Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 January 2021
There are several large-scale violent conflicts in Africa, which affect some but by no means all African countries. The vast majority of these conflicts are intra-state conflicts; inter-state conflicts rarely occur. This chapter explains why this is the case after having explored the only two large-scale inter-state wars in Africa since decolonization: the war between Uganda and Tanzania as well as the one between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Turning to intra-state conflicts, several reasons for the outbreak of wars – often described as “new wars” – are explained as are the reasons that motivate some to become rebels. The greed vs. grievance argument plays an important role here. Thereafter, the two post-colonial genocides – in Rwanda and Darfur – are scrutinized alongside a discussion of why genocide occur. Being of unprecedented magnitude, “Africa’s Great War”, a war complex in the Great Lakes Region (1996-2006), is also analyzed as is the situation of and in refugee camps that are often a place of insecurity themselves.