Violence Within Sub Saharan Africa Essays

Violence Within Sub Saharan Africa Essays

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In recent history, violence within Africa has increased from previous levels, this current phase of violence follows a pattern of being concentrated in small pockets of high profile conflicts. As Clifton Crais suggests “Formal wars between nation-states have declined, but civil conflict, sectarian bloodletting, and other forms of violence have been increasing” (Crais, 2011) From Boko Haram in central Africa, to al-Shabaab in the east and al Qaeda in the north, this essay will discuss how these groups have evolved the face of violence in regards to the agents of violence, their motives, and how the violence is executed.
Founded in 2002, the Islamic sect Boko Haram have become the most active and damaging extremists in Africa, being responsible for 48% of civilian fatalities in 2015 (ACLED) . The expansion of this group coincides with an increase in terrorism from 400 reported incidents in 2008 to almost 2,000 in 2015 within sub-Saharan Africa (GTD) . Representing a shift in the agents of violence, from previous armed conflict between territory holding armies fighting for state control to frequent smaller conflicts between rebellious factionalised insurgents. Reasoning behind this includes the period of decolonisation, many countries gained independence in the late 1950s, marking the end of imperialist rule. Interstate conflicts in the form of proxy wars were ending and many observers expected nations to adapt towards Western ideals of democracy. Instead, authoritarianism developed through single political parties or military regimes. Regimes which were not committed to democratic governance; therefore, poverty, underdevelopment and fragile political systems became the legacy of European colonialism.
The birth of Boko Haram stemme...


... middle of paper ...


...shing for an establishment of an Islamic kingdom in North Africa. The Lord’s Resistance Army is a fundamentalist Christian extremist group originating in Northern Uganda, promoting their interpretation of the Ten Commandments, demonstrating that differing ideologies are present.
Religion has played a pivotal role in contemporary African violence. Islam and Christianity, however, have not always been the majority in Africa. From early 1900s to 2010 Muslim populations rose from 14% to 29% and Christian from 9% to 57% (World Religion Database) , demonstrating a reduction from traditional African religions. The period of decolonisation further pushed the question of what is Africa’s identity. This sparked certain groups to have an extreme nationalistic view of what their country should be which was exploited through continuous poverty and justified through religion.

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