Models of African Policing:
Evolution and Conversion
The characteristics and workings of the processes underpinning the model set out in Chapter 3 are best illustrated by reference to policing in specific states. I have chosen Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Namibia, Somalia, Somaliland, and Congo (Zaire) because each exemplifies a major trait of police systems, and each illustrates the types of relationships that existed between internal policing and regime types from approximately 1990 to 1996. Each provides evidence with which to judge the effects of liberalization on police systems. In this chapter I look at the themes of evolution and conversion in terms of the experiences of Uganda and Ethiopia. Chapter 5 focuses on the construction and integration of police systems in Eritrea and Namibia. Because of the unique importance of fragile transitional environments to policing, reconstruction operations, and international organizations in Africa in the 1990s, I cover the examples provided by Somalia, Somaliland, and Congo (Zaire) separately in Chapter 6, where I consider conflict, fragmentation, and transition.
The evolutionary nature of police systems is recognized in the first phase of the model. At the most general level, all existing police systems can be said to have evolved since independence, but the theme warrants closer analysis because it directs attention to three important aspects of police systems. The first is that the evolutionary model is dominant, especially in the mature and comparatively sophisticated police systems of states such as Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. The second is the legitimization (understood in terms of both sanction by law and general acceptance) of the brutality seemingly inherent in many African states, in which harsh methods