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African Regional Conflict

In: Historical Events

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Regional Conflicts in Africa
• Introduction……………………………………………………………………….2
• Regional Conflict…………………………………………………………………...2
• Angola:
• Angolan War for independence…….…………………………………………...3
• Angolan Civil War………………………………………………………………...5
• Sudan:
• Darfur Conflict…………………………………………………………………....5
• Burundi:
• Burundian Conflict………………………………………………………………7
• Nigeria:
• Nigerian civil war………………………………………………………………..9
• Rwanda:
• Civil War of Rwanda……………………………………………………………..11
• Liberia:
• Sierra Leon vs. Liberia………………………………………………………….12
• Democratic Republic of Congo…………………………………………………….13
• South Africa……………………………………………………………………….14

REGIONAL CONFLICTS IN AFRICA

Since gaining independence many West African nations have undergone political instability. There have been many wars in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire. Since the end of colonialism, West African states have often been affected by instability, corruption, violence, and authoritarianism. The region has seen the most brutal and serious conflicts that have ever taken place, such as the Angolan Civil War, First Liberian Civil War, Second Liberian Civil War, Guinea-Bissau Civil War, Ivorian Civil War, and the Sierra Leone Civil War.

In this paper we’ll try to analyze the causes, costs and impacts of these regional conflicts and war, while giving a brief history of it.

REGIONAL CONFLICT:

According to Rightspeak Glossary,
“Regional conflict is a war requiring violation of the territorial sovereignty of two or more nation states.”
So we can say that when two or more countries get into a conflict either to protect own or invade other’s territorial sovereignty, they are being involved in a regional conflict.

ANGOLA :

• ANGOLAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE: Following independence from Portugal, the two primary rebel groups, the Marxist MPLA and the "pro-Western" UNITA movements battled for control of Angola. Each side received significant outside assistance. The MPLA enjoyed massive aid from the Soviet Union as well as combat troops from Cuba. Early in the conflict, Zaire sent troops to aid UNITA, while the United States (mostly through the Central Intelligence Agency) sent weapons and mercenaries. South Africa also aided UNITA with large cross-border incursions. South Africa's involvement came out of concern that a pro-Communist regime would aid SWAPO rebels fighting for Namibia's independence from South Africa. The war finally ended after the death of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi.

• ROOTS OF ANGOLAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE:

• Declaration of Portuguese supremacy over the natives:
Under the Portuguese Colonial Act, passed on 13 June 1933 declared he supremacy of the Portuguese over native people.
• Movement against forced cotton cultivation:
Portuguese, British and German owned company Cotonang forced the native peasant to cultivate and prepare it for very low wages and low working condition. So On 3 January 1961 Angolan peasants in the region of Baixta De Cassanje, Malanje, boycotted the Cotonang's cotton fields where they worked.

• ANGOLAN CIVIL WAR:

Beginning in 1975 immediately after gaining independence from Portugal , the Angolan Civil war continued with some interlude until 2002. This was mainly a power conflict between two former liberation movements MPLA and UNITA.

• ROOTS OF ANGOLAN CIVIL WAR:

• Ethnic divisions: Congo Empire, Ndongo and Matamba kingdom in the Ambundu area, Lunda Empire – these are the reflection of ethnic cleavages that slowly developed among the Bantu populations, and were instrumental in consolidating these cleavages and fostering the emergence of new and distinct social identities.

• Portuguese colonialism: In 1975 Portuguese settlers established several forts (ex: Saint Paul fort of Luanda, Benguela fort ect. ), which were mainly used for the development of the slave trade. In the 19th century, the Portuguese began a more serious program of advancing into the continental interior. However, their intention de was less territorial occupation and more establishing a facto overlordship.

• Build-up to independence and rising tensions: In 1961, the FNLA and the MPLA, based in neighboring countries, began a guerrilla campaign against Portuguese rule on several fronts. In 1975, South African Prime Minister B.J. Vorster authorized operation Savanna which began as an effort to protect engineers constructing the dam at Calueque, after unruly UNITA soldiers took over; the dam project, paid for by South Africa, was felt to be at risk. The South African Defense Force (SADF) dispatched an armored task force to secure Calueque, and from this Operation Savannah intensified, there being no formal government in place. The South Africans came to commit thousands of soldiers to the intrusion, and ultimately clashed with Cuban forces assisting the MPLA.

