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Why Comrades Go to War
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Why Comrades Go to War: Liberation Politics and the Outbreak of Africa's Deadliest Conflict

Philip Roessler and Harry Verhoeven


In October 1996, a motley crew of ageing Marxists and unemployed youths coalesced to revolt against Mobutu Seso Seko, president of Zaire/Congo since 1965. Backed by a Rwanda-led regional coalition that drew support from Asmara to Luanda, the rebels of the AFDL marched over 1500 kilometers in seven months to crush the dictatorship. To the Congolese rebels and their Pan-Africanist allies, the vanquishing of the Mobutu regime represented nothing short of a “second independence” for Congo and Central Africa as a whole. Within 15 months, however, Central Africa’s “liberation Peace” would collapse, ... More

Keywords: war, Africa, DRC, Rwanda, revolution, rebellion, liberation, conflict, personal rule, Pan Africanism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190611354
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190611354.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip Roessler, author
College of William and Mary

Harry Verhoeven, author
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

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