POLICE and military institutions in many African countries consider the brutalization of civilian populations as normal. This is because their very existence is inherent in the foundations of colonialism.
The main aim of the colonial masters in setting up the security agencies was primarily to as a weapon of oppression against the very civilian population they openly claimed to be protecting.
African security agencies find it more convenient to engage former colonial powers like Britain in various security exercises, with little or no collaboration among African states.
For example, African police institutions brutalize as a matter of routine, citizens cannot see and understand the fundamental contradiction in that precisely because that is what they were set up to do.
Allegations of police brutality against civilian populations are rampant in many African countries. For example, military regimes, pseudo-democratic regimes and civilian government have always relied and continue to rely on their individual security apparatus to unleash violence on the very people they always trumpet to be protecting.
The security agencies are also used more equally to halt peaceful protests. For example, when workers in Guinea took to the streets of Conakry demanding the resignation of President Lansana Conte, the regime used the security agencies to attack the defenceless marchers, killing some of them in the process.
The same could be said of Gambia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Kenya, where protesters have been beaten, arrested and subsequently tortured by the police and military.