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Vol XXV, Issue 1 (Winter 2018): Cameroon and Christianity; and US Foreign Policy in Africa

Table of Contents

Editorial: Prof. Gloria Emeagwali

 

Abdul Karim Bangura: “United States Military Assistance and Support Policies in Africa 

 

South of the Sahara: A Quantitative and Exploratory Analysis”

 

 

Confidence Chia Ngam:  “From Guns to Scriptures:   The case of the  Grassfield

Soldiers of North West  Cameroon,  1914-21”

 

 

Editorial

This issue of Africa Update marks our 25th anniversary as a scholarly  publication. It  is our one hundredth  issue and we are proud of this accomplishment. More than  two hundred scholars have contributed to Africa Update over the last two and a half decades. We have won the accolades of EBSCO, that invited us to include it among its collections, as well as  commendation from numerous scholars in various institutions.

According to Dr. Abdul Karim Bangura, a  holder of five doctorates from various American universities,  the United States military assistance and support policies for Africa involve  military financing, economic support, education and training, counter-narcotics support, and programs that aim at  non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, de-mining and equally significant,  peacekeeping. So what has been the outcome of this  agenda and the various collaborated efforts,  in the various African countries involved? How have countries like Djibouti, Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia,  Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and others benefitted from these programs? What has the United States gained as a result of these ventures -  in addition to enormous leverage-  and  in some documented cases, the immunity of US citizens with respect to the International Criminal Court?  How have China - Africa Relations been affected by US military activism on the continent, and conversely, how have  the US  presence on the continent been affected by the rise of China? Professor Bangura’s detailed scholarly  analysis provides illuminating answers to some of these questions -  and much more.

In this issue of Africa Update  we also revisit World War 1,  and the diffusion of Christianity by  former  soldiers from North West Cameroon. What led to this religious conversion, and what were the consequences and  political ramifications from that activity?  Confidence Chia Ngam of the  University of Bamenda, Cameroon, sheds light on these issues and others in her informative and scholarly article.

 

 

 

 We thank the contributors to this issue for their stimulating and insightful discussions. We also take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all the contributors to Africa Update,  past and present,  who made it possible for us to produce one  hundred  issues to date. We extend special thanks to  Haines Brown and Tennyson Darko,  for their technical expertise that facilitated and made possible  the online version of this publication in the first decade after its inauguration. Jennifer Nicoletti of Academic Technology, CCSU,   provided us with technical assistance and advice for several years, until 2016.  Our issues have included scholarly articles on ancient northeast Africa, racism and Egyptology, US foreign policy and Africa, Boko Haram, cultural appropriation and theft of African artifacts,   Ethiopian coffee cooperatives, African writing systems, African musicians such as Fela Ransome Kuti, French - African relations, and annual articles on the AMISTAD and the African Diaspora.

Africa Update  is widely consulted and may have influenced, directly or indirectly, other publications bearing similar names. It is widely used by students and faculty in various countries and  we hope that we continue to inspire our  readership around the world.

 

Professor Gloria Emeagwali

Chief Editor

 

 

………………………………………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

United States Military Assistance and Support Policies in AfricaSouth of the Sahara: A Quantitative and Exploratory Analysis

 

 

*Abdul Karim Bangura

  Researcher-in-residence

  Center for Global Peace

  School of International Service

  American University

  Washington DC. USA

                                                                                                                  

 

Abstract

 

This paper examines United States military assistance and support policies in Africa to determine whether or not they have influenced peaceful transformations in those African societies as a response to the emerging conflict dynamics involving both state and non-state actors. The major research question for this study is therefore quite straightforward: What are the results of United States military assistance and support policies in those African countries south of the Sahara which received such aid? The research methodology employed to guide this study comprises quantitative and exploratory or “formulative” approaches because, in addition to the fact that the purpose of the study is to discover ideas and insights on the suggested topic, the United States military assistance and support policies for Africa are multifaceted. These multiple dimensions call for the exploration of possible nexuses between United States military assistance and support policies (independent variable) and many relevant dependent variables for which indices data are available for the recipient African countries. Thus, the following hypothesis is suggested for empirical testing, H1: There are significant relationships between the independent and dependent variables. The data for the investigation were collected from both primary and secondary data sources by using the archival method or document analysis technique. The data sources comprised government reports, databases of various indexes, and articles. The data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively in order to provide descriptive and explanatory interpretations and to test for possible correlations between the independent and dependent variables.

 

Introduction

 

A major rationale for United States military assistance and support policies in Africa hinges on the threat posed by states that do not control certain areas within their borders. As Claire Metelits argues, for the United States, “The governments in which these spaces are found are considered threats because they fail in their Westphalian responsibility to stop non-state actors from using their territory and populations to prepare and stage attacks against Western interests” (Metelits, 2014; see also The United States Military, 2015; The White House, 2012).

Thus, according to The White House, United States military assistance and support policies towards Africa are based on the fact that “Given state fragility, conflict, and transnational security issues, the promotion of peace and security in Africa remains one of the United States’ highest priorities, and is critical to attainment of our democracy and governance, economic, and development goals. We are actively pursuing policies of partnership and ways to promote solutions that yield long-term results” (The White House, 2014; see also US Department of State, 2014a). While some observers have touted the aid’s successes (e.g., Carafano and Gardiner, 2003), others have pointed out its shortcomings (e.g., Shank and Regan, 2013).

As shown in Table 1, a total of 13 African countries received United States military assistance in fiscal year 2014. As also revealed, Liberia was the largest recipient of that aid to African countries, accounting for more than one-third of the total amount given to the continent. This may be a reflection of the bilateral relationship between the two countries that dates back to 1819 when the United States Congress appropriated $100,000 to establish Liberia (US Department of State, 2015a). The second largest recipient is Kenya, and tied for third place are Djibouti and Nigeria.

 

Table 1: United States Foreign Military Financing for Africa,

Fiscal Year 2014

 

 

Country

 

  Amount

  (US $)

As a Percent of

the Total Amount

(rounded off)

Botswana

  200,000

 2%

Côte d’Ivoire

  200,000

 2%

Djibouti

 1,000,000

 10%

Ethiopia

  843,000

 8%

Ghana

  350,000

 3%

Guinea

  200,000

 2%

Kenya

 1,178,000

 11%

Liberia

 4,000,000

 38%

Nigeria

 1,000,000

 10%

Senegal

  325,000

 3%

South Africa

  700,000

 7%

Tanzania

  200,000

 2%

Uganda

  200,000

 2%

Total

$10,396,000

100%

Source: Self-generated by Author Using SPSS with Data

Gleaned from US Department of State, 2016

 

Indeed, the United States is the biggest donor of military assistance in the globe, with more than 150 countries receiving such aid each year. The central axiom of the assistance and support policies is that by strengthening military relations between the United States and these countries, their relationships in other areas will be strengthened as well (Federation of American Scientists, 2016; Shah, 2010). While there are many government reports and some anecdotal articles on United States military assistance and support policies in Africa south of the Sahara, to the best of my knowledge, no systematic study exists on the results of the assistance and policies in the recipient countries. This paper therefore seeks to fill this gap in the literature. The objective is to determine how the assistance and policies have influenced peaceful transformations of the African societies. This study is necessary because it provides readers with a portrait of the military relationship between a new or non-colonial power and a number of African countries, and the changing characters of those countries’ armed forces. The major research question for this study is therefore quite straightforward: What are the results of United States military assistance and support policies in those African countries south of the Sahara which received such aid?

The United States military assistance and support policies for Africa are multifaceted: (a) foreign military financing; (b) economic support fund; (c) international military education and training; (d) counter-narcotics assistance; (e) non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, demining, and related programs; and (f) peacekeeping operations (Federation of American Scientists, 2016). These multiple dimensions call for the exploration of possible nexuses between United States military assistance and support policies (independent variable—a variable often denoted by x whose variation does not depend on that of another) and many relevant dependent variables (variables often denoted by y whose values depend on those of others) for which indices data are available for the recipient African countries: military expenditure per gross domestic product (GDP), global terrorism, democracy, fragile state, regime longevity, per capita GDP, peace, globalization, governance, global competitiveness, human development, gender equality, and happiness. The data for the investigation were collected from both primary and secondary data sources by using the archival method or document analysis technique. The data sources comprised government reports, databases of various indexes, and articles. In this exploration, the rest of this paper is organized sequentially as follows: research methodology, research design, operationalizations of the variables and data sources, conceptual framework, statistical analytical techniques, data analysis, and conclusion.

 

Research Methodology

 

The research methodology employed in this paper comprises quantitative and exploratory or “formulative” approaches. Definitions and brief discussions of these techniques follow.

Quantitative research can be defined as the systematic scientific investigation of phenomena and their relationships. Quantitative research tends to be theory driven; uses fixed research designs—the most common being pre-experimental, quasi-experimental, and experimental; and involves the collection of numerical data. From this perspective, quantitative research involves inquiry into human problems based on the testing or application of theory that is operationalized into variables and analyzed with appropriate statistical or social scientific analytic procedures. Quantitative research is generally approached using scientific methods and processes that include (a) the generation of models, theories, and hypotheses; (b) the development of instruments and methods for measurement; (c) the experimental control and manipulation of variables; (d) the collection of empirical data; (e) the modeling and analyzing of data; and (f) the evaluation of results (Bangura and Hopwood, 2014:ix).

The objective of quantitative research is therefore to develop and use mathematical or representational models designed to indicate systematic patterns of relations, time sequences or causal connections in data, and theories and testing of hypotheses pertaining to natural phenomena. The process of measurement is central to empirical observation and the mathematical expression of quantitative relationships (Bangura and Hopwood, 2014:ix-x).

            Contrastingly, in qualitative research, theory arises from the investigation. Theory and conceptual insights derive from data collection rather than prior to it. Such approaches generate hypotheses, as opposed to testing them. Qualitative methods are more interpretative, historical, and ethnographic than the quantitative approaches. Thus, the critical issues for qualitative research involve scrupulosity, meticulousness, commitment to scholarly rigor in the investigation of research questions, determination to find the truth, and intellectual honesty (Bangura and Hopwood, 2014:x).

In sum, whereas qualitative studies are basically enumerative, quantitative studies are more causally oriented. Thus, although qualitative studies are as important as quantitative studies, quantitative studies are methodologically more complex than qualitative studies (Bangura and Hopwood, 2014:x).

It may appear, however, that the difference between qualitative and quantitative methodologies is a somewhat artificial dichotomy, since each group combines both approaches in its underlying assumptions. This is because the quantitative approach calls for a great deal of qualitative description prior to counting (in order to empirically ground each category) as well as after counting (statistical tendencies have to be interpreted as to what they reveal about causal relations). And the qualitative approach has an implicit notion that ‘more is better’: that is to say, the more instances of a phenomenon to be found, the more a researcher can trust his/her interpretation of an underlying pattern (Bangura and Hopwood, 2014:x).

Despite these underlying similarities, qualitative and quantitative approaches are different in some ways. In addition to some of the more obvious procedural differences (for example, quantitative studies categorize and count occurrences), the two types of approaches differ in their overall orientation toward inquiry: the qualitative focuses more on particularities and the quantitative focuses more on generalities (Bangura and Hopwood, 2014:x).

Exploratory or “formulative” research is a technique employed to investigate an unclearly defined phenomenon or a relatively new and unstudied phenomenon. The approach is utilized when the researcher does not have adequate knowledge to delineate distinct concepts or proffer explanatory relationships. It is useful for determining the best research design(s), data collection technique(s) and subject(s) to be selected for a study. Thus, a researcher must be very careful in drawing definitive conclusions when the approach is used (Stebbins, 2001).

            Also, according to Earl Babbie, exploratory research is typically conducted for three reasons. The first reason is “simply to satisfy the researcher’s curiosity and desire for better understanding.” The second reason is “to test the feasibility of undertaking a more careful study.” The third reason is “to develop the methods to be employed in a more careful study” (Babbie, 1983:74).

            In addition, noting that “the exploratory case study has perhaps given all of case study research its most notorious reputation,” Robert Yin provides the following observation and advice: “A major problem with exploratory case studies arises when investigators wrongly use the data collected during the exploratory phase as part of the ensuing case study. You could then be accused of having conducted a case study in which you found what you were looking for. Thus, you should not permit such slippage from the exploratory (pilot) phase into the actual case study to occur” (Yin, 2012:29).

