people, most through the effects of disease and malnutrition exacerbated by displacement; they have left in their wake a traumatized generation of children and young adults; they have broken binds of trust among and across local communities that will be immensely difficult to repair; they have shattered education and healthcare systems; they have disrupted transportation routes and infrastructure; and they have done untold damage to the continent’s ecology, from its land and waterways to its flora and fauna (Williams, 2010: 1). In financial terms, one
African standby force 123 estimate has suggested that these wars have cost Africa well over US$700 billion in damages since [the year] 2000 alone (ibid.). According to Abrahamsen (2013: 1), Africa’s wars never end but spread like a viral pandemic, making quiet places the lonely exceptions. As observed by Dersso (2011: 114) during the past two decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, the Central African Republic (CAR), Uganda, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia, Angola, Mali, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Congo Brazzaville and the Comoros have witnessed conflicts. He adds, new conflicts erupted in other countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan (Darfur), Chad, Nigeria and Kenya (ibid.). More recently, if I may add, the conflict that has come to dominate the news is the current one in South Sudan. Predictions are that whilst violent conflicts, particularly those of an internal nature, will decline as the twenty-first century progresses, they will most likely continue in the short to medium term and pose a great threat, if not greater, as in the past (ibid.). The predictions are based on a number of factors including fragility/ weakness of African states, existing and deepening inequalities among members of different groups and regions, religious and ethnic grievances, repression, lack of effective institutionalization of good governance and democracy, the decline of constitutionalism, raise of authoritarian tendencies, persistence of high levels of poverty, and the rise in the vulnerability of many parts of Africa to drought because of climate change (ibid., 114–115). The first response strategy to Africa’s wars has involved strengthening the continent’s conflict management organizations, which is based on the idea that keeping the peace requires permanent organizations, not just ad hoc responses (Williams, 2010: 149). The Charter of the OAU, at its creation in 1963 included the Commission of Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration which was aimed at facilitating peaceful settlement of disputes between member states (Albert, 2007: 47). The Commission, whose activities were restricted to interstate conflicts, was additionally vested with powers to investigate and inquire into the disputes brought before it. Unfortunately, the Commission never became operational and was abolished (ibid.). Thus, African leaders, in abiding strictly by the prohibition under the Charter on intervention in the domestic affairs of a state and in firmly upholding the principle of territorial integrity, watched civil wars erupt and destroy states and their populations. Underlying the leaders’ refusal to involve themselves in the internal conflicts of other African states were two concerns. First, prior to the establishment of the OAU, some African states had alleged that their neighbours were supporting coups d’état within their territory. Second, many African states were equally threatened by internal conflicts and hesitated to see the OAU become involved to the possible detriment of their own regimes (Packer and Rukare, 2002: 368). In the words of Ibok (2000: 5) ‘the basic assertion was that … it was not the business of the OAU to pronounce itself on those conflicts’. With the end of the Cold War, there was a change of attitude of African leadership towards the conflicts taking place on the continent. Most of the post- cold war era conflicts in Africa were intra-state in nature and took place within
124 K.P. Apuuli states rather than between them. The OAU, which was formed to contend with the challenges of Cold War conflict dynamics, found it difficult to upgrade its systems to the standards needed for dealing with the intra-state conflicts of the post-Cold War era (Albert, 2007: 49). Nevertheless, there was the realization by the African leadership that it is impossible for any society bedevilled by violent conflict to maximally benefit from political and economic globalization (ibid.). Thus, the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (MCPMR) of the OAU was established following a decision by African Heads of State during the 29th session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Cairo in June 1993. The MCPMR sought to ‘bring to the processes of dealing with conflicts in [Africa] a new institutional dynamism, enabling speedy action to prevent or manage and ultimately resolve conflicts when and where they occur’ (OAU, 1993: 13). Following the mass killing in Burundi and Rwanda genocide, and the OAU’s lackluster response, in 1995, the OAU Heads of State and Government endorsed the idea that ‘ready contingents’ should be earmarked within African armies for deployment in peacekeeping operations (Williams, 2010: 150–151). Subsequently, the Solemn Declaration on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (2000), adopted by the OAU Assembly, highlighted the principle of ‘African solutions to African problems’ and the need for Africa to position itself, in cooperation with the UN and sub-regional organizations, as a platform for the maintenance of peace and stability (Mulugeta, 2008). The declaration outlined an action plan, which among other things, called for the establishment of deployable contingents (read an African army) (ibid.).4 The idea of an African High Command antedated the establishment of the OAU (Imobhige, 1980). The plan for such a force was first advanced by Kwame Nkrumah, when he successfully pushed for the adoption of a resolution recommending the formation of an All-Africa High Command at the All-African Peoples Conference which he sponsored in 1958 (Fasehun, 1980).5 Africa’s post-colonial history was dominated by discussions of commitment to collective security via so-called Pax Africana (African Peace) articulated by Kenyan-born Political Scientist Ali Mazrui in 1967 who ‘advocated a peace that is protected and maintained by Africa herself ’ (Warner, 2015).6 Nkrumah’s and Mazrui’s ideas can be considered to be the initial foundation for the establishment of the ASF. The Constitutive Act of the African Union declares that the scourge of conflicts in Africa constitutes a major impediment to the socio-economic development of the continent.7 At the inauguration of the AU, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government stressed the need for a Common African Defence and Security Policy (CADSP) in the context of the Constitutive Act. Subsequently, the CADSP was adopted ‘to ensure that Africa’s common defence and security interests and goals … are safeguarded in the face of common threats to the continent as a whole’ (AU, 2004: para. 4). The ASF is part of the strategy to ensure the realization of the CADSP, as it is one of the ‘home grown initiatives that are meant to put the destiny of the continent into the hands of the African people’ (Apuuli, 2013: 67).
African standby force 125
APSA and the unconstitutional changes of government by the military The urge to establish the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) comprised of the AU Commission, Peace and Security Council, Panel of the Wise, Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), ASF, Military Staff Committee, Special Fund, Regional Mechanisms and Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD), was informed by the recognition that developing a robust framework for peace and security architecture is an imperative for Africa (AU, 2007: para. 261). The APSA’s imperative was made more urgent by the intervention of African militaries in the politics of the various countries on the continent. It should be noted that post-colonial Africa has endured a large number of coups d’état, between 1956 and 2001, 48 states of sub-Saharan Africa experienced 80 successful and 108 failed coups (Williams, 2010: 153). Gutteridge (1970: 369) had earlier concluded that ‘military interventions in [African] politics had become endemic’. Prior to 1990, military coups were the main mode of leadership change in the majority of African states (Souaré, 2014: 70). A study conducted by Johnson et al. (1984: 622) found that ‘the African military coup d’état accomplished the transfer of power and influence, much more frequently than elections and other forms of constitutionally sanctioned regime change’. Generally, whilst the military claims during taking power that it has done so to restore order, for example, the coups in Ghana and Nigeria during the 1970s and 1980s were heralded as necessary to restore order after periods of constitutional breakdown (Cowell, 2011: 751), it is normally also part of the problem (Luckham, 1994: 15). Decalo (1976: 14–15) has aptly observed thus: Many African armies bear little resemblance to a modern complex organizational model and are instead a coterie of armed camps owing primary clientelist allegiance to a handful of mutually competitive officers of different ranks seething with a variety of corporate, ethnic, and personal grievances. One direct corollary is that when the military assumes power it is frequently not able to provide an efficient, nationally orientated and stable administration. The role of the military in African politics has subverted the democratic processes in many countries. Corroborating Decalo’s point, Cowell (2011: 751) observes that ‘coup governments exacerbated other structural political problems in African states by interfering with the formation of political parties, suppressing political space and freedom of speech and empowering bureaucrats in the civil service in a manner which encouraged corruption’. In summary, as Sharma (1971: 545) observed, ‘having come to power, the military immediately faced the problem of how to solve the many problems which civilian governments could not solve’. Most often, the military soon realized that just like civilians, it did not have answers. The 35th Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly held in Algiers, Algeria in 1999, adopted Decision AHG/Dec. 141 (XXXV) rejecting any unconstitutional
126 K.P. Apuuli changes of government (UCG) in Africa (OAU, 1999). The organization reaffirmed the stance it had taken in 1997 in Harare, Zimbabwe following the overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Sierra Leone. The UCG has been defined to include military coups d’état, which the AU has described as the ‘scourge of Africa’ (Cowell, 2011: 750). Other instances of UCG are: intervention by mercenaries to replace a democratically elected government; replacement of democratically-elected governments by armed dissident groups and rebel movements; the refusal by the incumbent government to relinquish power to the winning political party after free, fair and regular elections; and amending or revising of the constitution or legal instruments, which infringes the principles of democratic change of government. Another instance inferring UCG was added in 2007, namely the prohibition of auto-legitimation of coupmakers by preventing them from participating in elections held to restore democratic order or to hold any position of responsibility in political institutions of their state. The broad definition of UCG is contained in three main instruments of the OAU/AU: the Lomé Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to UCG (2000);8 the Constitutive Act of the AU (2002); and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007). These policy documents clearly indicate that there is ‘zero tolerance’ for military coups in Africa (Souaré, 2014: 78). Specifically, the adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007), means that the principles of good governance, transparency and human rights considerably reduces the risk of military coups on the continent (ibid.). Doctrinally, in accordance with the AU instruments, whenever there is an UCG in any country on the continent, the AU policy now is first, to condemn and suspend the particular country from all the decision-making organs of the Union while giving it a period of up to six months to restore constitutional order; and second, after the expiry of the six months suspension, a range of limited and targeted sanctions against the regime that stubbornly refuses to restore constitutional order is instituted. The AU applied these measures against Togo (2005), Guinea (2008), Madagascar (2010), Mali (2012) and Egypt (2013) among others. The decision to deal with UCG situations rests with the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC). But beyond condemning and suspending a country that undergoes an UCG, the AU lacks the capability to actually restore constitutional order. The question is: Can the ASF be used to enforce the AU’s will? Hitherto, the answer to this question is negative mainly because first, the ASF does not have the mandate to intervene in member states to restore constitutional order, and second, the force is in a state of construction.
The ASF According to the Protocol, the ASF is to serve as a rapid reaction force, comprising 15,000 troops drawn from the regional brigades (AU, 2007: para. 283). The regional brigades were later changed to regional forces. Thus, the established forces are as follows: East African Standby Force (EASF ) for the East; Economic Community of Central African States Standby Force (FOMAC) for
African standby force 127 the Central; Economic Community of West African States Standby Force (ESF ) for the West; North African Regional Capability (NARC) for the North; and Southern African Development Community Standby Force (SSF ) for the South. It is the responsibility of the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (REC/RMs) to prepare their capabilities as mechanisms for the AU Commission to achieve the peace and security initiatives with respect to peace, security and stability (AU, 2010: para. 105). Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of the AU to evaluate the readiness of the regional planning elements (Planelm, Headquarters) and ASF regional brigades in consultation with REC Planelm. This involves certification which is the official recognition that the unit or force component meets the defined standards and criteria, therefore capable of performing the mandated mission. (Ibid.) Thus, in its early incarnation in 2003, the ASF was the mechanism that provided the most hope for the provision of continental collective security given its ability to provide the AU with a continental rapid-deployment capability (Warner, 2015: 58).9 The Policy Framework and the Roadmap for the Operationalization of the ASF (hereinafter Roadmap) specify the concept of the ASF, as well as major stages in its operationalization. In December 2010, Roadmap Three (2010–2015) was adopted ‘aimed at building on the work and lessons from Roadmaps I (June 2006–March)10 and II11 (April 2008–December 2010)’ (AU, 2013a), and ‘addressing specific areas of enhancement for the ASF including advocacy and outreach, structures and management capabilities, political decision making and mission planning processes, operational concepts, logistics and legal and financial frameworks’ (ibid.). The Policy Framework and the Roadmap called for the establishment of a Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) capable of intervening, within 14 days, in cases of genocide and gross human rights abuses under ASF Scenario Six. The RDC was framed as a part of the regional standby forces and as such would be constituted from lead elements of the regional standby forces (ibid.). Roadmap III of the ASF recommended that the RDC be tested, evaluated and operationalized by 2012. This objective could not be attained within the context of the delays in meeting the timelines for the operationalization of the ASF (ibid.).
Recent initiative to operationalize the ASF The operationalization of the ASF has been lagging behind schedule. Whilst the full operationalization had first been slated for between 2005 and 2008, the date was pushed to 2010, as a result of serious capability gaps identified during Exercise AMANI AFRICA 2010. The holding of the AMANI-AFRICA Command Post Exercise (CPX) in 2010 was supposed to test the efficacy of the ASF idea and mark its formal operationalization. The CPX was based on the deployment
128 K.P. Apuuli of the ASF in the context of an AU multidimensional peace support operation and focused on the validation of policies and processes, at the strategic level, for the employment of the ASF within the APSA framework (ibid.). It provided an opportunity to identify gaps as they relate to the ability of the AU to plan and manage complex and multidimensional peace support operations as well as recommendations for addressing the challenges. Unfortunately, in the course of planning for this exercise, it became apparent that ‘the ASF 2010 target was too ambitious’ (Bachmann, 2011: 27). The evaluation report of the exercise concluded that ‘the ASF was not yet operational, missing key capacity in the planning and conduct of peace support operations (PSOs) at the strategic and headquarter levels’ (ibid.). As a consequence, the AU (with the support of the EU) decided to initiate a second AMANI Africa training cycle (AMANI Africa II) which would culminate in a Field Training Exercise (FTX) in 2014. The objective of the FTX would be to ‘validate the capacity of the African Union to grant a mandate for the use of a RDC, as an initial operation for scenario six and lead in the process, a fully-fledged multidimensional peace operation (scenario 5)’ (AU, 2013a). In the end, the ministerial-level STCDSS meeting in December 2010 recommended the finalization of ASF Roadmap III, explicitly setting a new deadline of December 2015 for the full operationalization of the force. This was the first time that a concrete deadline had actually been established at that level of decision-making. Between 19 October and 7 November 2015, approximately 5,400 members from the military, police and civilian,12 participated in AA-II Field Training Exercise (FTX) (hereinafter AA-II FTX). The holding of the AA-II FTX marked the final stage of a four-year exercise cycle (which included MAPEX, CPX, political-strategic exercises, training and other undertakings), the cumulative outcome of which was the assessment of the state of readiness of the ASF and its RDC. The exercise’s overall objective was to establish the full operational capability of the ASF ahead of the deadline of December 2015. The AA-II FTX was able to achieve the key objective of evaluating the AU’s ability ‘to mandate, deploy, manage, sustain and recover a RDC, and to expand the deployment by mandating a scenario 5 mission’ (AU, undated). In so doing, the exercise contributed to the validation of the operational status of the ASF (ibid.). Nevertheless, the exercise also exposed weaknesses. First, the absence of legal clarity and additional direction and guidance, on the political processes for mandating ASF operations especially in relation to the relationship between the AU and the RECs/RMs (ibid.). Second, the need to address the communication requirements of the ASF, in particular, the provision of a dedicated continental communications information systems (CIS) infrastructure for ASF operations (ibid.). These weaknesses notwithstanding, the African leadership has now declared the full operationalization of the ASF.
