21 August 2012

Sound Off: African Memories

The more compelling post-colonial African conflict:

- Biafra: ethnic self-determination with a side-order of white mercenaries

- Rhodesia: racist minority rule or aborted educated transition into the modern world

your thoughts below!

By: Brant


Brian said...

"Compelling"? I'm not sure how you mean that.

I'm minded of COL Hammes' presentation at Connections of the three waves of modern insurgency: first, to fight the colonizers; second, to establish who will rule in the new country; third, to adjust the injust national borders the colonizers put in place to set tribes against each other.

Africa is still mostly working its way through the second wave, Biafra and Rhodesia are but older examples.

besilarius said...

Mainly because it was breaking news, I found the Congo very compelling.
Patrice Lumumba's murder, the factional fighting, Count Bernadotte flying in international aid, and UN Speaker Dag Hammersjkold's death.
Very confusing to come home to that, after a day at school which included a drill where the classes went to the air raid shelter in the basement.

Anonymous said...

Rhodesia was old white colonists ruling as a minority not much different than South Africa. They fought a holding action against ZANLA and ZIPRA. Even though they were successful militarily, the white government would never when on the political or stategic level.

Dave S. Just let me know when you have time and we can talk about the Rhodesian War which is one of my favorite topics.

Anonymous said...

In light of what's happened to Rhodesia since it became Zimbabwe, perhaps the Rhodies had a point - that transition to majority rule needed to be handled in stages in such a way as to ensure that it wasn't merely tribal-crony-favoritism masquerading as 'self-determination' among an illiterate, uneducated, overly-armed population that, aside from their weaponry, was barely more advanced than their neolithic ancestors.
We already know that the 1981 'elections' were a sham power grab for the Mugabians, and we know that after agitating for 'majority rule' in the Rhodesian years they've since become one of the most minority-driven, violent, oppressive, and corrupt governments in Africa. We know that the Mugabe government will not cede power without a fight, after duping the international community into thinking that their overthrow of the white government of Rhodesia was all about race and free elections.

Maybe the Rhodesian government was on the right side of history after all, but was inconveniently sandwiched between Western race-inspired post-colonial guilt, and the poor example of an oppressive apartheid regime next door in South Africa, and therefore were lumped in with every other bad actor because of superficial circumstances, rather than a true analysis of the details of the situation.