 

Research Design

 

The one-group posttest only design is employed as the overall strategy to integrate the various components of this study. This pre-experimental design, according to Thomas D. Cook and Donald T. Campbell, “involves making observations only on persons (places or things) who (which) have undergone a treatment, and then only after they have received it” (1979:96). The design is diagrammatically represented as follows:

______

X O

______

 

where X represents the treatment or independent variable and O represents the observation of the effects or outcomes or dependent variables. For this study the treatment or independent variable is United States military assistance and support policies for Africa and the effects or outcomes or dependent variables are military expenditure per gross domestic product (GDP), global terrorism, democracy, fragile state, regime longevity, per capita GDP, peace, globalization, governance, global competitiveness, human development, gender equality, and happiness. These variables are operationalized in the following section.

 

Operationalizations of the Variables and Data Sources

 

This section describes how the independent variable (a variable often denoted by x whose variation does not depend on that of another) and the 13 dependent variables (variables often denoted by y whose values depend on those of others) examined in this essay are measured and their data sources. The variables are discussed individually for the sake of clarity. It should be noted here that all of the variables were measured at the ratio level: i.e. they are continuous and have absolute or natural zero points that are meaningful. It should also be mentioned here that the data for the independent variable are for the year 2014 and those for the dependent variables are for the year 2015. This will allow for a lag of at least one year in order for the independent variable to have an effect on the dependent variables.

 

Independent Variable

 

United States Military Assistance and Support Policies (USMILASS) comprise (a) foreign military financing; (b) economic support fund; (c) international military education and training; (d) counter-narcotics assistance; (e) non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, demining, and related programs; and (f) peacekeeping operations (Federation of American Scientists, 2016). The variable is measured by the dollar amount the United States government spent on these components by account via the State Bureau and Operating Unit for the year 2014. The data for this variable were gleaned from the United States Department of State Web site (US Department of State, 2016).

 

Dependent Variables

 

Military Expenditure Per GDP (MILEPGDP) is the amount of money spent on the armed forces as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product: i.e. the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year.

            The measurement employed and data generated for the year 2015 by the Swedish International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) for MILEPGDP, which are widely used around the world, are also utilized in this study. According to The World Bank,

 

Military expenditures data from SIPRI are derived from the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) definition, which includes all current and capital expenditures on the armed forces, including peacekeeping forces; defense ministries and other government agencies engaged in defense projects; paramilitary forces, if these are judged to be trained and equipped for military operations; and military space activities. Such expenditures include military and civil personnel, including retirement pensions of military personnel and social services for personnel; operations and maintenance; procurement; military research and development; and military aid (in the military expenditures of the donor country). Excluded are civil defense and current expenditures for previous military activities, such as for veterans’ benefits, demobilization, conversion, and destruction of weapons (The World Bank, 2015a).

 

The World Bank also makes the point that since a great deal of information is required on military budgets and off-budget military expenditure items, the MILEPGDP definition and measurement cannot be employed for some countries (The World Bank, 2015a).

 

Global Terrorism (GLOBALTE) can be generally conceptualized as the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims relating to the whole world. Nonetheless, as the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) whose 2015 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) covering 162 countries across the globe is used for this paper states, defining terrorism is not an uncomplicated issue because there is no single internationally agreed upon definition of the concept, and numerous competing definitions and typologies exist in the terrorism literature. IEP acknowledges and uses the nomenclature and meanings proffered by the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Thus, the GTI defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non‐state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation” (IEP, 2015). This broader definition characterizes terrorism as both a physical and psychological act that can have an impact on a society for many years after (IEP, 2015).

To be included as a terrorist act in the GTD, the incident must be: “an intentional act of violence or threat of violence by a non-state actor. This means an incident has to meet three criteria in order for it to be counted as a terrorist act: (1) the incident must be intentional—the result of a conscious calculation on the part of a perpetrator; (2) the incident must entail some level of violence or threat of violence—including property damage, as well as violence against people; and (3) the perpetrators of the incident must be sub-national actors. This database does not include acts of state terrorism” (IEP, 2015). The omission of state terrorism has been a major stumbling block in the definition of and the fight against global terrorism.

            From 1997 to the present, in order for an incident to be included as a terrorist act in the START database, the preceding baseline definition and two of the following three criteria must be met: (1) “the violent act was aimed at attaining a political, economic, religious, or social goal;” (2) “the violent act included evidence of an intention to coerce, intimidate, or convey some other message to a larger audience other than to the immediate victims;” and (3) “the violent act was outside the precepts of international humanitarian law” (IEP, 2015). The database codes an incident as “doubt terrorism proper” when there is insufficient information to make a definitive judgment about whether it is a terrorist act according to the definition. In addition, “incidents occurring in both the same geographic and temporal point will be regarded as a single incident, but if either the time of the occurrence of the incidents or their locations are discontinuous, the events will be regarded as separate incidents” (IEP, 2015).

 

Democracy (DEMOCRAC) is used to describe at least three different political systems. One way the term is employed is to describe regimes that come as close as possible to the Aristotelian notion of the “rule of the many.” In this case, a political system is said to be democratic if all, or most, of its citizens participate directly by either holding office or making policy. The New England town meeting comes as close as possible of this notion. In such a meeting, adults in a community gather once or twice a year to vote directly on major issues and expenditures (Bangura, 2011 & 2013).

            The second way the concept democracy is used is to describe a system which is said to serve the “true interests” of citizens, whether or not they directly affect the making of those decisions. A number of totalitarian regimes, such as those in the Soviet block, Chinese, Cuban, some Asian, some Latin American and certain European governments, used this concept. The Soviet Union, for example, used to claim that it operated on the principle of “democratic centralism” whereby the true interests of the masses are discovered through discussions within the Communist party and then decisions are made under central leadership to serve those interests (Bangura, 2011 & 2013).

            The third way the term democracy is utilized is to describe the principle of governance of most countries (for example, the United States) that are referred to as democratic. This concept is most concisely stated by Joseph Schumpeter as follows: “The democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals [i.e. leaders] acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote” (1950:269). Whenever the word democracy is used in this essay, it has the meaning assigned to it by Schumpeter (Bangura, 2011 & 2013).

The 2015 Index of Democracy of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is employed in this essay as the measurement of democracy. The index is based on the view that measures of democracy that reflect the state of political freedoms and civil liberties are not thick enough. Put differently, these measures do not encompass sufficiently or at all some features that determine how substantive democracy is or its quality. At the same time, the EIU admits that even its thicker, more inclusive and wider, measure of democracy does not include other aspects—which some authors argue are also crucial components of democracy—such as levels of economic and social wellbeing. Thus, the EIU respects the dominant tradition that holds that a variety of social and economic outcomes can be consistent with political democracy (EIU, 2015).

The EIU’s index provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent countries and two territories. This covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world’s 192 independent countries, excluding 27 microstates (EIU, 2015).

On a scale of 0 to 10, the EIU’s index is based on the ratings for 60 indicators grouped into five categories: (1) electoral process and pluralism, (2) civil liberties, (3) the functioning of government, (4) political participation, and (5) political culture. Each category has a rating on a 0 to 10 scale, and the overall index of democracy is the simple average of the five category indices (EIU, 2015).

The category indices are based on the sum of the indicator scores in the category, converted to a scale of 0 to 10. Adjustments to the category scores are made of countries that do not score a 1 in the following critical areas for democracy: (a) whether national elections are free and fair, (b) the security of voters, (c) the influence of foreign powers on government, (d) the capability of the civil service to implement policies (EIU, 2015).

If the scores for the first three categories are 0 (or 0.5), one point (0.5) is deducted from the index in the relevant category (either the electoral process and pluralism or the functioning of government). If the score for category 4 is 0, one point is deducted from the functioning-of-government category index (EIU, 2015).

 

Fragile State (FRAGILES) can be generally defined as a weak nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government that is liable to break up or give way under pressure. The 2015 Fragile States Index (FSI) produced by the Fund for Peace (FFP) is used as the measurement for the variable here.

Each year, the FSI ranks 178 countries in terms of their levels of stability and the pressures they confront. The Fund for Peace’s proprietary Conflict Assessment Software Tool (CAST) analytical platform is utilized to calculate the index. Quantitative and qualitative techniques are employed to critically review data from primary sources in order to generate final scores for the index. According to the FFP, this triangulation or “mixed methods” approach assists in ensuring that intrinsic biases, gaps and weaknesses in one source can be checked by consulting the others (FFP, 2015).

After analyzing millions of documents with the application of highly specialized search parameters, scores are generated for each country based on 12 key political and military, social, and economic indicators and over 100 sub-indicators generated after many years of tedious expert social science research (FFP, 2015).

            The FFP urges that the index scores “be interpreted with the understanding that the lower the score, the better. Therefore, a reduced score indicates an improvement, just as a higher score indicates greater instability” (FFP, 2015).

 

Regime Longevity (REGIMELO) refers to the long life of a government. It is calculated by counting the number of years a head of state and his/her cabinet have exercised ultimate power or authority over a country and its people. The data for this variable up to the year 2015 were collected from the online Infoplease Encyclopedia (2016).

 

Per Capita GDP (PCGDP) is a country’s gross domestic product (the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year) divided by its midyear population. The World Bank 2015 PCGDP Index used for this essay “is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources.” The data are in current United States dollars and available in The World Bank National Accounts and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Accounts data files (The World Bank, 2015b).

 

Peace (PEACE) is not just avoiding war; peace is also about preserving and promoting human dignity (more details can be found in four of Bangura’s works cited in the references section: 2002, 2004a, 2004b, 213). The 2015 Global Peace Index (GPI) of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) is employed as the measurement for peace in this essay. The index is a compilation of 23 indicators of the existence or absence of peace chosen by a panel of experts. The indicators are divided into three broad categories: (1) ongoing domestic and international conflict, (2) safety and security, and (3) militarization (IEP, 2015b).

            All scores for each indicator are “banded,” either on a scale of 1 to 5 (for qualitative indicators) or 1 to 10 (for quantitative data, such as military expenditure or the jailed population, which are converted to a 1 to 5 scale for comparability when compiling the final index). Qualitative indicators in the index are scored by the EIU’s extensive team of country analysts, and gaps in the quantitative data are filled by estimates by the same team (IEP, 2015b).

 

Globalization (GLOBALIZ)—that there are numerous definitions of globalization and no consensus among the authors about its meaning is hardly a matter of dispute. What all of the definitions have in common, however, are the tendencies or processes of philosophies, technologies, businesses and people spread throughout the globe (for these myriad of definitions and debates, see Bangura, 2016).

The 2015 KOF (Konjunkturforschungsstelle) Index of Globalization (KOFIG) compiled by the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland is used in this study as the measurement of globalization. Introduced in 2002, the KOFIG entails three dimensional measurements of globalization. The first measurement is economic globalization—i.e. “long distance flows of goods, capital and services as well as information and perceptions that accompany market exchanges.” The second measurement is political globalization—i.e. “a diffusion of government policies.” The third measurement is social globalization—i.e. “the spread of ideas, information, images and people” (ETH, 2015; Bangura, 2016).

            Economic globalization is comprised of two dimensions: (1) actual economic flows and (2) proxies for trade and capital restrictions. The former dimension includes data on trade, foreign direct investment, and portfolio investment. The data for this dimension are gleaned from The World Bank, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and International Monetary Fund reports. The latter dimension, based on data from James Gwartney et al. (2012) and various issues of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, “is constructed by subtracting the number of restrictions from 13 and multiplying the result by 10…As main tariff rate increases, countries are assigned lower ratings. The rating will decline toward zero as the mean tariff rate approaches 50 percent” (ETH, 2015; Bangura, 2016).

            Political globalization is measured by the number of embassies and high commissions in a country, the number of international organizations to which a country has membership, the number of peace missions in which a country participates, and the number of treaties a country has signed with two or more other states since 1945. The data for these attributes are derived from the Europa World Yearbook, the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Reports, and the United Nations Treaties Collection (ETH, 2015; Bangura, 2016).

            Social globalization comprises three attributes. The first attribute is personal contacts designed to provide a sense of how much people living in different countries interact. Data for this measure are gleaned from The World Bank and International Telecommunication Union reports and the Universal Postal Statistics Database. The second attribute is information flows employed to capture the possible circulation of images and ideas through the number of Internet users by 100 people, the share of households with television sets, and international newspapers traded in percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The data for this measurement are culled from The World Bank and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization reports and the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database. The third attribute is cultural proximity measured by the quantity of imported and exported books relative to GDP, number of McDonald’s restaurants located in a country (since for many people McDonald’s global spread is a synonym for globalization itself), and the number of IKEA stores in a country (ETH, 2015; Bangura, 2016).