SUDAN :
The Darfur conflict is an ongoing military conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan, the third largest country in Africa. It is a conflict along ethnic and tribal lines that began in 2003

• The roots of conflict at Darfur in Sudan:

• Global Warming: The war in Darfur was to do with lack of resources. This is caused by drought and desertification.

• Government Support To The Janjaweed: A militia group recruited from the Arab tribes who move place to place herding Camels. The Sudanese government tells the public that it does not support the Janjaweed. However, It has provided cash and assistance and has even participated in joint attacks.

• Rebel Armies Groups: The other side of the conflict is made up of a number of rebel armies including the Sudan liberation movement and Justice and Equality movement. These armies are recruited from black ethnic groups who make a living farming the land.

• Impact Of The Conflict in Darfur:

• .According to Sudan’s government 9000 people have been killed. The United Nations says that about 200000 people have been killed in the conflict so far.
• US$ 35.11 billion spent by the government of Sudan between2003-2009.
• Deep fear, depression and sense of hopelessness can last long after the conflict.

BURUNDI :
Since the year of 1880s, Burundi was a part of Germany East Africa. After the war Rwanda-Urundi felled under the Belgium colony. They broke up 1962 when the both became independent.

• Roots of the Burundian conflict:

• Past discrimination: Since independence in 1962, Tutsi dominated regimes have discriminated against Hutus.

• Weight of a violent history: Burundi’s post independence history is strewn with recurrent coups or attempted coups and inter-communal violence. Clashes that took place in 1965, 1966, 1972, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, and 1996. This sequence of massacres has created a culture of violence which is hard to dissolve.

• State monopoly of resources: The population is preponderantly rural and engaged in subsistence agriculture. The country’s small industrial sector is confined largely to local production or uncompetitive exports such as coffee and tea, produced until recently by state industries. Control of state power almost coincides with control of economic resources.

• Taking power: In Burundi, first armed rebellion began in with the objective of driving out the Tutsi power to replace by the Hutu. Because they believed that Hutu was oppressed by Tutsi. The name of this rebellion is ‘PALIPEHUTU’(Party for liberation of the Hutu people.

• Impact of the Burundian conflict:

• Conflict displaced whole population and make millions homeless.
• Conflict prevented people from their basic needs by destroying crops, land and the environment.
• Deep fear, depression and sense of hopelessness can last long after the conflict.

NIGERIA:
The Federation of Nigeria, as it is known today, has never really been one homogeneous country, for it's widely differing peoples and tribes. For administrative suitability the Northern and Southern Nigeria were joined in 1914. Thereafter the only thing this people had in common was the name of their country since each side had different administrative set-up.
At independence Nigeria became a Federation and remained one country. Soon afterwards the battle to consolidate the legacy of political and military dominance of a section of Nigeria over the rest of the Federation began with increased intensity. It is this struggle that eventually degenerated into coup, counter coup and a bloody civil war.

• Roots of Nigerian Civil War:
• Tribal differences : There was division, hatred, unhealthy rivalry, and pronounced disparity in development after the unification because of tribal differences.
• Economic recession: In 1964 prices rose 15% per cent, people were losing their jobs. This led to an economic downfall.

• Military coup: during the military coup led by Ibo officers in 1966 some leading politicians like Balewa were killed. Soon after the savage massacre of Ibos took place, during when the new leader General Ironsi was killed. Which brought in a chaotic situation.

• Impact of Nigerian Civil War:
• Disability: The massacres in the North and the subsequent disabled many people. These people died because of inadequate medical facilities.
• Increase of group animosity: Many people became mortal enemies to each other because of war experiences.

• Economic regression : certain individual enterprises that existed before the war died at the end of it bringing with them mass poverty for their former owners. Many people lost their jobs.

RWANDA:
Rwanda has been inhabited by tribal peoples for thousands of years. In the 1400s a monarchy arose in the country lead by a Tutsi King. They called the king the Mwami. There were Tutsi lords owned the land while Hutu farmers worked the land.