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Challenges a African crises, rapid deployment capability and the African capacity for immediate response to crises The ASF Policy Framework stipulates that ‘in an emergency situation, the AU should take a preliminary preventive action, while preparing for a more comprehensive action that could include the participation of the United Nations. The emphasis here is on rapid action and deployment’ (AU, 2003: para. 1.4(b)). The RDC is a key component of the ASF, the aim of which is to enable the AU to respond swiftly to crisis situations. However, since failing to meet the 2010 deadline to fully operationalize the ASF, the AU faced many very serious crises including: Côte d’Ivoire (2010–2011); the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya (2011); Mali (2012–2013); Central African Republic (CAR) (2013–2014); and South Sudan (2013–to date). Whilst the AU engaged with each of these crises in various ways including coordinating positions with other regional and international organizations, establishing high level panels, conducting mediation efforts and deployment of political and enforcement operations, it was generally hoped that the AU would take stronger action including mobilizing the resources of the ASF. Nevertheless, the intervention of France in the conflicts in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali seems to have awakened the African leadership to the need to have rapid deployment capacity (AU, 2013b: para. 14).13 This is not withstanding the fact that the intervention by France was welcomed by some African leaders.14 Consequently, at the conclusion of the 21st AU Summit, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra announced that the AU Assembly had decided to establish the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) (AU, 2013c). The rationale for establishing ACIRC was captured by South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane who lamented: leaders in that region (ECOWAS) say, it took them 11 meetings in 11 months polishing the decision to intervene in Mali, until one day they woke up and the rebels were now marching towards Bamako. That should not have happened. (Obasanjo and Mills, 2014: 9) According to Lamamra, the ACIRC’s main aim would be to: provide Africa with a strictly military capacity with high reactivity to respond swiftly to emergency situations upon political decisions to intervene in conflict situations within the continent. The aim is to establish an efficient, robust and credible force, which can be deployed very rapidly, able to conduct operations of limited duration and objectives or contribute to creating enabling conditions for the deployment of larger AU and/or UN peace operations. (AU, 2013c)
130 K.P. Apuuli ACIRC would be a transitional formula to expeditiously provide Africa with an urgently needed tool to enhance the continent’s capacity to promote ‘African solutions to African problems’ (AU, 2013d). Nevertheless, the decision to establish the ACIRC seems to have been motivated by two main reasons (AU, 2013c). First, the overwhelming dependence of the AU on funds provided by partners which affects the implementation of ‘African solutions to African problems’. Second, in the case of the armed rebellion in Mali, Africa could have moved faster and made the French intervention dispensable if it had had the appropriate tools and mechanisms. Thus, the African leadership was left to lament that it was unfortunate that after 50 years of independence, African security is so dependent on foreign partners. In the end, member states of the AU pledged henceforth to contribute troops and finance to the AICRC on a voluntary basis, so as to act independently. The ACIRC is premised on volunteerism by member states and the ability and capacity of states to deploy rapidly (within 15 days) (Brosi and Sempijja, 2015: 2). Other principles include continentalism (more AU-centred) rather than regionalism (regional economic community [REC]), self-sustenance (with member states paying for deployment) and collective security (ibid.). Countries subscribing to the ACIRC mechanism include Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Whilst some like Nigeria and Kenya have not endorsed the concept, partly out of fear of South African dominance (ibid.), Ghana thinks that the idea duplicates the ASF (PANA Press, 2013). Nevertheless, even if it was mooted in May 2013, sadly when the crisis in CAR escalated during that year and beyond, the ACIRC mechanism was not activated. This is notwithstanding the fact that an ECCAS operation (MICOPAX)15 was on the ground, and following political engagement between the AU and the UN, this was re-hatted into an AU-led International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA) operation following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2127 (2013) on 5 December 2013. MISCA was transformed into the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) following the adoption of resolution 2149 (2014) on 10 April 2014. Summarizing on the issue of ACIRC, during the conduct of AA-II FTX, the ACIRC was re-designated as RDC-2 and was deployed together with the ASF ’s RDC (AU, undated). The Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security (STCDSS) at its 2nd extraordinary meeting in January 2016 recommended the dissolution ACIRC in line with the Assembly Decisions 489(XXI) and 515(XXII). In the end, the fear originally expressed that the establishment of the ACIRC would undermine the eventual operationalization of the ASF seems to have been dispelled.16 As it turns out, the ACIRC has transformed from being a challenge to an opportunity. b Logistics and the dependence of the African state Doornbos (1990: 180) has argued that African states, whatever their differences, share a pervasive dependence on external actors. This is partly explained by
African standby force 131 dependence theory, according to which the world trading system tends to keep most developing states in a condition of economic and political bondage, resulting in a neo-imperial and neo-colonial relationship between the rich and poor countries (Plano and Olton, 1988: 122). Thus, the autonomy of the African state has increasingly been eroded by the international community, including through prescriptions made to national budgetary and policy processes in states that receive donor funds (ibid.: 188). More recently, Brown (2013: 262–282) has found that aid affects policy autonomy of aid-recipient countries. Given the limited financial resources of African states, the role of the national government has become necessarily limited to accepting ready-made policy packages prepared elsewhere or already agreed upon by the main donors. Donor funding has not only been critical in the establishment and operationalization of the ASF, but also generally in financing AU originated peace keeping/support missions. In fact, it can be argued that without outside funding, the AU would not be able to mount any kind of peace mission. The lack of African financial independence has been perennially lamented. For example, the African leaders have decried the fact that the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is 100 per cent funded by the partners (Apuuli, 2013: 82). Hitherto, funding of AU operations has remained a difficult task (Feldman, 2008: 270). The donors have continued to foot the lion’s share of the AU’s programme and project funding. For example, out of the AU’s total budget of US$416,867,326 for the financial year 2016, international partners are supposed to contribute US$247,033,986, representing 59.3 per cent (AU, 2015). The Assembly took a decision to explore alternative sources of funding for the AU (AU, 2013e), having realized that ‘outside funds come with restrictions and caveats’ (Feldman, 2008: 271). Proposals have been made to impose a US$2 hospitality levy to be paid by tourists during their stay in African countries, and a US$10 levy on flight tickets for flights originating from Africa or with destinations in Africa (AU, 2013f ). Whilst the Assembly is yet to make a final decision, in the meantime it has directed the AU Commission to pay special attention by allocating funds to the peace and security budget (AU, 2015). It is not clear whether these measures will cure the AU’s financial problems. With specific regard to the ASF, issues of logistics and funding have been highlighted as being important in ensuring that the force becomes fully operational. As has been observed, the heart of humanitarian and peacekeeping operations lies in the ability to conduct operational logistics to sustain assigned forces (Krulick, 2013: 11). Sadly, at present, this capacity is largely missing from the AU’s operational capabilities. The AU and most of its member states have very limited airlift capability and rely on external assistance to deploy and sustain AU forces. c Northern region lagging behind Each region of Africa is supposed to build up a standby force. However, whilst the West, East, South and Central African regions have established their forces,
132 K.P. Apuuli the North is still lagging behind. The North African Regional Capability (NARC) was created to fill a regional vacuum. The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), which had become dormant following its establishment in 1989, proved difficult to revitalize because of tensions among member states (IISS, 2010: 2). The tensions arose out of the member states of the AMU’s divergent approaches to resolving the issue of western Sahara. As a result, there was a need to create a regional mechanism to enable the North African countries to contribute to the ASF. Libya played a coordinating role in establishing the NARC, and at a meeting in Tripoli in 2008 it was agreed to locate an executive secretariat there. A memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the NARC was agreed among the members in 2008. However, constitutional and legal regulations in some member states, such as Tunisia, have delayed its ratification (ibid.). Thus, the North African countries have fallen behind in establishing the NARC. In its assessment conducted in the ASF in 2013, the AU was of the opinion that the NARC region will not be able to achieve full operational capability due to the significant disruptions that the ASF project suffered as a result of the Arab Spring and the ongoing uncertainty in Libya, Egypt and other countries in the region. (AU, 2013a)
Opportunities In a departure from the doctrine of the OAU, the AU has undertaken several peace support operations. These include: African Union Mission in Burundi (AMIB) (2003–2004); African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) (2004–2007); African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) (2007–to present); African-led International Stabilization Mission in Mali (AFISMA) (2012–2013); and the AU-led International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA) (2013–2014). In addition to these, there is the AU Electoral and Security Assistance in Comoros (2007). All these missions allowed the AU to gain valuable experience in dealing with peace and security issues in Africa. Moreover, the African forces have continued to serve in peacekeeping/support missions that have been taken over by the UN. This is the case of the UN–AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur Sudan (UNAMID), UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Thus, individuals and units that make up the ASF have acquired a great deal of operational capacity and expertise in mandating, deploying, managing, sustaining and recovering peace support operations. Second, the fact that African countries have participated in the various exercises, and pledged troops and equipment to the ASF, is an opportunity that should be exploited to further build the force’s capabilities. For example, the member states contributing to the East African Standby Force (EASF ) validated their troops in December 2014. These include: motorized and light infantry
African standby force 133 battalions, reconnaissance squadrons, marine and air assets, civilians and police units, among others. This shows a serious commitment in the advancement of the notion of ‘African solutions to African problems’. Third, the concept of ASF provides an opportunity for the consolidation of democratic control and oversight of the military. The ASF construct draws together elements of the military, civilians and police from different countries. The national, regional, multi-dimensional and multi-national training ensures the application of best practices including the principle of civilian oversight of the security forces in general and the military in particular. Moreover, one of the principles that the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007) establishes is the ‘strengthening and institutionalizing of constitutional civilian control over the armed and security forces’.17 As Makinda and Okumu (2008: 64) observe, the establishment of this principle was in recognition of the negative impact of security apparatuses on the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law. Fourth, the ultimate command and control system of the ASF is firmly in the hands of civilians. At the strategic level, command and control is shared between the AU PSC and the AU Commission. While the PSC holds the ultimate decision making authority with respect to revising and formulating a mandate and terminating an ASF mission, the AU Commission through the Chairperson and the Special Representative who is the Head of Mission, has political command and control, and is responsible for strategic planning and management. Thus, the command and control system of the ASF further enhances civilian oversight of the security forces, particularly the military. Last, during the ASF exercises, civilians, military and police, work and learn together on the implementation of the prescribed mandate. Dersso (2011: 137) has observed that ‘given that ASF brigades are constituted of multidimensional contingents based in their countries of origin, cultural, material and know-how diversity, their [joint] training has resulted in standardization and institutionalization at different levels’. In the context of democratic development and consolidation, the joint training in areas of human rights and international humanitarian law observance is crucial. The networks and professional interactions established through joint training will hopefully cement within the security forces the established norm that they are subject to civilian authority.
Conclusion Since 2003, the AU has been engaged in activities to establish the full operational capability of the ASF. The ASF is supposed to provide the organization with the capacity to actualize its collective security arrangements. Each region of Africa is supposed to have a force on standby that can be called upon by the AU to intervene in a conflict situation on behalf of the organization. Over the years, the African continent has suffered from democratic deficits involving frequent unconstitutional changes of government especially military coups d’état. The ASF is supposed to lead to standardization and institutionalization of good
134 K.P. Apuuli practices within the African military forces, particularly the norm that they are under the control of civilian authority. Indeed, the ASF doctrine establishes that the force will be under civilian control in its operations. The full operational capability was finally declared in 2016 with regions like the West, South, East, and Central having built up their contributions. However, the Northern region is still lagging behind. Whilst many challenges remain including logistics and funding, among others, the force is advantaged by having troops and other elements who have served in the various peacekeeping/ support missions that the AU has undertaken over the years. It is hoped that the eventual full operationalization of the force will result in the establishment and consolidation of democracy on the continent.
Notes 1 Article 13(1) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. 2 The Protocol relating to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (2002), article 13(2). 3 Ibid., article 13(3). 4 Mulugeta’s suggestion of an ‘African army’ is misleading. When the ASF idea was being conceptualized, three positions emerged. The first position championed by Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi called for the establishment of a single army for Africa. The second position was that championed by Zimbabwean and Kenyan Presidents Robert Mugabe and Daniel arap Moi who saw the primary purpose of the force as that of defending Africa from external threats. The third position championed by the young leaders like South African Thabo Mbeki saw the ASF as a peacekeeping force with a capacity to intervene in the continent’s internal conflict. In the end, the third position prevailed. See Franke (2006: 13). 5 cf. Imobhige (1980: 241) (observing that it was first mooted in November 1960 by Kwame Nkrumah during the Congo crisis. Nkrumah was dissatisfied with the way in which the United Nations peacekeeping force was being manipulated by the big powers against the interests of the Congolese people and Africa as a whole. He thought the best way to deal with the problem was the establishment of a high command of African forces). 6 See also Ramutsindela (2009: 1) (citing Mazrui observing that pax-Africana suggests that the peace of Africa can be achieved by Africans themselves, and is therefore the specific ‘military aspect of the principle of continental jurisdiction’). 7 Preamble, para. 9. 8 Declaration on the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government, AGH/Decl 5 (XXXVI) 2000. 9 In the opinion of the author, the PSC was the mechanism designed to do this, while the ASF was the mechanism whereby PSC decisions could be enforced. See also Krulick (2013: 11) (observing that the ‘PSC’s operational arm is the ASF ’). 10 Roadmap I, adopted in March 2005 resulted in the preparation and adoption of the core documents of the ASF, including on Doctrine, Logistics, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Training and Evaluation, and Command and Control, Communications and Information System (C3IS). The Planning elements (PLANELMs) were also established in all the regions during this phase. 11 Roadmap II, adopted in April 2008 aimed at identifying measures to be undertaken to resolve outstanding issues from Roadmap I, and to consolidate the progress made. Roadmap II culminated in Exercise AMANI AFRICA, one main objective of which was the evaluation of progress and the validation of the ASF.
African standby force 135 12 The participating countries included: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. 13 The AU observed that ‘the Malian crisis highlighted the need to expedite the operationalization of the RDC’. 14 Cf. For example, then Chairman of the AU, Yaya Boni, President of Benin declared that ‘he felt he was in heaven after France’s intervention in Mali’. President Museveni of Uganda welcomed the French intervention in the following words: ‘I normally do not thank European countries for offering military support. But this time I thank the French president for supporting Mali because the terrorists were going to overtake the country’. He nevertheless hastened to add some of the African armies go to European colleges only to get training on how to shoot and salute. To call France [support] is like a vote of no confidence in the Malian army. It is a big shame. So for me, I cannot call France or any other European country to come and support me. (See generally, Apuuli, 2013: 79) 15 The MICOPAX mission was deployed by the ECCAS countries in CAR in July 2008. It was supposed to be phased out until the new crisis erupted at the end of 2012. It played an important stabilization role, but given its limited troop numbers, it was however unable to stop SELEKA rebels from entering the capital, Bangui. As a result of the new crisis, the ECCAS Heads of States decided to reconfigure MICOPAX with a higher number of troops (from 700 to 2,000 military troops) and a new mandate to restore stability, protect civilians, support the restructuration of the CAR security forces and the organization of elections. See European Commission (2014). 16 This debate has ably been captured by Warner (2015: 56–73). 17 Article 14 (1). Note that the Charter came into force in 2012.
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8 African militaries, security sector reform and peace dividends A case study of Ethiopia’s post-1998 defence reform experience and impact on democratic development Ann M. Fitz-Gerald, Paula MacPhee and Ian Westerman Introduction Whilst the idea of a ‘peace dividend’ has been examined in the context of military spending, and in terms of the reallocation of security resources to development, very few studies have looked at this concept from a security sector reform (SSR) perspective. Over the past 15 years, significant donor budgets have supported SSR programmes in Africa. This support has come by way of security assistance through defence engagement programmes, and from broader security and justice programmes funded by international development actors. This chapter examines the extent to which SSR support to African militaries has produced any peace dividends. It starts by looking at the concepts of both a peace dividend and SSR and determining an acceptable framework for evaluating the peace-related impact of SSR programmes. The chapter then applies this framework to Ethiopia’s post-1998 defence reform experience. Conclusions suggest that the country’s ‘homegrown’ approach to strategic SSR provided significant momentum, supporting tangible gains in the peace dividend.
Peace dividends The idea of a peace dividend as ‘a sum of public money which becomes available for other purposes when spending on defence is reduced’ (Oxford Dictionaries online, 2016), was developed against the backdrop of the Cold War. Many countries had high and increasing levels of military expenditure as a result of responding to external threats to their national security. From the 1970s, a debate emerged across the international community which questioned the opportunity cost of military spending on social and economic needs.1 As the debate concerning the relationship between disarmament and development grew, there was a mounting expectation that, following the end of the Cold War, the re-allocation of funds from military spending to development would be realised. This however, did not occur (UNDP, 1994: 8).2
140 A. Fitz-Gerald et al. The mid-1990s saw renewed pressure from the United Nations for countries to reduce their military spending and for the dividends to materialise in increased development activity. In addition to this, the connection between disarmament and development started to be considered in relation to the concept of human security3 (Vignard, 2003). With a reduced threat of inter-state conflict being replaced by the emergence of intra-state conflict, the security paradigm had changed from focusing on threats affecting the state to those which affect the security of the individual. This broadened the definition of what was understood by the international community as a security threat. To establish its new thinking on the relationship between security, development and disarmament, the UN pledged a ‘world social charter’ to ‘build new foundations of human security, which ensure the security of people through development, not arms’ (UNDP, 1994: 6). To enforce the pressure on nation- states to follow this pledge, the UN made the ‘mobilisation of peace dividends’ one of its six-point agenda items for the 1995 Social Summit (UNDP, 1994: 8). Krause (2007: 3) argues that such was the UN’s aim ‘to capture the so-called peace dividend’ that pushing the concept of human security became a way to ensure that a reduction in arms spending did result in increased social spending. He stated that ‘from the outset the concept of human security was thus a practical one with clear strategic goals’, which emphasised the fact that the UN’s overarching aim during the 1990s was to divert public funds previously spent on arms to be spent on development – and that the agenda of human security provided a mechanism to achieve this aim. However, despite the influence which the human security agenda had on the debate linking disarmament, development and security, a report by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in 2004 confirmed that ‘the international community has not been able to agree on limiting military expenditure or establishing a ratio of military spending to national development expenditure’ (UNODA, 2004: para. 39). This situation remains unchanged today, particularly since counter-terrorism campaigns emerged in the wake September 2001 and therefore increased military spending on a global level. The UNODA report also raised other important issues relating to the concept of a peace dividend. It argued that the rise in military expenditure may not necessarily be a negative trend as this may be a result of improving military conditions and equipment, professionalising military personnel, providing humanitarian services, participating in peacekeeping activities or participating in improving civil infrastructure (UNODA, 2004: para. 45). Second, it cautioned that reductions in military spending do not guarantee that the available funds will be used for development (UNODA, 2004: para. 46). The difficulty with linking a reduction in military spending to a peace dividend is echoed by Hoeffler (2013) who argues that, in a post-conflict environment, renewed conflict can be prevented through a combination of arms embargoes, UN peacekeeping operations and aid. She also states that ‘development aid increases the government budget and since aid is fungible these additional funds can be used to increase military expenditure (Collier and Hoeffler, 2007) and thus deter rebellion or suppress it’ (Hoeffler, 2013: 6). Thus, the
African militaries, security sector reform 141 challenge in identifying the correlation between a reduction in military financial resources and an increase in peace dividends appears to be both in the lack of transparency in military spending and a lack of understanding of its direct effect on an increase in peace. This explains in part why the term peace dividend can be interpreted differently today than it was at the end of the Cold War. Whilst the peace, security, development and conflict literature continues to make claims that peace dividends are being realised, scholars and policy makers do not necessarily use the term to mean a direct relationship between reduced military spending and increased development spending. The ‘New Deal’ peacebuilding framework for engagement with fragile states uses the concept of a peace dividend in programmatic work to mean ‘tangible results of peace that are delivered ideally by the state, or are at least attributable to it, and are accessible to communities in a manner that is perceived as addressing inequalities, marginalization or grievances’ (UNPBF online). With the peacebuilding literature adopting a wider-reaching interpretation of what constitutes a peace dividend, this arguably provides a more useful lens through which to consider the advancement towards peaceful societies, not only in fragile states but also in any state working towards achieving a sustainable peace. For those countries which are emerging from conflict and transitioning to peacebuilding, the transition period may require an increase in military spending in order to provide the security to enable an environment in which development can grow and within which peace can exist. Peacebuilding activities in the post-conflict stage of transition will also likely include increased training and education for military personnel, a restructuring of the uniformed personnel and possibly an increased role for the military in terms of providing support to improve infrastructure within the country, all of which would require increased investment and not something that is undertaken simply as a short-term measure. An example of such longer-term investment required for post-conflict military activities can be seen in SSR programmes which may aim to reduce military spending in the longer term but, in the shorter term, may require increased investment in order to make the necessary reforms appropriate for the local security environment.