 

Governance (GOVERNAN) is generally defined as the act of affecting government and monitoring (through policy) the long-term strategy and direction of a country. In essence, governance comprises the traditions, institutions and processes that determine how power is exercised, how citizens are given a voice, and how decisions are made on issues of public concern (Wunsch, 2000:487-509; Bangura, 2011).

The 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) is employed in this essay to measure governance. The index’s score ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 being the worst and 100 being the best. The data were collected from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) 2015 Ibrahim Index (MIF, 2015).

            The IIAG considers governance from the point of view of the citizen. It measures the extent of delivery to the citizen of a large number of economic, social and political goods and services by governments and non-state actors. The index groups indicators into four main categories: (1) Safety and Rule of Law, (2) Participation and Human Rights, (3) Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and (4) Human Development (MIF, 2015).

            The index is a composite measure utilizing data from 23 external institutions. After the gathering of the raw data on all the 89 indicators used, since the data come in all shapes and sizes, a method is chosen to put the data on a common scale (that is to say, to re-scale the data), so that they can be usefully combined to produce an overall score for each country. The index uses the Min-Max method which involves re-scaling the raw data values to a scale of 0-100, for every indicator, for every country, and for every year. This is done by utilizing the following formula:

 

[xt – Min (X)] / [Max (X) – Min (X)] * 100

 

where xt is the raw value for that indicator for a particular country in year t, and the Min (X) and Max (X) are the minimum and maximum values for that indicator over the whole period and for all countries. The final result is subtracted from 100 where necessary, so that a higher number always indicates better performance (MIF, 2015).

            After the 89 indicators have been transformed to a common scale, each indicator is grouped with similar indicators to form subcategories. The subcategory score is simply the average of all the indicator scores; subcategory scores are averaged to produce the category score. The category scores are then averaged to produce the final Ibrahim Index score (MIF, 2015).

 

Global Competitiveness (GLOBALCO) is defined by the World Economic Forum (WEF) “as the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of an economy, which in turn sets the level of prosperity that the country can earn” (WEF, 2015). The 2015-2016 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which includes 140 economies across the globe and generated by the WEF, is utilized as the measurement of the variable here.

The GCI merges 114 indicators reflecting concepts dealing with productivity. The indicators are first organized into the following 12 pillars: (1) institutions, (2) infrastructure, (3) macroeconomic environment, (4) health and primary education, (5) higher education and training, (6) goods market efficiency, (7) labor market efficiency, (8) financial market development, (9) technological readiness, (10) market size, (11) business sophistication, and (12) innovation. These pillars are then categorized into three sub-indices that reflect three main stages of development: (1) basic requirements, (2) efficiency enhancers, and (3) innovation and sophistication factors. The sub-indices are weighted differently “in the calculation of the overall Index, depending on each economy’s stage of development, as proxied by its GDP per capita and the share of exports represented by raw materials” (WEF, 2015).

The index incorporates statistical data generated by internationally recognized agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the World Health Organization (WHO). It also encompasses “data from the World Economic Forum’s annual Executive Opinion Survey to capture concepts that require a more qualitative assessment or for which comprehensive and internationally comparable statistical data are not available” (WEF, 2015).

 

Human Development (HUMANDEV) is concerned with people of societies in change. Thus, human development theory is related to development strategy: the purposive change in economic systems and social institutions. Thus, human development strategy has grown out of a concern with people in developing countries with the implicit assumption that the conditions in those societies are unsatisfactory and ought to be changed (Bangura, 2011 & 2013).

The 2015 Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is used as a proxy, development being a synonym for human condition. The HDI represents a composite statistic of education, income, and life expectancy at birth indices used to rank countries into four tiers of human development: (1) very high—score of between 0.800 and 1.0, (2) high—score of between 0.670 and 0.799, (3) medium—score of between 0.480 and 0.669, and (4) low—score of between 0.400 and 0.479. The purpose is to facilitate instructive comparisons of the experiences within and between different countries (UNDP, 2015).

            The education component of the HDI is measured by mean years of schooling for adults aged 25 years and expected years of schooling for children of school entering age. Mean years of schooling are computed by using educational attainment data gleaned from census and surveys in the UNESCO Institute for Statistics database. Expected years of schooling, capped at 18 years, are based on enrolment by age at all levels of education and population of official school age for each level of education. The indicators are normalized by utilizing a minimum value of zero and maximum values set to the actual observed maximum values of mean years of schooling from countries in the time series, covering from 1980 to 2011. The education index represents the geometric mean of the two indices (UNDP, 2015).      For the income component, the yardstick for minimum income is set at US$100 purchasing power parity (PPP) and the maximum is set at US$107,721 PPP. Both of these indices are estimated for the same period—1980-2011. The decent standard of living component is measured by the gross national income (GNI) per capita (PPP) instead of the gross domestic product (GDP). The HDI utilizes the logarithmic income to reflect the diminishing importance of income with increasing GNI (UNDP, 2015). The life expectancy at birth component is computed by using a minimum value of 20 years and maximum value of 83.4 years. These represent the observed maximum values of the indicators from the countries in the time series—1980-2011. The scores for the three HDI dimension indices are then aggregated into a composite index by employing the geometric mean (UNDP, 2015).

 

Gender Equality (GENDEREQ) is a human right that recognizes the rights of the individual as bestowed upon him/her by being born; and even more, it encapsulates civil rights. From a practical standpoint, gender equality is a basic human right because its opposite, gender inequality, means that one half of humanity constantly endures economic and social exploitation, political disenfranchisement, and inadequate healthcare and education (Bangura and Thomas, 2015).

The 2015 Africa Gender Equality Index (GEI) is utilized for this study. It is calculated by the African Development Bank Group (ADBG) across three dimensions: (1) economic opportunities, (2) human development, and (3) law and institutions. A series of indicators, too many to discuss here, are used to calculate each dimension for each of the 52 out of the 54 individual African countries. The Scores range from 0 to 100, with 100 representing perfect gender equality. For 2015, the scores ranged from 15.8 to 74.5, with an average score of 54.1. Nonetheless, the Africa Gender Equality Index is more than just mere numbers. Instead, it highlights the barriers to women’s full participation in Africa’s development and provides policymakers with needed evidence to begin to eliminate those barriers.

 

Happiness (HAPPINES) can be generally defined as the state of feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. The “Ranking of Happiness” in the 2016 World Happiness Report (WHR) edited by John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs is employed as the measurement for the variable Happiness.

The distribution of happiness among and within countries by Helliwell et al. hinges upon “individual life evaluations, roughly 1,000 per year in each of more than 150 countries, as measured by answers to the Cantril ladder question: ‘Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?’” The researchers calculate the average life evaluation scores for each country based on averages from surveys they conducted in 2013, 2014 and 2015 (Helliwell et al., 2016).

Helliwell and his colleagues go on to demonstrate how six major variables—(1) GDP per capita, (2) social support, (3) healthy life expectancy, (4) social freedom, (5) generosity, and (6) absence of corruption—explicate the full sample of national annual average scores covering the period 2005-2015. They also exhibit “how measures of experienced well-being, especially positive emotions, can add to life circumstances in the support for higher life evaluations” (Helliwell et al., 2016). Employing the data from the 2012-2015 surveys, Helliwell et al. then take into account “the distribution of life evaluations among individuals in each country,…with the countries ranked according to the equality of life evaluations among their survey respondents, as measured by the standard deviation from the mean” (Helliwell et al., 2016).

 

Summary—As I note elsewhere (Bangura, 2011, 2013 & 2016), the preceding measurements offer a useful snapshot of some perceptions of a country’s quality of the variables, but various researchers have pointed out some problems in their constructions. These critics have claimed that users often fail to take into account or often are not aware of the indicators’ limitations, which together can be summarized as follows: (a) lack of transparency, (b) not reproducible, (c) over complexity, (d) arbitrary, (e) absence of an underlying theory, (f) hidden biases, (g) lack of comparability, (h) lack of actionability, (i) overselling, and (j) no concept validity.

            I add that while these criticisms are valid, no alternative measures have been developed with which everyone agrees. So, we are left with imperfect but useful measures. Indeed, the indicators contribute to the growing empirical research of democracy, economic development, good governance and peace which have provided activists and reformers worldwide with advocacy tools for policy reform and monitoring. The indicators, and the underlying data behind them, are part of the current research and opinions that have reinforced the experiences and observations of reform-minded individuals in government, civil society, and the private sector that these variables are imperative for stability. Their growing recognition, as empirical evidence suggests, has stimulated demand for monitoring their quality across countries and within individual countries over time. Virtually all of the individual data sources underlying the aggregate indicators are, along with the aggregate indicators themselves, publicly available (Bangura, 2011, 2013 & 2016).

            Furthermore, I point out that the indicators are a compilation of the perceptions of a very diverse group of respondents, collected in large numbers of surveys and other cross-country assessments. Some of these instruments capture the views of individuals, firms, and public officials in the countries being assessed. Others reflect the views of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and aid donors with considerable experience in the countries being assessed, while others are based on the assessments of commercial risk-taking agencies (Bangura, 2011, 2013 & 2016).

 

Conceptual Framework

 

Given the preceding variables and their operationalizations, the conceptual framework for this study, diagrammatically represented in Figure 1, is quite straightforward and suggests the following hypothesis, H1: There are significant relationships between the independent and the dependent variables. The framework is conceptual in that “descriptive categories are systematically placed in a broad structure of explicit propositions, statements or relationships between two or more empirical properties, to be accepted or rejected” (Frankfort-Nachmias and Nachmias, 1996:38).

 

Dependent Variables

 

Military Expenditure Per GDP (MILEPGDP)

Global Terrorism (GLOBALTE)

Democracy (DEMOCRAC)

Fragile State (FRAGILES)

Regime Longevity (REGIMELO)

Per Capita GDP (PCGDP)

Peace (PEACE)

Globalization (GLOBALIZ)

Governance (GOVERNAN)

Global Competitiveness (GLOBALCO)

Human Development (HUMANDEV)

Gender Equality (GENDEREQ)

Happiness (HAPPINES)

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                           

 

Independent Variable

 

United States Military Assistance

And Support Policies (USMILASS)

 

 

 

 

                                                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework of Independent and Dependent Variables

 

 

 

Statistical Analytical Techniques

 

Both univariate and bivariate statistical analytical techniques were used to analyze the numerical data collected for this study using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). At the univariate level, two types of descriptive statistical techniques—(1) a measure of central tendency and (2) three measures of dispersion—are utilized. The measure of central tendency used is the mean, which is an arithmetic average of a set of scores. The measures of dispersion include the range, the standard deviation, and the one-sample t-test. The range is the distance between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution, the standard deviation is the square root of the squared deviations of the scores around the mean divided by the number of scores, and the t-test allows for the assessment of the mean difference between the known value of the population and the value of the sample (Bangura, 2013b:4).

            At the bivariate level, two types of associational statistical techniques—(1) correlation and (2) scatter plot—are employed. Correlation is a statistical measure of the association between two variables; more specifically, it shows the extent to which two variables vary together in a given population. Scatter plot is a graphic display instrument that depicts the statistical relationship between two variables. The scatter plot is important because a maxim that is often repeated by research methodologists is that “Correlation does not imply causation.” Put differently, a correlation may show that a co-relationship exists, but it does not and cannot prove that one variable is causing the other. There could be a third factor involved which is causing both, some other systemic cause, or the apparent co-relationship could just be a fluke. Thus, the scatter plot can provide a clue that two variables might actually be related and, if so, how they move together (Bangura, 2013:4).

 

Data Analysis

 

The analysis that follows is divided into three subsections. The first and second subsections analyze the univariate and bivariate results generated from the SPSS computer runs, respectively; the third subsection entails country-by-country analyses of United States support policies in the 13 African countries that received the military aid.

 

Univariate Results

 

As can be seen in Table 2, the means, standard deviations and ranges combined suggest that there are significant variations among the 13 African countries that received United States military for the variables USMILASS, MILEPGDP, REGIMELO, and GLOBALTE. The country variations are not as significant for the variables GLOBALIZ, GLOBALCO, FRAGILES, PCGDP, GOVERNAN, HUMANDEV, DEMOCRAC, GENDEREQ, PEACE, and HAPINES.

