The Role of Militias and Other Paramilitaries in African (un)Civil Wars
This paper details how previous violent conflicts in Africa have seen the extensive use of very irregular armed forces by governments, such as the Kamajors in Sierra Leone, the Janjaweed and other militias in Sudan and the Interahamwe militias in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The author analyzes the historical background of such phenomena, the strategic benefits and drawbacks of resorting to such forces, the consequences for the conduct of armed conflicts, and the implications for the civilian populations. The paper further also points out a number of complications caused by the presence of such forces for peace settlements and post-conflict peacebuilding, including the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants and security sector reform.
© 2006 Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)