Africa, There has been civil war on the Ivory

Africa, the world’s second largest and second most-populous
continent. A land full of deserts, rain forests and beautiful sceneries but the
first thing that comes to mind when someone think about Africa is poverty, lack
or resources, dictatorship, child soldiers and civil war. There are many
reasons why Africa has broken down as a country some being the political instability
of the country, disagreement of believes, economic breakdown other country’s
stealing natural resources, colonial wars, wars of independence , separatist
conflicts and the list can go on. The countries of Africa starting falling
victim to all this around the 1870 and for the last few decades this place has
been hell on earth. There has been civil war on the Ivory Coast, also around
50000 people have been killed in Sierra Leone, genocide of people in Liberia and
Burundi and there are many more places just like these where it has turned to
complete chaos. Most of it has been run by independent armies that mostly
consist of some older generals and the rest being child soldiers. The question
asked is what has turned Africa to have done this?

                Africa    The beginning of corruption in Africa can be
traced back to European colonization. Around the 1870s developed European
countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, Britain, France, Belgium and Portugal had
come to Africa after the collapse of the slave trade. The people of these nations
were hungry for economic and political power and saw Africa as an expansion of
the European Industrial Revolution. So they made their way into the lands of
Africa. The Africans had to face imperialist aggression, diplomatic pressures,
military invasions, and eventual conquest and colonization. The African
societies tried their best to get together and from resistance against the
Europeans because they were trying to colonize their countries, take their land
and start foreign domination.  But corrupt
Africans were found everywhere. In order to gain money and respect from both
their own people and the Europeans. There were also people known as
“colonizers”; these were people from Europe about in Africa trying to find
other Africans to impose their rules and regulations on African people. This
was done to try and get the people of Africa to work together in a peaceful
manner and environment with no war. Each colonizer had made different small
tribes and those who supported the colonizer were made head of the tribe. With
this the concept of tribalism was born. The concept was brought on is that
every African must belong to a tribe just as each European belongs to a country.
For some years things went as planned each person had their tribe and they
stuck to it each making their tribe unique. Mostly every African would become
passionate for his/her own tribe and would do anything for it. Until World War
I in 1914 and World War II in 1939 came. It all started with the European
nations fighting among themselves and then the world soon realized that the
nations that called themselves civilized were actually not civilized. The European
countries became weaker economically and politically. Eventually they were
forced to leave the captured African lands. This in turn was the cause of decolonization
of Africa. The Europeans changed the people of Africa to become power hungry so
this didn’t help. They became divided nations. Each picking the leaders of
their choice because they believed that they were someone to look up to and had
a strong influence on the people. But after doing this they did not make clear
boundaries between the nations that they had made which left each tribe on
their own to roam free.  The people from
different tribes and ethnicities that were made “leaders” by the colonizers
started to fight among themselves for the control of power and resources. This
is why one of the main reasons of civil war would have to be the decolonization
of Africa. There was not a single civil war that took place in Africa before the
decolonization. In an interview talking about decolonization in Africa with the
chief of a tribe in Zambia says, “My people were not Soli until 1937 when the
Bwana D.C. told us we were. The concept of the Zulu as a discrete ethnic group
did not emerge until 1870.” The problem with the civil wars over ethnicity is
that people being power hungry because of what the Europeans thought them.
Bishop Desmond Tutu, a bishop of Africa and once said in a conference of
International Development “When the missionaries came to Africa” missionaries being
Europeans “they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, “Let us pray.” We
closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
This directly relates to the Europeans taking the land from them.

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                Right after
World War 2, Russia (USSR at the time) and the United States of America became
known as the world’s super powers. And one of them has to be better than the
other. So this fight started and became known as the cold war. This war was
fought though 3rd party’s nations both the U.S.A and USSR were trying
to sabotage each other though other countries such as Africa. For Example
around the 1970s the Angolan government allied itself with America because they
received promises from American government that they will help to develop
Angola and strengthen the government. Then USSR through its intelligence
agencies formed a rebel group within the country against Angolan government.
This didn’t help and out of this a horrific civil war erupted between the
government and rebellion groups. Tons of Money, weapons, military equipment,
medical aids and other resources. flowed from USA and USSR from the main
country into Angola. The war just ended up being chaos. With thousands of
people killed and millions were left refugees. On top of that “The World policy
Institute” called America out by stating that “$1.5 billion worth of weapons to
Africa has come from US alone”. Both Governments say they don’t want the civil
wars taking place and vow that they will try their best to eliminate civil wars
in Africa but all they did was add fuel to the fire and without them there
would it have started in the first place?