The basis for ‘good’ SSR programmes and outcomes In building on the idea of implied linkages between peacebuilding initiatives and the realisation of peace dividends, one could also draw further linkages between peacebuilding and SSR. These connections stem mainly from peacebuilding’s grass roots, bottom-up approaches and the role that local institutions play in wider security reform. These linkages became apparent in the UN Secretary General’s 2004 report, and were further explored in a broader thematic review between the two concepts in African countries receiving contributions from the Peacebuilding Fund (Fitz-Gerald, 2012). The UN’s 2004 reference to the relationship between a reduction in a state’s defence expenditure and reform of its security infrastructure (UN Sec Gen, 2004:
142 A. Fitz-Gerald et al. para. 42) was well understood by the late South African Major-General Len Le Roux. Despite writing specifically in the context of defence planners considering the size, shape and nature of future African military forces when he spoke of the need for ‘defence forces that are appropriate, adequate, accountable and affordable’ (Le Roux, 2006), his work resonated with the broader security sector findings of the UN report. Collectively, this thinking aligns with the evolution of the concept of peace dividends, which suggests a move away from an analysis based on ‘development and disarmament’ to one which is focused more on ‘development and democratisation’. The way in which these central tenets underpinned wider SSR further influenced donor-driven thinking on both definitions and guidance. Obtaining a consensus on definitions of the terms security, security sector, and SSR has now been achieved. Since SSR was first launched as a recognised international strategy by the UK government (1999), many international organisations have published their own definitions (DCAF, 2012; OECD, 2005; UN SSR Task Force, 2012). These definitions consistently agree on the difference between the traditionally narrow, defence-focused definition of security, and the broader concept of a security sector which covers a wider range of actors. The development of these definitions benefitted from north–south dialogue, which was essential to bridge the donor-driven policy with realities facing southern- based recipients of SSR funding. The DCAF definition of SSR neatly brings all of the various definitions together when it describes it as, ‘the process through which a country seeks to review and enhance the effectiveness and the accountability of its security and justice providers’ (DCAF, 2012: 5). The debate around guidance and principles for supporting ‘successful’ SSR outcomes has been less harmonious, and this is the area that is of most relevance when considering links to a peace dividend. Policy-related literature from the same key international organisations indicates that such guidance falls into one of two categories – guidance directed at implementation and delivery (that is to say the ‘operational’ side of reform programmes), and guidance in the form of principles for strategic engagement. For this reason, although the UN, OECD and DCAF have each published their own set of guidelines and principles, generally tending to cover similar areas, in practice they differ greatly in the way in which they are articulated. It is the opinion of the authors that, whilst shared good practice from the perspective of delivery is undoubtedly important, it is the second category of strategic principles that is germane to the subject of peace dividend, based on the need for SSR to be applied differently in different contexts. The challenge is that, in many cases, these two separate categories have become intermingled, and often there is conflict between operational advice and more general principles. This can make distilling the key principles/goals from the guidance very difficult. Of the three main contributors, the UN is the most focused on operational guidance, providing a check list which should be followed when supporting the SSR process. The African Union followed this approach in 2014 with the introduction of its SSR Policy Framework (African Union, 2014). Both sets of
African militaries, security sector reform 143 guidance touch on some principles of SSR including ‘effective and accountable security’, ‘ownership and commitment of the States and societies involved’, ‘integrity of motive, accountability, resources and capacity’ and the importance of a long-term commitment and monitoring (UNDP, 2012: 14). Whilst intended to provide guidance as to how donor states should approach reform programmes, all can be extrapolated into direct principles of reform themselves. The 2005 OECD DAC reference document on SSR offers what appears to be much clearer strategic direction, laying down ‘five broad, guiding principles [which] encapsulate the critical challenges and norms involved in SSR work’ (OECD, 2005: 22). These also are headlined in the subsequent ‘Handbook on Security System Reform’ (OECD DAC, 2007) – a document which Mark Sedra (2010) suggests has come to be seen as the ‘gospel’ in this field. However, although it might be expected that these five OECD DAC principles would provide a useful and concise exposition of the issue, in fact, they themselves are somewhat wordy, with each one covering several different areas of interest. This makes the existing OECD principles quite difficult to summarise. However, the following headline descriptions attempt to capture their overall thrust: • • • • • •
local ownership of the process; people-centred and internationally-acceptable; integrated security and development policies; use of a multi-sectoral approach; accountability and transparency; and the development of effective, well-functioning security institutions.
The other place in which a comprehensive, yet concise set of principles can be found is in the documentation of the Geneva-based DCAF ’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT). Whilst the 2016 DCAF Strategy paper suggests that ‘the principles of good security sector governance are universal’, and the DCAF guide SSR in a Nutshell states that ‘the key principles of SSR remain unchanged’, neither document actually lists these principles (DCAF, 2012, 2016). However, the DCAF ISSAT website (ISSAT, 2016) outlines three overarching objectives for SSR: to be accountable to the State and its people; effective, efficient and affordable; and respectful of international norms, standards and human rights. This same webpage also lists the three, ‘core principles’ that SSR programmes require in order to achieve those objectives: ‘local ownership’; ‘effectiveness and accountability’; and ‘holistic, political and technical’. Whilst the description of these principles does in some places provide a degree of clarity to the picture, they too ultimately diverge into a list of operational- level challenges and advice. A review of the offerings from these three international bodies uncovers an absence of commonly enunciated strategic principles of SSR. However, once analysed collectively, three reasonably distinct thematic areas could be identified under the headings: accountable; suitable; and sustainable. Interestingly, these fit well both with DCAFs three overall objectives, as well of course as with Len Le
144 A. Fitz-Gerald et al. Roux’s ‘appropriate, adequate, accountable and affordable’. The result can be seen in Table 8.1 below. Using these synthesised strategic principles, it is possible to produce a simple, broad-based framework for the evaluation of any given SSR programme (see Table 8.1 below). What all of this implies is that if, as has been argued, the direction that the peace dividend concept is taking reflects the evolved debate on peacebuilding, which has clear linkages to SSR, then emphasis should be given to the bottomup approach which provides the foundation and assumptions for SSR in different countries. The next section will review the literature on SSR and African militaries, which suggests that existing operational guidance may not fully appreciate the foundational aspects of different national security sectors. Consequently, in the context of evaluating the extent that peace dividends have been realised through SSR programmes, the strategic framework outlined below may prove useful. Table 8.1 Accountable, suitable, sustainable Accountable
• Objectives must be based • A clearly defined, long• All actors must be term strategy and plan, on democratic norms and partners in the which provides for internationally accepted undertaking, with the sufficient resources and human rights principles local population having capacity, must be put in and on the rule of law. trust in the integrity and place from the start. They should seek to motive of both local • All outcomes must be contribute to an leaders and international sustainable and affordable, environment characterised donors. including provision for by freedom from fear. • The security system building local skills and • The objectives must be should be managed capacity in the future. They developed jointly with according to the same must be effective in partner governments and principles of efficiently providing the civil society and based on accountability and identified and agreed an assessment of the transparency that apply security needs. security needs of the across the public sector, • An integrated and multipeople and the state. in particular through sectoral approach important Delivery plans must be greater civil oversight of to ensure that any flexible and tailored to the security processes. individual project local context. • Well-understood undertaken fits into and monitoring and evaluation • Broad consultation must interacts with the wider take place among donor processes must be put in security and justice system. government departments place from the start to SSR practitioners must as well as close track SSR progress and to retain a holistic vision of co-ordination with other make amendments to security and justice donor governments, plans as necessary. development. international organisations and a wide range of local actors in order to ensure that the various stakeholders’ objectives do not conflict.
African militaries, security sector reform 145
SSR and African militaries The SSR norms and frameworks notwithstanding, it could be argued that SSR as a concept is still fraught with tensions and contradictions, and has not been hugely successful in Africa. A large element of this failing has been blamed on the tight linkages that SSR maintains with the liberal peace project, which is informed by Anglo-American and Westphalian tenets of statebuilding. Whereas Jackson (2011) acknowledges that the statebuilding experience more generally has not been a happy one, there is broad agreement that conventional statebuilding tenets differ with the politics of the countries, the multiple way in which the social order of governance is produced, and the ‘stateless’ agenda of the very stakeholders which SSR efforts seek to assist (Abrahamsen, 2016). This is further complicated with the focus of the SSR literature being driven primarily by the post-conflict agenda. In most African states, the state formation trajectory is radically different (Egnell and Haldén, 2009) with SSR being informed by the criteria for ‘fragile states’ (according to how a Western state functions) and not taking into account the multiple ways in which social and political order of governance is actually produced (Abrahamsen, 2016). As the emphasis of most SSR programmes in Africa has been, and continues to be, geared towards defence reform, it seems logical to examine the issue of the African SSR experience through the realities of African militaries. In this context, appreciation must be given to the fact that most African militaries were not African to begin with but rather inherited the military posture and doctrinal ways of their colonial masters (Fitz-Gerald, 2016). In addition, due to the dominance of colonial militaries, most African militaries in former British colonies emerged from the police forces, where the colonial police reflected an ‘armed police’ model similar to the Royal Irish Constabulary force model in pre- independent Ireland; in former French colonies, the post-colonial armies included the French model of police paramilitaries along the same lines as the Gendarmerie Nationale, and in non-colonised countries, the police and military tended to be indistinguishable (ibid.). Little wonder that, as Jakkie Cilliers argues, ‘you could say that Africa doesn’t need militaries, just gendarmeries – but we’ve got into this pattern in which the army is called in automatically because no one trusts the police’ (Wrong, 2014). The above argument underscores the fact that the way in which African armies were raised goes against the assumptions of what constitutes a functional security sector in some African countries and the way in which the ‘security sector’ is defined and referred to. Added to this dilemma are the realities of civil military relations in Africa which, in African countries emerging from conflict and fragility, provide a different type of case study based on the way in which weak political parties were dominated by well-resourced and relatively respected armed forces. A number of African scholars have acknowledged the suspect nature of the militaries’ allegiance to civil authority and the role that African militaries play in the countries’ politics, creating a real tension between professionalism and partisanship.4 (Ngoma, 2010; Ebo, 2005). Whilst Ngoma (2010)
146 A. Fitz-Gerald et al. states that, as socio-economic conditions improve across the continent, civil– military relations become more like those in the West, he also argues that the process is enhanced if African militaries have civic education programmes at all levels of education and training as respect for civil supremacy derived from civic education (ibid.: 105). Despite the fact that the SSR framework has progressed from its initial dismissal of non-state actors and has adopted a multi-layered approach (Abrahamsen, 2016), the dominance of the counter-terrorism agenda in African countries, and the focus on capacity-building through ‘train and equip’ support (Fitz- Gerald, 2012) provides little pressure or incentive to strengthen accountability, oversight or respect for human rights (Abrahamsen, 2016). There is also a large swell of opinion that, irrespective of what exists in the form of SSR guidance, the concept continues to be used as a cover for other donor agendas as well as the pursuit of contestable foreign and security policy objectives (Ball, 2010; Egnell and Halden, 2009; Knight, 2009). Others suggest that SSR models are too rigid in the field (Sedra, 2010) and that the guidance should address the strategic agenda (Green and Rynn, 2008). Whilst more recent SSR guidance calls for national security policies and strategies to inform broader SSR priorities, it is often the case that the only existing strategic security policy frameworks reflect donor priorities and the foreign policy objectives of external actors. The development of Kenya’s US-funded counter-terrorism strategy and Tunisia’s Food Security Strategy, in the absence of either a national security policy or strategy, underscores this issue. However, it should also be noted that national security strategies and policies which become developed in haste for post-conflict states – normally by international consultants who become guided by Western security strategy frameworks – often lack local ownership and longevity. More ‘homegrown’ efforts, such as the South African Defence Strategy, and the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy (FANSPS) – both of which were driven, developed and implemented by local actors – have greater impact and staying power. Although African militaries are gaining credibility and legitimacy from their leadership and support of peacekeeping missions (Firsing, 2014), it could be argued that the push towards the more stabilisation-based peacekeeping across the continent (i.e. the experience of African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)) only makes the continent’s armies stronger – and, whilst providing them with international legitimacy, the legitimacy amongst their respective nations’ peoples appears, in some areas, to be flagging. Whether or not this collective outcome of peacekeeping leadership and improved technical capacity represents an SSR- derived peace dividend remains in question. The final section of this chapter looks at the defence reform efforts in Ethiopia, which form part of the larger SSR agenda pursued by the government of Ethiopia (GoE). This case study is particularly interesting for a number of reasons. First, Ethiopia represents one of the only non-colonised African countries and thus has preserved its socialist and post-Leninist political culture
African militaries, security sector reform 147 without having had much Western influence. Second, Ethiopia does not represent a typical ‘post-conflict’ country emerging from fragility and, although this is only a cursory look at such efforts, should provide a small, but significant, starting contribution to post-conflict-based SSR literature. Third, despite wide- reaching defence reform efforts, and the troubled neighbourhood in which the country sits, the GoE has maintained relative peace and security throughout the country over the past 15 years. Last, Ethiopia’s SSR agenda was not driven by external actors, but based on a more ‘homegrown’ experiment. Following a background overview of security sector developments in the country over the past 15–20 years, the three general principles of accountability, suitability and sustainability derived in the last section of this chapter will be applied to the Ethiopian defence reform experience to date.
Evaluating Ethiopian defence reforms in the context of wider SSR Ethiopia required SSR based both on its past history of violence and control, and its need for modern-day institution-building according to a newly-declared federal system of governance. Since the reign of Minilik II, and even through the era of Emperor Haile Selassie (1930–1974), Ethiopia had relied on a strong military to ward off successive attempts at colonisation. Under Haile Selassie’s leadership, conflicts with neighbours over bordering and disputed territory (e.g. the Ogaden and Eritrean regions) gave prominence to the military’s role in supporting internal security. Resistance to colonisation also meant that the systems and institutions of the colonial masters across the rest of Africa had little to no influence on the way Ethiopia developed its society and methods of governance. This left the country in a position to develop its own national approaches to military security during both dynastical periods. The ‘Derg’ regime that deposed Haile Selassie arguably gained its strength from the resources and influence afforded to it under the Emperor, but subsequently pursued a 17-year regime characterised by oppression and terror. The military strength that had been preserved under these successive regimes also emerged by way of a national effort to manufacture weapons and armaments. By the time the TPLF ’s revolutionary army overthrew the Derg in 1991, and developed a coalition-based government under the Ethiopian Peoples’ Republic Democratic Front (EPRDF ), the notion of a ‘national military’ was not something that many Ethiopians viewed in a positive light. A more contemporary approach to both SSR and defence reform in Ethiopia emerged around the turn of the millennium. Whilst this period was already 10 years into the EPRDF ’s leadership, the authors argue that the first 10 to 15 years of the newly developed Ethiopian National Defence Force’s (ENDF ) post-Derg experience was almost wholly focused on the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of 15 armed militia groups that either supplemented or opposed the TPLF ’s efforts to victory and, to a much lesser extent, the war with Eritrea. This left an already under-resourced new armed force with little capacity to support broader institutional development.
148 A. Fitz-Gerald et al. A discussion emerged in 1997–1998 during a time when Ethiopia’s inter and intra state security issues and threats were recognised as complex and dynamic, and which had implications for the peace and stability of the state. The fragility of Somalia, the instability generated by a number of extremist movements and terrorist organisations operating in the region, the uncertain and unstable governance system in Eritrea, its border conflict with Ethiopia, election-related violence and other security threats raised the importance of reform in the government of Ethiopia’s national security organisations. These reforms included the creation of a National Security Advisor, a National Security Council, and the 2002 production of a national security White Paper (the ‘Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy’ (FANSPS)). Until the production of the FANSPS, Ethiopia had no experience of any integrated national security policy or mechanism. Whilst the document appeared to be slightly over-ambitious in terms of conflating foreign affairs and national security – and further conflating the concepts of policy and strategy – it benefitted from consultation with select members of the academic community and civil society and became a guiding document to support the evolving security architecture. It should be noted that, based on the analysis supporting the need to tackle poverty reduction, the conflation of national security and foreign affairs issues sought to make the country’s diplomatic missions abroad work in support of foreign domestic investment (ibid.). At the strategic level, this approach addressed the important relationship between security and development and, unlike the experience of most African countries, provided a sound basis for subsequent development strategy and policy papers. In addition to a mandate supporting poverty reduction, Ethiopia’s FANSPS also presented democratisation and good governance as key national goals (Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, 2002). These three strategic goals were reflected in the country’s 2006 ‘Plan for Accelerated and Sustainable Development and Growth’ (PASDEP),5 as well as its successor documents entitled ‘Growth and Transformation Plan’ (GTP I – 2010–2015), and ‘GTP II’ (2015–2019). Whilst this suggests good strategic alignment and interdependent support to both national security and development, it also underscores that FANSPS is in need of similar updating efforts as the PASDEP/GTP I/GTP II experience since its initial 2002 publication. The White Paper called for a focus on human resources (rather than material resources) in the development of the armed forces and also sought to relate defence capability requirements to the national economy (Van Veen, 2016: 35). In the years that followed, a commitment was made to the development of knowledge and skillsets across all levels of the armed forces. This was reflected in the creation of the ‘National Defence University’ concept introduced in 2010 (Gebrehiwot, 2016) and with the country’s efforts to avail of donor funding for the purposes of training and education. The emphasis on the military’s role in the development of the national economy further bolstered the capacity of the Ethiopian Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), a parastatal conglomerate which was run by the military.
