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Zacharia Walwa
Nov 27, 2023

Drawing example from East and West Africa discuss how military influenced the transformation of African politics?

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Nov 27, 2023
The military has played a significant role in shaping the political landscape of both East and West Africa. In many instances, military interventions have led to political transformations, including coups, regime changes, and the establishment of military governments. Here are two examples that illustrate the influence of the military on African politics in these regions:

1. East Africa - Uganda:
In East Africa, Uganda provides a notable example of how the military influenced political transformation. In 1971, General Idi Amin staged a military coup, overthrowing President Obote and establishing a military government. Amin's regime was characterized by brutal repression, human rights abuses, and economic mismanagement. The military played a central role in maintaining Amin's grip on power, with the army being responsible for the suppression of dissent and the persecution of political opponents.

Amin's military regime had a profound impact on Ugandan politics, leading to the collapse of institutions, the erosion of democratic processes, and the exacerbation of ethnic tensions. The military's influence extended beyond politics, as Amin's regime also had a significant impact on the economy, with widespread corruption and mismanagement leading to economic decline.

2. West Africa - Nigeria:
In West Africa, Nigeria provides an example of how military interventions have shaped the political landscape. Since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1960, Nigeria has experienced several military coups and military-led governments. The first military coup occurred in 1966 when a group of army officers overthrew the civilian government, leading to a series of military regimes.

The military's influence in Nigeria's politics has been significant, with military governments ruling for a significant portion of the country's history. These military regimes often suppressed political opposition, curtailed civil liberties, and engaged in widespread corruption. However, military rule also had some positive impacts, such as the establishment of infrastructure projects and economic reforms.

The military's influence on Nigerian politics has had long-lasting effects, including the erosion of democratic institutions, the entrenchment of corruption, and the exacerbation of ethnic and religious tensions. It was only in 1999 that Nigeria transitioned to civilian rule, marking a significant shift away from military dominance in politics.

In both East and West Africa, the military's influence on politics has had mixed consequences. While military interventions have sometimes led to political instability, human rights abuses, and economic decline, they have also brought about infrastructural development and economic reforms. However, the overall impact of military involvement in African politics has often been detrimental to democratic processes and the long-term stability of these nations.

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