                The
land of Africa is filled with natural resources is also one of the main reasons
that have started the civil wars in Africa. Africa is a place flowing with enriched
natural resources like cocoa beans, woods and tropical fruits it is also rich
with minerals like diamonds, gold, aluminum precious metals etc. these are all found
throughout the whole country. Many of the other developed nations and companies
from all over try to gain control over these natural resources. Natural
resources are the main reason for conflict in Africa in two ways politics and
money, politics is used as a tool to control these natural resources. If you
gain control over the people you gain control of the resources and no doubt you
will gain massive amounts of income and revenues. Everyone in Africa has tried
hard to gain access to these natural resources by trying to be a part of the
government. But some people had seen this and thought we could just steal the
resources so they formed small rebels groups, the rebels took and did whatever
they wanted this eventually led to the civil wars. For example rebels gaining
access to oil in Nigeria was the main reason that caused civil war in Nigeria
in 2002. But lack of real government from the civil society could also be
another cause that started the civil wars in Africa. If a government is able to
collect taxes from its citizens they are able to give back and fulfill the
needs of its citizens and then citizens will be happy. But in a natural
resource country where the money earned goes directly to the government and not
the people. The government doesn’t really care enough about the taxes and
separates itself from the real responsibilities that it has and also ignores
the concern of the people of Africa which will cause chaos among the people. For
example the civil war in Mozambique (1996–1997) was exactly caused because of a
detachment of government. Not having a true holder of who the natural resource
of Africa belongs to has often led to a civil war. Because of this Lots of companies
in order to get the mineral that is needed joins in on a civil war for their
own gain. For example a London, UK based diamond selling company helped in the civil
war that took place in Sierra Leone.  They did so by buying diamonds much cheaper
from Africa and then would sell them with much higher price in the UK. This
provided the people of Sierra Leone with money to buy what they needed. The
foreign companies are not exactly directly involved in the war but they are
still adding fuel to the fire. These companies are a big source for money and weapons
for the rebels. If they stop giving money to the rebel groups they will run out
of money and won’t be able to finance their war. But it’s not as easy as that. And
the war continues to cause great horror and destroy many families.

                Each
day the as the war rages on more and more families are being destroyed and with
every family there are children. War affects children in all the ways it can
affects adults, but also in different ways. Children are dependent on the care,
empathy, and attention of adults who love and care for them. Their relationship
is mostly destroyed in times of war because of the panic in the village that
they live in. Many children due to the loss of parents become lost with nowhere
or one to go to. Ishmael Beah a victim who has lived the horrors of the civil
wars in Sierra Leone has written a book called a long way gone. His story
started when he was 12 years old he was officially “touched by the war” (6) in
1993, he was forced to give up his childhood in order to survive. Ishmael, his
brother and his friends would wander from village to village in search of food
and shelter. Their day-to-day life is just a struggle of survival; they would
find themselves doing unthinkable things just to survive such as stealing food
from children. Being lost in the forest is a hard way to live your life as a
child and as time went on as life he had no choice but to join a army, fighting
against the other Rebels, The older men of the army had brain washed him and
the other children into thinking that each rebel death would avenge his own
family’s death.  Because of this everyone
in the army just wanted to be a killer. The boy soldiers where giving drugs
such as cocaine, marijuana, and brown brown, this gave them courage to fight
and the ability to hide their emotions in times of war. As time went on the
children turned into war machines fighting all day then watching war movies
every night fantasying about being the African Rambo. Ishmael beah is one of
the lucky ones whose life in war wasn’t ended by a bullet but by his general turning
him into the UNICEF. He was taking to a rehabilitation center just like many
other boys who had survived as soldiers the main goal of the rehabilitation center
is to reintroduce the children back into life of the city.  They do this by putting the children in
school and therapy so they are able to forgot the past and think about the
future. Ismael is one of the lucky ones who has made it out of this horror
there is an estimate of 300000 child soldiers that have been put though the
horrors that Ismael had to live many of them become victims of the war and only
the lucky ones survive.

                To this
day wars continues to rage in the jungles of Africa  in reality there is nothing as people we are
able to do to help put this to an end. The only way this is going to end is
peace and the realization that they have gained nothing only lost lives because
of the wars. Programs such as the UN bring light onto this which get the world
involved to help rebuild communities that have been destroyed but that is all
they are able to do because fighting back just gives the soldiers someone to
shoot at.