After achieving independence, many African states experienced various forms of armed conflict, which served to hold back economic and social development across the continent. The legacy of the old colonial borders is believed to have played an important role in this widespread conflict as they were drawn by the European powers without any consideration of local ethnic populations or historical factors that might make certain borders areas of dispute. Additionally, the actions of the US and Soviet Union during the Cold War, in which both powers provided funding to militia groups to push either the communist or capitalist agenda, perpetuated violence in a number of areas. These conflicts displaced large numbers of refugees who moved away from religious persecution, war or famine and further exacerbated tensions in many regions. Government corruption and corporate exploitation also played a significant role in a number of coups and rebellions against ruling administrations.
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