Portal:Military history of Africa

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The Military history of Africa Portal

Tapestry of the Battle of Adwa between Ethiopia and Italy.

The military history of Africa is one of the oldest military histories in the world. Africa is a continent of many regions with diverse populations speaking hundreds of different languages and practicing an array of cultures and religions. These differences have also been the source of much conflict since a millennia.

Like the history of Africa, military history on the continent is often divided by region. North Africa was part of the Mediterranean cultures and was integral to the military history of classical antiquity, and East Africa has historically had various states who have historically warred with some the world's most powerful. The military history of modern Africa may be divided into three broad time periods: pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial.

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The Mozambican War of Independence, (clockwise from top left); a Portuguese supply convoy traverses the countryside; a foot patrol of Portuguese soldiers in the forest through which the insurgents were difficult to track; Portuguese troops embark surface ships on their way to Africa; a heavily armed Portuguese armoured column

The Mozambican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique), and Portugal. The war officially started on September 25, 1964, and ended with a cease fire on September 8, 1974, resulting in a negotiated independence in 1975.

The conflict was a result of unrest and frustration amongst the indigenous Mozambican population, who perceived foreign rule to be a form of exploitation and mistreatment, which served only to further Portuguese economic interests in the region. Many Mozambicans also resented Portugal's policies towards indigenous people, which included denying locals access to fundamental education and employment. As successful self-determination movements spread throughout Africa after World War II, many Mozambicans became progressively nationalistic in outlook, and increasingly frustrated by the nation's continued subservience to foreign rule.

A mass exile of Mozambique's political intelligentsia to neighbouring countries provided havens from which radical Mozambicans could plan actions and foment political unrest in the home country. The formation of the Mozambican guerrilla organisation FRELIMO and the support of the Soviet Union, China and Cuba through arms and advisors, led to the outbreak of violence that was to last over a decade.

Selected biography

Joseph Kabila Kabange (born June 4, 1971), known commonly as Joseph Kabila, became president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo after the assassination of his father in January 2001. On November 27, 2006, he was confirmed as the first Congolese President to be democratically elected by universal direct suffrage.

In order to integrate his father's rebel forces, Joseph Kabila followed a military curriculum in Tanzania, and in the neighbouring countries of Uganda and Rwanda, after graduating from high school. In 1996, he joined his father's Rwandan backed rebel forces (the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo, (AFDL)), as operations commander, in the campaign that is dubbed the First Congo War. Following the AFDL's victory, and Laurent Kabila's rise to the presidency, Joseph Kabila went on to get further training at the National Defense University, in Beijing, China.

When he returned from China, Kabila was given the rank of Major-General, and appointed Deputy-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Congolese Armed Forces, in 1998. He was later, in 2000, appointed Army Chief of Staff, a position he held until the elder President Kabila's assassination in January 2001. As chief of staff, he was one of the main military leaders in charge of Government troops in the Second Congo War.

Quotes


"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." — Steve Biko White Racism and Black Consciousness, in I Write What I Like

Equipment

Soviet P-15 Termit (SS-N-2 Styx) anti-ship missile

The P-15 Termit (Russian: П-15 "Термит"; English: termite) was a type of missile developed by the Soviet Union's Raduga design bureau in the 1950s. Its GRAU designation was "4K40", and its NATO reporting name was Styx or SS-N-2.

Soviet-made P-15 missiles were used by Egypt against Israel in 1967 where Egyptian Komar class fast-attack craft (FAC) sank the Israeli destroyer Eilat. It is also used by Algeria, Angola, Libya and Somalia.

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Belgian paratroopers in Stanleyville during the Congo Crisis, 1964

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Jean-Baptiste OuédraogoCrocodile Armoured Personnel CarrierCitizen Force (South Africa)Jean SchrammeJean-Marie RunigaKikuyu Home GuardKaronga WarLaurent NkundaMaroon CommandosNatal Native ContingentOdong LatekPaul ErmensRonald Reid-DalyRoyal West African Frontier ForceStanleyville mutiniesUganda National Liberation FrontZimbabwe African National Liberation Army
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Jurinus Janse van RensburgList of South African military chiefsMilitary history of AfricaVejaynand RamlakanAubrey SedibeSouth African ArmySouth African Navy
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