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Current Wars of Africa

 Map of Africa

Listed below are the current 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.

Burundi Coup Attempt (May, 2015)-An attempt to overthrow the incumbent president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, ended in a failed coup and confusion as to whether or not the military mutineers had foreign backing. While President Nkurunziza was visiting neighboring Tanzania, military officers attempted to seize power in Burundi. See also: Wars and Conflicts of Burundi.

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.

Libyan Civil War (2014-Present)--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. As of August, 2016, the United States officially joined the war in response to gains by ISIS in and around the city of Sirte.

In April, 2019, the Libyan Civil War heated up as General Khalifa Hifter's forces moved on Tripoli from eastern Libya. In late 2019/early 2020, Turkey decided to intervene on the part of the GNA government, and Turkish forces landed in Libya to oppose Hifter's forces. The Turkish intervention has proven significant, as Turkish military drones have forced Haftar's troops back. However, Hafter and the LNA enjoy the support of the UAE, Egypt, and Russia. The UAE operates its own drone force in Libya, and Russian mercenaries are in Libya helping Haftar's army.

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, led by France, intervened militarily in Mali and drove the Islamists out of the more populated areas. Malian and French forces still hunt for rebels in the northern deserts and mountains, but the majority of the nation is now securely in government hands.

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 trooops 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. Shabaab militants frequenlty launch attacks and raids into Kenya, includind recent attacks that killed American military troops and contractors.

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.

South Sudan Civil War (2013-Present)-Complicated and bloody civil war between several factions in Africa's newest nation.

Sudan Civil Unrest and anti-government Protest and Military Coup (December 19, 2018-Present)-Large protests broke out in reaction to the poor Sudanese economy, in particular the high cost of bread, but then morphed into an anti-government activism, (against President Bashir's rule in particular).The government tried to discredit the protests by claiming foreign interference (blaming Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE). Protests continued despite occassional fire from security forces and many arrests. Then, following the ousting of the long-time ruler of Algeria due to massive protests in that country, on April 6, protest leaders called for massive demonstrations to try to force out Bashir. Over a million people took part in a huge demonstration in Khartoum. Rifts between security forces and the military became public, as soldiers sided with protesters to prevent violence from secret police forces, leading to an armed confrontation between the two forces at army headquarters.

The Sudanese military overthrew President Omar al-Bashir, ending his 30-year rule. Vice-President and Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, declared himself Head of State, and suspended Sudan's constitution. Ibn Auf also imposed a nighttime curfew, which, if obeyed would the ongoing protests. The coup leaders declared a two-year transition to civilian rule, but leading protest groups demanded an immediate end to military rule, stating that the new rulers were part of the same old regime they protested against in the first place. It should be noted that Ibn Auf is under U.S. sanctions due to his role in the Darfur War's human rights abuses. His tenure as head of Sudan's military intelligence organization is tied to what is considered a genocide in Darfur, in which an estimated 300,000 people died and millions became refugees. The day after the coup, Ibn Auf resigned from the military junta, and Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman took over as the new leader of the ruling military council.


Tigrayan War in Ethiopia (2020-Present)-Conflict between the Tigrayan regional governement and the central Ethiopian government. Neighboring Eritrea is involved on the side of Ethiopia.


Western Sahara War (1975-1991; 2020-Present)-Long-simmering conflict between the Polisario Front of Western Sahara and the Moroccan governement over control of the Western Sahara terrritory. Recent fighting ended a 30-year long truce.


  Sources and Links on Current Wars in Africa:

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

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