Current Wars of Africa

 

Listed below are the current (as of May, 2014) wars and conflicts in the continent of Africa.

Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria (2009-Present)–The Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram is waging a war against the Nigerian government and against the Christian community in Nigeria.

Central African Republic War-(2012-present)-Rebels seized several major cities and towns as they advanced on the capital city of Bangui in December, 2012. Neighboring Chad sent around 2,000 troops to aid the CAR government. After only three weeks of fighting, by December 30, the rebels contolled about one-third of the country, and were in place to assault Bangui. Also in late December, France sent more troops to augment the forces they already had in the country. France had publicly stated that they would not intervene to save the government from the rebels, but were only interested in protecting French citizens.

 

Congo War (1998-Present)–Beginning in 1998, Congo (Kinshasa), has been wracked with civil war, rebellions, presidential assassinations, and foreign interventions and invasions. The latest fighting in the eastern part of Congo involves a rebel group known as The March 23 Movement, better know as M23, led by Bosco Ntaganda, and covertly supported by Uganda and Rwanda. The United Nations is also involved, trying to aid the Kinshasa government.

Libya–After the successful military intervention in Libya in 2011, continued American involvement in Libya hit the public eye with the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi and the death of four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. With U.S. and other allied aid, the new Libyan government is working to assert authority over various armed militias.

Lord’s Resistance Army Insugency (1987-Present)–Another example of a long-running conflict that morphs from one war and one opponent into something quite different from the original conflict. This war began as a quasi-religious uprising against the government of Uganda in the 1980s, and is now a multi-nation hunt for warlord Joseph Kony and his remaining small number of guerrillas. He and his “Lord’s Resistance Army” now ranges between South Sudan, Congo, Uganda, and the Central African Republic and is pursued by the military forces of all these nations (mostly by Uganda), and also by Special Forces from the United States.

 

Northern Mali Conflict (2012-Present)– In 2012, the long-simmering hostility between the Mali government and the northern Taureg ethnic group exploded with the Taureg conquest of northern Mali. Many of the Taureg fighters had recently arrived from Libya, where thousands of the Taureg had served in the military of fallen Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi. With Gadaffi’s fall, these mercenaries left Libya with their weapons and experience and returned to Mali, where they took up arms against the Mali government. Soon after the rebel victory, al-Qaida affiliated Islamists took over the Taureg revolution and began invoking Islamist Sharia law. A coalition of African and European nations is trying to cobble together a military force to retake northern Mali.

 

Somali Civil War (1991-Present)–The latest stage of this war pits the weak central government against the al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabaab rebels. The government is aided by the United States, and by troops provided by Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and other African nations.

The U.S. and many other nations continue to engage in anti-piracy operations off the Somali coastline. These operations at times result in military engagements with the pirates, up to and including rescue operations inside Somalia itself. Besides the anti-piracy operations, the U.S. is also involved in Somalia due to the continuing Shabaab War. The U.S. funds and trains Ugandan, Burundian, Ethiopian, Kenyan, and other African forces who are actively fighting in Somalia to aid the weak central government against the al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabaab rebels. The U.S., over the past few years, frequently launches drone attacks, Special Forces raids, and naval attacks on al-Qaida targets in Somalia. There is no reason to believe this will change in 2013.

South Sudan-Sudan Border Conflict (2012-Present)-Sudan has been wracked by multiple insurgencies and has undergone two significant civil wars (1955-1972 and 1983-2005), the Darfur War (2003-2011), various clashes between Sudanese nomadic tribal groups (2009-Present), and the ongoing Lord’s Resistance Army conflict that spans several central and east African nations. The largest potential conflict involving the Sudans is the ongoing border conflict between Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan over the Greater Nile Oil Pipeline and the disputed (and oil-rich) region of Abyei. There is no love lost between the mostly Muslim and Arabic-speaking Sudan and the more Black South Sudanese, who are mostly Christian and various pagan/animist worshipers. The previous two large Sudanese civil wars were between these two groups prior to the independence of South Sudan.

Sources and Links on Current Wars in Africa:

1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Wars. New York: Facts On File Publications. 1986.