I am thinking I should try and write a journal article dealing in some way with Africa this Christmas break. I am thinking about doing a thought piece on the relationship between state terror by indigenous regimes and the support for those regimes by foreign states outside of Africa. While the orthodox academic view in the US seems to be that the only such foreign state to have engaged in such morally dubious behavior during the late 20th century was Washington DC that does not seem to be the case in Africa. For historical and geographic reasons Africa is considerably different than Latin America where the above position has some merit. Instead in Africa the role of European states like France and Belgium was quite significant in supporting dictatorships in Congo (Zaire), Burundi, Rwanda, Togo, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Mauritania, Chad, and Gabon. Indeed in most of these states France played a much, much, much more important role in propping up brutal dictatorships than did the US. One should also remember that one of the most brutal dictatorships ever established on the African continent, Ethiopia under Mengistu, was supported the USSR and Cuba. I am thinking of perhaps writing a comparative thought piece on how indigenous dictatorships and foreign sponsors interacted in the case of French client states and Ethiopia. If anybody has any suggestions for sources or how I should go about this project please leave a comment. (Yes, I know there will be absolutely no comments. But, I feel I have to at least try).
I think it's an excellent idea.
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