We have thus seen that African states have on numerous occasions made use of the services of militias, i.e. part-time paramilitary forces, for a variety of missions, ranging from the upholding of law and order and national defence to counter-insurgency and even genocide.
There are certainly advantages to be derived from such use, viewed from the point of view of the incumbent rulers of the state.
First of all, militias are cheap and thus an obvious choice for governments strapped for cash, as is the case of most in Africa. There is no need for full-time salaries, even in times...