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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The soldier and the State in the Congo crisis: the unprofessional legacy of the National Congolese Army
Author:Barron, Thomas
Periodical:African security (ISSN 1939-2206)
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:armed forces
coups d'état
About person:Mobutu Sese Seko (1930-1997) is Joseph Désiré MobutuISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19392206.2013.788407
Abstract:A prevalent feature of political competition in postcolonial Africa has been the occurrence of coups and the threat of politically powerful militaries. Yet as scholars of civil-military relations on the African continent have attempted to make sense of military coups, perhaps their most obvious component - the military - has received little critical attention. Indeed, most analyses characterize the military as a dependent factor in explaining coups. This article examines Joseph Mobutu's rise to power in the Congo during the Congo Crisis by analyzing the history of the Congolese military, first from its inception as the Force Publique in 1888 then as the Armée National Congolais (ANC) between independence and Mobutu's seizure of power in 1965. By examining the Congolese military through Huntington's definition of military professionalism, this article argues that Mobutu ascended to power by exploiting his leadership position within a fragmented, ill-disciplined military. It shows that the structure, functions, and behavior of the military are key factors in understanding the development of conditions that allow for military seizures of power. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]