 

Table 2: Descriptive Statistics (N = 13)

 

Variable

 

Mean

Standard

Deviation

 

Range

USMILASS

522769.23

367844.884

978000

MILEPGDP

  1.500

  1.0716

  3.4

REGIMELO

   7.69

   7.941

  29

GLOBALTE

 3.49869

 2.477002

 9.213

GLOBALIZ

 47.9046

  7.81456

 27.65

GLOBALCO

  3.4946

  0.70305

  2.84

FRAGILES

  88.469

  14.1195

  42.1

PCGDP

 2098.208

 2213.4178

 6665.4

GOVERNAN

  56.085

  10.4791

  30.5

HUMANDEV

 0.51462

 0.088100

 0.287

DEMOCRAC

  5.1692

  1.62005

  4.92

GENDEREQ

  56.723

  10.8965

  35.0

PEACE

 2.12377

 0.327511

 1.313

HAPINES

 4.20562

 0.599896

 2.337

Source: Self-generated by Author Using SPSS with Data

Gleaned from Sources Mentioned Earlier

 

            Nonetheless, to be certain that the results in Table 2 are not spurious, the one-sample t-test is employed to determine whether there are significant statistical differences for the single-sample means of the variables for the group of African countries. From Table 3, it is evident that the single-sample mean differences for all of the variables are statistically significant at the 0.01 level.

 

Table 3: One-sample Test (degrees of freedom = 12)

 

 

 

 

Variable

 

 

 

 

t

 

 

 

Sig.

(2-tailed)

 

 

 

Mean

Difference

95% Confidence

Interval of

Difference

Lower

95% Confidence

Interval of

 Difference

Upper

USMILASS

 5.124

0.001

522769.23

300482.79

745055.67

MILEPGDP

 5.047

0.001

  1.500

  0.852

  2.148

REGIMELO

 3.493

0.004

   7.69

   2.89

  12.49

GLOBALTE

 5.093

0.001

 3.49869

 2.00185

 4.99553

GLOBALIZ

22.103

0.001

 47.9046

 43.1823

 52.6269

GLOBALCO

17.922

0.001

  3.4946

  3.0698

  3.9195

FRAGILES

22.592

0.001

  88.469

  79.937

  97.002

PCGDP

 3.418

0.005

 2098.208

 760.653

 3435.763

GOVERNAN

19.297

0.001

  56.085

  49.752

  62.417

HUMANDEV

21.061

0.001

 0.51462

 0.46138

 0.56785

DEMOCRAC

11.595

0.001

  5.1692

  4.1902

  6.1482

GENDEREQ

28.769

0.001

  56.723

  50.138

  63.308

PEACE

23.380

0.001

 2.12377

 1.92586

 2.32168

HAPINES

25.277

0.001

 4.20562

 3.84310

 4.56813

Source: Self-generated by Author Using SPSS with Data Gleaned from Sources

Mentioned Earlier

 

Bivariate Results

 

Table 4 suggests that there are positive and statistically significant correlations at the 0.05 level between the independent variable USMILASS and three of the dependent variables: (1) GLOBALTE, (2) PEACE, and (3) HAPPINES. There are also positive and negative correlations between some of the dependent variables that are statistically significant at both the 0.01 and 0.05 levels.

Nonetheless, as can be seen in Figures 2-4, the data are plotted in phase spaces. The vectors do not show directions through which centroids can be inserted with precision (a centroid is the center of mass of a geometric object of uniform density). It is therefore quite obvious that the correlation results in Table 4 for USMILLAS and GLOBALTE, PEACE, and HAPPINES are spurious: i.e. they have no direct causal connection. It is thus not farfetched to infer that the co-relationships could be explained by either coincidence or the presence of a certain third, unseen factor commonly referred to as a “confounding factor” or “lurking variable.”

 

                                                            Figure 2: Scatter Plot for USMILASS and GLOBALTE

Source: Self-generated by Author Using SPSS with

Data Gleaned from Sources Mentioned Earlier

 

 

 

 

Table 4: Correlations

 

USMI

LASS

MILE

PGDP

REGI

MELO

GLOB

ALTE

GLOB

ALIZ

GLOB

ALCO

FRAG

ILES

PCGDP

GOVE

RNAN

HUMA

NDEV

DEMO

CRAC

GEND

EREQ

 

PEACE

HAPPINES

USMI

LASS

  _

-0.085

0.784

-0.183

0.550

0.589*

0.031

0.190

0.535

-0.213

0.485

0.231

0.486

0.060

0.845

-0.203

0.505

0.031

0.919

-0.201

0.510

-0.040

0.898

0.634*

0.020

0.643*

0.016

MILE

PGDP

  _  

 _

0.260

0.392

-0.406

0.168

-0.048

0.876

-0.68**

0.010

0.138

0.654

-0.038

0.901

-0.301

0.318

-0244

0.422

-0.471

0.104

-0.600*

0.030

-0.150

0.625

-0.350

0.241

REGI

MELO

  _

 _

 _

-0.120

0.695

-0.017

0.957

-0.311

0.301

0.091

0.768

-0.086

0.780

-0.084

0.785

-0.121

0.695

-0.116

0.706

0.007

0.983

-0.091

0.767

-0.554*

0.050

GLOB

ALTE

  _

 _

 _

 _

0.222

0.466

0.124

0.687

0.391

0.187

-0.056

0.855

-0.254

0.402

-0.044

0.887

-0.116

0.706

0.105

0.732

0.818**

0.001

0.238

0.434

GLOB

ALIZ

  _

 _

 _

 _

 _

0.185

0.545

-0.408

0.166

0.543

0.055

0.434

0.138

0.483

0.094

0.396

0.180

0.222

0.465

0.258

0.395

0.299

0.322

GLOB

ALCO

  _

 _

 _

 _

 _

 _

-0.378

0.203

0.408

0.167

0.665*

0.013

0.558*

0.047

0.728**

0.005

0.738**

0.004

-0.086

0.779

0.077

0.803

FRAG

ILES

  _

 _

 _

 _

 _

 _

 _

-0.69**

0.008

-0.902**

0.0001

-0.836**

0.0001

-0.835**

0.0001

-0.654

0.015

0.555*

0.049

-0.181

0.554

PCGDP

 

  _

 _

 _

 _

 _

_

 _

 _

0.665*

0.013

0.879**

0.0001

0.644*

0.017

0.562*

0.046

-0.022

0.944

0.370

0.214

GOVE

RNAN

  _

 _

 _

 _

 _

_

 _

 _

 _

0.866**

0.0001

0.952**

0.0001

0.807**

0.001

-0.484

0.094

0.107

0.728

HUMA

NDEV

  _

 _

 _

 _

 _

_

 _

_

 _

 _

0.843**

0.0001

0.807**

0.001

-0.484

0.094

0.107

0.728

DEMO

CRAC

  _

 _

 _ 

 _

 _

_

 _

_

_

 _

 _

0.890**

0.0001

-0.367

0.217

0.199

0.515

GEND

EREQ

  _

 _

 _

 _

 _

_

 _

_

_

 _

 _

 _

-0.142

0.643

0.175

0.568

 

PEACE

  _

 _

 _

 _

 _

_

_

_

_

_

_

 _

_

0.357

0.231

* = Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed)

** = Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

Source: Self-generated by Author Using SPSS with Data Gleaned from Sources Mentioned Earlier

 

 

 

                                                            Figure 3: Scatter Plot for USMILASS and PEACE

Source: Self-generated by Author Using SPSS with

Data Gleaned from Sources Mentioned Earlier

 

                                                            Figure 4: Scatter Plot for USMILASS and HAPPINES

Source: Self-generated by Author Using SPSS with

Data Gleaned from Sources Mentioned Earlier

 

 

 

Country-by-Country Analyses

 

As stated earlier, country-by-country analyses of United States foreign military assistance and support policies in Africa are presented here. The recipient countries are discussed individually for the sake of coherence.

 

Botswana

 

The United States military aid to Botswana was $200,000 each for Fiscal Years 2010, 2012, and 2014; $339,000 for 2011; $190,000 for 2013; no funding was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). According to the State Department,

 

U.S. assistance seeks to expand connections with Botswana’s military leaders through military education and training programs. Programs support Botswana’s interest in strengthening both domestic and regional civil-military and military-to-military relations, while improving the country’s capacity to participate meaningfully in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, including within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and throughout Africa. The United States sponsors Botswana Defense Force officers and noncommissioned officers attending courses at U.S. professional military education institutions and participating in tailored professional enhancement courses. These courses reinforce democratic principles by teaching the role of the military in a democracy, the centrality of human rights, and the rule of law. Botswana partners with North Carolina in the National Guard State Partnership Program (US Department of State, 2015b).

 

In fact, as Dan Henk points out, “one knowledgeable source estimated in 2004 that 75 per cent of Botswana Defense Force officers above the rank of major are graduates of US military schools” (Henk, 2004).

            Also, the United States used its military aid to cow Botswana into signing the Bilateral Immunity Agreement (BIA): a mechanism that would prevent a country from extraditing any United States citizen to the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the words of Bashi Letsididi,

 

As the ICC neared implementation in 2001, the US began to negotiate BIA with other countries, threatening termination of economic aid, withdrawal of military assistance and other painful measures for those unwilling to play ball. As would later be confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a fortnight of denials, this is pressure that was brought to bear on Botswana. Then permanent secretary Ernest Mpofu was quoted in the media as saying that while the government had misgivings about the agreement, a number of issues—including military assistance from the US, were considered before the signing of the agreement. “The country’s interests dictated that Botswana should sign,” said Mpofu, adding that US military aid was at stake if Botswana did not sign the agreement (Letsididi, 2015).

 

Côte d’Ivoire

 

The United States military aid to Côte d’Ivoire was $300,000 for Fiscal Year 2012; $109,000 for 2013; $200,000 for 2014; no funding was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). Currently, there are four United States military personnel training Ivorian military security personnel. Also, many Ivorian military officers have been trained in United States military schools (Center for International Policy, 2016).

            Nonetheless, American military assistance and support policies for Côte d’Ivoire have not always been smooth. For example, following the 1999 military coup d’état in Côte d’Ivoire, the United States, via Section 608 of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act, suspended the security assistance program that provided professional training to Ivorian military officers. The restriction, among others, which was slated to be lifted following the 2000 elections, was left in place due to questionable governmental interference before and during the elections (Bangura, 2010a:231; United States Department of State, 2009).

 

Djibouti

 

The United States military aid to Djibouti was $200,000 each for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010; $1,996,000 for 2011; $1,500,000 for 2012; $949,000 for 2013; $1,000,000 for 2014; $700,00 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). As also mentioned by the State Department,Djibouti is located at a strategic point in the Horn of Africa and is a key U.S. partner on security, regional stability, and humanitarian efforts in the greater Horn. The Djiboutian government has been supportive of U.S. interests and takes a proactive position against terrorism. Djibouti hosts a U.S. military presence at Camp Lemonnier, a former French Foreign Legion base in the capital. The U.S. military also has access to port facilities and the airport by a bilateral agreement (US Department of State, 2015c).

 

The United States’ foreign military dominance in Djibouti is being seriously challenged by China. As Renanah Miles and Brian Blankenship reveal, in November of 2015, “China announced plans to open its first overseas military outpost in Djibouti….Citing the need for a logistics hub to resupply Chinese Navy ships for anti-piracy missions, Chinese officials have avoided the term “base,” although this is how U.S. officials have characterized it....The competition…also includes directed commercial spending tied to military access” (Miles and Blankenship, 2016).

Miles and Blankenship note that Djibouti’s Camp Lemonnier houses approximately 4,000 United States personnel. They add that “After signing a 20-year lease deal in 2014, it also became the most expensive overseas U.S. base with annual rents of $63 million. Djibouti’s geostrategic location and relative stability provide an ideal toehold on the edge of two continents for major powers looking to conduct counterterrorism missions, combat piracy, and protect shipping routes. This gives Djibouti the upper hand in (re)negotiating terms as new consumers bargain for access” (Miles and Blankenship, 2016).

 

Ethiopia

 

The United States military aid to Ethiopia was $843,000 each for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2012; $799,000 for 2013; $843,000 for 2014; $700,000 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). According to the State Department, Ethiopia receives “Some military training funds, including training in such issues as the laws of war and observance of human rights, also are provided but are explicitly limited to nonlethal assistance, training, and peacekeeping support at present” (US Department of State, 2015d).

