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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Subaltern Reactions: Lumpens, Students, and the Left
Author:Rashid, Ishmail
Year:1997
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Volume:22
Issue:3-4
Pages:19-43
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
West Africa
Subjects:protest
students
Politics and Government
nationalism
Education and Oral Traditions
politics
radicalism
Social groups
Political crisis
political ideologies
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/43658003
Abstract:As the State in Sierra Leone repressed dissent in the mid-1970s, students and 'lumpen youths' took the leading role in challenging its legitimacy. This article focuses on the political activities of Fourah Bay College students and Freetown's 'lumpen youth' between 1977 and 1992. Their actions provoked reform and eventually a military coup, which was dubbed a 'revolution', in 1991-1992. The weakening of the APC (All Peoples Congress) regime by the persistent economic crisis and the ongoing corruption within the administration created the opportunity for a section of the student and lumpen youth to become a 'ruling group'. On 29 April 1992, a group of young unpaid soldiers toppled the Momoh regime and instituted the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC), a regime of largely twenty-year-olds under the leadership of Captain Valentine Strasser. But the alliance between the NPRC, radical students and other youths lasted only briefly. The NPRC continued fighting the RUF (Revolutionary United Front), which had its roots in the same militant youth culture, and eventually became mired in the corruption that it avowed to curtail. If the empowerment of the NPRC and the RUF failed to bear positive fruits, it was because their political culture had little time to develop beyond its anti-establishment content. Bibliogr., notes, ref.
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