In 1959, a Hutu revolution overthrew the Tutsi monarchy and came into power. Over the next several years things were not good for the Tutsis. Many were killed and many more fled the country. In 1990 there was a civil war between the two groups and things got even worse until 1994 when a horrible thing happened. The government, led by the Hutus tried to kill all of the Tutsi people. This is called genocide. Over 800,000 Tutsi people were killed and millions fled the country.
• Causes of the Rwandan civil war
• Ethnic discrimination: Ethnic discrimination is the main reason for conflict of in Rwanda. Though, the Hutu’s was the 2/3 of the population, Ruling power was in the hand of Tutsi.
• Discrimination of wealth: Tutsi captured most of national resources. For this reason, The Hutu started fuming.
• Discrimination of power: Though, 2/3 of the population was. The Hutu, power was in the hand of Tutsi. The Tutsi was the ruler of the country. Difference of power between two ethnic groups has created violence in Rwanda.

• Impact:
• In the Rwandan regional conflict, the interhamwe militias used to rape women and young girls. Most of this interhamwe were aids victims.
• Most of the things in Rwanda became expensive after the war, including treatment, school fees, transport, rent, and food. This brought abput severe poverty upon people of Rwanda.

LIBERIA:
For ages the Liberia vs. Sierra Leon civil war has been referred to as the war of greed .The Sierra Leone Civil War (1991–2002) began on 23 March 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), intervened in Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Momoh government. The resulting civil war lasted 11 years, enveloped the country, and left over 50,000 dead.

• Causes of Sierra Leon civil war:
• Since Sierra Leone was a country with a massive diamond reserve, the competition for seizing control of lucrative diamond-producing regions has been widely regarded as a main cause of the conflict.
• Shrinking opportunities for education apparently made the young generation increasingly marginalized from their society, as a result protests arose.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Two successive and complex wars wrecked havoc on the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1996 and 2003. The complexity of the wars stems from many factors. Including the legacies of Bath colonial and autocrative rule. 5.4 million death, 2 million were displaced and became refugees died as a result.
• Causes of the conflict:
I. Colonialism
II. Dictatorship
III. Regional warfare
IV. Humanitarian crisis

SOUTH AFRICA:

After the second world war a new policy called ‘Apartheid’ was introduced by Dr. Malan. This tightened up control over blacks. Despite the vulnerability against the growing power of apartheid Chief Albert Luthuli, the ANC leader organized a protest campaign; in which black Africans stopped working on certain days. In consequence over 8000 blacks were arrested, many were flogged; Luthuli was put in jail for a long time and the campaign was called off.

Protests reached a climax in 1960 when a huge demonstration took place against the pass laws at Sharpville, an African township near Johannesburg . 67 Africans were killed during the open fire of police, 15000 were arrested, ANC was banned. Police arrested most of the black leaders like Nelson Mandela in order to repress the protesters. Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment .

Following Mandela's release from prison in February 1990, intense negotiations began. On May 4, 1990, the ANC and the government agreed to the Groote Schuur Minute, which featured a commitment to end the violence.

• Causes of Apartheid conflict:
• Xenophobia among the European immigrants (ex: Dutch) and native Africans was the main of this conflict.

• Apartheid was a law based on racial segregation , a segregation purely based on the color of the skin. So Racism is another cause of Apartheid.

Prolonged conflict in Africa and elsewhere has had a devastating impact on civilian populations and development initiatives. The international response has been characterized by a growing emphasis on, and increased funding for, emergency `humanitarian' interventions at the expense of long-term development. Considerable inadequacies have been revealed in emergency responses developed to deal with natural disasters. There is a need for new ways of thinking and working different from those involved in both emergency and development work

BIBLIOGRAPHY
• Mastering Modern World history by Norman Lowe
• World Politics since 1945 by PETER CALVOCORESSI
• The Challenge of Decolonization in Africa by Benjamin Talton
• African conflicts by Peter Larson
• Broch-Due, Vigdis, (2005), Violence and Belonging: The Quest for Identity in Post-colonial Africa
• Callaghy, Thomas, Kassimir, Ronald and Latham, Robert (eds.), Intervention and Transnationalism in Africa
• Tunde Zack-Williams, Diane Frost and Alex Thompson (eds.), Africa in Crisis, (Pluto Press:
• London, 2002)

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