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"Ruga-ruga." Topic


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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2019 8:47 p.m. PST

"Ruga-Ruga (sometimes called Rugaruga) were irregular troops in Eastern Africa, often deployed by western colonial forces.[1] They often served as mercenaries or local auxiliaries alongside the regular Askari, professional soldiers who were often hired in other regions of Africa.[2] While the latter were trained by officers of the European colonial powers in Africa, the Ruga-Ruga were mostly hired from tribal warriors during times of conflict.

The term Ruga-Ruga for armed guards in caravans and mercenary troops of Nyamwezi-chieftains dates back to at least 1820, according to Pesek.[4] Ruga-Ruga came into knowledge first as an auxiliary force of Nyamwezi-chieftain Mirambo, dubbed the Napoleon of Africa by Henry Morton Stanley. Mirambo, a trader of ivory and slaves, gathered a militia of young men without social ties to defend his interests against the Arabs of the Swahili coast. This unit consisted mostly of former slaves or porters. Later, the word Ruga-Ruga was used to denote any unit of auxiliary troops in Eastern Africa…."

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