• Nicky, Digital Researcher, Africa Analyst

Conflicts in Africa


Right from the days of their independence, many African countries have been besieged by recurrent conflicts, violence, and bloodshed.

From civil wars to bloody military coups, ethnic bigotry, and religious intolerance, clashing personal interests to full-blown terrorism there seems to be no end to the conflicts Africa has had to face. Millions of lives have been lost, houses and assets destroyed, women raped and many displaced from their locations.


The African Union has been making desperate efforts with the "Silence the Guns" campaign in Africa; there has been some major successes but for some countries there seems to be no end in sight to the ongoing irrational killings and mayhem.


The campaign from the African Union aims to promote prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts in Africa. The campaign targets member states of the African Union because the primary responsibility of providing peace and security and the over all protection of the citizens lies with the governments.


The campaign hopes to address the root cause of the problems with hopes of creating inclusive multi-sectoral programs that will address the economic, social, and environmental causes of the conflicts. The campaigns include member states, civil society, private sectors, the United Nations, and other NGO’s that are on the ground providing counsel, assisted affected communities, and supporting reconciliation.


In this article we will be looking at some African countries currently grappling with internal conflicts.


Ethiopia Civil War


The most recent addition to the lists of conflicts in Africa is the current conflict in Ethiopia. The civil war between government forces and troops in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia has caused the death of many and displacement of thousands from their homes.


Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, had sent troops to the northern region of Tigray, accusing the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), the region's ruling party, of attacking the military base. The conflict is the youngest and is entering its fourth week.


The Democratic Republic of Congo Civil War


The DRC has suffered one of the most violent and deadliest conflict ever recorded in the African continent.


In 1998, about 20 different armed groups, among whom were the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Allied Democratic Forces, the Mai-mai militias, Uganda Rebel Groups on the east, the Lord's Resistance Army, Uganda Rebel Group based along the northern border, the National Forces of Liberation, and several others started fighting one another. The rivalry squabbles soon escalated to a full-blown war. A war that has wasted many lives, destroyed homes and businesses, and rendered thousands homeless.


Nigeria Terrorist Attacks by Boko Haram


In 2009, terrorist group called Boko Haram arose in Nigeria. They started their violence activities, mainly suicide bombing, in Northern Nigeria, bombing markets, worship centers, schools and other public places, claiming that they were working for Allah. They claimed their objective was to bring to a stop what they termed "westernization of Nigerian culture", hence the name Boko Haram which literally means book is ungodly. Extending their terrorism to the neighboring countries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon they leave many dead or maimed with their bombing.


In 2015, the sect led by Abubakar Shekau, formed alliance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), changing their name to the Islamic State in the West Africa (ISWAP).

The activities of this insurgents have destroyed more than 30,000, thousands missing, and over 2 million internally displaced.


South Sudan Civil War


In 2011, with blood, sweat and grime South Sudan separated from Sudan. The independence came after a deadly civil war which still lingers on 8 years thereafter.

Afterwards, the violent conflicts still linger on, mostly stemming from fights over who controls the oil rich fields of South Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives to the war and many displaced from their homes. A peace deal was made in 2015 but was violated and violent clashes between government forces and the rebelling groups continues.


Central African Republic Civil War


The Central African Republic has witnessed more than six years of non-stop violence and bloodshed. In 2013 conflicts broke out between the Seleka armed forces, an opposition group, and President Francois Bozize. The opposition group hijacked power and things escalated to a civil war when other various armed groups joined the melee.


This conflict has swallowed more than 600,000 lives and left many internally displaced.


Libya Civil War


Following the violent termination of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, his allies had focused on devising means of controlling the oil fields in Libya. In 2019 the commander of the Libyan National Army launched an attack on Tripoli. An attack which reportedly killed about 1,000 persons and displaced close to 120,000 persons.


Somalia Civil War


The armed conflict in Somalia started in the year 1991, when the then president, Siad Barre was overthrown. Several armed groups sprouted up, all with one ambition: to seize power. Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, fell under the control of different rival warlords and armed groups. In 2006, the Al-Shabaab emerged and hijacked control of Mogadishu as the transitional government in place were on exile at that time. The group pledged allegiance to the Islamic terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, in 2012. The fight between them and pro-government forces have claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and left thousands displaced.

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