5 current conflict zones in Africa

In a rare bout of optimism, about 594 rehabilitated Boko Haram members have graduated from the Nigerian government’s Operation Safe Corridor’s De-radicalisation.

Burundian soldiers arrive at Goma International Airport to join other EACRF troops. Picture/EACRF DRC.

5 current conflict zones in Africa

Armed conflict has always lurked around in post-independent Africa. While some African nations have been plagued with military coups, others have fallen prey to vicious displays of inequality.

A case in point is the mineral-rich Democratic Republic of Congo. The following are the  current conflict zones in Africa (2023);


1. The Democratic Republic of Congo (M23 rebellion)

    1. The gigantic central African country has been under the stranglehold of the M23 rebel group for a decade since 2012.
    2. Officially known as the March 23 movement, the organization has participated in armed conflict mainly in the Kivu region in Eastern DRC.
    3. The M23 is an insurgency that has threatened the government of the DRC citing sustained discrimination of ethnic Tutsis in the country.
    4. Made of former soldiers, they emerged from the National Congress for the Defence of the People, better known by its French acronym CNDP.
    5. This was a rebel group that fought the DRC government between 2006 and 2009.
    6. M23 staged an armed conflict between 2012 and 2013 which was quelled after a series of interventions, including the Nairobi Declaration.
    7. The group, however, reignited its activities in 2021 which signified its re-emergence after a long period of dormancy.
    8. The North Kivu armed insurgency has since drawn in an international military intervention dubbed  East African Community Regional Force (EACRF).
    9. EACRF is an intervention by the East African Community led by the Kenya Defence Forces, which is considered a neutral force.
    10. Under the command of Kenyan soldier Major General Jeff Nyagah, the force is engaged in a disarmament campaign in a bid to pacify the region.
    11. Its focal point is Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.




Burundian soldiers arrive at Goma International Airport to join other EACRF troops. Picture/EACRF DRC.



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2. The Central African Republic civil war

    1. The Central African Republic is one of the African nations that have paid a high price because of poor leadership.
    2. The country was at one time under the leadership of Jean-Bédel Bokassa, who is one of the worst dictators in African history.
    3. Currently, the nation is continuously spiralling into a gruelling civil war that is now more than a decade old.
    4. The armed conflict pits the Seleka, which is a loose coalition of rebel groups from the northern and eastern parts of the country.
    5. The main actors, however, are the Muslim majority of the north who are fighting for autonomy from the government at Bangui.
    6. Seleka kick-started a fresh round of conflict when it marched to and took over Bangui which is the country’s capital.
    7. The group decried the unavailability of development and government services in the north, as well as, corruption and impunity.
    8. This perilous move threw the country off its rails, plunging into full-blown conflict.
    9. Currently, a Russian-supported military counter-offensive by the government has seen the state regain control of the country’s main cities and roads.



3. Nigeria (Boko Haram)

    1. Nigeria has suffered decades of sustained domestic terrorism, particularly by Boko Haram.
    2. Boko Haram, officially known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, is an Islamist militant organization based in northeastern Nigeria.
    3. Founded in 2002 in Maiduguri, the group’s name translates to “Western education is forbidden.”
    4. The Nigerian government has used its armed forces to combat the insurgency, which has seen many people killed and displaced from their homes.
    5. In the recently concluded Nigerian general elections, internal security especially the Boko Haram threat was one of the main issues.
    6. Presidential candidates outlined their plans to deal with the menace, which include reforming the Nigerian military institution.
    7. In a rare bout of optimism, about 594 rehabilitated Boko Haram members have graduated from the Nigerian government’s Operation Safe Corridor’s De-radicalisation.
    8. This is a rehabilitation and reintegration facility in Gombe State, in the northeastern part of the country.



Repentant Boko Haram Terrorists. Picture/Sahara Reporters



4. Cameroonian Civil War

    1. The Cameroonian Civil War is an ongoing armed conflict in the northwestern and southwestern parts of Cameroon.
    2. Pitting the separatist Ambazonian groups against the Cameroonian government, the conflict has been raging for close to 7 years.
    3. At the heart of the conflict is the longstanding marginalization of the English-speaking (Anglo-phone) Cameroonians who are the minority.
    4. The aggrieved Anglophone Cameroonian began by staging peaceful protests back in 2016 before the issue degenerated into an armed conflict.
    5. Separatist groups have coalesced under the Ambazonian identity, calling for the establishment of a new Ambazonian Republic.
    6. The militants decry the disregard and disposal of their English legal and educational systems in favour of French systems by the majority.
    7. English-speaking children have as a result been denied an education by the regime.
    8. Cameroon has been under the leadership of President Paul Biya since 1984, who has always deployed armed forces to quell the rebellion.
    9. The country’s dangerous dichotomy stems from its colonial past, having been subjected to both British and French rule.
    10. At independence, a referendum was held where the south and the north voted to either join the French-speaking Cameroon or English-speaking Nigeria.
    11. The aftermath of the painstaking referendum saw the restive side join the French-Cameroon with a constitution accommodating the bi-lingual nation.
    12. Discrimination, however, soon took over and the 20% minority Anglophone Cameroonians found themselves outside the mainstream of political, economic, and social setups.
    13. The ongoing conflict has left thousands dead and even bigger numbers displaced.
    14. Several militants are currently engaging the government. They include;
        1. Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF)
        2. Red Dragons
        3. Southern Cameroons Defence Forces (SOCADEF)
        4. Vipers
        5. Tigers of Ambazonia
        6. Ambazonia Restoration Forces




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5. Jihadist Insurgency in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique

    1. Like in northern Nigeria, the armed conflict in northern Mozambique also takes a religious dimension.
    2. An equivalent of Boko Haram, the  Ansar al-Sunna has been engaging government forces in the Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique.
    3. Its first strike against Mozambican security in 2019 launched a painful stint of attacks on locals.
    4. The Jihadist militant group is looking to establish an Islamic state in the region, its agenda inscribed in its name which means Supporters of the Tradition.
    5. Fierce exchanges between the Islamists and the government have caused an enormous humanitarian crisis in the region.
    6. Children are the most affected, according to a report by Plan International.
    7. Since the conflict began, at least 2,838 people have died including 1,406 civilians, although the true number is expected to be much higher, says the report.
    8. Key in this conflict is the gas fields off the coast of Mozambique and sea routes that facilitate arms and drug trafficking.



People fleeing the Cabo Delgado conflict. Picture/Doctors Without Borders