After the Cold War, Africa earned the dubious distinction of being the world's most bloody continent. But how can we explain this proliferation of armed conflicts? What caused them and what were their main characteristics? And what did the world's governments do to stop them? In addressing these and other questions, Paul Williams offers the first comparative assessment of more than two hundred armed conflicts which took place in Africa between 1990 and 2009 - from the continental catastrophe in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the environmental disaster in the Niger Delta and mass atrocities in the Sudan. Taking a broad comparative approach to examine the political contexts in which these wars occurred, he explores the key ingredients that provoked them and the major international responses undertaken to deliver lasting peace. Part I, Contexts provides an overview of the most important attempts to measure the number and scale of Africa's armed conflicts and provides a conceptual and political sketch of the terrain of struggle upon which these wars were waged. Part II, Ingredients analyses the role of five widely debated features of Africa's wars: the dynamics of neopatrimonial systems of governance; the construction and manipulation of ethnic identities; questions of sovereignty and self-determination; as well as the impact of natural resources and religion. Part III, Responses, discusses four major international reactions to Africa's wars: attempts to build a new institutional architecture to help promote peace and security on the continent; this architecture's two main policy instruments, peacemaking initiatives and peacekeeping operations; and efforts to develop the continent. War and Conflict in Africa will be essential reading for all students of international peace and security studies as well as Africa's international relations.
This book examines the causes, course and consequences of warfare in twentieth century Africa, a period which spanned colonial rebellions, both World Wars, and the decolonization process. Timothy Stapleton contextualizes the essential debates and controversies surrounding African conflict in the twentieth century while providing insightful introductions to such conflicts as: African rebellions against colonial regimes in the early twentieth century, including the rebellion and infamous genocide of the Herero and Nama people in present-day Namibia; The African fronts of World War I and World War II, and the involvement of colonized African peoples in these global conflicts; Conflict surrounding the widespread decolonization of Africa in the 1950s and 1960s; Rebellion and civil war in Africa during the Cold War, when American and Soviet elements often intervened in efforts to turn African battlegrounds into Cold War proxy conflicts; The Second Congo Civil War, which is arguably the bloodiest conflict in any region since World War II; Supported by a glossary, a who’s who of key figures, a timeline of major events, a rich bibliography, and a set of documents which highlight the themes of the book, Africa: War and Conflict in the Twentieth Century is the best available resource for students and scholars seeking an introduction to violent conflict in recent African history.
A comprehensive volume that offers historical and nuanced representations of war and peace in Africa from the fields of African studies and cultural studies, linguistics, journalism and the media, literature, film, drama and performance, women's and gender studies, and human rights.
A collection of testimonies by various writers and scholars who have experienced, or explored, the continent's conflicts and woes, including how the disruptions shape artistic and literary production. The book is divided into two broad categories: in one, several writers speak directly, and with rich anecdotal details about the impact wars and conflicts have had in the formation of their experience and work; in the second, a number of scholars articulate how particular writers have assimilated the horrors of wars and conflicts in their literary creations. The result is an invaluable harvest of reflections and perspectives that open the window into an essential, but until now sadly unexplored, facet of the cultural and political experience of African writers.
Conflict Resolution, Elections and Justice in Sierra Leone and Liberia
Author: David Harris
In the aftermath of explosive civil wars in Africa during the 1990s and 2000s, the establishment of multi-party elections has often been heralded by the West as signaling the culmination of the conflict and the beginning of a period of democratic rule. However, the outcomes of these elections are very rarely uniform, with just as many countries returning to conflict as not. Here, David Harris uses the examples of Sierra Leone and Liberia to examine the nexus of international and domestic politics in these post-conflict elections. In doing so, he comes to the conclusion that it is political, rather than legal, solutions that are more likely to enhance any positive political change that has emerged from the violence. This book is thus of significance to Western and African policy makers, and also to students and scholars who wish to engage with the critical issues of conflict resolution and reconciliation both in Sierra Leone and Liberia in particular and in the wider region in general.
Armed Conflict in Africa offers a multidisciplinary look at the causes and remedies of armed conflict in Africa. It contains a collection of essays written by leading African Studies scholars and designed for both the student and practitioner alike.
John Kiyaga-Nsubuga focuses on Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement regime's attempt to bring peace to Uganda. John Prendergast and Mark Duffield look at Ethiopia's long civil war and the role of liberation politics and external engagement. Bruce Jones studies the ethnic roots of the civil war in Rwanda. Elwood Dunn explores political manipulation and ethnic differences as causes of civil strife in Liberia. John Saul examines the role of Western powers in establishing peace in Mozambique. Hussein Adam describes the collapse of the authoritarian regime in Somalia and the subsequent rise of inter-clan and sub-clan rivalry. Taisier Ali and Robert Matthews argue that the forty-year conflict in Sudan is much more complex than the usual view that it results from the pitting of the Arab, Islamic North against the African, Christian South.
This is a historical survey and analysis of some of the bloodiest conflicts in modern times. The civil wars in Rwanda and Burundi, twin states in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, are often explained in simplistic terms even by some political pundits as mere tribal wars, rooted in anciet hatred, between the Hutu and the Tutsi. Ethnicity is indeed a factor. But of paramount importance in this conflict between the Hutu and the Tutsi, in both countries, is the struggle for power although with "racial" overtones, and the exclusion of the Hutu majority from meaningful participation in the political process. Therefore the conflicts are not tribal wars but political statements as well, probably more than anything else; what Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa aptly described as "military expressions of political intent." In this comprehensive study, the author also addresses one of the most controversial subjects today: conflict resolution in Africa. There are no easy answers, but the author attempts to provide some of them. He covers as much ground as possible, trying to come up with solutions not only to the wars in Africa's Great Lakes region, but in other parts of the continent as well.
Ever since the end of World War II, and even more so since 1960, when 17 African colonies became independent of colonial rule, the African continent has been ravaged by a series of wars. These wars have ranged from liberation struggles against former colonial powers to power struggles between different factions in the aftermath of independence. They have ranged from border wars between newly independent states to civil wars between ethnic groups. As with many conflicts, outside forces were drawn into these wars, and major powers outside the continent intervened on one side or the other for a variety of reasons: political ideology, Cold War considerations, ethnic alignments, and stemming the flow of violence. Whether referring to Algeria's struggle for independence from French colonial rule, Nigeria's internal struggles to achieve a balanced state after the British departure, the Rwandan genocide of 1994, or the current ethnic cleansing in Darfur, The A to Z of Civil Wars in Africa covers all of the wars that have occurred in Africa since independence. This is done through a chronology broken down by country, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and cross-referenced dictionary entries covering the wars, conflicts, major political and military figures, child soldiers, mercenaries, and blood diamonds.