            While this may be the characteristic of the United States military assistance to Ethiopia “at present,” it has not always been so. For example, in December of 2006, the United States provided Ethiopia with intelligence, training and hardware to invade Somalia. The United States also got Ethiopia to participate in its rendition activities (i.e. the practice of sending foreign criminals or terrorist suspects covertly to be interrogated in a country with less rigorous regulations for the humane treatment of prisoners) in Eastern Africa. Many of the suspects that were tortured turned out to be innocent herdsmen; women, some of whom were even pregnant; small-business owners and teachers who went to Somalia in search of jobs. The campaign netted no Al-Qaeda figures (Bangura, 2010b:75-76; Prince, 2010).

 

Ghana

 

The United States military aid to Ghana was $300,000 for Fiscal Year 2009; $550,000 for 2010; $449,000 for 2011; $350,000 for 2012; $332,000 for 2013; $350,000 for 2014; $300,000 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). In addition, the State Department describes United States military assistance to Liberia as follows:

 

The United States and Ghana work together on various defense and law enforcement issues. Both countries’ militaries cooperate in numerous joint training exercises through U.S. Africa Command. The United States and Ghana have a bilateral International Military Education and Training program, a Foreign Military Financing program, and numerous humanitarian affairs projects, including a relationship between the government of Ghana and the North Dakota National Guard under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Defense State Partnership Program. Ghana continues to participate in the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program, in which the United States facilitates the development of an interoperable peacekeeping capacity among African nations. Ghana is a partner country for the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership and the Security Governance Initiative. These programs seek to address security sector governance challenges in Ghana and enhance Ghana’s ability to rapidly deploy peacekeepers (US Department of State, 2015e).

 

The State Department further points out:

 

Ghana is also a priority country under the West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative (WACSI). Through WACSI programs, the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) aims to help the government of Ghana to: 1) build capacity for complex investigations and case packages on transnational crimes and drug trafficking incidents; 2) conduct fair trials of transnational criminals and drug traffickers; and 3) combat rising drug abuse. In furtherance of these objectives, INL has supported institutional development across the criminal justice sector” (US Department of State, 2015e).

 

            Despite all this, the United States military assistance to Ghana is not without its shortcomings. For instance, as Sam Sarpong reports, in 2003, relations between the United States and Ghana encountered strains, as a fierce debate emerged in the Ghanaian Parliament and among Ghanaian citizens concerning America’s insistence that Ghana must ratify its Bilateral Non-Surrender Agreement (BNSA), or be cut off from American military assistance. Under the agreement, the Ghanaian government effectively grants United States citizens immunity from International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution (Sarpong, 2003).

Sarpong adds that “the agreement has, however, left a nasty taste (in the mouths of Ghanaians). The general consensus prevailing in this country of 20 million people is that Ghanaians have sold themselves cheaply and have dishonoured and damaged themselves by ratifying the “indemnity clauses.” Dr. Baffuor Agyeman-Duah, Associate Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development, is of the view that the USA bullied Ghana into ratifying the agreement” (Sarpong, 2003).

 

Guinea

 

The United States military aid to Guinea was $400,000 for Fiscal Year 2012; $190,000 for 2013; $200,000 for 2014; no request was made by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). According to the State Department, the United States “assists Guinea to professionalize its military and security forces in an effort to promote democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights” (US Department of State, 2015f). In addition,

 

The Department of Defense and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)…professionalize(s) Guinea’s military and security forces through an array of security assistance programs such as: International Military Education and Training (IMET), English language training, Foreign Military Financing and Sales (FMF and FMS), Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA), direct support to their peacekeeping mission in Mali, DoD HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP), maritime domain awareness, and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS)” (US Department of State, 2015f).

 

Nonetheless, the United States military assistance to Guinea is not without hiccups. For example, the September 28, 2009 violence, which was carried out by the Guinean military regime because civilians were protesting against its draconian rule after its December 22, 2008 coup d’état, was harshly denounced by then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, joined by representatives of the African Union and the European Union. The violence also led to the United States cancelling its military and economic assistance to Guinea (Human Rights Watch, 2010).

 

Kenya

 

The United States military aid to Kenya was $250,000 for Fiscal Year 2009; $1,500,000 each for 2010 and 2012; $998,000 for 2011; $1,041,000 for 2013; $1,178,000 for 2014; $1,200,000 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). From the State Department, we also learn that the United States military aid to Kenya hinges upon the following: “Conflict and instability in neighboring Somalia pose serious security and humanitarian challenges for Kenya and the region. On April 2, 2015, a terrorist attack at the Garissa University College claimed more than 145 lives. The United States provides equipment and training to Kenyan security forces, both civilian and military” (US Department of State, 2015g).

            Kenya is one of those cases where United States military aid has been used by a recipient government to oppress opposition groups. As Daniel Volman reminds us, President George W. Bush’s administration had built a close military relationship with the government of President Mwai Kibaki and had played a central role in the creation of his internal security apparatus that was deployed with such bloody results throughout Kenya after the fraudulent presidential election of December 27, 2007. To help end the spiraling crisis, Jendayi Fraser, Bush’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and special envoy to the Kenyan crisis, acknowledged that the Kenyan presidential was seriously flawed and instructed Kibaki to meet opposition leader Raile Odinga to hammer out an agreement that would end the violence (Volman, 2008).

 

 

 

Liberia

 

The United States military aid to Liberia was $1,500,000 for Fiscal Year 2009; $6,000,000 for 2010; $7,173,000 for 2011; $6,500,000 for 2012; $4,421,000 for 2013; $4,000,000 for 2014; $2,500,000 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). Also, the State Department maintains that “U.S. assistance seeks to focus on professionalizing Liberia’s military and civilian security forces.” US military personnel are also being used in “responding to the Ebola epidemic” (US Department of State, 2015h).

            As mentioned earlier, Liberia has been the largest recipient of United States military aid to African countries, accounting for more than one-third of the total amount given to the continent, a reflection of the bilateral relationship between the two countries that dates back to 1819 when the United States Congress appropriated $100,000 to establish Liberia. This relationship, however, has become paternal, with the United States acting as the father and Liberia acting as the child. As George Klay Kieh, Jr. puts it, “…the relationship is primarily about Liberia serving the economic, political and strategic interests of the US in a very uncritical way—Liberia simply does what the US wants without critical questions being asked, especially in terms of the former’s own interests” (2015:259).

            An example of the paternal and neocolonial relationship was when in 2008 the United States was shopping for an African Military Command (AFRICOM) base in Africa. While all of the other African countries rejected the offer, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf offered to host the base, even though most Liberians perceived the deal as being in the best interests of only the United States and Liberian government officials. Capitulating to the sharp opposition, President George W. Bush decided to drop the idea (BBC, 2008). Nonetheless, on October 01, 2008, AFRICOM did begin formal operations from Monrovia, the capital of Liberia (Chemarapally, 2009).

 

Nigeria

 

The United States military aid to Nigeria was $1,350,000 for Fiscal Year 2009; $1,850,000 for 2010; $1,212,000 for 2011; $1,000,000 for 2012; $949,000 for 2013; $1,050,000 for 2014; $600,000 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). Also, “The United States seeks to help improve the…security…of Nigerians by…professionalizing security forces” (US Department of State, 2014b).

            The military aid relationship between the United States and Nigeria, however, has not always been unwrinkled. For instance, in early May of 2013, the United States withdrew its military aid to Nigeria “citing various human rights violations by Nigerian security forces…over the killing of dozens and destruction of hundreds of residences in Baga, a town in Borno State during a clash with members of the Boko Haram” (thewillnigeria.com, May 02, 2013). By December of 2014, the rift between the United States and Nigeria had grown to the point that the Nigerian government cancelled “a plan to have the United States military train a battalion of the Nigerian army to confront the extremist Boko Haram sect” (Tukur, 2014). But in July, 2015, the United States increased its military aid to Nigeria in order to help that country “wage war on the Boko Haram extremist group,” but did not include any “of the coveted surveillance drones that are needed for U.S. counterterrorism missions around the world. The aid increase reflected Washington’s cautious optimism that the country’s newly elected president, Muhammadu Buhari, will bring a measure of competence and accountability to a military plagued by corruption and allegations of human rights abuses” (Luce and O’Grady, 2015).

 

 

Senegal

 

The United States military aid to Senegal was $300,000 for Fiscal Year 2010; $399,000 for 2011; $325,000 for 2012; $293,000 for 2013; $325,000 for 2014; $300,000 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). In addition, “U.S. assistance seeks to increase the professionalism and capacity of the Senegalese Armed Forces” (US Department of State, 2015i).

            One African country with which the United States has the smoothest military relationship is Senegal. Nonetheless, some observers are worried that due to tensions between Senegal and The Gambia, Senegal may use American military resources to invade its smaller neighbor. Abayomi Azikiwe captures this dichotomy very well when he states the following:

 

Senegal’s government in West Africa has signed a military agreement with the Pentagon giving Washington full access to the country. Dakar participated in the Flintlock military exercises Feb. 8-29, conducted annually by the Pentagon working with other African and European states. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) coordinates these military maneuvers and similar operations around the continent. Senegal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mankeur Ndiaye said the agreement “will facilitate continued U.S. military presence in Senegal, and ‘will … enhance security cooperation and further strengthen defense relations to face common security challenges in the region.’” (Reuters, May 2) Relations between Senegal and neighboring Gambia have been strained for years. Escalating U.S. military cooperation and economic assistance to Senegal only fuels regional tensions (Azikiwe, 2016).

 

South Africa

 

The United States military aid to South Africa was $800,000 for Fiscal Year 2010; $798,000 for 2011; $700,000 each for 2012 and 2014; $665,000 for 2013; $450,000 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). Moreover, the State Department believes that “Improving the capacity of South Africa’s security force will enable it to take a lead role in regional stability and security effort” (US Department of State, 2015j).

            Despite the longstanding military aid relationship between the United States and South Africa, there is the strong possibility that South Africa has used part of the aid for direful purposes. As William D. Hartung and Bridget Moix point out, South Africa was among the weapons suppliers to the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Hartung and Moix add that “private mercenaries from South Africa’s Security Lining Pretoria Company have been commissioned by [Joseph] Kabila [Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo]” to fight in Congo’s civil war (Hartung and Moix, 2000).

 

Tanzania

 

The United States military aid to Tanzania was $700,000 for Fiscal Year 2010; $200,000 each for 2011, 2012 and 2014; no request was by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). The State Department points out that “Military-to-military ties between the U.S. and Tanzania in recent years have expanded and deepened to include capacity-building and training in coastal water surveillance, international peacekeeping and humanitarian projects, civil military operations, and investigation/clean-up of munitions dump sites” (US Department of States, 2015k).

            From the mid-1960s to the present, however, the military relations between the United States and Tanzania have had their ups and downs. As Global Security recounts,

 

In 1965, Tanzania expelled more than 300 US Peace Corps workers after diplomatic quarrels over Tanzania’s receipt of military assistance from the People’s Republic of China. The US State Department’s protest of Chinese military involvement in Tanzania drew an angry reaction from President [Julius] Nyerere. While diplomatic coordination between the two countries was limited during the Cold War and security cooperation was even more limited, coordination and cooperation improved sharply after al-Qaeda bombed the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam on August 7, 1998. Since the election of President [Jakaya] Kikwete in December 2005, U.S.-Tanzanian bilateral relations significantly deepened. President Kikwete’s pro-Western stance, coupled with an increasing level of U.S. assistance, was the catalyst for this change, enhancing cooperation in sectors from health and education, to counterterrorism and military affairs. President Kikwete visited the U.S. several times since taking office, including an official visit with President [George W.] Bush in Washington, D.C., in August 2008. A 2008 Pew Global Attitudes Poll showed a 19 percent increase, to 65 percent, of Tanzanians who had a favorable attitude towards the US (GlobalSecurity.org, 2016).

 

The military relations between the United States and Tanzania were strained when in August of 2013, it was alleged that Tanzania was receiving military assistance from North Korea, a country that has been banned through United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 “from engaging in the trade of a wide range of specified military hardware.” However, the Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bernard Member, “refused to confirm or deny allegations that North Korean military technicians are working in his country” (Hotham, 2013). In the words of Oliver Hothman, “The claims, published initially in the online magazine Africa Confidential on August 2, allege that the Tanzanian military is engaging North Korean experts to repair its Soviet-era MiG-21 fighter jets and help import arms via private front-companies to the East African nation,” which did not sit well with the United States, a close ally of Tanzania (Hotham, 2013). It is indeed contemptuous to expect Tanzanians to abandon such pre-independence relations with countries that assisted them in their liberation struggle.

