Liberation Wars 1948–87


Map Code: Ax01550

Post-colonial Africa was divided into 54 countries with a myriad different ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic groups. It is widely believed that this has led to decades of coups, border conflicts, violent insurrection and war and organized guerrilla activity throughout Africa. Internecine conflict has created many displaced persons on the continent with waves of refugees fleeing war zones or entering the continent, such as the 700,000 Palestinians expelled or forced to flee after the British partitioned Palestine in 1948. The refugee waves were exacerbated by drought and famine, such as in Ethiopia and Eritrea (1984), a country in the grip of civil war after Eritrea demanded their territories (annexed to Ethiopia by Italy) be given sovereignty. The Liberation Wars included wars between African colonies and their European occupiers, as well as vicious internal liberation movements in countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia and the 1987 coup in Burkina Faso.

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