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The Uganda Coup—Class Action by the Military

  • Michael F. Lofchie
Extract

There will undoubtedly be many interpretations of the Uganda coup. The purpose of this article is merely to suggest one and, on the basis of available, though admittedly incomplete evidence, to outline a case for its plausibility. The central argument is as follows. The Uganda army can be best understood as a kind of economic class, an élite stratum with a set of economic interests to protect. The coup of January 1971 was the army's political response to an increasingly socialist régime whose equalitarian domestic policies posed more and more of a threat to the military's economic privileges.

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Page 19 note 1 Lee, J. M., African Armies and Civil Order (New York, 1969), p. 22.

Page 22 note 1 This table is extracted from Lee, op. cit. p. 94, and shows the annual starting salaries for each rank without allowances.

Page 22 note 2 Ibid. p. 126.

Page 24 note 1 B.B.C. News Monitoring Service, 26 Jaunary 1971.

Page 25 note 1 The Public Accounts of the Republic of Uganda for the Year ended 30th June 1969, together with the Report thereon by the Auditor General (Entebbe, 1970), pp. 26–8.

Page 27 note 1 For an account of this movement, see Doornbos, Martin R., ‘Kumanyana and Rwenzururu: two responses to ethnic inequality,’ in Rotberg, Robert I. and Mazrui, Ali (eds.), Protest and Power in Black Africa (New York, 1970), pp. 1088–136.

Page 31 note 1 Leys, Colin, Politicians and Policies: an essay on politics in Acholi, Uganda, 1962–65 (Nairobi, 1967), p. 10.

Page 31 note 2 Young, M. Crawford, ‘The Obote Revolution’, in Africa Report (Washington), 06 1966, p. 12.

page 32 note 1 Obote, A. Milton, Proposals for New Methods of Election of Representatives of the People to Parliament (Kampala, 1970), Document No. 5 on ‘The Move To The Left’.

* Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles.

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The Journal of Modern African Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-278X
  • EISSN: 1469-7777
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-modern-african-studies
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