Top 7 Deadliest Wars Fought on the African Continent

Most of the wars that have been fought on the African continent started due to greed, ethinic differences, independence etc. And even though most of these wars have ended, some nations are still suffering from the effects of the war.
In no particular order, Below is the list of the top 7 deadliest wars fought on the african continent.


1. The Second Sudanese Civil War

The Second Sudanese Civil War was a conflict that lasted from 1983 to 2005 between the central Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – Basically it was a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972.

The war lasted for 22 years and is one of the longest civil wars that has ever been fought on the African continent. The war finally resulted in the independence of South Sudan six years after the war ended.

Roughly two million people died as a result of war, famine and disease caused by the conflict. Millions of people were also displaced.

It can be described as the Deadliest War that has been Fought on the African Continent

2. The Second Congo War

The second Congo war, also known as the Great War of Africa. was a war that lasted 4 years, 1998 until 2003 and resulted in 1.5 to 2.0 million deaths. Millions of people were also displaced.

3. The Nigerian Civil War

The Nigerian Civil War, also referred to as the Biafran War was a conflict that lasted from 1967 to 1970, the war was between the Eastern Region of Nigeria and the rest of the country. It started when leaders of the Eastern Region declared the region an independent state because they felt they could no longer co-exist with the Northern-dominated Federal Government.

Not surprisingly, The act was regarded as an act of treason by the Federal Military Government of Nigeria and drastic actions were undertaken to counter the secession of Biafra from Nigeria.

Within a year, the Federal Military Government surrounded Biafra, capturing coastal oil facilities and the city of Port Harcourt.

During this civil war, an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people died daily in Biafra from starvation. Over the two and half years of the war, about two million civilians died from starvation and diseases.

4. The Mozambican Civil War

The Mozambican Civil War began in 1977, two years after the end of the war of independence.

The civil war was noted for its brutality meted out in particular by Renamo, a rebel group that was founded, financed, and armed by foreign nations bent on destabilizing the country.

About one million people died in fighting and from starvation; five million civilians were displaced, and many were made amputees by land mines. Fighting ended in 1992 and the country’s first multi-party elections were held in 1994.

5. The First Liberian Civil War

The Liberian Civil War was an internal conflict in Liberia that began in 1989 and encompassed two civil wars, the first, which lasted from 1989 to 1996, saw rival factions tussle for control of the country.

The conflict which killed over 600,000 people and displaced over a million people, eventually led to the involvement of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and of the United Nations. And In 1997, Charles Taylor was elected president of Liberia and ruled the unstable country until the second civil war began in 1999, ousting him in 2003.

6. The Sierra Leone Civil War (1991–2002)

The Sierra Leone Civil War began on the 23rd of March 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), intervened in Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Momoh government.

The resulting civil war which lasted 11 years, enveloped the country, and left Between 100,000–300,000 people dead and over 1.5 million people displaced.

The decade-long civil war formally ended in January 2002 following the British government’s successful military intervention to suppress rebel insurgents.

7. The Burundian Civil war

The Burundian Civil War was an armed conflict that lasted from 1993 to 2005.

The civil war was the result of a long standing ethnic divisions between the Hutu and the Tutsi ethnic groups in Burundi.

The conflict began following the first multi-party elections in the country since independence from Belgium in 1962, and is seen as formally ending with the swearing in of Pierre Nkurunziza in August 2005.

The estimated death toll stands at 300,000 killed.


Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


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