From inter-religious violence in the Central African Republic which has been labeled as “pre-genocide,” to inter-ethnic violence in South Sudan claiming thousands of lives and displacing over a million from the newest country of the world, various regions in Africa are enduring disastrous conflicts.
To answer such fundamental questions, I met with Dr. Edward Kissi, an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of South Florida, last January. Dr. Kissi explores ideas as to what the real drivers of conflict in many parts of Africa are, what have African governments and the international community learned from past episodes of mass violence and related issues. Dr. Kissi has done extensive work raising awareness of efforts to prevent future genocide worldwide, but with a particular emphasis on Africa.
In our discussion, he explains how he became interested in this issue and why the study and prevention of genocide is his passion. He explains the Central African Republic conflict during its early stages and foresees what it has degenerated into.
Dr. Kissi also takes a look at the South Sudan conflict. He describes why conflicts in Africa are often portrayed as ethnic or religious and whether this is an oversimplification meant to make them easy to understand for outsiders. Conflicts on the continent cannot be fit into the narrow box of only ethnic hatred or access to power or access to limited resources but a combination of all these factors, he says. Take a listen.