African militaries, security sector reform 149 The emphasis on human resource development also led to a focus on new structures, systems and procedures thereby giving way to more comprehensive institutional reform. The structural changes to the ENDF also led to the appointment of a civilian minister, and a Defence Transformation Unit. Although Ethiopia has not produced a formal defence policy or strategy, it became one of very few countries on the African continent to develop a defence doctrine based on its combat experience (largely counter-insurgency) to date. This doctrine development exercise was based on numerous discussions and considered debate on the country’s experience and the implications for the current environmental trends impacting on defence.6 Similar to a defence policy, it provided the context for the future vision of the defence forces and, based on its past experience, the resources it required to meet environmental challenges. Other systems development came by way of programmes such as the creation of results-oriented management systems and business process re-engineering which supported increased professional competence and capabilities. One could argue that the thrust of Western support for defence reform has supported the ENDF ’s priority of professionalisation through education and training. Between 2004 and 2009, whilst this provision took the form of many short courses and training delivered by external experts, the ENDF also remained determined to professionalise through award-bearing postgraduate education (Fitz-Gerald and MacPhee, 2014). Its rationale supporting this direction was that the institution would benefit from comparative views, approaches and models from across the globe and, second, that this effort could support capacity- development of the country’s existing universities, particularly those which formed the newly-developed National Defence University.7 Defence leaders also prioritised the development of English Language skills, which not only became a mechanism enhancing regional and continental interoperability, but also for the selection of officers on a range of foreign staff college and UN peacekeeping opportunities. This support has been given, particularly through UK and US government funding, since 2003–2004 and still continues today. It could therefore be said that the defence reforms that were given priority by way of objectives outlined in the FANSPS had a positive impact on development. The emphasis on the new ‘Peoples’ Armed Forces’, the significant downsizing of the military, professionalisation through education and skills development and military support to economic development through METEC all contributed to many of the development-related goals laid out in both the FANSPS and PADEP documents. However, where the outcome of defence reforms has undergone further scrutiny is in evaluating the extent to which it has supported the country’s democratisation agenda. In this context, the four areas which continue to fall under the microscope of international media and human rights organisations relate to accountability and oversight of the armed forces, the division of roles and responsibilities between the military and the police, corruption and the role of the military in politics. Whereas the ENDF has now developed internal accountability systems, and a six-point framework on which it reports quarterly, and on which its performance
150 A. Fitz-Gerald et al. is evaluated regularly by the Parliamentary defence and security committee, there are still some concerns over its lack of transparency surrounding appointments (Van Veen, 2016). However, if one takes the view that career progression in the armed forces should be based on professional experience, then criticism lodged towards the ENDF concerning its Tigrayan ‘top-heavy’ cadre of senior leaders, should also be carefully judged. Whilst interviews supporting this research indicated that the current composition of the ENDF accounts for only approximately 15 per cent Tigrayans, it seems reasonable to accept that many of these individuals still occupy the top ranks based on the length of their careers and the depth of their experience. The government has also initiated a number of early retirement programmes which have led to senior Tigrayan officers of the rank of Brigadier and above leaving the service early and thus further reducing ethnic dominance at the top. Efforts to shape diversity in the security forces are also supported by a ‘bottom-up’ strategy where the ENDF engages at the village level in all regions in order to involve the people in its ongoing recruitment efforts. The thrust here is to encourage newcomers to the army to be supported by the people, nations and nationalities they represent, and to be seen as good ‘ambassadors’ for the village in the years to come.8 Whilst this may not reflect the approach used to support recruitment in a Western context, it acknowledges the ethnic, tribal and extended family obligations and degree of community loyalty that is in keeping with the East African culture. Whilst it is difficult to ascertain the extent to which this ‘bottom-up’ approach to recruitment and force development is achieving success, reports of the defence and security parliamentary committee reflect an upward trend in the evaluation of ‘the peoples’ view towards the ENDF. Moreover, based on written inquiries submitted by members of the public visiting displays and exhibits set up by the army during ‘Armed Forces Day’, the nature of the inquiries suggest that university graduates are becoming more interested in joining the army – an institution which was not perceived in the past as a career for graduates.9 Therefore, in terms of realising a peace dividend, efforts to professionalise and restructure the armed forces may now be providing the basis for meaningful careers, something which is a tangible benefit and which assists development. Responses from the security forces to recent protests and demonstrations in different parts of Oromia and Amhara suggest that a top-heavy approach is still being taken by security forces to quell opposition and dissent (Guardian, 2016). This questions the extent to which commitments made in the constitution to demonstrate peacefully and to enable popular voices are genuine. The call out to federal forces to overstep the regional authorities does not offer good optics, albeit that it reflects a national reality relating to the variability and lack of experience of regional forces to manage such protests and demonstrations. As one interviewee for this research stated, ‘if the regional security forces of Oromia were left to manage the situation [rather than the military], the post- demonstration situation would have been much worse’ (Interview, April 2016). With both international and national media referring generally to the behaviour
African militaries, security sector reform 151 of ‘the security forces’, it is difficult to ascertain how this behaviour breaks down into the activities of the regional police, federal policy, military, and other special units. These ongoing generalisations, the lack of evidence supporting the generalisations, and the current polarised positions of political groups risk leading to certain perceptions about the military. The outcome also makes for a difficult set of dynamics to be reconciled and something that only more pluralistic, regular and inclusive debate and discussion on security policy could address. The role of the military in politics relates to the party affiliation senior members of the armed forces maintain with the EPRDF. Whereas the more general issue of political affiliations within the armed forces was raised in earlier sections of the chapter, one could argue that, in the case of Ethiopia, party affiliations across senior and mid-level leaders come primarily from the TPLF roots of liberation struggle against the Derg. Described by Gebrehiwet (2016) as a ‘politico-military form of hybrid leadership’, one could argue that the existing, and perhaps languishing, partisan nature of the military is a product of recent history and incidence, and something that, with greater representation across the armed forces, will be further dissolved with time. Feedback from a number of interviewees, including former senior officers themselves, suggested that, whilst its historical roots and role remains unquestioned and embedded in the country’s political culture, there is a widespread view that the dominant influence of the TPLF has already reduced, and will diminish further in the short to medium term. In addition to constant and more diversified recruitment into the armed forces, this will, no doubt, impact on the number of soldiers with continued party affiliation. The role which the military plays in support of economic development has also placed question marks over possible links between the security forces and corruption. Although evidence suggests that corruption amongst the Ethiopian security forces is ‘petty’ in nature, and tends to involve the police more than the military, it is the role of the military in large parastatal companies like METEC which leads to questions being asked about the privileged access that senior members of the armed forces have to economic benefits. Arguably, the model of the military being involved in economic development is one that has been used in other emerging Middle East and Eastern economies and is not new. However, METEC’s production of defence-related armaments, as well as a wide range of manufactured products for civilian use, lead to questions concerning the full transparency of defence spending, as well as the degree to which the security forces benefit financially from this affiliation. Interviews with the Ethiopian government’s Ministry of Defence acknowledge the important role played by METEC not only during the EPRDF era, but even in its previous incarnation in support of the Derg regime, during which time the government aspired to be self-sufficient in their production of small-scale armaments. The company now also plays a key role in the mentoring and development of both local companies and foreign direct investors wishing to start businesses in Ethiopia. Defence officials also commented on the way in which the company has now become civilian-led and run, albeit with senior military leaders supporting the company in unpaid advisory roles.10
152 A. Fitz-Gerald et al. Irrespective of these positive contributions, a view still exists in some parts of the population which regards the senior cadre of military officials as having favourable access to the economic fruits of its development efforts. One could argue that, in a Western context, inevitable economic benefits accrue to those who have held senior posts in government. However, when this phenomenon becomes superimposed onto the existing economic culture of parastatal leadership, as well as a dominant ethnic-based group whose senior positions represent a longer-term outcome of a liberation struggle, both the situation – and the lingering perceptions – become inevitable. The final area of concern under the theme of accountability is the limited public debate and discussion on security, justice and human rights, the result of which leads to questions surrounding the transparency of security policy. This issue is undoubtedly linked to the 2001 Proclamation which prevented the development of civil society organisations in the areas of human rights, security and justice and the imprisonment of reporters and bloggers over more recent years (ICG, 2015). Two developments that relate to the limited debate on security, justice and human rights are worth noting. The first is that, as is the case for most developing countries and emerging economies, the Ethiopian government only adopted aspects of the long-practised ‘joined-up’ or ‘comprehensive’ government approaches to security after 2012–2013. Prior to this, and with the exception of the relatively recently established National Security Council, very few cross- government mechanisms existed. A ‘justice cluster’, which brought together the justice-related security actors, was only developed in 2013. Second, in 2015, the government made efforts to respond to calls for more transparency and public debate by introducing the ‘Peoples’ Forum’, which involves senior government panels consulting with leading sectoral-based actors (e.g. transportation, health) on a quarterly basis and seeks to ensure that policy and legislative developments evolve in a way which considers the views of the experts and opinion formers. However, these positive developments notwithstanding, the more sensitive issues such as national security have yet to go fully public in debate. In parallel to these developments and ongoing observations, Ethiopia’s regional and international influence continues to strengthen. In addition to its role as lead troop-contributing nation for UN peacekeeping missions, Ethiopia also currently holds the chair position for the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and will become a member of the UN Security Council in 2016 for a two-year term. Following the 2015 report by the UN High Level Panel on Peacekeeping Operations (HIPPO), the international peacekeeping role that Ethiopia now leads on will take on additional significance in the proposed new era of strategic partnership between the UN and AU. The growth in the contribution of some African countries to international peacekeeping missions, and the military ‘build-up’ this will bring, will just need to be carefully balanced with appropriate national military requirements, as well as the unilateral roles that the Ethiopian armed forces have pursued in support of their own national security interests the region, including training support to the Somali Defence Forces (Albrecht and Haenlein, 2016).
African militaries, security sector reform 153
Has a ‘peace dividend’ been achieved in Ethiopia? In applying the suitability-sustainability-accountability framework from Table 8.1, the data on Ethiopia summarised above indicates that elements of an SSR- generated peace dividend have been, and are being, achieved. The ‘immediate’ gains include the relatively successful disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of 400,000 former fighters which followed the overthrow of the Derg, as well as the further downsizing of the army following the 1998 war with Eritrea. There are also elements of the defence reforms which reflect the ‘bottom-up’ peacebuilding approach to SSR including the engagement at the village level for recruitment purposes, and the role played by the military in support of regional economic development including transportation infrastructure. In terms of ‘suitability’ one could argue that objectives enshrined in the country’s FANSPS and development plans are based on democratic norms, and internationally accepted human rights principles and on the rule of law. On paper, these commitments are all outlined in the country’s 2001 Constitution. However, whereas the GoE’s capacity is arguably often taken to its limits due to high levels of donor engagement and the need for accountability supporting donor- funded programmes, this consultation could be both eased and broadened through enabling a wider local debate on security-related themes. The analysis suggests a good level of performance supporting ‘sustainability’. Defence reforms have been shaped by strategic thinking embodied in the FANSPS, as well as a series of progressive development strategies. Other contributions include the development of regional commands, regional peace and security structures and locally-owned national doctrine. Priority reform programmes have addressed structural, systemic and professionalisation priorities. Cross-government interactions are also contributing to ‘suitability’. Other developments include efforts to achieve better representation across the armed forces and a merit-based system of promotion, the latter of which is further supported by an increasing leadership role in international peacekeeping. The development of the regional commands and locally-owned national defence doctrine also represent important developments in this area. Additionally, the creation of regional peace and security architectures support the constitutional rights given to the regions of the federal system. Arguably the greatest challenge for the GoE is in meeting the expectations of international accountability norms which shape criteria for successful SSR, and the concepts of democratisation and development which underpin this. At the strategic level, policy commitments to both concepts have been made and supported by rigorous workplans. However, at the moment, the perceptions concerning the military’s contribution to the democratisation agenda risk undermining the impressive gains it has made to the development agenda. Issues concerning representation across the forces, party affiliations of military officers, and the role that the military has played in business activities continues to attract media and scholarly attention. These issues subsequently become linked with ‘accountability’ which still serves as a key principle of SSR and broader democratisation objectives.
154 A. Fitz-Gerald et al. Whilst not existing in the form of a sophisticated, Western-based accountability or ‘results’ framework, efforts to develop an accountability system to support the ENDF should be viewed as positive. However, without broader public consultation and civil society discussions on defence and security issues, both the public, and the government itself, will be deprived of the information all stakeholders require to support ongoing defence reforms, as well as the progressive impact that these defence reforms have had thus far. In this context, and based on the uniqueness of the Ethiopian experience, progress could be made to support a more public debate on security and defence- related issues. More effective strategic communications around these issues would also address the gap in perceptions and be considered a priority for the future. A timely, and much needed, opportunity to refresh the country’s FANSPS document could provide the basis for this public debate. The case study of Ethiopia also reminds SSR policy makers and practitioners of the differences across the world in terms of how national security sectors are structured, how the sector developed historically, and how elements of the sector interact. As long as significant differences in these areas exist across the globe, taking a more ‘strategic’ approach to both the diagnostics and prescriptions of SSR can prove useful in enabling more progressive programmes according to the existing baselines. Moreover, and based on the existing linkages between peacebuilding and SSR, the strategic framework proposed in this chapter may also provide greater insights into the extent to which peace dividends have been realised. In this context, examining the post-1998 defence reform experience in Ethiopia uncovers some significant and tangible outputs supporting a peace dividend which were achieved as a result of a ‘homegrown’ approach taken towards strategic national security considerations. This differs from the experience of many other conflict-affected countries where both the strategic and programmatic aspects of SSR have been led by external stakeholders. The experience in Ethiopia, and the arguments presented in this chapter, expose a national approach to strategic SSR and defence priorities for which donor funding supported its activities. Whilst this approach contributed significantly to a peace dividend by enhancing the ‘suitability’ and ‘sustainability’ of SSR, further efforts to support accountability, transparency and dialogue on security issues could further strengthen all three pillars of the framework.
Notes 1 See the 1971 UN Sec Gen report on the economic and social consequences of the arms race and the 1987 International Conference on Disarmament and Development. 2 Vignard, 2003, states that the failure to divert military expenditure to development objectives ‘has been attributed variously to a lack of political will, tax cuts, the high costs of conversion, deficit reduction, and emphasis on other aspects of government expenditure’ (Vignard, 2003: 7). 3 Defined by the UNDP, human security means ‘safety from such chronic threats as hunger, disease and repression and protection from sudden and hurtful disruptions in the patterns of daily life – whether in homes, in jobs or in communities’ (UNDP, 1994: 23).
African militaries, security sector reform 155 4 A number of African scholars have written about the tension between professionalism and partisanship. For example, see Naison Ngoma (2010), ‘Civil–Military Relations in Africa: Navigating Unchartered Waters’, African Security Review, 15: 4, 98–111; A. Ebo (2005) Towards a Code of Conduct for Armed Security Forces in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges, policy paper, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF ), Geneva; 5 ‘PASDEP’ became the government of Ethiopia’s label for its internationally-funded Poverty Reduction Strategy programme. 6 Based on discussions with the former EMOND Director of Training, 6 February, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 7 The Defence University Colleges included accredited institutions specialised in areas such as engineering, logistics, management, and medicine. 8 Based on interviews with senior EMOND officials, 12 November 2015, Addis Ababa. 9 Ibid. 10 Based on interviews with the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defence, 9 February 2016.
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9 Egypt The military in war, peace and democratic development Joseph Lansana Kormoh
Introduction This chapter explores the relationship between the military in Egypt and their contribution to peace and democratic development especially after the 2011 Arab uprisings. The chapter briefly traces the development of the Egyptian military in a historical perspective from the days of the Pharaohs down through the ages to the rise of military generals like Mohamed Ali, Khedive Ismael, Abass and Said up to the emergence of Nasser and Sadat leading to the eventual rise of Hosni Mubarak and the outbreak of the revolution in 2011. There are many instances in Africa where the military have been viewed by the people as the last option to deliver them from the tyranny of powerful dictators and they perceive the military as the only viable option for restoration of democratic governance. However, I argue that the coup that brought General Abdel Fatal Assisi to the presidency has again emerged in the post-Mubarak period as powerful actors in politics and in control of the political economy of the state.
Brief historical background of the military in Egypt The origins of the military in Egypt could be traced as far back as 1552, during the period of what was then called as the New Kingdom. During this period, a standing military was formed and an infantry organized. The infantry was then organized into companies of about 250 men. Metz, (ed., 1990) has posited that, “Egyptian armies then became militarily involved in the Near East, contending for Syria and Palestine.” By the later periods beginning in the seventh century b.c., foreign mercenaries formed the core of Egyptian military power (Metz, 1990). It is important to point out that from the time “Greek rule was established in 332 b.c. until a.d. 1952, the country was subject to foreign domination. Under the successive control of Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Turkish, French, and British forces, the Egyptians remained disdainful of the military” (Metz, 1990). As also pointed out by Metz, the military was not a place for honourable people. To quote Metz again, in “1951 a prominent Egyptian author described military service as an object of ridicule, a laughing stock which is to be avoided
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 159 whenever possible.” He added that the military was “left for the poor and uneducated” and called it “a derisory profession commanding contempt rather than honour or pride” (Metz, 1990). The Egyptian military went through several metamorphoses from the period of Mohamed Ali an Albanian soldier through to his successors Khedive Ismail, Tawfiq, down through the ages up to the period of Abdel Gamel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and eventually to Hosni Mubarak who was ousted in an uprising in 2011. The military in Egypt, form the single most powerful in the autocratic state which has dominated the history and politics of the country from the military coup staged by the Free officers, which was led by Muhammad Naguib and Abdel Gamal Nasser that toppled the monarch King Farouk in 1952, to the revolution of 2011. Since then all the presidents of Egypt have been military men; which further explains why the military still continue to wield so much power even after the revolution and the introduction of democratic governance. The ousting of Mubarak and the eventual developments that took place are very crucial here to our understanding of the current debates around the role of the military in the development of democracy, peace and development in Egypt.
