2In Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Ethiopia,the Central Arican Republic, Chad, Sudan, Angola,Rwanda, and many other Arican states, democrati-zation or the consolidation o political reorms hasbeen severely inhibited by armed orces that regu-larly intervene in political and economic matters. InUganda, or instance, the military is permitted to se-lect 10 ocers to serve as members o parliament. Insome cases, the armed orces operate autonomouslyand even maintain commercial interests outside themilitary budget. In Rwanda, the military grows, buys,processes, and exports commercial crops through amilitary-owned company.
Military ocers in An-gola participate in contract negotiations with oreigncompanies, sit on corporate boards, and are majorityshareholders in telecommunications rms.
Such practices are not only counterproductiveto democratic governance, but also undermine stabil-ity, economic development, and even the interests o the militaries themselves. In cases where militarieshave assumed total control over government, the re-sults have usually been disastrous. Annual economicgrowth rates in Nigeria and Mali, or example, havebeen on average a ull 3 percentage points lower dur-ing periods o military versus civilian rule. Whilelauded or their discipline and quick decisionmak-ing, militaries have little background in job creation,macroeconomic policy, public health, or the manyother complex challenges o governing. More gener-ally, military decisionmaking is rigidly hierarchicaland beyond appeal, whereas in the public domain,policy implementation tends to be more eectivewhen built through a consultative, transparent, anddeliberative process.Beyond the blunt military putsch, increasinglyprevalent and sinister developments in Arica are theemergence o “democratic” and “creeping” coups. Inthe ormer, a military coup is staged, ollowed by atactical withdrawal to hold elections that are “won”by a recently retired military ocer—to the acco-lades o both regional and international organiza-tions. Such was the case ollowing the 2008 coup inMauritania by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.In creeping coups, civilian leaders will slowly erodethe powers and authorities o legislatures, judiciaries,civil society groups, and other potential sources o opposition. This was the pattern ollowed by the nowdeposed President Mamadou Tandja in Niger and is,arguably, the process under way currently in Djiboutiand Malawi, among other places. Co-opting securityleaders or counterbalancing the military with specialpresidential security units is key to the success o suchextra-constitutional exercises o authority.The level o such co-optation is extensive insome countries. The use o orce against peaceuldemonstrations in recent years by security units inthe Democratic Republic o the Congo, Ethiopia,Uganda, Malawi, and Cameroon, among others, iscase in point. The shooting o unarmed civiliansclearly indicates that some security sector leadersin Arica continue to see their role as deendingthe regime in power rather than the constitution—contravening even basic codes o military conductand emerging democratic norms on the continent.Upcoming elections in Zimbabwe, Senegal, BurkinaFaso, and Kenya may pose similar dilemmas or thesecountries’ military and police leadership.Even where legitimate civilian rule predomi-nates, civil-military relations remain strained inmuch o Arica. Given its unique institutional dy-namics, responsibilities, and standard procedures,the military can nd it challenging to interact withparliament, civil society organizations, or other ci-vilian entities. Likewise, most Arican civilian o-cials lack a deep understanding o security issuesand institutions. Productive engagement, coopera-tion, and mutual respect are elusive and rustrationis common.In Nigeria, or example, the President o the Senate explained in a 2008 speech to ellow
D. Mat C. h s te Academc Ca fCvl-Mlta relats te Afca Cete f State-c Stdes at te natal Defese uvest.
“f demcac t s deets te ctet, tesect sect eeds t be awll ate te cess fdemcatc csldat”