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The major reason for establishing the colonial military force was to defend the White colonial administrators in the colonies and safeguard colonial interests against internal and external threats.

In addition, the colonial army had a duty of suppressing and exploiting Africans with the help of other established colonial organs such as the police, the prison and the judiciary without forgetting the colonial administration, since colonialism was very much resented and resisted by the Africans.The major functions of colonial institutions  are:-

1. To defend of colonial boundaries:The colonial administration ordered their army to fight against their enemies. For instance in 1919, 6 th KAR battalion of the British in Tanganyika fought in World War I in Kalito (Ethiopia) and another part of it fought in Burma and Sudan.

2. Implemented land alienation for colonial settlers: To establish colonial plantation they enforced the land alienation policy throughout the colonies.

3. Suppression of African resistance: SomeAfricans reacted very strongly to colonial rulership so it was the duty of colonial military to suppress the opposition. This was used as the only way for colonialists to maintain their administration.

4. They had a task of maintaining peace and order through maintaining colonial laws and orders: They also prevented crimes in the colonies. Not only that but they also protected the colonial properties such as buildings, infrastructure etc.

5. Tax collection and information: They were responsible for collecting information and supervising the tax collected in the colony. The information collected was to be communicated to the colonial masters.

6. Supervision of public works was among the functions of the colonial military institutions:Public works included the construction of infrastructures such as railway, ports, prisons, hospitals, schools, churches etc. all these had to be supervised by the colonial military.

7. Implement colonial conquest: To effect colonial invasion and domination in Africa during the colonial penetration and occupation the colonial military had to penetrate to the interior for the purpose of establishing the colonisation process.

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