1st Edition

Politics and Violence in Eastern Africa The Struggles of Emerging States

Edited By David M. Anderson, Øystein H. Rolandsen Copyright 2015
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    Over the fifty years between 1940 and 1990, the countries of eastern Africa were embroiled in a range of debilitating and destructive conflicts, starting with the wars of independence, but then incorporating rebellion, secession and local insurrection as the Cold War replaced colonialism. The articles gathered here illustrate how significant, widespread, and dramatic this violence was. In these years, violence was used as a principal instrument in the creation and consolidation of the authority of the state; and it was also regularly and readily utilised by those who wished to challenge state authority through insurrection and secession. Why was it that eastern Africa should have experienced such extensive and intensive violence in the fifty years before 1990? Was this resort to violence a consequence of imperial rule, the legacy of oppressive colonial domination under a coercive and non-representative state system? Did essential contingencies such as the Cold War provoke and promote the use of violence? Or, was it a choice made by Africans themselves and their leaders, a product of their own agency? This book focuses on these turbulent decades, exploring the principal conflicts in six key countries – Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania.

    This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Eastern African Studies.

    1. Introduction: Violence as politics in eastern Africa, 1940-1990 – legacy, agency, contingency

    David M. Anderson and Øystein H. Rolandsen

    2. Calm between the storms? Patterns of political violence in Somalia, 1950-1980

    Ken Menkhaus

    3. Political violence and the emergence of the dispute over Abyei, Sudan, 1950-1983

    Luka B. Deng Kuol

    4. "Unsound" minds and broken bodies: the detention of "hardcore" Mau Mau women at Kamiti and Gitamayu Detention Camps in Kenya, 1954-1960

    Katherine Bruce-Lockhart

    5. Discourses of violence in the transition from colonialism to independence in southern Sudan, 1955-1960

    Øystein H. Rolandsen and Cherry Leonardi

    6. Ethiopian state support to insurgency in Southern Sudan from 1962 to 1983: local, regional and global connections

    Lovise Aalen

    7. Violence, decolonisation and the Cold War in Kenya’s north-eastern province, 1963-1978

    Daniel Branch

    8. Remembering Wagalla: state violence in northern Kenya, 1962-1991

    David M. Anderson

    9. Ethiopian foreign policy and the Ogaden War: the shift from "containment" to "destabilization", 1977-1991

    Belete Belachew Yihun

    10. The Uganda-Tanzania War, the fall of Idi Amin, and the failure of African

    diplomacy, 1978-1979

    George Roberts

    11. The grassroots nature of counterinsurgent tribal militia formation: the case

    of the Fertit in Southern Sudan, 1985-1989

    Daniel S. Blocq

    12. Punishing the periphery: legacies of state repression in the Ethiopian Ogaden

    Tobias Hagmann


    David M. Anderson is professor of African history at the University of Warwick. He has published widely on the history and politics of eastern Africa, including The Khat Controversy (2007) and Histories of the Hanged (2005). He is editor of The Routledge Handbook of African Politics (2013). He has recently completed a study on the Cold War in Africa and is engaged in wider research on the history of empire and violence.

    Øystein H. Rolandsen is a senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo. He is a specialist in the history of eastern Africa with particular reference to the Sudan. His most recent book is Guerrilla Government: Political Changes in the Southern Sudan during the 1990s (2005). He has published in leading journals, including the Journal of African History, Review of African Political Economy, and the Journal of Eastern African Studies. He is now, together with Dr. Martin Daly, writing a general history of South Sudan.