The Skull beneath the Skin: Africa after the Cold War

By Mark Huband | Go to book overview

PART TWO
The Time of the Soldier

But how do we avoid war? It's necessary for all groups to have
confidence in the state. For that, they need to be led by
democrats. For that there's a need for clarity and discussion.
But it's always the warlords who are in power. A warlord can't
become a democrat next day. It's the military that always runs
the country. The military can't create a democratic system,
because they know that if there's democracy they lose power,
because the people want peace. The army are frightened of the
people and the intellectuals. There's always a militarization of
the democratic process. In thirty-two years of independence
we have had twenty years of war. That marks the political
mentality. To democratize it's necessary to find a solution to
the military conflict. It's necessary to have a genuinely national
army, because now everybody wants their own army.

Gali Gata N'gothe

GALI GATA N'GOTHE, political opponent of Chad's military ruler, Hissène Habré, whose assessment is cited above,1 gets at the heart of what typified the political struggles throughout much of the continent—in particular West Africa—during the early and mid-1990s. The call for democracy exposed military rulers and militarism itself as having firmly divided the interests of the leaders from those of the led. Before the

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The Skull beneath the Skin: Africa after the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Prologue viii
  • Part One - Empty Promises i
  • 1 - Sell the Silver, Steal the Gold 3
  • 2 - The Skull beneath the Skin 31
  • 3 - Great Game, Dirty Game 57
  • Part Two - The Time of the Soldier 79
  • 4 - Whispers and Screams 81
  • 5 - A City on the Lake 97
  • 6 - Juggling the Juntas 115
  • 7 - The Deadly Harvest 137
  • Part Three - Blood of the Ancestors 159
  • 8 - Myths, Chiefs, and Churches 161
  • 9 - Genocide 184
  • 10 - The Spit of the Toad 217
  • Part Four - New World, Old Order 249
  • 11 - Rogue States and Radicals 253
  • 12 - The Mogadishu Line 277
  • 13 - France, Africa, and a Place Called Fashoda 307
  • Epilogue - The Center Cannot Hold 327
  • Notes 335
  • Bibliography 355
  • Index 361
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