 

Uganda

 

The United States military aid to Uganda was $300,000 each for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011; $200,000 each for 2012 and 2014; $190,000 for 2013; $200,000 was requested by the State Department for 2015 (United States Department of State, 2016). Also, “U.S. assistance includes…professionalizing police and military institutions for better service delivery and adherence to human rights” (US Department of State, 2015l). In addition, according to the State Department,

 

Since 2011, the United States has provided a small number of military advisers to the [Lord’s Resistance Army] LRA-affected region to enhance the capacity of the Ugandan and other regional militaries to pursue the LRA and protect civilian populations. The United States supports the efforts of Uganda and its regional partners to bring the LRA’s top leaders to justice, promote defections from the LRA’s ranks, and assist affected communities. Over the past several years, the United States has provided significant military, development, and humanitarian resources to support this effort. As part of our comprehensive counter-LRA strategy, the United States provides assistance that empowers LRA-affected communities, expands information networks, delivers humanitarian relief, and supports vulnerable populations (US Department of States, 2015l).

 

Furthermore, as Ty McCormick points out, “Under President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda has become a key counterterrorism partner of the United States, working hand-in-glove with U.S. forces to defeat al-Shabab in Somalia….The country is now among the top recipients of U.S. security assistance on the continent.” But as McCormick also notes, as Museveni sought to extend his 30-year rule in the presidential elections held on February 18, 2016, Ugandan security forces intimidated voters and cracked down on opposition protesters. These machinations raised “questions about whether Washington is capable of balancing its security objectives in the region with its stated goals for democratization and good governance” (McCormick, 2016).

 

Conclusion

 

The preceding findings suggest a mixed-bag of good and bad qualities of United States military assistance and support policies in Africa South of the Sahara. The good attributes encompass (a) maintaining historical/long-term relations, economic support, education and training; and (b) providing assistance for counter-narcotics assistance, non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, demining and related activities, and peacekeeping operations. The bad characteristics comprise (a) the lack of any significant statistical correlation between the aid and military expenditure per gross domestic product (GDP), global terrorism, democracy, fragile state, regime longevity, per capita GDP, peace, globalization, governance, global competitiveness, human development, gender equality, or happiness in the African countries—this is not to say that the aid “causes” negative elements; (b) the cowing of African countries into signing the Bilateral Immunity Agreement (BIA) or the Bilateral Non-Surrender Agreement (BNSA); (c) the dissatisfaction of the United States when an African country harnesses its relations with countries that Washington perceives to be its enemies; (d) the use of the aid by some African leaders to suppress opposition groups, threaten or invade smaller/weaker neighbors, or for direful purposes; and (e) serving the economic, political and strategic interests of the US in a very uncritical way.

Thus, as I have posited elsewhere (see, for example, Bangura, 2009 & 2015) and will repeat here, Africa, which encompasses the largest number of developing countries, is an important force for global development, security and peace. Africa-United States relations face fresh opportunities under new circumstances. Africa, the home of humans, has a long history, abundant natural resources and huge potential for development. After many years of struggle, Africans freed themselves from slavery and colonial rule, wiped out apartheid, won independence and emancipation, thereby making a significant contribution to the progress of humanity. Africa still faces many challenges on its road towards development. With the persistent efforts of African states and the continuous support of the United States and the rest of the international community, Africa will surely overcome the difficulties and achieve rejuvenation in this new century.

            As I have also called for elsewhere (Bangura, 2010b) and will iterate here, in pursuing its military and other interests, the United States must rethink its policy within the framework of an equitable partnership with Africa. At the core, American administrations must be cognizant of the fact that African states also have national interests. So, the appropriate approach would be for the United States and African states to work together and find ways in which their respective interests can be harmonized for the benefit of their peoples. Once this mindset is established, it will then provide the crucible in which Africa-United States relations will henceforth be conducted.

            Africa must also realize that it exists in a world in which political and economic strength counts, where might is right, and not one which simply operates on morality. For Africa to be heard and make a positive impact, it must seriously consider the conditions or structures that can sustain economic and political growth. This means that it must be stable and secure. The challenge to the various governments and peoples of Africa is to build an Africa that is noticed for its strengths and not for its weakness. This calls for an Africa that is economically integrated, financially stable, and politically united (Bangura, 2010b).

 

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United States Department of State. June 23, 2015c. U.S. relations with Djibouti. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5482.htm

 

United States Department of State. June 9, 2015d. U.S. relations with Ethiopia. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2859.htm

 

United States Department of State. August 3, 2015e. U.S. relations with Ghana. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2860.htm

 

United States Department of State. August 25, 2015f. U.S. relations with Guinea. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2824.htm

 

United States Department of State. August 14, 2015g. U.S. relations with Kenya. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2962.htm

 

United States Department of State. May 05, 2015h. U.S. relations with Liberia. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/6618.htm

 

United States Department of State. June 04, 2015i. U.S. relations with Senegal. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2862.htm

 

United States Department of State. October 04, 2015j. U.S. relations with South Africa. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2898.htm

 

United States Department of State. August 14, 2015k. U.S. relations with Tanzania. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2843.htm

 

United States Department of State. October 02, 2015l. U.S. relations with Uganda. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2963.htm

 

United States Department of State. June 04, 2014a. Security assistance to Africa. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on June 15, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/p/af/rls/rm/2015/245470.htm

 

United States Department of State. December 09, 2014b. U.S. relations with Nigeria. Diplomacy in Action. Retrieved on May 22, 2016 from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2836.htm

 

United States Department of State. 2009. Background note: Côte d’Ivoire. Retrieved on June 26, 2009 from http://www.state.gov/p/af/ci/iv/

 

Volman, Daniel. January 2008. U.S. military activities in Kenya. African Security Research Project. Retrieved on May 24, 2016 from http://concernedafricascholars.org/african-security-research-project/?p=3

 

World Economic Forum (WEF). 2015. Insight Report: The Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016. Retrieved on May 14, 2016 from

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/gcr/2015-2016/Global_Competitiveness_Report_2015-2016.pdf

 

Wunsch, James. 2000. Re-founding the African State and local self-governance: The neglected foundation. The Journal of Modern African Studies 38, 3:487-509.

 

Yin, Robert K. 2012. Applications of Case Study Research 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

 

 

About the Author

 

*Abdul Karim Bangura is a researcher-in-residence of Abrahamic Connections and Islamic Peace Studies at the Center for Global Peace in the School of International Service at American University and the Director of The African Institution, Washington DC; a Visiting Graduate Professor of Regional Integration at the University of Cabo Verde in Praia, Cabo Verde; an External Reader of Research Methodology and Municipal Government at the Plekhanov Russian University in Moscow; an Inaugural Peace Professor for the International Summer School in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Peshawar in Pakistan; a senior doctoral dissertations mentor of the CODESRIA College of Mentors in Dakar, Senegal; and the International Director and Adviser of the Centro Cultural Guanin in Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic. He holds five PhDs in Political Science, Development Economics, Linguistics, Computer Science, and Mathematics. He is the author of more than 90 books and more than 600 scholarly articles, and winner of more than fifty prestigious scholarly and community service awards. Among Bangura’s most recent awards are the Cecil B. Curry Book Award for his African Mathematics: From Bones to Computers, which has also been selected by the African American Success Foundation’s Book Committee as one of the 21 most significant books ever written by African Americans in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and listed by the California News Reel and Amazon.com as one of the 47 books that comprise the great African contributions to global civilizations. He has also received the Diopian Institute for Scholarly Advancement’s Miriam Ma’at Ka Re Award for his article titled “Domesticating Mathematics in the African Mother Tongue” published in the Journal of Pan-African Studies. He has received the Special United States Congressional Award for “outstanding and invaluable service to the international community;” the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation’s Award for his scholarly work on ethnic and religious conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and promotion of peace and conflict resolution in conflict areas; the Moscow Government Department of Multicultural Policy and Integrational Cooperation Award for the scientific and practical nature of his work on peaceful interethnic and interreligious relations; and The Ronald E. McNair Shirt for the stellar research methodologist who has mentored the largest number of research scholars across the academic disciplines published in professionally refereed journals and books. Bangura has won the most best paper awards two years in a row—2015 and 2016. Bangura is fluent in about a dozen African and six European languages, and studying to increase his proficiency in Arabic, Hebrew, and Hieroglyphics. He is also a member of many scholarly organizations. He  has served as President and then United Nations Ambassador of the Association of Third World Studies, and is a Special Envoy of the African Union Peace and Security Council.

 

URL:  http://theafricaninstitut.wixsite.com/abdulkarimbangura

 

 

 

  

 

“From Guns to Scriptures:  

The case of the  Grassfield                                                              

Soldiers of North West  Cameroon,  1914-21”

   

Confidence Chia Ngam

Department of History and Archeology

The University of  Bamenda

Cameroon, Central Africa.

 

Introduction

         When the First World War began in the Balkan peninsular, Britain and France surprisingly transformed Cameroon and many parts of Africa into battlefields. This caused the German military, along with  those of its peers, in Africa,  to develop a crucial need for soldiers and military personnel of all sorts. This was aggravated by the fact that, the Poliziestruppe and the Schutztruppe, all German military and paramilitary organizations,  formed in 1891 and 1895 respectively, were not very knowledgeable about the African terrain. The need for an urgent solution to this problem urged the German authorities to turn to “the natives” to negotiate possibilities of mass recruitment. In Cameroon they quickly turned to the Grassfield polities that had been identified as a sure source of men with exceptional bravery and resilience. From the start, the Germans had the fortune of conscripting hundreds of men into their military service from these areas, as frontline soldiers, carriers, scouts or cooks. Following the defeat of the Germans and its allies, many of these people were rounded up as war captives and ferried to Spanish Guinea (Fernando-Po) where they embraced Christianity. From 1916 or earlier, till 1921, these men became exceedingly devoted to Christianity and were yearning for opportunities to make others know about the workings of their new found faith. Additionally, they espoused  a new way of life that virtually challenged everything connected to the established customs and traditions in their traditional fiefs or oligarchies.  The movement from arms to scriptures was done first in Fernando-Po but opportunities presented themselves when they were returned to the Grassfields in 1921.From this time hence, these returning soldiers, took upon themselves the duties  not only to preach Christianity but also to challenge the traditional tenets that dictated the tone of traditional governance then. This is the main thrust of this article. It tries to find evidence from primary and secondary sources and complements them with oral accounts, to show not only how these men switched modes and functions from arms to scriptures but also how their return succeeded in inscribing a new way of life in this part of Africa. By abandoning their bayonets, these men tactfully divorced from their early mission of being soldiers. By getting passionately involved in Christianity, they espoused a new philosophy and world view. By challenging the traditional status quo when they were sent back home, they ensured continuity of what the Germans and other colonial powers had begun.

The German presence in Cameroon was short, going by the history of other colonial powers elsewhere, but enormous in the way it influenced or shaped political economic and socio-cultural developments thereafter. By any reckoning, the German thirty year presence (1884-1916) negotiated a shift in both loyalties and responsibilities for a broad spectrum of classes of people and opinions, all of them intricately connected to the concept of change in continuity. As in other German colonies elsewhere, the German colonial mission was ruptured by the First World War and this left the varying classes of people that were dependent on them and those who had been yearning and praying for their departure, in a sort of trance. How this situation was handled has received broad scholarly interest, but little attention has been accorded to the classic switch of modes, responsibilities, conduct and loyalties of the African soldiers, especially from the German camp that survived the War.

This article argues that, though  most of these African recruits served in different capacities than frontline soldiers during the War, the fact that they were essentially involved with the issues of war makes it fitting for all of them to be called soldiers or simply people associated with the military. Interestingly, they served the Germans and their allies in the War faithfully though the fortunes of War were turned against them. Elsewhere, WWI dragged on till 1918 but in Cameroon the campaign was short-lived. The Great War lasted here just from August 1914 till February 1916 following the fall of Mora fort .Upon this defeat and for some time earlier, most of the recruits were captured and taken to Spanish Guinea precisely to Fernando -po. This was an area reserved by the allied powers for War captives. Incidentally, during their sojourn there they freely intermingled with whites who treated them decently. Apart from this humane treatment,  which gave them a veritable sense of worth, and revived spirits, we highlight the fact that, these men were almost all converted to Christianity. Following the end of the First World War in 1918, arrangements were made for the return of these people to their places of origins. By 1921, a significant number of people all of them either devout Christians or Christianized in mentality, comportment and outfit, returned to the Grassfields. In these new outfits and mind-sets, they made enormous usage of the Holy Scriptures both to win souls and to challenge the traditional tenets of the administration that reigned at that time. This is the main thrust of this article. It tries to find evidence from primary and secondary sources and complements them with oral accounts to show how these men switched modes and functions from arms to scriptures as well as how their return succeeded in inscribing a new way of life in the Bamenda  Grassfields.

