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Some African Countries have not learned from their Civil Wars

Posted on 19 February 2018 by admin (0)

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it”- George Santayana
Over a period of time ranging from the last millennium to the present one, many African countries have undergone civil wars in which citizens of the same country have taken up arms against each other. The reasons are often deeply rooted in political and tribal sentiments. Religious differences have also been responsible for a good number of civil wars. However, these tribal rifts can be traced back to the fact that many African countries were actually imperial and colonial constructs. Created not based on the will of the peoples but rather to favour the financial and logistic concerns of the colonial masters.
That said, one would suppose that years of co-existence would have brought about some sort of mutual understanding and progressive harmony. From the various wars and the subsequent conditions and circumstances. It is obvious that some of the fundamental problems still persist. We will take a look at one country in detail and a couple of other countries to corroborate the point we’re trying to make.
Nigeria- A country of over 250 tribes amalgamated in 1914 by the British. Nigeria has had something of a rough ride since the Colonial masters were no longer in charge. After independence in 1960, the country didn’t quite last half a decade before the first military coup in the year 1963. This ushered in a series of coups and counter-coups until 1967 when the Igbo tribe chose to secede on grounds of targeted killings by other tribes. This resulted in a 3-year civil war to prevent the secession. The war ended with the failure of Biafra (as the new country was to be called) to secede. The coups and counter-coups continued after the civil war until the return to democratic rule in 1999. Since then, the country has still experienced religious and tribal sectarian violence. Corruption on a grand scale still occurs in the government and various tribes still complain of marginalization by other tribes. The Boko Haram insurgency- described as religious in some quarters and political in others has claimed many lives and forced many to become refugees.
Between 1991 and 2002, Sierra Leone was involved in a serious civil war that took over 50,000 lives, again leaving many as refugees and it took the intervention of UN and ECOMOG peacekeeping forces to restore peace and other. While peace was restored and rebuilding was being carried out, there are still allegations of tribalism and marginalization. The same can be said of a couple other countries like Ivory Coast (which has already undergone two civil wars), Liberia and Burundi (where some observers have predicted another civil war).
This is a saddening situation. Refusing to move forward from acrimonious issues and hatred of the past will only hold these African countries back and slow down their progress. African countries should strive to engender unity and cohesion among their various tribes and chart a path of progress for the sake of posterity.  Learn More