The military in Egypt: structure and composition In Egypt, the military is the foundation or bedrock of the modern state since it overthrew the monarchy in 1952. Thereupon the state of Egypt had been tightly glued to the military although with varying degrees of military administrations from Nasser to Sadat and eventually the military economic “empire builder” Hosni Mubarak. All four of the country’s leaders since then – Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak and Mohammed Hussein Tantawi – have been army or air force officers, and the armed forces play a major role in the Egyptian economy (CNN Wire Staff, February 2011). The Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF ) is the largest Army in the whole of Africa and the Middle East. “In 2014, they were ranked the 13th most powerful in the whole world” (The Middle East Monitor, 2014: 2). The Egyptian military is divided into three main branches or divisions. These include the army (the regular infantry staff ), the navy, and the air force. Egypt’s army, navy, air force and air defense force have a combined strength of about 450,000. The army, with about 320,000 troops, represents more than two-thirds of that figure, according to an estimate by the Federation of American Scientists (CNN, 15 February 2011). It is also important to point out that in Egypt, military service is compulsory; and all men who are between the ages of 18 and 30 must serve at least 12 to 36 months in the military and must be in the reserves for at least nine years. Under Nasser’s rule in the 1950s and 1960s, Egypt had close ties with the Soviet bloc and its military relied largely on Soviet arms. Sadat expelled Soviet military advisers in 1972. After the 1978 Camp David Accords, Egypt’s military became the second-largest recipient of US military aid, after Israel. Washington
160 J.L. Kormoh agreed to a $13 billion, 10-year aid package to Cairo in 2007 (CNN, February, 2011). Many of the older officers in the military were trained in the Soviet Union including Hosni Mubarak himself. The Egyptian Navy It is stated that the Egyptian Navy is a two-sea force, whose role is said to have changed from facing Israel and Libya in the Mediterranean and Gulf of Suez to a wider role in the Red Sea (www.ihs.com, 2014). It is estimated that the Egyptian navy personnel is about 18,500, which includes a total number of coast guards and 10,000 conscripts and 14,000 reserves. Alexandria (Headquarters: Mediterranean), Port Said, Mersa Matru, Abu Qir and Suez. Safaqa and Hurghada (Headquarters: Red Sea) on the Red Sea and the Naval Academy is in Abu Qir (ihs.com, 2014). It must be remembered that as at 2014, Egypt was also considering the acquisition of two German Navy Type 206A class SSK submarines. However, there is no hard evidence that the Egyptian Submarine fleet is capable of operating swimmers (emergency rescue and response staff ): indeed, the four submarines have not been reported at sea for some time (www.ihs, 2014). It is also reported that the “Egyptian Navy has a potent fleet of fast attack craft, many fitted with missile systems. These and the navy-manned vessels of the coast guard would be deployed in support of amphibious landings” (www. ihs, 2014). With all these, Egypt is taking more serious measures to improve the navy: As part of its inculcation of western technology, the navy holds joint manoeuvres with units of the American, French, British, and Italian navies. Egypt focussed on upgrading the Egyptian fleet of eight submarines acquired from China. Egypt is modernizing four Chinese-built Romeo class submarines with improved weapon systems including harpoon missiles, fire control systems and sonars. (Global Security.org, 2016) The air force In every country, the air force plays a very dominant role in the defense of the people. They are mostly used for air defense and where necessary, they serve as an army support operations branch. It may perform useful functions such as personnel carrier and may be used for “search and rescue operations.” The Egyptian air force otherwise known as the Al Quwwat al Jawwiya il Misriya, has approximately 30,000 personnel including 10,000 conscripts with over 20,000 reserve personnel (Global Security.org, 12 September 2016). The headquarters of the Egyptian air force is in Cairo and it is responsible for all airborne operations including even those that are used to support the Egyptian army and the navy. The Air Defense Command, created as a separate command
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 161 in the 1970s, coordinates with the air force to integrate air and ground-based air operations (Global Security.org, 2016). It is a fact that superior air power always puts a country above the others and this is one reason why Egyptian superiority over the others in the Arab world is quite visible: Egypt has the largest air force in the Arab world, with over 550 airplanes, more than half of which are of western origin. Unlike the U.S military where all services fly aircraft, in Egypt, only the Egyptian Air Force (EAF ) flies aircraft. Not only does the EAF operate U.S aircraft, but also French, Czechoslovak, Russian, Chinese, and Egyptian aircraft. Some items of U.S equipment, SH-31 and CH-47,2 were manufactured under license in England and Italy. The U.S supports only a portion of the total EAF inventory. (Global Security.org, 2016) Table 9.1 GFP power index rating of 0.3056 (0.0000 being perfect)/Egypt ranked 12 of 126 Manpower
Total population: 88,487,396 Available manpower: 42,000,000 Fit for service: 35,306,000 Reaching military age annually: 1,535,000 Active frontline personnel: 470,000 Active reserve personnel: 800,000
Tanks: 4,624 Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs): 13,949 Self-Propelled Guns (SPGs): 889 Towed-artillery: 2,360 Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs): 1,481
Total aircraft: 1,133 Fighters/interceptors: 336 Fixed-wing attack aircraft: 427 Transport aircraft: 260 Trainer aircraft: 387 Helicopters: 255 Attack helicopters: 46
Total naval strength: 319 Aircraft Carriers: 0 Frigates: 11 Destroyers: 0 Corvettes: 2 Submarines: 8 Coastal defence: 174 Mine warfare: 23
Source: CIA.gov. 2006–2017 Available at www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strengthdetail.asp?country_id=egypt. Note The table is adopted and not created by the author. The source is listed above.
162 J.L. Kormoh
The military involvement in coups and the overthrow of constitutional rule in Egypt The Egyptian military has had a long standing impact on the lives and politics of the people of Egypt. In fact, it must be pointed out that a large chunk of the political history of Egypt has been dominated by the military in one form or another. On the one hand, it has had military adventurers like Napoleon Bonaparte attacking and occupying Egypt in 1798 and other successive occupations by Britain in 1882. In-between these two European invasions was a litany of military rulers ranging from Mohamed Ali, the Albanian soldier, and other military personnel like Abass and Said and later Khedive Ismail. As much one of the major concerns in the debates about the emerging role of the military as having gained unprecedented powers in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings, a chronological assessment of the role of the military in the politics of “modern” Egyptian history is expedient at this juncture. In 1952, the military under Gamel Nasser, took over power from the monarchy and became the first military leader of Egypt in the twentieth century. To be able to fully grasp the significance of his era to the history and politics of Egypt, I focus on his rise, his military background and his policies whilst in power; especially his policy of Arab Nationalism as a political ideology. Some effort will be made to situate his political ideology within the context of his wider foreign policy direction. Abdel Gamel Nasser is one of the most important leaders in Egyptian history and to the Arab world at large. Cleveland and Bunton, (2013: 280) argue that: During the period from 1952 to 1967, Gamal Abd al-Nasser was the embodiment of what the Arab world wanted to be: assertive, independent, and engaged in the construction of a new society freed of the imperial past and oriented toward a bright Arab future. His initiatives were copied in other Arab states, and so dominant was his stature and such tens as Nasserism and Nasserites became common political currency. The emergence of Nasser on the political scene of Egypt must be viewed from the point of view of an analysis of the domestic political situation in the country and the general psyche of the people in the 1940s and 1950s. The people at the time had become weary of foreign domination and were thus keen to throwaway that yoke of foreign domination. An example of direct foreign control over Egypt came in 1942 when Britain forced the monarch to hand over power to his son King Faruk who was to share power with the Wafd party. The Wafd, historically quite critical of Britain and the King, were now in the government halls of power, and did little to address citizens’ grievances. Consequently, many Egyptians were quite upset with this, both that a popular democratic movement was willing to give up some of their ideals for political power, as well as the fact that heading into the 1950s, Britain was still in control of the politics and policies of the Egyptian state. Add this to the fact that there were stark economic
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 163 differences between economic classes. While they offered “independence” in name, they still had a great deal of influence in Egypt, and continued to control the Suez Canal (http://internationalrelations.org). Quite aside of external influence, there were serious internal problems which set the scene and context for frustration and resentment of the ordinary people. Cleveland and Bunton (2013: 281) observe that, “by 1952 about 0.4 percent of Egyptian landowners possessed 35 percent of the country’s cultivable land. At the other end of the scale, 94 percent of landowners possessed a mere 35 percent of the cultivable land.” Thus, the massive inequality in land distribution created growing wealth for the large landowners and led to the impoverishment of the small proprietors, who were forced, with greater and greater frequency, to sell their holdings to meet their debts. The landless peasants, who neither owned nor rented land but relied solely on their labour for income, faced even harsher conditions in the years after World War II. Making up more than half of the rural population, they saw their wages constantly depressed as their numbers decreased. (Cleveland and Bunton, 2013: 281) This was the state of affairs that set the scene and justification of the intervention of Nasser as a military person with the promise of making things right for the people. Thus, after taking power, Nasser and his Free Officers set up the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) which embarked on various programs especially the ending of British imperialism and control. He took the British and British allies out of authority; especially economic influence. In the domestic political sphere he claimed, like all military leaders Africa has seen, to embark on some democratic reforms which as in many cases with the military, only ended up with changes that were merely cosmetic. As part of his democratic rhetoric, he not only exiled King Faruk, but also abolished the 1923 constitution which he thought held the previous regime together and even went ahead and prohibited the existence of political parties and any political associations other than the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). Nasser also had problems with the Muslim Brotherhood which still commands a large following; and as such, the Brotherhood was unhappy with Nasser because he did not believe in their ideals especially their move toward the Sharia-based system. Nasser was in a bit of a difficult position because he not only understood the power and influence that the Muslim Brotherhood wielded in Egypt, but there were many Free Officers who had closer ties to the Islamist organization (Cleveland and Bunton, 2013) But one of the major events that seriously strained the relationship between Nasser and the Brotherhood from Egyptian society was the accusation that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind an assassination attempt on Nasser in 1954. However, after the failed assassination plot in 1954, Gamel Abdel Nasser officially banned the Islamist organization, as well as killing six of the top figures in the Muslim
164 J.L. Kormoh Brotherhood (Cleveland and Bunton, 2013). Politically also, he tried to uproot any political organization including the Muslim Brotherhood in a bid to consolidate himself in power. In the 1956 Constitution, for example, the President was given special powers, powers that came at the expense of checks and balances; the legislature’s influence and power was weakened (Masoud, 2014: 454). In addition to the fact that the president wielded more powers in this constitutional arrangement, “in 1958 Nasser passed the so-called emergency laws, which restricted political freedoms – and it remained in more or less continuous application from 1967 to 2012” (Masoud, 2014: 454). Nasser hoped that these measures would permanently safeguard him in power.
The political economy of the Nasser era Nasser pledged six policy areas of intervention for his administration in Egypt. A political analysis of his regime and that of the political economy enhances our understanding of the role of the military under his rule. This is so because, it is only through the analysis of the political economy of these military leaders (Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak) that a clear understanding can be reached in terms of the subsequent developments that have taken place after the revolution and how the military has emerged once again as a formidable force in the control of the economy of Egypt. With the analysis of these military regimes in mind, some in-depth engagement with the political economy of each of these regimes is of serious intellectual interest. According to Collinson (2003: 3), the political economy approach should be able to “explain why the relative power and vulnerability of different groups changes over time, and explain how the fortunes and activities of one group in society affect others.” As an expression of the direction to take the country, the Nasser and his RCC made the following pledges to the people of Egypt. These were: • • • • • •
Ending imperialism and its agents End feudalism End monopoly and capitalistic control Establish a powerful army Establish social justice Establish sound democracy.
(Waterbury, 1983: 17)
It was at the height of decolonialization when there was the emergence of new independent states in Africa and when the many newly independent countries launched a program of Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) and massive expansion of the public sector. This was the era of massive industrialization thorough rapid public sector expansion (Nagarajan, 2013). It was clear that Nasser and the officers had no political base. Instead of allowing a system of competing political parties to develop, Nasser expanded his political base by
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 165 broadening the role of the state and brought in different groups into its umbrella (Nagarajan, 2013). Nagarajan also observes that, while retaining the private sector, Nasser launched a program of mass nationalization and expanded the role of the state in the economy (Nagarajan, 2013). Waterbury argues that, what Nasser envisaged was “a kind of humanitarian socialist order in which all the major means of production were owned or controlled by the state” (Waterbury, 1983: 17). Nasser started his nationalization of Egypt program with the introduction of land reforms that commenced in 1952. This was an attempt to deliver on the RCC promise of ending feudalism which characterized the economy of Egypt under the monarchy (Nagarajan, 2013). According to Osman, by the end of the 1940s, 5 percent of the population held 65 per cent of the assets. In agriculture, 3 percent of the population held 80 percent of cultivable land (Osman, 2010: 46). Nasser was determined to break this hold on economic power. Under the Agrarian Reform Law (Law 178) of 11 September 1952, individually-owned holdings were limited to 200 “feddans” (an area similar to an acre). The surplus lands were taken over by the government with fixed compensation paid to the landowners (Nagarajan, 2013). The lands were sold in small lots to individuals and those who had less than five feddans. These lands were gradually sold with generous payment schedules to individuals in small lots not exceeding five feddans. Those who owned less than five feddans became part of the newly established co-operatives. The co-operative farmers worked together to obtain farm supplies and transportation of their crop to the market (Nagarajan, 2013). But the drawback on this type of arrangement is that it may not satisfy all the co-operative farmers as some would have loved to have a greater share in the farm supplies. Externally, Nasser’s administration fell into some foreign policy problems which seriously undermined his modernization program especially the construction of the High Aswan Dam. At this time during the Nasser era, Egypt was under an arms embargo from the West, since Egypt was perceived as being at war with Israel. Although he tried to defy it by contracting to obtain weapons from Czechoslovakia, it proved to be a half success. “The ensuing diplomatic tussle involving Egypt, the World Bank and Washington led to the withdrawal of promised funding from Washington for the construction of the High Aswan Dam” (Nagarajan, 2013). The Aswan Dam project was one of the most important projects not only for the modernization of Egypt, but also the dam was needed to harness the water resources for agricultural development, land reclamation, generation of hydroelectric power and recreation. Waterbury has carefully studied and summarized the significant value of the dam thus: “The Aswan Dam symbolized rationality in resource management, national sovereignty and strength, and the leading role of the state in finding technocratic solutions to Egypt’s socio-economic problems. All are closely interlinked” (Waterbury, 1983: 64). The Nasser regime ran into many difficulties which led to the eventual collapse of the system. It was a serious case of rising consumption rate and the
166 J.L. Kormoh decline in domestic savings which in turn created a huge fiscal gap. As a measure to address the economic malaise he embarked on external borrowing. Nagarajan, (2013) observes that, On top of that, with poor export performance and unrelenting rise in imports, a severe balance of payment crisis also developed. As the country approached the end of the First Five Year Plan, it ran into more problems all across the economy. With padded payrolls and massive misallocation of resources and inefficiencies, the public sector delivered neither productivity gains nor surpluses. (Nagarajan, 2013) As a consequence of the balance of payment problems, the importation of raw materials was suspended. Thus, by 1965, it was becoming increasingly apparent that this system, based on public sector expansion and commitments to consumption subsidies, was not sustainable (Nagarajan, 2013). After Khrushchev, Soviet support and financial aid became unreliable. Egypt was forced to negotiate for credit with the IMF. As is the case with the Bretton Woods institutions, the IMF came up with its stabilization program which required Egypt to devalue the Egyptian pound by 40 percent, scale down investments and raise prices and taxes (Waterbury, 1983: 96). The devaluation requirement was considered not politically acceptable and the IMF program was put on hold. In another major blow, the US administration announced that it was shutting down the P.L. 480 wheat shipments. (The PL 480; means Public Law, no. 480; which was also known as “Food for Peace.” It is a US funding through which US food can be used for Overseas Aid.) The “populist, development list state capitalism,” broke down under the pressure of rising consumption and inadequate internal and external resources to pay for all the demand placed on it (Nagarajan, 2013). On 30 September 1970, Nasser died without being able to fulfil his pledges.
The Sadat era (1970–1981) With the death of Nasser, his Vice President Anwar Sadat, who was also a member of the military outfit known as the Free Officers group, succeeded him. His avowed aim was to continue with the plans and programs of his predecessor. However Sadat, did not share Nasser’s socialistic leanings and as such he decided to take another route. At the time of Nasser’s death, Egypt had already abandoned the strategy of economic growth through public sector expansion and started tentative steps toward liberalization (Nagarajan, 2013). This was the option that Sadat took further upon assuming office. He, however, still had to contend with what Cooper has dubbed, “the ghost of Nasser” (Cooper, 1982: 67). Sadat put forward a series of populist measures to garner political support and he also went ahead and lowered the prices of consumer goods and many import restrictions were lifted.
