Modern Africa has always been beset by conflict. The result is the appalling suffering of the innocent. This book treats conflict in the widest sense: international and civil wars, rebellion, tribal, ethnic and religious disturbance, criminality and war-lordism. The authors adopt a multi-disciplinary approach and analyse the seed-bed from which conflict grows: artificial state boundaries, deep-rooted ethnic and religious divisions, the shallow roots of democracy, the untried loyalty of ex-colonial armies, the adoption of foreign ideologies, glorification of charismatic leaders and the one-party state, corruption, inequality, landlessness, rural deprivation and urban squalor. A potent cause of conflict is the role of the military, leading to military coups and dictatorship. And there are international factors such as the supply of arms, and the arming of whole populations of all ages - a poignant reminder of this is the child-soldier strutting with gun, cigarette, and wreathed in bandoliers of ammunition. Further international factors are the Cold War and its aftermath, and the regional domination of South Africa and the Republic's political agenda.
The authors are distinguished Africanists who by sharp analysis of conflict can focus on root-causes - an understanding of which can lead, however, gradually, to remedy.
Introduction; The colonial legacy; External influences - end of the Cold war and Eastern European revolutions; The north-south flow of arms technology; Liberia; The Sahara; The Sudan; Ethiopia and Eritrea; Uganda; Chad; Zimbabwe; Angola and Mozambique; Namibia; Effect of conflict - human rights and refugees; Effect of conflict-economic; Child soldiers.