Genocides in central Africa

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In the waning years of the 20th century, ten million people were murdered in various remote parts of Central Africa. It is not a single genocide but a collection of ethnic wars which raged from Sudan, the Congo, through to Uganda and Rwanda.


In the southern region of the Sudan, two million people belonging to various Nilotic peoples including Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk were killed by Sudanese Arabs from the North.[1]

Roughly five and a half million died in the Congo, mainly during the Second Congo War [2] but also in relatively smaller holocausts such as the Ituri conflict and the mass murder of Pygmies known as "Effacer le tableau".

In Uganda, 300 thousand people were murdered during the regime of Idi Amin[3] and 500 thousand during the rule of his successor, Milton Obote.[4] Amin's genocides targeted the Acholi and Lango peoples; these two groups went on to murder other groups (mainly the Baganda) under Obote's regime.[5]

In the early 1970s, over 150 thousand Hutu people were killed by Tutsi people in Burundi by order of General Michel Micombero.[6] Twenty years later, one million Tutsi people were murdered by Hutu people during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.[7]

In the Rwandan genocide, the people who had been the victims in Burundi (the Hutu) murdered the ethnic group that had killed them (the Tutsi), and these new victims later played a role in the Congo genocide.[8]

In all of these deaths, the victims were killed by people from a different ethnic group, people who hated the victims' ethnic group. Ten million deaths in close proximity have left a zone of devastation in Central Africa.


  1. ^ "South Sudan Slides Closer to War as Gunfire Rumbles in Its Capital". The New York Times. 2016. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
  2. ^ "Congo's Death Rate Unchanged Since War Ended". The New York Times. 2008. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
  3. ^ "Obituary: Idi Amin, Murderous and Erratic Ruler of Uganda in the 70's, Dies in Exile". The New York Times. 2003. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
  4. ^ "Former Ugandan President, Prime Minister Milton Obote". The Washington Post. 2005. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
  5. ^ "Combat Genocide Association | Uganda 1971–1985". Retrieved 2017-12-25.
  6. ^ "Slaughter in Burundi: How Ethnic Conflict Erupted". The New York Times. 1972. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
  7. ^ "Apology Over Rwanda Genocide". The New York Times. 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
  8. ^ "Rwanda genocide: 'Domino effect' in DR Congo". BBC News. 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
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