THE COMING OF TYRANTS I


Motivele foarte bine intenţionate pentru o lovitură de stat? Relele principale: corruption, mismanagement, tribalism, nepotism and other assorted malpractices. They intervened and restored honest and efficient government and national integrity.
De aia e Africa aşa cum e.

Weapons and Warfare

General Eyadéma

In the first two decades of African independence, there were some forty successful coups and countless attempted coups. In 1967 a 27-year-old Ghanaian army lieutenant, Sam Arthur, finding himself in temporary command of an armoured car unit, decided on an attempt to seize power because, he later confessed, he wanted to ‘make history’ by becoming the first lieutenant successfully to organise a coup. The coup attempt was given the name ‘Operation Guitar Boy’. Arthur’s armoured car unit drove into Accra but failed to gain control.

Many coups were accomplished without violence. Some countries even established a tradition of peaceful coups. In Dahomey – later renamed Benin – all six coups after independence were bloodless. In Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), where political activity was confined to such a small elite that incoming ministers tended to be related to those who had just been thrown out, politicians took pride in…

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THE COMING OF TYRANTS II


De ce nu a putut scăpa Africa de sărăcie? Iată pe unii dintre prietenii lui Ceauşescu.

Weapons and Warfare

Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the self-proclaimed emperor of the Central African empire, after crowning himself in 1977.

The coronation took place on 4 December 1977 at the Palais des Sports ;, on Bokassa Avenue, next to the Université Jean-Bedel Bokassa. To the strains of Mozart and Beethoven, wearing a twenty-foot-long red-velvet cloak trimmed with ermine, Bokassa crowned himself and then received as a symbol of office a six-foot diamond-encrusted sceptre.

The spectacle of Bokassa’s lavish coronation, costing $22 million, in a country with few government services, huge infant mortality, widespread illiteracy, only 260 miles of paved roads and in serious economic difficulty, aroused universal criticism. But the French, who picked up most of the bill, curtly dismissed all such criticism. ‘Personally,’ said the French Cooperation Minister, Robert Galley, who represented Giscard at the coronation, ‘I find it quite extraordinary to criticise what is to take place in Bangui while finding the Queen…

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THE COMING OF TYRANTS III


De ce Africa nu poate scăpa de sărăcie? Uite de asta:

Weapons and Warfare

Ugandan President Idi Amin (1977)

Map of battles of the Uganda–Tanzania War.

However cruel, capricious and brutal many of Amin’s actions may have seemed in the West, in much of Africa he was regarded as something of a hero. By expelling the Asian community and attacking Western imperialism, he was seen to be fearlessly asserting African interests. At meetings of the Organisation of African Unity, of which he was chairman for one year in 1975, Amin’s appearances, weighed down with his own medals and gold braid, inspired enthusiastic applause. He was also able to trade on his Muslim credentials, gaining valuable support and generous loans from the Arab world, notably from Saudi Arabia and Libya, in return for agreeing to promote the Islamic cause in Uganda.

The end of Amin’s tyranny came in 1979. Faced with internal dissension, squabbling and rivalry within his army, Amin desperately sought a diversion and…

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Myasishchev M-50


Iată cum a ajuns bau-baul sovietic la muzeu înainte de a îndeplini o singură misiune de luptă..

Weapons and Warfare

To quote Bill Gunston in one of his many books on Soviet aircraft, this huge aeroplane was ‘one of the most breathtaking aircraft of its day’. The seeds for the M-50’s relatively brief moment of glory were first planted in 1954. Soon after Myasishchev’s M-32 was dropped in 1953, the Soviet Union received its first news of the forthcoming American Convair B-58 Hustler bomber, which essentially comprised a relatively small aircraft with all of the disposable load, fuel and bombs, housed in an external pod underneath the fuselage; this was key because the pod helped to keep down the bomber’s overall size. In response, the Myasishchev OKB, backed up by a new SovMin resolution dated 30th July 1954, began work on a ‘composite long-range bomber’, of its own (composed of a strike aircraft and a launch aircraft) which it designated the M-50.

The aircraft, powered by four Dobrynin or Mikulin…

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