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By Chuka Onwumechili

Onwumechili offers an exhilarating standpoint on African army coups and reminds us that democracy isn't really synonymous exclusively with Western societies. He examines democracies in conventional Africa and indicates how those socieites truly outlined and restricted the jobs of conventional African armies.From this heritage, Onwumechili makes readers savor that sleek African armies are deviant associations, with out roots in conventional Africa. fairly, he argues, one has to hunt these roots in Africa's fresh, colonial heritage. Dr. Onwumechili is going directly to describe the explanations for coups and their strategies. ultimately, he examines how army coups should be avoided. whereas earlier strategies have mostly failed, Onwumechili offers convincing recommendations in accordance with case stories.

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There were authoritarian imperial rulers before the onset of military dictatorships in the 1970s. In 1995, President Negaso Gidado became the first democratically elected leader. Melas Zenawi, who is prime minister in President Gidado's government, had served as transitional president since 1991 when the Tigrean People's Liberation Front (TPLF) army forced military dictator Col. Mengistu Haile Mariamfrompower. The prognosis for Ethiopia's new democracy is not bright. One of the major opposition groups, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), withdrew from deliberations on Ethiopia's democratic structure during the transition period because it felt that the dominant Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) had taken control of transition and had prevented broad participation.

Citizens participate in their local governments while their representatives present citizen opinions at the higher levels of government. The day-to-day impact of government on the citizens is felt in the citizens' relationship with their local government. Accountability refers to a system where the ruler is obliged to respond to the citizenry and the citizenry have a mechanism by which they ensure that their preferences are satisfied. The mechanisms used to ensure responsiveness in Western democracies are candidate elections and various types of voting.

In fact, several of the principles are similar. What is different is the context in which the principles are practiced. Modern-day African administrations rule very large nations compared to the small communities we described in Chapter 1. Even ancient African kingdoms, which we also described in the previous chapter, did not have the complex administrations required in today's world. The differences in size and administrative complexity affect how democratic principles may be applied or practiced.

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