HC 434H/431H: African Military History, 1960s-2000s

Professor: A.B. Assensoh

4.00 credits

• CRN 13126: Monday, 1400-1650 @ This course will be held remotely

In African political History, a nation on the second largest continent (Africa) was often considered both stable and progressive if there had not been a military intervention – i.e. coup d’etat -- in its national politics. Unfortunately, only a few of today’s African countries can boast of  having succeeded in keeping their military and police forces in the barracks to allow elected politicians to serve as political rulers. The major aim of the course is primarily to assist the enthusiastically-enrolled students to understand the dynamics and logistics of the wave of coups d’etat, which have swept away several post-colonial African civilian regimes from Zimbabwe, in the southern Africa sub-region, to Libya in North Africa (two of the most recent victims of coups, which toppled two of the decades-old autocratic regimes and their mostly dictatorial leaders: Robert Mugabe (1924-2019), who ruled Zimbabwe as basically President-for-Life from 1980 to 2017 (37 years); and Muammar Ghaddafi (1942-2011), who also ruled Libya from 1969 until his assassination in 2011). Nigeria, one of the largest as well as richest nations in Africa, had its own coup in January of 1966, followed by the February 24, 1966 coup in Ghana, the first British colony in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence on March 6, 1957. Since then, several other nations, big and small, have been toppled in coups d’etat. They will all be discussed in the class.