Civil Wars in Africa, edited by Kelechi A. Kalu and George Klay Kieh, Jr., examines civil conflicts throughout various African countries. They argue that civil wars in Africa are by-products of the contradictions and crises engendered by the post-colonial state-building and nation-building projects in Africa. With few exceptions, the post-colonial states in Africa have failed to build societies that invest in the material well-being of their citizens; protect their political, civil, and other rights; promote accountability, transparency, the rule of law, judicial independence, and the holding of free and fair elections; and promote ethnic pluralism, tolerance, mutual respect, and peaceful co-existence, among others. In addition, the contributors show that the post-colonial states in Africa have been ruled by corrupt and autocratic leaders, who are obsessed with the maintenance of state power as the pathway to ensuring the private accumulation of wealth through sundry illegal means, including bribery, extortion, and theft of public funds. In sum, this volume addresses how the failure of the post-colonial African state to shepherd the process of building democratic societies based on the centrality of human security has led to the erosion of the legitimacy of the state and its custodians. Thus, once the contradictions and crises reached their crescendo, these post-colonial societies than implode into civil wars, even at the micro-level.
Kelechi A. Kalu is professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside.
George Klay Kieh, Jr. is dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs and professor of political science at Texas Southern University, and professor of international relations at the African Methodist Episcopal University.
List of Figures and Tables
PART I: BACKGROUND
Introduction: Mapping the Civil War Landscape in Africa
Kelechi A. Kalu and George Klay Kieh, Jr.
Chapter 1: Theories and Explanations of Civil Conflicts and Wars in Africa
Kelechi A. Kalu
PART II: CASE STUDIES
Chapter 2: Burundi: A Continuum of Civil Wars and Violence
Chapter 3: Civil War in Cameroon
Chapter 4: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Conflict: A Study of the Tuobodom Chieftaincy Conflict in Ghana
Sabina Appiah-Boateng, Stephen B. Kendie, and Kenneth Aikins
Chapter 5: Liberia’s Civil Wars
George Klay Kieh, Jr.
Chapter 6: Personality Conflicts and the Nigerian Civil War
Chapter 7: On Rwanda’s Civil War (October 1, 1990-April 6, 1994): Assessing the International Determinant
Chapter 8: The Sierra Leone Civil War: An Examination of Internal, Regional, and External Causes
Chapter 9: The South Sudanese Civil War
Chapter 10: The Colonial Roots of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) War in Post-Colonial Northern Uganda
Sabastian Rwangabo and Julius Niringiyimana
PART III: LESSONS AND INSIGHTS
Conclusion: Beyond Civi1 Wars in Africa
About the Editors and the Contributors
"This impressive volume contains a rich compendium of chapters that shine light on the causes of conflict and civil wars in Africa against the backdrop of its topsy-turvy colonial and post-colonial antecedents. Brilliantly edited by Kelechi A. Kalu and George K. Kieh, Jr., this book, among other things, proffers solutions for conflict amelioration critical for advancing political stability, peaceful coexistence, and splendid developments on the continent."
"A must-read to understand the vagaries of African nations' post-independence civil conflicts and the breadth of the complications that arise therefrom."
"Kelechi A. Kalu and George Klay Kieh, Jr. Civil Wars in Africa provides an information-rich, fascinating and deep understanding of several African cases. This is a dispassionately objective work that can be used by students, teachers, and also applied by policymakers globally who seek to understand the dynamics underpinning Africa’s civil wars. These narratives are grounded in the real dynamics behind the violence experienced in the different cases presented. A welcome addition to the literature."