The Socio-Historical Environment of the Arms Concept

The arms concept used by this paper does not limit itself only to issues and people that were directly connected to open field combat in any phase of the war rather, it encompasses everything that was connected to warfare and the military, paying particular attention to the people who served as soldiers, leads, cooks, carriers and spies for the German military.[1] As for local dispensational reality, the Grassfields region where the soldiers in view were recruited had earlier been identified as a reservoir of men with exceptional resilience, bravado and self-abnegation.[2] To this should be buttressed the fact that; unlike elsewhere except for the Grand northern sector of Cameroon where kingship ascendancy yielded almost automatic loyalties, the Grassfield region was replete with a legion of centralized administrations wherein, the elite had extensive powers and rights over the people living within the confines of their traditional fiefdoms.

Despite the attempts made by the Germans to adulterate local traditions they barely succeeded in scratching the surface. After the subjugation of local polities, the German administrative system was at least ready to keep alive some aspects of kingship that were in their judgement, useful for the colonial scheme. Unlike the British or the French where the activities of the  colonial officials could be confused with that of the missionaries, the Germans though supportive of the activities of the Basel mission, kept a good distance from issues that were involved in converting Africans from their religious philosophies and tenets to Christianity. What mattered in the German administration was not one’s religious inclination but the ability to do what they considered  the right thing.[3] Some efforts were deployed by the Catholics and the Basel missions to implant Christianity in the Grassfield region but candidly, by August 1914, when the First World War began, the record of Christian churches in Cameroon was very scant. Christianity in  Cameroon during the days of the Germans suffered from the inaccessibility  to northwest Cameroon, on account of a poor road and communication network.

The German administration took turns to ensure that the righteousness of their system of administration and rule was to be made part and parcel of the Christian doctrine. With this they refused the French Holy fathers from evangelisation in Cameroon and made the German language the standard and only acceptable language of preaching in the Churches. Though this somehow impeded the growth of Christianity in Cameroon the arrival of the Sacred Heart of Jesus missionaries on November 28 1912 was helpful for the spread of Christianity to the Grasslanders but this as pointed out by Jacqueline DeVries barely scratched the surface.[4] Prior to their arrival a few Grasslanders who had migrated for plantation labour like Peter Wame and his wife Yadih Elizabeth had been converted to Christianity and they got baptized.[5] The activities of the  Sacred Heart of Jesus missionaries coincided with the earlier nursed ambition of converts who had been yearning to return to their Grassfield fiefs with the gospel of Christ. This happy coincidence extended the Catholic brand of Christianity to Nso in 1912  and  Kom in 1912.[6]On the side-line the Basel mission, through the committed work of the Basel Mission that enjoyed extensive administrative support, churches were opened in the Grassfields in Bali in 1903, and in Bafut  and Metta country in 1904.

It should be emphasized, however, that Christianity had no great impact on Africans,  viewing its scant representation. To some great extent some traditions had been adulterated but much of what formed the character and moral values of the people, especially those who were to be sent to the War front, remained essentially intact. This was the case with most of Africa except in places like Spanish Guinea, Fernando-Po, whose world view ran in consonance to the tenets of Christianity and its acolytes.

 To a great extent,  most of those who were recruited to the German force from the Grassfields were religiously rooted in African traditional religious thought,  that attached a venerated premium in the infallibility of the ancestors. Before engaging in the business of warfare or arms, the Grassfields breed of soldiers had a worldview that was far distant from Christianity and this influenced their multiple nomenclatures and performance in the battle fields.

Changing   Nomenclatures and Comportment of the Soldiers

Soldiers of African origins who participated in the First World War on the side of the Germans have been given multi-coloured nomenclature.[7]  They  were people a breed apart. This stems from the fact that most if not all were people who were either forcibly recruited or circumstantially wooed to join the German military contingent and in this context, their commitment to any assignment during the war fluctuated with the changing tides.[8] The comportment of the Cameroon soldiers in the War campaign had intricate connections to their historical environment and their  grasp of the changing circumstances.

The Berlin West African Conference of 1884-85,  encouraged the Germans  to forcibly occupy the Grassfields of Cameroon. Beneath the desire to respect the resolve of the conference was the fact that traders were prepared as much as possible to usurp the middle man monopoly without a corresponding desire to compensate Africans.  In any case , this forceful occupation was followed by numerous resistance movements lasting far longer than they  imagined. A non-exhaustive list of the movements of  resistance against the Germans includes:

 

  • The Duala  war of 1884
  • Bangwa, Bakweri of 1891-1894
  • The resistance of 1899-1903
  • Ewondo resistance of 1895-1896
  • The Kom-German war of 1904-5
  • Mamfe Resistance / Mpawmanku Wars of 1904-8
  • The Nso resistance of 1906.

In the course of trying to ward off the Germans, the traditional kingdoms  that were only versed with intra regional wars, had to rework their militay skills,  though most of the tactics they used throughout their wars with Germany on Cameroon soils, were home grown.[9]

The Germans succeeded in the main to subdue all the groups that tried to resist them notwithstanding the duration this encounter lasted. This defeat directly implied the inauguration of a new order. In this new paradigm, Fons and some notable members of the political elite, patently surrendered their functions to the Germans and were for the most part ready to perform the role of surrogates, through treaties of friendship that were for the most part favourable to the Germans.

Warfare

 The murder of Arch Duke France Ferdinand with his wife in the Bosnian town of Sarajevo on June 28 1914 presented the occasion for the Triple Entente and Triple Alliance  to contest for leadership. Germany never anticipated that Africa could be a veritable theatre of War.[10] The Allied decision to rapidly export the war, not only out of the Balkan peninsular but also to the rest of Europe and across the Atlantic to Africa,  confused German military planning. In August when the War also became an African problem, the northern Parts of Cameroon got involved.

 In fact the recruitment of Cameroonians for urgent various war assignments during the first months of the First World War led to the hiring of  15, 000 men, from their traditional fiefdoms to the different battle fields.[11] De Vries adds that all if not two thirds of these numbers soon found themselves captured and ferried to Fernando-Po where they were interned with other Europeans or German prisoners that were about one thousand in number..[12] The fourteen thousand Cameroonians were  mainly from the Grassfields and the northern part of Cameroon. Nkwi records that during the recruitment of soldiers by Germans for their War enterprise (Warfare ), about 500 men of substance were recruited just from Kom alone.[13] Many more came from Nso, Bafut,   Mankon and Bali,  and a lot more were simply picked up from the plantations and recycled for War assignments. The  Germans were desperately in need of men for multiple assignments. Men were needed as frontline itinerant soldiers, some to serve as cooks, aids, carriers and scouts and a lot more to perform errands that were to arise in the different battle fields.

Whether these people who were hurriedly recruited by the Germans were at the War front shooting or were in the kitchens cooking for the soldiers, or were acting as leads and carriers for the military, they were essential men in the process of warfare. To suit the purpose for which most of them were recruited, these people needed some basic drilling on essential war techniques.[14]The majority of recruits from the grassfield received short time drills in basic war techniques in the Bamenda military station, moved from Bali to the Bamenda region in 1903. This recruitment sustained the war efforts of the Germans in the Western front particularly during the Nsnanakang campaign that turned out to be the bloodiest on Cameroon soils.[15] These mass recruits were useful to the Germans in a multitude of ways. With robust energy and exceptional bravery, they negotiated local paths for the German forces .Some of them, besides serving as frontline soldiers dug up trenches[16] that served like excellent fortresses against the British. Some did not really go to war but served as cooks, and ran errands which gave those in the battle fields enough time to concentrate on vital war assignments. In a nutshell, the recruitment of the people from the Grassfield region and their urgent transformation through training for various war assignments constituted a veritable headache to the British and the French who were very confused about the approaches to be used in fighting the central powers represented in Cameroon by Germany.

The fortunes of war, whether  for or  against Germany,  mattered little to the newly recruited African.  Inspite  of the  hastily conducted training, they were yet to come to terms with the real substance of the War. A majority of them, overwhelmed  by the many assignments given to them by the German military warlords,  thought vaguely that they were fighting against a group of Whitemen who had the evil mission of enslaving everybody, including their Fons, kings who were accorded the attributes of extraordinary mortals.[17] Though this kind of campaign was by every substance lacking in evidence, it helped a great deal to woo the Fons of the Grassfields and other people from other parts of Cameroon,[18] into the business of providing brave men for the war. In the Northern parts of Cameroon where Islam had a firm grip, the Germans fuelled the

 

 passions of the Muslims when they deceived the people to think that the War was

 

 a ploy to unseat Islam and the Muslim hegemony that was in place.

 

The overwhelming contribution of the Grassfield recruits to the German War adventure in Cameroon unfortunately, was undermined  because the allied powers offered a far superior force. Though the Germans were able to continue the War till 1916, as early as June 1915, the war was no longer working in favour of the Germans. The fall  of  the Douala transmission center  made the establishment of any central command by the Germans impossible. Though the recruitment continued for some time after that, Colonel Zimmermann  who coordinated the central forces, was forced to allow  a contingent of recruits to escape to Spanish Guinea at Fernando- po, where the  men of war  became metamorphosed to men of scripture.

Fernando - Po, the Firmament of Transformation

The History of Christianity in West and Central Africa is wrought by very interesting and exciting episodes not only about the people who brought it here but also about the places where it found a fertile place to blossom An important and indispensable area where most Christian firmaments took its roots in the 19th century is the territory adjacent to the Cameroon Mountains to the South. Portugal, Spain and Britain at different times sought to colonize it. Spain a Catholic dominated European power had relinquished its hold on this territory by 1827 and the abolition deal made it in such a way that many Protestant Missionaries migrated and settled there,  with the aim of establishing a foothold to spread the gospel of Christ. The settlement of these missionaries attracted the attention of Britain who used it as an area where African captives caught on transit to Europe could be resettled.  Up to about 1890 when Spain negotiated with Britain to take back control of this area, life in this area was dominated by  Protestant theology.

The Conversion

It was here that most of the Grassfield men who had performed multitudes of functions in the First World War got interned. Some of them had the chance of living out of their traditional ecological bastion for the first time while others who were already serving as labourers in the plantations were already acquainted with a life style  that shunned blind traditional submission. to non-certified authorities. Nkwi and Jacqueline de Vries provide startling figures of servicemen being interned in this area (15,000). A greater number were Africans from the Grassfields. By stroke of faith men who were conscripted and hurriedly trained in Cameroon found themselves faced with exacting but thrilling realities in Spanish Guinea. Though as prisoners of War they were kept aloof from all communication with their kindred back home, life in Fernando-Po negotiated new contours of worth to most of these people. Britain or the allied forces did not bug these men with burdensome assignments akin to captives of War but rather gave them an extensive allowance of freedom to perform light duties and to fit themselves into any practice that suited them. With this elastic allowance they freely mingled with people not only from other cultures but other races as well. An important element of this social intercourse that ignited a passion of worth was Christianity. The British and the Spanish missionaries plus a reasonable number of freed captives who lived in Fernando-Po, at the time, led exemplary lifestyles. They were common, truthful, outgoing and considerate in the way they ran their public and private businesses. Most of the Grassfield ex –service men took upon themselves the duty of learning how to read and interpret the Holy Scriptures. Knowing Christ and living according to the tenets of Christianity entailed an avalanche of issues most of them discordant to traditional philosophy or  world view. It meant first and foremost that these soldiers were no longer expected to submit themselves to traditional authorities and their institutions. It equally meant that they were going to deny the African way of worship that prized the ever present influence of the ancestors in all private and public business. Furthermore, it meant that once out of Fernando-Po, these converts were obliged by the covenant of their newfound faith and way of life to be accountable only to God and not to any worldly constituted authorities. This was going to be an arduous task for the ex-servicemen but the missionaries and those who baptised them took time to train them for all season scriptural encounters. The idea of a one and only God who was merciful, forgiving, fatherly, abundantly loving, omnipresent, omnipotent  and omniscient appealed to these converts far more than African traditional religion.[19] Fortunately for these Christian converts and the process of Christianity in the Grassfields, the political situation in Cameroon like elsewhere in East Africa did not really settle until 1919.[20] The converts therefore had the chance of living and drinking from the cups of Christianity with their kith and kin from Europe and elsewhere for a continuous stretch of five years, which was good enough for the inculcation of Christian values. The return to normalcy[21] necessitated these men, profoundly “contaminated”  by  Christianity, to return to their traditional fiefs.

