There are c. 20 countries in Africa which are either shaken by internal trouble or at war with other states.
The latest example is Sierra Leone, a former British colony and independent since 1961. The trouble is between the deposed President Kabbah and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), led by Foday Sankoh. The current crisis recently arose after rebels took 500 UN soldiers hostage. In the meantime more than 9000 UN peacekeeping troops try to contain the trouble, supported by c. 1500 Britsh troops.
Another trouble spot is Eritrea which disputes its border with Ethiopia and has been at war since 1998. Almost 100,000 soldiers have been killed and 8m civilians suffer from starvation.
Even South Africa, though shedding apartheid, has not lived up to its expectations. With its horrific crime rate, sluggish economic growth, runaway brain drain and badly divided govering alliances, it has not become the hoped-for role model for the African continent.

from The Sunday Times of May 14, 2000
Africa at war:
  • 20 African countries are suffering from civil conflicts
  • 3m people are thought to have died in fighting during the last decade
  • 28m have been displaced from their homes
  • the combined debt of African countries rose from £40 billion in 1983 to £110 billion last year
  • income per capita is under £155 a year
  • life expectancy is 50
  • 2m people die of Aids each year
  • 28m people are HIV-positive
  • literacy is the world's lowest at 55%

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