chapter  8
Understanding African guerrillas: from liberation struggles to warlordism and international terrorism?
ByMorten Bøås, Kevin Dunn
Pages 11

War has unfortunately been all too common on the African continent, and as the majority of these conflicts have been internal and not between two or more national armies, insurgency groups have therefore come to occupy a large place in the history of African warfare (see Reno 2011). This is a history of warfare that often is misrepresented as the international media continue to feed us with horror stories about red-eyed, drugged monsters in the form of young men who seemingly kill without purpose or remorse (Bøås 2004). African conflicts undoubtedly contain some gruesome acts, but this does not automatically make them senseless orgies of violence. Violent conflict in Africa, as elsewhere in the world, is concerned with issues of distribution and belonging, and the political and social cleavages that such issues bring into existence. Few scholars have done more to help us understand this than Christopher Clapham. Indeed, it is fair to say that any piece of work published on the issue of African guerrillas published this century is deeply indebted to Christopher Clapham’s (1998) seminal contribution to this topic.