The return  of  the ex – service men

The return of the ex-service men to the Grassfields, mostly in Christened outfits and mentality,  like elsewhere in Cameroon and Africa, at large, turned out to be an encounter of negotiation and survival between colonial confusion and  indigenous arm-twisting. This created a concrete foundation for the growth and eventual co-existence of Christianity and African traditional religion  in the Grassfields.

Some of those who were conscripted into the German army were “undesirables” in their traditional societies. The decision of the Fons to sacrifice them to the War Machine technically meant exposing them to death, or whatever ordeal that was to come with the war. It was not anticipated that these men could survive the War,  let alone come back in some distant future in the garb of Christianity. This is the context within which their return became a veritable contest between blind attacks on tradition from these converts, and bewilderment- emerging from the camp of the traditional authorities that had earlier prayed them dead. Concretely, the population of the returnees was increased in the 1920s and 30s by a good number of plantation workers who also returned home loaded with a world view that was either empirically Christian in expression or Christian like. De Vries notes that 400 Ex- soldiers, 170 women, 50 children, and 95 servants returned to Kom..[22] This number was reinforced by about the same statistics for Nso and Bali.[23]Though it is possible that these people separated into different parts of the country, their determination to spread the gospel and the need to keep the standard of worth and prestige which they claimed to have been conferred with  by  western cultures,  Christianity  being the nucleus.

Compared to the population of the Grassfields,  at the time these returnees were quite few in numbers but very enormous in their determination to turn the life pattern of their traditional kin and kith to their direction. With the Christian mind-set being their spur and the overriding conviction that God was all powerful, knowing and seeing, these converts launched a long range of programmes on tradition. The bewilderment of the traditional folk came from multiple fronts. Besides the fact that these men were so free in challenging the views lavishly shared and upheld by traditional constituencies, about the Gods and their ancestors, it was a like a nightmare to the traditional authorities of the Grassfields  to see Christianity once more returning to their lands. This was because most of them had interpreted the defeat and ousting of the Germans, and the termination of the few churches that were within their fiefdoms, as complete eradication of not only the Germans but also Christianity as a whole. The return of this class of people created anxious moments among the traditional authorities and sympathisers. The case of Michael[24] Timneng of the Kom Fondom speaks volumes in the direction of indigenous apprehension of this class of people. This is typified by one oral witness from a Kom Fondom notable who summed up all their feelings when he stated that:

              It was like some treachery. We felt we had been betrayed. When I say we, I mean palace notables and traditional authorities. This was Timneng who had been among palace guards at the palace. This same Timneng had got recruited into the army by the Fon for the Germans. Timneng goes to Fernando-Po and on his return he brings a contrasting religion whose sole aim was to destroy the old order. Do you think we in the secret house could have been comfortable? No certainly not. There is one thing that You’ book people do not always want to accept. Timneng was not an ordinary man. That is why he was enlisted into the German army. Soothsayers had always said that Timneng had a very bad scheme in the pipeline for the Kom Kingdom….People always advised us to leave him alone so when he came back and took a stand against us we were not taken unawares. We had always thought that he could not bring anything different from bad luck into this kingdom.[25]

              This is a classic case of bewilderment and an indication that the coming of these ex-service men ignited rancour in the minds of traditional Africans. Similar accounts can be rendered about Mamadoua who returned and opened the first Baptist church in Wum in 1922, or, the returning recruits from Nso who grew to eminence in the spread of Catholicism in the Grassfields. The traditional believers were further amazed by the fact that Christians often gathered,  and sang songs of strange diction and veneration for  the Christian God. Together with prayers and a claim of powers and wisdom coming from the Bible and other literature, the whole affair of Christianity became a bone of contention between the traditional authorities, on one hand, and the British administrators on the other. Whatever the case, the shift in authority from the Germans was a diplomatic affair  negotiated and arrived at far away from the Grassfileds because of the European conviction that the consent of such people was not required when dealing with issues of international significance. With no clear idea of the deeper implication of the change at the helm of colonial leadership, the traditional folk were astonished to see the arrival of a different kind of white man,  speaking a different language and using a different flag.

             Although the whole concept of Christianity disliked by traditional authorities, the British depended on Christian institutions for the training of servants and service men in their administration. They were ready to tolerate Christianity as far as it did not undermine the authorities of the Fons and other notables whose power was enhanced to collect taxes under the system of Indirect Rule. There was absolutely no way Christianity could flower and blossom without a significant shift in the local perception of power and authority. It was this difficulty that created some sort of confusion within the circles of the British administrators.

              The Growth of Christianity and Colonial Confusion in the Grassfields

              In the context of stiff opposition from some local Africans, Christianity gained its way into northwest Cameroon and grappled to survive inspite of the challenges. The British colonial authorities were, as a result of this development, caught in a web because both systems were required for its survival. Under Indirect Rule the authority of the Fons and other traditional regulatory Institutions was required to collect taxes and enforce law and order. Under this very system the British needed to train men  to perform white collar functions as clerks, accountants, teachers as well as learned men to consolidate the nexus of power between them and the Indigenous Africans. With little finance and willingness by  Britishers to serve in Cameroon, the only institutions that could provide these white collar men were the Christian institutions. If the British authorities chose to discourage the growth of Christianity, that could imply directly depriving themselves of the badly needed elements and agents that were to be the core of their colonial enterprise in the Cameroons. Additionally, that could also imply the declaration of war on the Christian population constituted by returnee war veterans and plantation workers, who were pointedly few in number, but robust in their determination to resist any imposed order. Secondly, if the British were to cast out their Fons and all the traditional figments of tradition from power that could mean a complete volte-face from the much trumpeted Indirect Rule which entailed the need for more finances as well as British administrators,  to perform the mandatory assignments.

              With ultimately no way of keeping off any of the two alternatives, Britain decided to play safe, treating each case, and negotiating their way through any case as the circumstances provided. An outgrowth of the recruits’ obsession with the scriptures which animated relations between the British and the traditional authorities, on one hand, and the Church, or returnees, on the other, was the issue of women -   more resolutely royal women. Christian theology saw marriage from a point which contrasted  with tradition in a number of ways. Marriage as presented by these men of the scripture meant that one man should be married to one woman only. It meant that the woman had a right to accept to get married or not and it equally meant that decisions in a marriage home were to be arrived at through consensus. Given the dressing habits of these recruits, or returnees, along with the opportunities of freedom available within the ambits of the church, royal women and those who saw marriage as a burden, deserted their marriage homes and sought refuge within the Church. The problem with this was not only that polygamy the basis of patriarchy in the Grassfields collapsed, but that the institutions and traditional offices which the British depended on for the survival of Indirect Rule,  became frail. Though a handful of Christians were jailed by the British administrators, it became clear that life throughout the Mandate and the Trusteeship era (1922-61) was going to be on the basis of co-existence and not sublime submission to the tenets of the Church or Britain,  as earlier wished. 

               Through no making of their own,  Africans were recruited into a war,  far from their immediate concern. Some of them were not killed but rather become Christian, a development that  initiated new horizons for polygamy, patriarchy, and royal  and colonial absolutism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] See Hoyt, Edwin P.(1981) Guerilla. Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck and Germany's East African , Empire. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc.; and London: Collier MacMillan Publishers. With regards to the situation in Cameroon the Germans found it absurd to train the natives.

[2] Coastal areas were endowed by nature not only with abundant parcels of virgin and fertile land but equally with  resources therein. All of this combined,  made the people of this area pointedly self –assertive. This was a different case in the Grassfields that had luxuriant pastures but where the possibilities of extensive land ownership and rights were visibly absent.

[3] This implied full scale respect or veneration of everything German.

[4] De Vries  Jacqueline(1998) De Vries, Jacqueline. Catholic Mission Colonial Government and Indigenous Response in Kom( Cameroon)Laiden: African Studies Centre

[5] Ngoh V.J.(1996)  History of Cameroon since 1800,Limbe:Pressbook,p.93.

[6]Ibid.

[7] Confidence Chia Ngam calls those who came from the entire  Bamenda grassfields,  Homemade Soldiers, and argues that these soldiers were the product of the  local environment because of urgent realities and not because of any genuine desire on the part of the Germans to train the African in the art of German warfare which in their thinking was to be exclusively confined to the Whitemen .See this detailed development in ‘’ Travails of the Homemade Soldiers from the Bamenda Grassfields. Passions of Fulfilment versus Passions of disappointments’’ presented at the first ever Military Colloquium organized by the Ministry of Defence in collaboration with the Cameroon History Society in Akwa Palace  Hotel,  June 2014.

[8] Ruddins H.(1938) Germans in the Cameroons: A Study in Modern Imperialism p. 194-5.

[9] Paul Tuh Kiawi in (2002) ‘’ The Kom German War 1904-5,  The War Tactics’’ M A Dissertation in History, University of Buea. Though he was very particular about the Kom situation..

  [10] See how this has been developed in great details in  J.D Taylor, (1919)   "Some Effects of the War on Africa," The Missionary Review of the World 42, 439.

See, for example, Brian Digre,(1990) Imperialism's New Clothes:The Repartition of Africa, 1914-1919 (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

[10]See, C. Seymour (1926) (ed.), The papers of Colonel House Vol. III (London, p, 240.

 

[11]  See De Vries Jacqueline (1998) Catholic Mission Colonial Government Versus Indegenous Resp[onse in Komk(Cameroon),Leiden: African Studies Centre,pp.16-7.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Walters Gam Nkwi, Post War Societies(Africa), in,  International Encyclopaedia of the First World War: 1914-1918,published online.

[14] Naval Operations in the Cameroons, 1914, BNA, ADM 186/607, p. 158.

[15] Wilson Ebai Ebi has written a good article about this War that was known in  its native jargon as The Mpaw-Manku Wars.

[16] In buttressing the fact that African soldiers used local techniques in fighting a European War George Njung cites a case of Bakumba, in the forest region in Cameroon, where recruits dug a trench as long as 1 kilmoter which became very effective as a defence barrier. See George Njung ‘’West Africa’’ in International Encyclopaedia of the first World War,1914-18. Online. 

[17] In the Northern parts of Cameroon where Islam had a firm grip, the Germans fuelled the passions of the Muslims when they deceived the people into thinking that the War was not against the Germans but a ploy to unseat Islam and the Muslim hegemony that was in place.

[18] For the 'loyalty' of the Beti of Cameroon to the Germans throughout the war, see Quinn,

Frederick(1987): “The Impact of the First World and its Aftermath on the Beti of Cameroun”, in Page(ed.), Africa and the First World War, pp. 171-185.

[19]The issue of blessings and punishment, in any religion,  is indeed  complicated. There is a scholarship which thinks that Christian insistence on the beatitudes of their faith was  a mere ploy intended to brainwash Africans and to uproot them from a pristine religion that was by every means an integral part of their character formation. 

[20]Most of these people got to Fernando-Po Spanish Guinea in 1915, but even with the end of the War in Cameroon by 1916, the War continued in other parts of the world till 1918. It was only after the 1919 Paris Peace Conference   that the fate of this converts could be determined. Of importance to Cameroon and these converts, during this conference, was the notorious Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28 with impact on Germany and her territories abroad.

[21]Order in the World ,as used here, was defined by the Wilsonian Diplomacy which laid the frame work for the formation of the League of Nations that only became operational in 1920.

[22]  This found in D O Podevins Annual Report to the Resident in Buea found File No CB 1918/2 of 1919,p.9.of the Buea National Archives BNA - Cited and paraphrased by Jacquline de Vries in  Catholic Mission,p.38.

[23] Ibid.

[24] The man Michael Timneng was born around 1884  in Nijinkom –Kom just when the Germans officially annexed Cameroon. His mother was called Neng and the name Tim, came from his uncle, meaning that he was born out of wedlock. Michael was a Christian name given to him when he became a Christian in Fernando-Po.

[25] Chindo Ngounkoule (1994) -  Interviewed and cited by De Vries in Catholic Mission p.41.

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