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 167 Cooper observes thus: All had started with the end of hostilities in June 1967 and the [Sadat] regime knew the direction that it had to follow. In form, it was early Nasser, in substance it was late Nasser, the Nasser of the March 30 Program; in impact it was effective, for the crisis of succession was successfully and peacefully negotiated. (Cooper, 1982: 67) It must be pointed here that much of the policies implemented under Sadat were grossly unsuccessful and even his so-called liberalization policy did not succeed because it benefitted fewer people. As many military governments do, they rush into what they view as some restructuring as soon as they come to power. Sadat as a military man also decided to quickly embark on restructuring, by introducing what he called the October Working Paper which was passed in a plebiscite in 1974. This was supposed to be the blueprint of his new economic strategy of liberalization, which was referred to as al-Infitah al-intisadi in Arabic. The basic premise of the new strategy is summarized by Cooper in the form of an equation: Arab capital + Western technology + abundant Egyptian resources = development and progress (Cooper, 1982: 90). The intention was to bring about prosperity by opening up the country to technological transfer and foreign investment. Special focus was paid to attracting Arab petro-dollars. Egyptian labor could move freely abroad and bring in foreign exchange. As for industrial projects, foreigners were allowed free entry (Nagarajan, 2013). Foreigners were allowed to invest in the reclamation of land and growing crops for export. The construction sector was opened up for foreign investment in luxury housing. In short, the goal of the new economic policy was rapid economic growth. The underlying argument was the standard classical economic argument: let the market forces operate freely and resources will be allocated efficiently, ushering in economic prosperity (Nagarajan, 2013). The equity principle that also featured prominently under Nasser was completely ignored under the regime of Sadat. A careful assessment of the economic performance under Sadat clearly shows that the policy was an abysmal failure. Cooper observes: Until the end of 1977, economic liberalization was an utter disaster. It produced none of the benefits that the government had projected and almost every one of the negative impacts that the left had predicted. Private investment went into luxury construction, tourism and finance and very little to industrial activity. With such lop-sided growth, Cooper notes, the percentage of industrial activity in the total economic activity was declining. (Cooper, 1982: 106)
168 J.L. Kormoh The bottom line for all these failures, like the Nasser era, was that consumption kept increasing and production stagnated; although exports were more diversified to include cotton, vegetables and petroleum. There was no question that Egypt was in a state of financial emergency by 1976. Help came in the form of foreign aid. Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and United Arab Emirates) got together and formed the Gulf Organization for Development in Egypt (GODE) during 1976. GODE had set up an authorized fund of $2 billion with the aim of financing development projects and balance of payment needs (Boogaerde, 1991: 21). This organization provided some temporary respite from the financial difficulties. Income Distribution Under liberalization, the class structure and income distribution rapidly changed in favour of the top rung of the economic ladder. The set of policy measures which included reduction in marginal tax rates and tax exemptions and concessions of various kinds. (Cooper, 1982: 123) Uneven income distribution in favor of those who were already wealthy and could avail themselves of the opportunities thrown open by the liberalization policy made good with it. The middle class was struggling with stagnating income and rising prices. The lower class sunk even further into poverty. Sadat’s economic as well as his political programs all culminate in the fall of his military regime. No matter how powerful he was and irrespective of his rule by decree, events were to turn out which laid the foundation for the collapse of his regime like Hosni Mubarak whose regime shall be the focus of the next heading. Sadat assumed office in a country where there were already existing divergent political views and beliefs. He decided to position himself in the center-right and tried to cut down or even abolish the powers of other political opinions using various means including brute force. He got rid of his Vice President and all the security elite on claims that they were planning to overthrow him. Sadat saw the state as the institution through which all issues would be addressed. He also viewed the President as the ultimate “arbiter of the whole” (Cooper, 1982: 75). All policy changes he wanted to introduce were in the form of decrees. He exercised his presidential powers to make appointments at political, administrative and bureaucratic levels. The stage was set for remaking Egypt in Sadat’s vision. Yet nothing much happened for much of 1972 and 1973 in terms of drastic policy changes. During this period, the country was in a constant state of unrest (Nagarajan, 2013). Different factions of society were protesting against government inaction including even the Egyptian army. The Sadat regime was seen as not delivering on its promises and there was much substance in these complaints. The economy was stalled. With a stagnant private sector and inefficient public sector and rising debt levels, the country was getting restless (Cooper, 1982). A combination of all these factors culminated in the overthrow of his regime by some so-called Muslim fundamentalists in the army on the 6 October 1981.
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 169
The era of Hosni Mubarak and the rise of the Arab revolt (1981–2011) There was profound fear about the stability of Egypt after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. But the rapid elevation to the presidency of his Vice President, Hosni Mubarak, former head of the air force, assured continuity of government. Lacking the charisma of a Nasser or a Sadat, Mubarak was regarded as an interim leader with too few political skills to stay in power for any length of time (Hashim, 2011). To the surprise of many, he managed to overcome numerous obstacles and threats, consolidate power and remain in office until 2011, when popular fury forced him out (Shatz, 2011). Both his inefficient economic policies/reforms and his lack of real political skills combined to show him the exit door in the face of the 2011 uprisings. Mubarak came to power on 14 October 1981, in a referendum after he was nominated by the Peoples’ Assembly following Sadat’s assassination. At the time of his ascension to power, he simultaneously assumed the position of supreme commander of the armed forces and chairman of the NDP. At the time he was assuming office as president, he declared a state of emergency which lasted during the entire 30 years of his rule. His first major responsibilities were to restore all that was torn apart during Sadat’s last years in power. Mubarak worked on Egyptian–Arab relations, creating progress after Sadat’s rift with the Arab states. Economic During the regime of Mubarak, there was economic hardship for the larger population and above all even the economy was in a serious state of crisis. Juxtaposing that with the increased influence of the military in the economic affairs of the state, it should not surprise us that the uprisings found it much easier to dislodge him from power. Compared to the era of Abdel Gamal Nasser, where the government tried as hard as possible to establish a welfare state, with a large public sector, some economic growth was registered although huge population growth rates and a heavily state-controlled economy prohibited foreign investments (Ludwig Schulz, 2015). Mubarak on his part believed that, the economic situation would only improve with the privatization of the economy and foreign investments. Thus, in 1990, “the International Monetary Fund (IMF ) was willing to help Egypt to overcome the economic inefficiencies under the scope of an Economic Reform and Structural Adjustment Plan” (Schulz, 2015). As is always the case with Bretton Woods institutions of the IMF and the World Bank, the assistance to the Mubarak regime was tied up with a host of laws and conditionalities, one of which was the privatization of the economy. As a result of these conditions, many former state-owned or state-controlled firms and entities were privatized although in many instances the government remained the biggest stakeholder. For example, certain important public sector parts like the national oil company, the Suez Canal and the General Authority for Supply remained the exclusive domains of the state.
170 J.L. Kormoh Military One of the most important hallmarks of the Mubarak presidency was the economic autonomy that was granted to the Egyptian military. This was so because he wanted to assure himself of the allegiance of the military and also for his own personal safety. Thomas Demmelhuber (2011) has argued that Mubarak granted enormous autonomy to military officers in creating and running a lucrative military-industrial-business complex. Akram Belkaid and Hicheme Lehmici (2011) have made the point that, the role of the armed forces in a country’s economic structure can be complicated and shrouded in secrecy. This was the same way the military operated in Egypt especially under Mubarak. Many militaries in non-Western societies take control of enterprises that deal with the defense sector; although in Egypt, the military was also involved in other non-defense related businesses or “milbus” (Siddiqa, 2007). The defense and non-defense businesses put together have been referred to as military- industrial-business-commercial complex (MIBCC). This is a “vast military run commercial enterprise that seeps into every corner of Egyptian society” (Stier, 2011). While the official justification for the Egyptian army’s large business undertakings has been that they relieve the burden on the state budget and are thus in the general public interest, they have also given the armed forces financial resources for which it is not accountable to any other authority and which are entirely removed from public scrutiny, (Springborg, 1998) and because there are no accountability mechanisms placed on the excesses of the military’s economic powerhouse the armed forces always have a field day in the economy of Egypt. For individual military officers, these vast army businesses (and massive foreign assistance) have provided not only lucrative sources of income but also opportunities for corruption. “The huge amount of funds in circulation, with inadequate accounting supervision, virtually guarantees ‘leakage’ into private pockets” even up to the present day (Cassandra, 1995). Political Adam Shatz has observed that, Mubarak’s Egypt is often compared to Iran in the last days of the Shah: a middle class squeezed by inflation; anger at the regime’s alliances with the US and Israel; a profound sense of humiliation that is increasingly expressed in Islamic fervour; near universal contempt for the country’s ruling class; a state whose legitimacy has almost entirely eroded. (Shatz, 2010)
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 171 What was more, is that, Mubarak’s rule in Egypt was a classic case of a brutal authoritarian regime. It was going to be the case that the people were someday going to rebel against the status quo and that expressed themselves in the uprisings of 2011. He was able to establish a strong authoritarian rule with “legal and extra-legal tools; the government heavily suppressed the media and opposition parties and thereby Mubarak’s party, the National Democratic Party (NDP) dominated the political life” (Schulz, 2015). Under the dictatorial regime of Mubarak, it was not uncommon to see established political parties in the country; but the NDP always got high votes during elections by banning the largest and best-organized opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, and by manipulating election results. All other political parties of dissenting voices were kept under tight scrutiny and control. The state placed restrictions on registration of political parties and set criteria for the formation of political parties. Political parties were not allowed to be based on religion, gender or ethnic origin. To be fair however with criteria set for party registration, it could be argued that this was somehow a good move since issues like religion and ethnicity are big divisive elements that can seriously fragment and undermine state cohesion. Under Mubarak, the press faced rigid restrictions. Most, if not all the largest newspapers were state-owned and controlled and it was Mubarak himself who appointed the editors of these newspapers. More interesting, but frustrating, was the fact that academic freedom was severely restricted during the era of Mubarak. “University officials were appointed by the regime and if students protested against the state, they were often arrested. Even religious staff in mosques had to be appointed by the government” (Schulz, 2015). These were major causes of grievances and discontent, which eventually manifested themselves in the events of 2011. It started with the formation of the Egyptian Movement for Change in 2005, which was a coalition of leftists, Nasserists and Islamists better known in Arabic as Kifaya (“Enough”). They staged a series of demonstrations in downtown Cairo, where for the first time, Egyptians dared to criticize Mubarak in public and to call for him to step down (Shatz, 2010). From that period onwards, many Egyptians demonstrated against the system and called for an end to the Emergency Laws. Judges were also denouncing constitutional amendments that stripped them of their right to supervise elections, workers were going on strike for better wages and independent trade unions. “Poor farmers on land redistributed under Nasser defended themselves against attempts by large landowners – often with the backing of the state, sometimes with the help of armed thugs – to ‘reclaim’ their property.” The spread of these protests, “on a scale not seen since the 1970s, when left- wing students mobilised against Sadat’s infitah and his alliance with the West, has led some observers to see this as Egypt’s ‘moment of change,’ the subtitle of an informative new anthology on Egyptian social movements.” (Shatz, 2010)
172 J.L. Kormoh
The role of the Egyptian military in the Arab uprising and the overthrow of Mubarak It was the military that ousted long-time President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, in what was then the most dramatic and consequential development of the Arab Spring. Even though the popular uprising in Egypt ultimately also led to the downfall of the country’s long-standing President, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian armed forces showed a somewhat different response to the anti-regime movement compared to Tunisia (Lutterbeck, 2011). It has been observed that, on the whole, the Egyptian armed forces were very hesitant in supporting the uprisings against the regime of Mubarak. Understandably, the military had a stake in the Mubarak administration and would have loved to preserve their influence and control without having to hit the establishment hard. This is because the most salient connection between the Egyptian armed forces and the country’s political regime has always been its virtual monopoly over the all-powerful presidency. All Egyptian presidents since the overthrow of the monarchy have come from its ranks, and have de facto been selected through the officer corps (Cook, 2007). However, they also wanted to be seen as “protectors” of the people and the wider national interest. In other words, it was a way of positioning themselves as the most credible alternative for the wishes and aspirations of the people. According to Lutterbeck, the Egyptian military’s more ambivalent attitude toward the pro-reform movement can be accounted for by its somewhat lower degree of institutionalization and stronger relationship to the country’s regime compared to the Tunisian armed forces. The Egyptian military, not unlike its Tunisian counterpart, can be described – again by regional standards – as a professional and largely meritocratic force. It has thus been characterized by important elements of institutionalization even though cronyism and favouritism at its highest levels seem to have been quite widespread in recent years (Lutterbeck, 2011). One of the major sticking points in the relationship between the armed forces and Mubarak emanated from the issue of succession. While Mubarak never revealed any plans for his succession, and only appointed a vice-president in the final days of his reign, the most widely held assumption was that he was grooming his son Gamal, who has no military background, to succeed him. (Aclimandos, 2011a) This issue of the transfer of power fundamentally had the potential to undermine the military’s continued hold on the presidency. Thus, the idea of a succession plan by Mubarak was widely resented by a large portion of the military and to some extent, the ordinary Egyptian population. Consequently, when the armed forces were deployed in various areas of the country to quell down the rebellion; even with the option of using brute force against the demonstrators, the armed forces refused to do so; claiming that the
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 173 demands of the protesters were “legitimate.” In fact, there was great fraternization between the protesters and the armed forces and some military officers even openly identified themselves with the protesters by joining them on Tahir Square. However, the antithesis of the military’s so-called support came in the form of events where, even though the pro-Mubarak thugs killed several demonstrators, the army units who were present on Tahir square did not intervene, instead they were calling upon the protesters to leave the square and go home (Lutterbeck, 2011). This in itself contrasted significantly with the behavior of the Tunisian military, which actively defended anti-regime demonstrators against security forces who were trying to suppress the protest movements. Notwithstanding this however, the military was still ambivalent in their approach to the demonstrations. Granted that the Egyptian military comprises conscripts from among the various segments of the Egyptian society, yet, they were actually seen to be less behind the protesters since their support was with the regime to which they were an integral part and in which they have ultimately been a key pillar or promoter. Thus, it could be argued that although throughout the protests in Egypt the armed forces acknowledged the legitimacy of the demands of the demonstrators, their allegiance seemed to swing more strongly toward the Mubarak angle. Finally, it must be pointed out that the more limited openness of the Egyptian armed forces toward the pro-reform movements and its heavy-handedness in dealing with the demonstrators and its mistreatment of activists during the protests, are a clear manifestation of the unreliability of the forces with regards their so-called support for the protests: Even though the Egyptian armed forces have not been accused of committing the same kind of abuses as the police, who reportedly shot dead a significant number of protesters, yet, arbitrary arrests and even torture of demonstrators by the military seem to have been quite widespread during the uprisings. (Human Rights Watch, 2011)
The role of the Egyptian military in support of democracy: from President Morsi to President Al-sisi Egypt has never been a democracy. The military has always dominated its political life. Even during the age of liberal nationalism after World War II, when it had a lively parliamentary life, popular sovereignty was sharply curtailed by British power (Shatz, 2010). Since the 1952 coup which brought Nasser to power, it has been ruled by military dictatorship, although the establishment of multi-party politics in the late 1970s brought a measure of cosmetic diversification. Still, autocratic though they were, both Nasser and Sadat ensured that what Egypt did mattered (Shatz, 2010). But true democratic culture had hardly ever prevailed in Egypt and it is also plausible to argue that although the military
174 J.L. Kormoh claims, or is rather seen as the agent of democratic change and development in Egypt, it is still business as usual. The military is still very much in control of the economic life blood of the country. The contemporary influence of the armed forces of Egypt must be situated within the broader context of mid-twentiethcentury Pan-Arab Nationalism and the “prevailing development model, which identified the military as a key protagonist in indigenous industrialization and economic modernization” (Marshall, 2015). Thus, the basic idea behind state-led development is always the domain of the public sector; but in the case of Egypt, the military is the hub around which the engine of industrialization and development revolves. The Egyptian armed forces are often referred to as a “Black box,” particularly with regard to the significance of the EAF ’s role in the domestic economy. Most of the military-controlled economy is off the books and many of the EAF ’s sources of influence are obscured, such as its control over parliamentary seats titularly reserved for peasants and workers (Martini and Taylor, 2011: 131). The military in Egypt had become an economic company for a very long time, especially from the days of Nasser, and it has now become a commercial enterprise. The military hierarchy assumed increasingly overt and powerful political roles since the 2011 revolution which ousted Hosni Mubarak. It was the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF ), which is usually a small body of top officers that convenes only in times of emergency or war that took over the reins of government which ruled the country until the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was elected president in June 2012 (Marshall, 2015). Not comfortable with Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood administration the military once again took it upon themselves to disrupt the democratic process by overthrowing him. In fact, since the removal of Mubarak from office and his eventual trial and conviction, the military has portrayed itself as a guarantor of national integrity and a neutral defender of the people’s hard-won freedom. But the military’s rise to its current outsized role has been far from straight- forward, its historic relationship with Egypt’s civil society is a complex tango of patriotism and self-interest (Kordunsky, 2013). But General Al-Sisi himself has been quoted in the records as stating that “the military existed only to serve the will of the people.” On the contrary, Joel Beinin, Professor of Middle East History at Stanford University, quoted in Kordunsky (2013) observes that, “the army has this reputation despite the fact that it has actually on many occasions, and especially in the recent years, acted to secure its own particular institutional interests and not acted for the interests of the nation.” Thus, it must be pointed out that whether Egypt’s military leaders are acting out of support of democratic development, patriotism or self-interest or some combination of both, it is still a truism that the political economy of the state of Egypt is largely controlled by the Egyptian armed forces and by extension even the government of the day. When Morsi was ousted in a military coup, a year later, the military-backed interim government took control, tasked with overseeing a new round of voting that ended with the election of former Defense Minister, General Abdul Fatah
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 175 Al-sisi as president in 2014. An analysis of all this points to the fact that much as the military have been viewed as supporting democratic development in Egypt, the point should be made that they have proved to be quite a disruptive force in democratic development in Egypt. Their struggle to reclaim control over critical enterprises has highlighted how the EAF uses its institutional influence to finance its operations, provide perks for its officer corps, and otherwise shape Egypt’s domestic political economy (Marshall, 2015). Due to their powerful position in the economy of Egypt and their continued control of the most productive sectors of society, it could be much easier to predict that, the EAF will remain the most influential power brokers in Egypt for a long time to come. The armed forces are also a highly respected institution in Egypt; indeed, “according to opinion polls they are the most respected institution in the country, perceived as the only one which is truly committed to upholding the national interest” (Aclimandos, 2011b). How far they have succeeded in preserving such national interests and fostering democratic development is an open-ended debate. The Egyptian Armed Forces are very powerful and supported by the state and even foreign powers like the US. The EAF receive military assistance from the US for example, most of the $1.5 billion given to Egypt every year is in the form of military aid. These funds were however frozen following the military coup against the first democratically elected civilian president in July 2013 and its violent aftermath (The Middle East Monitor, 2014). However, congress resumed support to the Egyptian military after the Egyptian elections which saw the election of a democratically elected government of a former coup leader Abdel Fatah Al-sisi. Although the elections were deemed by many as “farcical and illegitimate,” yet the results of the elections showed a landslide victory on the side of President Abdul Fatah Al-sisi. With the military, seen to be satisfied with the current regime of Al-sisi, and with their strong influence in the economy of Egypt, one may argue that there may be some political stability and democratic development in Egypt.
