African Brace for More Civil Wars and Famine: Analysts

The continent is seeing a tough year, even by the standards of analysts who have been monitoring Africa for decades, suffering from coups, conflicts, corruption, brutal oppression of the population, and massive poverty and hunger. ..

“Is it a tough year? Yes, millions of people are poor and desperate given what they saw in 2021 and the economic decline caused by the pandemic, which is getting worse day by day (COVID-19). “Masu,” Dr. Remi Adekoya, a politician at the University of York, told the Epoch Times in the United Kingdom.

In 2021, four successful seizures of electricity were successful in Africa. Best in over 40 years in Chad, Guinea, Mali and Sudan.

The New Year has already reached its first coup, and Burkina Faso’s army seized power from President Rock Cabole on January 24th. It seems after the demand for more resources to fight Islamic extremists has been ignored.

Since the first coup d’etat in Egypt in 1952, there are now 96 coups on the continent.

Africa has 15 of the 20 leading vulnerable countries in the 2021 index. They include Cameroon, Central Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan, all of which have been afflicted by conflict.

Terrorist rebellions are intensifying in all major parts of Africa as the number of groups belonging to the ISIS Terrorist Group (IS) surged last year, followed by the deployment of troops from several South African countries, including Rwanda. These involve a large number of stakeholders, including mercenaries, and the armed forces that do not have the resources to initiate anti-terrorism operations.

In addition, elections are scheduled in countries with high political tensions, such as Angola, Kenya and Senegal.

The New Year began with the battle between Ethiopian government forces and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters, triggered by the “limitation” and “persecution” of the people of the Tigray region under the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. ..

In Southern Africa, in 2022, urgent talks between members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on its mission in Mozambique began, where militants will continue to find voluntary recruits in the active northern province of Cabo del Gado. Concerns are growing. The Mozambique government has invested heavily in the state’s oil and gas reserves and signed multi-billion dollar contracts with multinational corporations, but politicians have ignored poor locals for decades. I’ve done it.

In Sudan, security forces killed a large number of people protesting the military regime in 2022.

Coup d’etat

Adecoya says that destabilization and an increase in coups in Africa have been a reality since this year.

“In the decades of postcolonialism, from the 1950s to the late 1990s, coups happened at a rate of 15 to 20 per year. Coup leaders always offered the same reason: poverty, bad. Governance, state-led violence, and corruption. These conditions have not been resolved. Many say they are intensifying. “

In Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy and most populous country, and South Africa, the second largest economy and most industrialized, one in three people to work is unemployed.

In July 2021, South Africa, one of Africa’s most stable democracies, suffered the worst public violence since mobs burned property and plundered malls and warehouses at the end of apartheid in 1994. I was.

One of the triggers of the violence was imprisonment for former President Jacob Zuma’s opposition to a court order testifying to the Graft Investigation Commission, which dates back to when he led South Africa from 2009 to 2018.

Zuma will be tried in April on charges of corruption, extortion, and fraud related to the $ 2.5 billion arms trade. Many from his supporters, his Zulu ethnic group, vowed to “fight to death” if he was convicted.

Adecoya says poverty is Africa’s “general instability” and a major driver of the coup.

The World Bank estimates that sub-Saharan Africa now has 500 million “very poor” people, half of its population.

World Bank in Africa The youngest continent, The median age is 20 years. And as having the fastest growing population in the world.

“That is, there are hundreds of millions of people in their twenties and early thirties, angry and angry at seeing jobless, frustrated, corrupt leaders flaunting their wealth. They don’t seem to care about poverty, “says Adekoya.

“This will allow military officers, especially those in their 40s, who are considered young and dynamic, to initiate a coup and, most importantly, to take over the popular support of the crowds who accept them, at least initially. Space is born. “

Sahel’s chaos

In western Sahel in Africa, a decade of conflict was foretold in 2022 when Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger were involved in an unruly war with a series of jihadist groups, including the Great Sahara ISIS terrorist group. I did.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, about 3.5 million people have been displaced by the conflict in the Sahel so far.

More and more international actors, including the United States, were drawn into conflict as militants spread fear throughout the region, including the slaughter of the entire village and the kidnapping of women and girls for use as sex slaves.

US Special Forces support Sahel’s French troops primarily with intelligence and logistics. The US military also has a drone base near Agadez in Niger.

American blood spilled in the war, and terrorists ambushed and killed a group of Green Berets in 2017 in Niger performing “advice, support, and accompaniment” missions.

In July, the Biden administration signed an agreement to strengthen bilateral special forces operations in France and Africa, suggesting that it is preparing to fight terrorists in 2022.

Dr. Isakka Suare, a former Special Advisor to the African Union’s High Commissioner Sahel, said the instability caused by the fighting in the region was seen in the Mali and Chad coup attempted in Niger. I told the Times. Continued pressure on the President of Burkina Faso to resign.

In November, Burkina Faso experienced the worst terrorist attack ever. Armed groups attacked a military base in the northern part of the country, killing about 50 gendarmerie, seizing weapons and ammunition, and burning buildings.

In 2021, regional troops were supported by 5,000 French troops, but the French government has stated that it will reduce these troops to 3,000 in the first quarter of 2022.

Ethiopia’s despair

According to African watchers, Ethiopia will be another flash point in 2022. Not long ago, this country was the light of hope on the continent.

But last year, the civil war intensified as the optimism first created by one of Africa’s youngest leaders, Abiy Ahmed, was lost in gun smoke, hunger, and death.

Abby released thousands of political prisoners and recalled the exiled parties to Ethiopia when they took leadership following a peaceful transfer of power after the coalition claimed victory in a 2018 vote. .. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.

Less than two years later, he was accused of serious human rights abuses as his army, supported by Eritrean troops, fought a fierce battle with the TPLF, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in northern Tigray.

According to the World Food Program, about 9.5 million people across northern Ethiopia are on the verge of hunger. The federal government has blocked the Tigray region. The United Nations says relief groups were prevented from reaching famine-torn areas. Children are dying from malnutrition.

The EU and the Biden administration have expressed concern, among other things, about the situation in countries that continue to be Washington’s strong allies in the war on terrorism, with international Islamic terrorist groups based in the Horn of Africa.

However, William Davison, senior Ethiopian analyst at the International Crisis Group, says the ongoing conflict shows that the international community is less powerful.

“Concerns about a lasting conflict with many atrocities have been raised to some extent by all sides, especially by Eritrea and Amhara and the Federal Forces … Ceasefire and Ethiopian political parties hoping to return to dialogue. All concerns and aspirations … well, they have little effect on the Ethiopian protagonist here, much less on Eritrean President Isias Afewerki. “

Davison said: “They are resenting Addis Ababa in the US position, and the relationship has plummeted, especially as the US threatens disciplinary action but is stepping up its efforts by not actually doing so. It convinced the people of Addis that the United States is leading some sort of global plot against Ethiopia. “

He says it’s hard to see more conflicts in the coming months.

Darren Taylor