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 Algerian Civil War was an armed conflict between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups which began in 1991. It is estimated to have cost between 150,000 and 200,000 lives. More than 70 journalists were assassinated, either by security forces or by Islamists[1] The conflict effectively ended with a government victory, following the surrender of the Islamic Salvation Army and the 2002 defeat of the Armed Islamic Group. However, low-level fighting still continues in some areas.

The conflict began in December 1991, when the government cancelled elections after the first round results had shown that the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) party would win, citing fears that the FIS would end democracy. After the FIS was banned and thousands of its members arrested, Islamist guerrillas rapidly emerged and began an armed campaign against the government and its supporters. They formed themselves into several armed groups, principally the Islamic Armed Movement (MIA), based in the mountains, and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), based in the towns. The guerrillas initially targeted the army and police, but some groups soon started attacking civilians. In 1994, as negotiations between the government and the FIS's imprisoned leadership reached their height, the GIA declared war on the FIS and its supporters, while the MIA and various smaller groups regrouped, becoming the FIS-loyalist Islamic Salvation Army (AIS).

References

  1. ^ Entre menace, censure et liberté: La presse privé algérienne se bat pour survivre, March 31, 1998

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

"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." — Nelson Mandela

Equipment

Bateleur UAV by Denel Aerospace Systems

The Bateleur (named for an African eagle) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype designed and built by Denel Aerospace Systems of South Africa (formerly Kentron). It has been designed as a MALE (Medium-Altitude - Long Endurance) UAV, with its primary role being surveillance, with a secondary SIGINT capability.

Development began at the beginning of 2004 as a totally in-house and private-venture project, being developed with internal company funds. The first prototype is expected to fly in early 2006.

The entire aircraft is constructed using a modular construction system, making adapting the airframe in future to increase the range or fit larger payloads much easier than with a rigid airframe. It also makes it possible for the aircraft, once disassembled, to fit inside a 6 m ISO shipping container.

Selected image

A "tank cemetery" of redundant military equipment from the Derg regime in Asmara, Ethiopia

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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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