Conclusion This chapter has looked extensively at the political landscape of Egypt from Nasser to Mubarak, with the view to engaging with the fact that any clear understanding of the recent history and developments in Egypt are only best understood within the context of the political economy approach. This can more generally be achievable with the use of an interdisciplinary approach rather than an over-reliance on a single disciplinary framework. This chapter has explored the relationship between the Egyptian military and their role in peace and democratic development in that country after the 2011 uprisings that witnessed the overthrow of the Mubarak regime, and the various processes of the reintroduction of democracy that ensued. In this chapter I have briefly traced the origins and development of the Egyptian military from a somewhat historical perspective, from the days of the Pharaohs down through the ages, through the rise of military generals like Mohamed Ali, other military
176 J.L. Kormoh generals like Khedive Ismael, Generals Abass and Said, up to the emergence of Nasser and Sadat and the eventual rise of Hosni Mubarak and the outbreak of the revolution in 2011. I have argued in this chapter that, whilst the argument holds that the Arab revolution and the eventual result brought some hope and respite to the people of Egypt, yet, the military, that would otherwise have been seen as redeemers of their people, ended up becoming vectors in the suffering of their people by positioning themselves as the uncontested economic power. Throughout the protests/ demonstrations, the Egyptian military played a consistently ambiguous role. Whilst they would purport that they were standing by the people and even fraternizing with them, they were at the same time being an integral part of the regime they were confronting. Moreover, this chapter registers a critique of the re-emergence of the military in the body politic of Egypt after the re-introduction of democracy and also their re-emergence as the most potent force in the economy of the country. Like the Mubarak days, when he created a whole “economic Empire” in Egypt, so has the military also re-positioned themselves as the main drivers of the political economy of the state. I therefore argue that much as the people most times look up to the military for redemption from the claws of harsh dictatorships and also relied upon the military to bring about and safeguard democracy, the Egyptian military are undoubtedly the major source of hardship and frustration for their people even in the current democratic dispensation. I conclude that, their support for democratic development only holds sway for as long as it serves their private and sectoral interests.
Notes 1 SH-3 is an American twin-engined anti-submarine helicopter also known as “Sea King.” 2 CH-47 also known as Chinook, is a heavy-lift transport helicopter primarily used to transport equipment, troops and artillery.
References Aclimandos, Tewfik (2011a) “Egyptian Army: Defining a New Political and Societal Pact,” Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, 24 February 2011, available at www.aljazeera.net/ mritems/ streams/2011/2/24/1_1044099_1_51.pdf. (accessed 16 December 2016). Aclimandos, Tewfik (2011b) “Reforming the Egyptian Security Services. Review of the Press, Conventional Wisdom and Rumours,” Arab Reform Initiative Thematic Study, 8 June 2011, p. 2. Available at www.arab-reform.net/IMG/pdf/SSR_EGYPT_ ACLIMANDOS_ edit_ENG_final.pdf. The military leadership’s ‘frustration’ and ‘disenchantment’ with the prospect of Gamal Mubarak being promoted to the office of the presidency is also described in US cables leaked by WikiLeaks. See US Embassy Cairo, ‘Presidential Succession in Egypt,’ 14 May 2007 (WikiLeaks – 07CAIRO1417). Belkaid, Akram and Hicheme Lehmici (2011) “Egypte, la toute-puissance de l’armée.” Slate Afrique. Boogaerde, Pierre Van Den (1991) Occasional Paper, No. 87. Washington, DC: IMF.
Egypt: war, peace and democracy 177 Cassandra (pseudonym) (1995) “The Impending Crisis in Egypt,” Middle East Journal, 49(1): 9–27. Cleveland, W.L. and M. Bunton (2013) A History of the Modern Middle East. Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press. http://internationalrelations.org/gamal-abdel-nasser/ (acces sed 14 December 2016). CNN Wire Staff (2011) February 2011. www.westwood.com/programming/news/ features/CNN-news-wire (accessed 13 December 2016). Collinson, Sarah (2003) “Power, Livelihood and Conflict: Case Studies in Political Economy Analysis for Humanitarian Action.” HPG Report 13. London, U.K.: Overseas Development Institute. Cook, Steven A. (2007) Ruling but Not Governing. The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria and Turkey. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Cooper, Mark N. (1982) The Transformation of Egypt. London: Croom Helm. Demmelhuber, Thomas (2011) “Political Upheaval in Egypt: The Mubarak System without Mubarak” Qantara.de, http://en.quantara.de/wcsite.php (accessed 10 December 2016). Global Security.org (2016) (accessed 13 December 2016). Hashim, Ahmed (2011) “The Egyptian Military, Part Two: From Mubarak Onward,” Middle East Policy Council, Volume XVIII, November, 4. Kordunsky, Anna (2013) “The Egyptian Military’s Huge Historical Role” http://news. nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/07/130705-egypt-morsi-government-overthrowmilitary-revolution-independence-history/ (accessed 30 November 2016). Lutterbeck, David (2011) “Arab Uprisings and Armed Forces: Between Openness and Resistance,” Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF ). Marshall, Shana (2015) “The Egyptian Armed Forces and the Remaking of an Economic Empire.” Carnegie Middle East Center. Martini, Jeff and Julie Taylor (2011) “Commanding Democracy in Egypt,” September/ October, Foreign Affairs, 90(5): 131. Masoud, T. (2014) Egypt, Chapter 11, The Middle East, Thirteenth Edition, Ellen Lust (ed.), Washington DC: CQ Press. Metz, Helen C. (1990) Egypt a Country Study. Washington: GPO, for Library of the US Congress. middleeastmonitor.com (2014) “The Egyptian Military Empire” (accessed 10 December 2016). Nagarajan, K.V. (2013) “Egypt’s Political Economy and the Downfall of the Mubarak Regime,” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(10) (Special Issue – May 2013). Schulz, Ludwig (2015) “Egypt,” Center for Applied Policy Research. Ludwig- Maximilians-Universit of Munich (LMU). Shatz, Adam (2010) “Mubarak’s Last Breath,” London Review of Books, 32(10): 6–10. Siddiqa, Ayesha (2007) Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy. London: Pluto Press. Springborg, Robert (1998) “Military Elites and the Polity in Arab States,” Development Associates Occasional Paper No. 2, Arlington, VT: Development Associates. Stier, Ken (2011) “Egypt’s Military-Industrial Complex,” Time, 9 February 2011. Waterbury, John (1983) The Egypt of Nasser and Sadat: The Political Economy of Two Regimes. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. www.ihs.com/.../IHS-Janes-Amphibious-and-Special-Forces-Egyptian-Navy (2014) (acces sed 20 December 2016).
Abacha, Sanni 29–31, 84 Action Against Hunger 92 Action group (AG) crisis 28 Africa/G8 Plan to Enhance African Capabilities for Peace Support Operations 15 African Armed Forces 41, 49 African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC): countries subscribing to 130; dissolution of 130; main aim of 129; for promoting African solutions to African problems 130; reasons for establishment of 130 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007) 126, 133 African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) programme 15, 21, 114 African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) 15, 21, 114 African governance, issues of 107 African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) 130 African National Congress 110 African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) 21, 113, 117, 128; and unconstitutional changes of government by the military 125–6 African peace militaries: African Standby Force 113; as African Strongman 2; challenge for 17; characteristic of 18; in context of changed African and international environments 11–15; as ‘custodians’ of democracy 16; downsizing of 14; emerging norms and characteristics of 16–18; inability to deal with terrorism 12; international and
regional peacekeeping operations 15; intervention in civilian politics 1–3; joint training programmes 15; overthrow of civilian governments 2; as ‘protector’ of the people 16; security sector reform (SSR) programmes 145–7; support for democratic development 7, 10; and support for democratic development 16–18; top ten countries 12; Westernsponsored training programmes for see training programmes, for African militaries African regional institutions 95–6 ‘African solutions to African problems,’ notion of 124, 130, 133 African Standby Force (ASF) 15, 113, 130; AA-II Field Training Exercise (FTX) 128, 130; during African crises 129–30; AMANI-AFRICA Command Post Exercise (CPX) 127; AMANI Africa training cycle (AMANI Africa II) 128; application of best practices 133; capabilities of 132–3; capacity for immediate response to crises 129–30; challenges faced by 129–32; command and control system of 133; components of 129; concept of 127; doctrine of 134; establishment of 121–2; Field Training Exercise (FTX) 128; logistics and the dependence of the African state 130–1; mandates of 121; and Northern region 131–2; operationalization of 127–8; opportunities of 132–3; peace support missions 121; peace support operations (PSOs) 128; Policy Framework 127, 129; Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) 127, 129–30; roadmap for the operationalization of 127; Scenario Six 127
Index 179 African Strongman 2 African Union (AU) 73, 113; budget of 131; Constitutive Act of 122, 124, 126; crises faced by 129; Electoral and Security Assistance in Comoros 132; funding of operations conducted by 131; International Stabilization Mission in Mali (AFISMA) 132, 146; International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA) 130, 132; Joint Plan with G8 countries 114; Mission in Burundi (AMIB) 132; Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) 131, 132, 146; Mission in Sudan (AMIS) 132; Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) 86, 95; operational capabilities 131; Peace and Security Council (PSC) of 121, 126; peacekeeping missions 15, 112–13, 124; Protocol relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of 122; SSR Policy Framework 142 Africa Rising, phenomenon of 12–13 Africa top ten: economies 12; militaries/ armed forces 12 All-Africa High Command 124 All-African Peoples Conference 124 Almond, Gabriel 83 Al Qaeda 87, 88, 90 Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) 12, 88 Al-Shabab 12, 117; training camps 88 Al-Sisi, General 6, 174–5 AMANI-AFRICA Command Post Exercise (CPX) 127 Amin, Idi 58–61; brutality on Ugandan population 62; military under 62; overthrow of 62; rank of Field Marshall 62 Amnesty International 86, 92 Amuka Boys 67 Angola, independence movement in 109–10 Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) 132 Arab Nationalism 162 Arab revolt (1981–2011) 169–71 Arab Spring see Arab uprisings (2011) Arab uprisings (2011) 7, 16, 129; role of the Egyptian military in 172–3 arms embargo 140, 165 army barracks, invasion of 89 Arrow Boys 67 arson attacks and bombing, of public properties 89 Assisi, Abdel Fatal 158
Babangida, Ibrahim 29–31, 84 balance of a military confrontation 110 Barrow, Adama 17–18 Belkaid, Akram 170 Blair, Dennis 18–19 Boko Haram 12, 37, 81, 113, 117; allegiance to ISIS 88; anti-state revolt 88; Arabic name of 85; attacks on soft civilian targets 89; background and mission of 85–6; capacity to fight 95; consequences of extremist jihad 90–3; crackdown by the state security forces 90; criminal plundering and mass slaughter 89; cross-border attacks 88; de-radicalisation programmes against 97; disruptive attacks on special public events 89; earnings of 90; ECOMOG 87; emergence of 79; ethno-religious extremism 79; extremist radicalisation of 87, 88; founding of 85, 86; genderbased violence 89; guerrilla tactics 86; as home-grown insurgency group 85, 89; hostage taking of innocent civilians 90; intervention strategies and politics against 95–6; invasion of army barracks 89; Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) 88; jihadist violence, escalation of 87–90; joining of AQIM training camp 88; major impediments to the war against 93–5; membership of 85; militant factions 87; modus operandi of 87; multidimensional hard and soft security approach against 96–8; Nigerian military action against 82–3, 87, 91–4; as Nigerian Taliban 85; numerical strength of 86; objective of 86; opposition to Western education 85; pro-Sharia inclination of 86; as selfradicalised Islamist sect 87; under Shekau’s leadership 88; sources of funding 90; suicide bombers 88–9; tactics adopted to escalate violence 89–90; targeted assassinations of people 89; use of violence 86, 88; Yusifiyya 85; Yusuf, Mohammed 85, 87 border control institutions 97 Bretton Woods institutions 166, 169 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries 13 British imperialism 163 Buhari, Muhammadu 4, 29–30, 37, 82, 91, 94 bushman mentality 75
180 Index Camp David Accords (1978) 159 Carter, C. H. P. 27 Carter, Jimmy 5 Catholic Church 106 Central African Republic (CAR) 73, 96, 117, 123, 129, 130, 132 Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007) 122, 126, 133 Christianity 106 Cilliers, Jakkie 145 civic education programmes 146 civilian dictatorships 2 civil liberties 14 civil–military relations 17, 32, 72, 111, 115–16, 145–6 civil society organisations 92, 152 Clausewitz 32 Cold War politics 2–3, 11, 103, 109–12, 123–4, 139, 141 colonial: armies 105, 145; dictatorship 80 Commission of Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration 123 Common African Defence and Security Policy (CADSP) 124 communications information systems (CIS) 128 conflict management 15, 123 conflict prevention, theory of 48, 115 Cooper, Mark N. 166–7 Côte d’Ivoire 114, 123, 129; intervention of France in the conflicts in 129 counter-insurgency: cooperation for 97; operations 73, 92–3 counter-Jihadist de-radicalisation programme 97–8 counter-terrorism agenda 146 coups d’état (military coup) 1–2, 25, 121–3, 125, 133; in Egypt 122, 162–4; in Ghana 5; incidents of 2; meaning of 6; MNCs support for 4; in Nigeria 29–30, 80–1; phases of 3; in Portugal 109; prevention of 4; reasons of 3–4; role of external actors in 4–5; in Sudan 2; in Uganda 64; zero tolerance for 126 crimes against humanity 92 cross-government interactions 153 Cuba 110 cultural pluralism 4 Davies, Stephen 87 defence-related armaments, production of 151 De Gaulle’s Free French Army 105 Demmelhuber, Thomas 170
Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) 142; International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) 143; objectives of 143; Strategy paper 143 democratic rule of law 67 disruptive attacks, on special public events 89 ‘divide and rule,’ politics of 55–6 drug trafficking 82 East African Standby Force (EASF) 126, 132 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria 93 Economic Community of Central African States Standby Force (FOMAC) 126 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) 15, 97, 129; military intervention force 18 Economic Community of West African States Standby Force (ESF) 127 economic inequalities 14 Economist, The 91 ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) 15, 87, 116 education-for-peace initiative 98 Egypt 109, 122; Arab revolt (1981–2011) 169–71; under arms embargo from the West 165; balance of payment crisis 166; Camp David Accords (1978) 159; Egyptian Movement for Change (2005) 171; feddans 165; financial crisis (1976) 168; “Food for Peace” programme 166; foreign domination over 162; under Greek rule 158; Gulf Organization for Development in Egypt (GODE) 168; High Aswan Dam, construction of 165; Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) programme 164; Income Distribution Under liberalization 168; Kifaya 171; mass nationalization, programme of 165; military in see Egyptian military; under Mubarak era (1981–2011) 169–71; under Nasser’s rule 159, 164–6; as recipient of US military aid 159; under Sadat era (1970–81) 166–8; Sharia-based system 163; Soviet support and financial aid 166; Wafd party 162 Egyptian military: Air Defense Command 160; Air Force (EAF) 160–1, 175; Al Quwwat al Jawwiya il Misriya 160; Arab uprising, role in 172–3; development of 158; Egyptian Armed
Index 181 Forces (EAF) 159; GFP power index rating of 161; historical background of 158–9; involvement in coups 162–4; Navy 160; origins of 158; overthrow of constitutional rule 162–4; Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) 163; role in overthrow of Mubarak 172–3; structure and composition of 159–61; in support of democracy 173–5; Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) 174 elected autocrats: overthrow of 16; phenomenon of 7, 8–9; regimes of 14 election-related politicisation 87 emergency relief operation 92 emerging democracies 13, 15, 17, 20–1 emerging economy 55 English Language skills 149 Ethiopia: ‘bottom-up’ strategy 150; counter-insurgency operation 149; defence reforms 147–52; Defence Transformation Unit 149; democratisation agenda 149; Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy (FANSPS) 146, 148, 149, 153; foreign domestic investment 148; Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) 148; human resource development 149; justice cluster 152; Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) 148, 151; Ministry of Defence 151; National Defence Force (ENDF) 147, 149–50, 154; National Defence University 148, 149; national military, notion of 147; national security and foreign affairs issues 148; National Security Council 152; national security organisations 148; national security White Paper 148; Parliamentary defence and security committee 150; peace dividend, idea of 153–4; Peoples’ Armed Forces 149; ‘Peoples’ Forum 152; Peoples’ Republic Democratic Front (EPRDF) 147; Plan for Accelerated and Sustainable Development and Growth (PASDEP) 148; politico-military form of hybrid leadership 151; poverty reduction 148; production of defence-related armaments 151; role of the military in politics 151; security sector developments 147; SSR agenda 146–7; strategic goals of 148; as troopcontributing nation for UN peacekeeping missions 152 ethnic cleansing 113
