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African World War: What It Is and Why It Will Continue in 2016

African World War: What It Is and Why It Will Continue in 2016

Africa is a big corrupt blob. A bloody battlefield. A kill zone. Are you surprised? But let us start from the very beginning.

If I tell you that more people have died in only one African country, Congo, than in any conflict since World War II, you will probably be skeptical at first: you will say that there also were the much more bloody Vietnam War, Korean War, or Iran-Iraq war. But while all these cruel conflicts has been aimed at annihilation of rivals, the Congo war, for example, had been waged mostly against its own citizens, driving millions of Africans into malaria-infected jungles and cutting them off from any aid. An approximate figure of victims seems chillingly plausible: according to the United Nations’ report, nearly five million people died during the Congo war.

Currently, African countries, excluding Syria, have a very, very bad reputation. In October 2015, the Institute for Security Studies published a study “Mapping conflict, violence, and extremism in Africa” that has presented global and African trends in armed conflicts since 1960 explaining and comparing them with each other. It shows that Africa, with its total population of only about sixteen percent of the world population, experienced more than half of the world’s armed conflict incidents in 2014. This figure is 12 percent larger than the previous year and slightly larger than even during the anarchic post-Cold War 90s.

But on the other hand, the number of conflicts worldwide has significantly decreased over the past couple of decades. Therefore, it would be logical to conclude that the African continent has become more peaceful. While Africa has an extremely high level of instability on a global scale, a vast number of fatalities occur in quite a small number of countries. According to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, only one-fifth of all 54 African nation-states experienced armed conflict in 2014. In 2015, three other countries—Niger, Chan, and Burundi—were added to the list. And only nine countries in the world have been the battlefront of 91 percent of total fatalities recorded in 2014. So, here are some of them.

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