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 ‘Politics as violence in eastern Africa, 1940-90: legacy, agency, contingency’ 2. ‘Calm before the storms? Patterns of political violence in Somalia, 1950-80’ 3. ‘Political violence and the emergence of the dispute over Abyei, 1950–80’ 4. ‘Unsound minds and broken bodies: the detention of ‘hardcore’ Mau Mau women at Kamiti and Gitamayu Detention Camps, 1954-60’ 5. ‘Discourses of violence in the transition from colonialism to independence in south Sudan, 1955-60’ 6. ‘Ethiopian support to South Sudan from 1962 to 1983: local, regional and global connections’7. ‘Violence, decolonization and the Cold War in Kenya’s North Eastern Province, 1963-78’ 8. ‘Remembering Wagalla: state violence in northern Kenya, 1963-91’ 9. ‘Ethiopian foreign policy and the Ogaden War: the shift from containment to destabilization, 1977-91’ 10. ‘The Uganda-Tanzania War, the Fall of Idi Amin, and the Failure of African Diplomacy, 1978-79’ 11. ‘The emergence of the Fertit militia in southern Sudan, 1985-89’ 12. ‘Punishing the periphery: legacies of state repression in the Ethiopian Ogaden’