Eurobonds 13 European Battle Groups 114 European military engagement in Africa 103 ex-militants and victims, rehabilitation of 96 extra-judicial killings 88, 92 extremist jihad: consequences of 90–3; local, regional and international ramifications of 90–3 feddans 165 Federation of American Scientists 159 Field Training Exercise (FTX) 128 “Food for Peace” programme 166 foreign debt burden 13 Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) 13, 151 foreign domestic investment 148 FRELIMO guerrilla movement (Mozambique) 42, 43 French Africa 108 French RECAMP scheme 114 G8 countries 114 Gaddaffi, Colonel 11 Gendarmerie Nationale 145 gender-based violence 89, 91 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs) 93 genocide 20, 40–1, 113, 127; prevention of 113; Rwandan civil war and 43–5, 124; state-sponsored 51; violence against their own citizens through 122 Ghana, military coup in 5 Global Observer 69 Gold Coast Regiment 103 grassroots community 96 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 13; of Uganda 55 Grupos Especialis 105 guerrilla insurgency 40, 43, 61, 86, 92, 109 Gulf Organization for Development in Egypt (GODE) 168 Hausa language 85 highly indebted poor countries (HIPC) 13 hostage taking, of innocent civilians 90 Howe, Herbert 11 human resource development 149 human rights 67, 79, 92, 106, 113 human rights organisations 149 Human Rights Watch 35 Ihejirika, Azubuike 87 illiberal democracies 13–14 implied linkages, idea of 141
182 Index Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) programme 164 improvised explosive devices 88 independence, of African territories 107–9 Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) 79 Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) 73 Internally Displace Persons (IDPs) 91 International Committee of the Red Cross 92 International Crisis Group 35 International Military Assistance and Training (IMAT) programme 15 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 55, 166, 169 International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) 143 inter-state conflict, threat of 140 intra-state conflict, emergence of 140 Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) 12, 88; Boko Haram allegiance to 88; declaration of Islamic caliphate 88 Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) 88 Izala Islamic movement 79 Jama’atu Nasril Islam 92 jihadist violence, factors influencing 87–90 Jonathan, Goodluck 30, 91–3 Kabaka Yekka (KY) party, Uganda 58 Kainerugaba, Muhoozi 64, 68, 71 Kenya 75, 108; counter-terrorism strategy 146 Kiir, Salva 73 King’s African Rifles 103, 108; see also Tanganyika Rifles Kiswahili language 75 Kony, Joseph 73 Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) states 95, 97 Lamamra, Ramtane 129 Lehmici, Hicheme 170 Libya 11–12, 96, 129, 132, 160 Lion Economies 13 Lomé Declaration 126 London Missionary Society 106 Lugard, Lord 27 Lule, Yusuf 58–9, 70 Machar, Riek 73 Mali, armed rebellion in 129, 130 martial law, declaration of 6
mass slaughter 89 Mazrui, Ali 124 Mbadinuju, Chinwoke 82 Mbeki, Thabo 113 Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (MCPMR) 124 Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) 92 Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC), Ethiopia 148 MICOPAX mission 135n15 Middle East 87, 108, 113, 151 militarised peace, idea of 11 military agriculturalists 66 military and non-military rule, in Africa 2 Military Assistance and Training Teams 114 military coups see coups d’état (military coup) military-industrial-business-commercial complex (MIBCC) 170 military juntas 2, 6 military leadership 7, 18 Military Medical Insurance (MMI) 47 military solutions, for peaceful conflict resolution 11 Mohammed, Kyari 89 Mohamud, Hassan Sheikh 88 Morsi, Mohamed 174 Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) 79 Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) 79 Mozambique, independence movement in 109 Mubarak, Hosni 159–60; dictatorial regime of 171; economic policies 169; Economic Reform and Structural Adjustment Plan 169; Egypt under 169–71; issue of the transfer of power 172; military reforms 170; National Democratic Party (NDP) 171; overthrow of 172–3, 174; political life of 169–71; work on Egyptian–Arab relations 169 Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative 13 Multinational Corporations (MNCs) 3; support for military coups 4 Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), African Union 86, 95; deployment in Nigeria 95; police and civilians component of 95 multi-party democracy 4, 13, 63, 71 Museveni, Yoweri 61–4, 69–71; military and political participation under 65–6;
Index 183 operation wealth creation (OWC) programme 66 Muslim Brotherhood 163–4, 171, 174 Muslim Students’ Society 79 Nasser, Gamal Abdel 109, 159, 162–3, 169; Agrarian Reform Law 165; death of 166; emergency laws 164; foreign policy 165; modernization programme 165; nationalization of Egypt programme 165; political economy of Egypt under 164–6; relation with Muslim Brotherhood 163–4 National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Uganda 66 national military, notion of 147 National Policy for Disaster Management, Uganda 74 National Resistance Army (NRA), Uganda 40, 51, 61 National Resistance Movement Organisation (NRM-O), Uganda 63 National Resistance Movement (NRM), Uganda 55, 58, 63 national security policy 146, 148 National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) 5, 110 National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Nigeria 35 ‘New Deal’ peacebuilding framework 141 Nigeria: anti-colonial struggles for independence 80; Boko Haram terrorist insurgency see Boko Haram; conflict casualties and devastation 92; Constitutional development of see Nigeria, Constitutional development of; election-related violence 86; emergency relief operation 92; growth of insurgencies in 80–4; Hausa language 85; humanitarian disaster 91; human security deficits 92; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 94; law enforcement mechanisms 81; local government areas (LGAs) 81; military coups in 29–30, 80–1; military dictatorship in 80–4, 86; Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) 81, 86, 93; political elites and factional in-fighting 80; poverty rates 92; presidential democracy 81; security policy 95; settling-down transition period 94 Nigeria–Biafra war (1967–70) 25, 29 Nigeria Coast Constabulary 26, 80 Nigeria, Constitutional development of:
Arthur Richard’s Constitution of 1946 28; Oliver Lyttleton Constitution of 1954 28; phases of 30; Sir John Macpherson Constitution of 1948 28 Nigerian military: anti-insurgency campaign 93; Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) 36; civic duties and law enforcement 82; civil war (1967–70) 29; under colonial rule 26–7; commanders of 27; conquest and occupation 80; and constitutional democracy in Nigeria 31–2; contributions of 26; coups d’état 29–31; defence budgets and spending 93; deployments of 32; discipline of 29, 32; educational qualification 28; election duties 37; election-postponement turning point 93–5; electoral process, militarization of 36; experiences of the World Wars 27; extra-judicial killings 92; fight against Boko Haram 82–3, 87, 91–2, 91–4; internal security duties of law and order maintenance 32; internal security operations 37; January 1966 coup 29; major impediments to the war against Boko Haram 93–5; management of 29; Minister of Defence 36; mission performance evaluations 33; Nigeria Coast Constabulary (Royal Niger Company Constabulary) 26, 80; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps 36; Operation Delta Safe 83; Operation Flush 87; Operation Hakuri II 83; Operation Mkpochapu 82; Operation Pulo Shield 83; Operation Restore Hope 83; operations against Boko Haram insurgents 37; Operation Sweep and Search 82; Operation Tiger Claw 83; organizational integrity of 28; origin of 25, 26; on peace and democracy in Nigeria 34–7; people killed in militant-related operations 91; politicization of 25, 29; in politics and governance 26–8; in post-independence Nigeria 28–31; professionalism of 32; promotion procedure for 29; quota system for recruitment into 28–9; recruitment into 28–9; reforms in 33–4; Royal West African Frontier Force 80; as self-serving and anti-people military force 84; soldiers deployed to fight Boko Haram 91; Special Military Task Force 82; spending to counter the insurgency 91; and subordination to civil authority 32–4; War against Indiscipline (WAI) 29; weaknesses of 92
184 Index Nigeria Police Force 32; neglect of 38 Nkoana-Mashabane, Maite 129 Nkrumah, Kwame 5, 124 North African Regional Capability (NARC) 127, 132 North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO) 112 Norwegian Refugee Council 92 Notre Dame d’Afrique 106 nuclear weapons programme 108 Obasanjo, Olusegun 29–30, 33, 36, 83, 86 Obote, Apollo Milton 43, 57–63, 67, 70 Ojok, David Oyite 60–3 O’Odua People’s Congress (OPC) 79 Operation Delta Safe 83 Operation Flush 87 Operation Hakuri II 83 Operation Mkpochapu 82 Operation Pulo Shield 83 Operation Restore Hope 83 Operation Sweep and Search (Nigeria) 82 Operation Tiger Claw (Nigeria) 83 operation wealth creation (OWC) programme 66 Organization of African Unity (OAU) 122; 35th Ordinary Session of 125; Charter of 123; establishment of 124; Heads of State and Government 124; Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (MCPMR) of 124; Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government 122 Oxfam 92 Pan-Arab Nationalism 174 Pax Africana (African Peace) 124 peace dividend, idea of 139–41; in Ethiopia 153–4 peacekeeping in Africa 14 peace support operations (PSOs) 15, 26, 33, 35, 121, 128, 132 Peoples’ Armed Forces (Ethiopia) 149 Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria 81, 86, 93 ‘Peoples’ Forum 152 personalised rule, phenomenon of 58 petro-dollars 167 political entrepreneurs 115 Political Parties and Other Organisations Act (2005), Uganda 63 poverty reduction 148; programmes for 14 Praetorian Guard 2 predatory capitalist exploitation 13
public security 97 Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) 50 rape and violation of girls 89 refugee camps 45–6 Regional Economic Communities (RECs) 14, 130; Regional Mechanisms (RMs) 127 Renforcement des capacités Africaines maintien de la paix (RECAMP) 15, 114 Rhodesia, independence war in 109 Richard, Arthur 28 Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) 90, 94 Roux, Len Le 142–4 Royal Irish Constabulary force 145 Royal Niger Company Constabulary see Nigeria Coast Constabulary Royal West African Frontier Force 80, 105 Rwanda Defence Force (RDF): antiRwandan forces 46; assessment of military capability of 40; and border raids from Zaire 45, 46; during civil war and genocide 43–5; Command and Staff College (RDFCSC) 48; Congo Wars 41, 46, 51; for consolidating peace 48–50; consolidation and securitization, process of (1995–2002) 45–6; Deputy Force Commanders 48; development of 40, 41; ethnic violence 42; evolution of 42–3; and exodus of Hutu civilians 45; Force Commanders 48; as guerrilla force 40, 43; liberation, process of (1990–4) 42; macro-economic development 50; marginalization and persecution, history of 45; marginalization of Banyarwanda 50; micro-economic development 50; military culture 49; origins in the NRA 42–3; peace deal, signing of 44; Peace Support Operations (PSO) 48; professionalization of 47–8; recruitment in 44; Rwanda Military Academy 48; Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) 40, 42; Rwanda Peace Academy 48; socialization, control and state building 48–50; and society 41–2; socio-political composition of 41; training of 48; UN missions 42 Rwandan crisis of 1990–4 112; evolution of 113 Rwandan Patriotic Front 42 Sadat, Anwar 159, 166–8; assassination of 169; economic performance under 167;
Index 185 liberalization policy 167; October Working Paper 167; populist measures to garner political support 166; on technological transfer and foreign investment 167 Salifist movement 88 Schutztruppen 105 security resources, reallocation of 139 security sector reform (SSR) programmes 14, 139; accountability of 144; and African militaries 145–7; basis and outcomes of 141–4; DCAF definition of 142; definitions of 142; principles of 143; suitability of 144; sustainability of 144 Sedra, Mark 143 Selassie, Haile 147 self-radicalised Islamist sect 87 Senegal 16, 111, 123, 130 sex slavery 89 sexual violence see gender-based violence Shagari, Shehu 29 Shai Islamic Brotherhood 79 Sharia Laws 86 Shatz, Adam 170 Shekau, Abubakar 87, 88; cash reward to capture 91 Sheriff, Ali Modu 87 Sierra Leone 11, 16, 19, 95, 114, 123, 126 social inequality 57, 74, 75 social justice 76, 79, 164 Solemn Declaration on a Common African Defence and Security Policy (2004) 122, 124 Somalia 11, 73, 88–9, 97, 117, 123, 148; AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) 131, 132, 146; Somali Defence Forces 152 South African Defence Strategy 146 South African National Defence Force 110 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)-Allied Armed Forces 15 Southern African Development Community Standby Force (SSF) 127 South Sudan crisis 129 Soviet bloc 109, 159 Soviet Union 110, 160 Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security (STCDSS) 128, 130 Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) 4 Sudan Camel Corps 103 Sudan, military coup in 2 suicide bombers 88–9
Sun Tzu 32 SWAPO guerrillas and soldiers 109 Tanganyika Rifles 108 Tantawi, Mohammed Hussein 159 Tanzanian African National Union 108 Tanzanian people’s defence forces 59, 61 targeted assassinations, of people 89 terrorist violence: consequences of 90–3; local, regional and international ramifications of 90–3 Tirailleurs 103, 105 torching of villages 89 training programmes, for African militaries: change without change 112–17; Cold War and 109–10; colonial origin and 104–7; in counter-insurgency tactics 117; for defence of national territory 111; French doctrine of 108–9; independence of African territories and 107–9; key elements of 115; in management and strategic subjects 116; Military Advisory and Training Team (British) 109; for new threats and new hopes 117–18; objectives of 103, 111–12; recruitment and 105 trans-border intelligence and surveillance 96 transboundary mercenaries 97 Tunisia’s Food Security Strategy 146 Uganda: advent of colonialism in 56–8; army and elections in 69–72; civil– military issues 72; consequences of military rule in 74–6; constitution of 59; culture of ‘Presidentialism’ 65; democracy quest 59–60; ‘divide and rule,’ politics of 56; ethnic tensions 59–60; governance institutions, building of 59–60; gross domestic product (GDP) 55; independence of 55, 58, 60; indirect rule, system of 56; Kabaka Yekka (KY) party 58; Kiswahili language 75; military and political participation under Museveni 65–6; Military Commission’s gang of four 59; Moshi Conference 61; multi-party democracy 63; National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) 66; National Emergency Coordination Centre 74; national integration of 56; National Policy for Disaster Management 74; National Resistance Council (NRC) 63; National Resistance Movement (NRM) 55, 58,
186 Index Uganda continued 63; National Resistance Movement Organisation (NRM-O) 63; no party democracy in 63; operation wealth creation (OWC) programme 66; parliament of 70, 73; personalised rule, phenomenon of 58; Police and the Prisons Service 62; Political Parties and Other Organisations Act (2005) 63; politics of patronage 57; population of 55; post-colonial governance in 56–8; post-Idi Amin government 59–60; postindependence political crisis 58–9; poverty rate 55; during pre-colonial period 55–9; socio-economic development of 57; tribalism and ethnic politics in 56; Uganda People’s Congress Party (UPC) 58; UPDF Act (2005) 70, 74; UPDF and its role in the governance of 63–5; violent conflict, politics of 59 Ugandan military: background of 54–5; business activities 66; coups and counter-coups 60–2; on elections in Uganda 69–72; ethnic-based divisions 62; ethnic tensions within 59; local and national militias 67; loyalty of 54; military agriculturalists 66; Military Commission’s gang of four 59; mission outside the country 73; morale of soldiers fighting insurgency 62; National Resistance Army (NRA) 40, 51, 61; operation in Somalia 73; during precolonial period 55–9; role in governance 60–2; role in preserving the South Sudanese government 73; socio-political and military history 54–5; and sociopolitical stability 66–7; Special Forces Command (SFC) 64; subject to civilian authority 62–3; Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) 61–2; Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) see Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF); Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army 42 Uganda People’s Congress Party (UPC) 58 Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) 70; collaborations with other armies 73; military coups 64; mission outside the country 73; under Museveni 65–6; as new military force in peace-time Uganda 67–8; regional and peace keeping roles 73–4; relation with
civilian population 72–3; role in the governance of Uganda 63–5; for sociopolitical stability 66–7; UPDF Act (2005) 70, 74 Ummah 85 UN–AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur Sudan (UNAMID) 48, 132 unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) 125–6 UN High Level Panel on Peacekeeping Operations (HIPPO) 152 UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) 48, 130, 132 UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) 140 UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) 91–2 UN peacekeeping mission 44, 112, 140; humanitarian intervention 113; troopcontributing nation for 152 UN Security Council 152; Resolution 2127 130 UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) 48, 132 Verba, Sidney 83 violent conflict, politics of 13, 35, 59, 79, 121, 123–4 war crimes 92 Washington, George 115 West Africa Frontier Force (WAFF) 26–7; commanders of 27; Oil Rivers Irregulars 27 Western security strategy frameworks 146 Wilcox, J. 27 World Bank 55, 65, 165, 169 world social charter 140 World Wars 27; first 105; second 105, 107–8, 163, 173 Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army (Uganda) 42 Yusuf, Mohammed 85, 87; death in police custody 88; extra-judicial killing of 88 Zakyzaky movement 79 Zambian military 103 ‘zero tolerance’ for military coups, in Africa 126 Zimbabwe National Army 109