The Root Causes Of Terrorism: Why Parts Of Africa Might Never Be At Peace By Robert L.Feldman

Optimistic outlooks have frequently been posited for Africa, often prefaced with state-
ments that all that is needed is better governance, free markets, an end to corruption, or some other reform that is easy to say but all-too-often nearly impossible to implement.

The unfortunate truth is that it is possible some parts of Africa may never be at peace.
There will probably be regions where a semblance of normality might exist, but much of the continent will probably continue to experience strife, disease, competition for
diminishing resources and a host of other maladies, some of its own making and some
imposed by outside forces. It is these continuing problems, combined with little hope that they will be resolved, that in part disenfranchise the young and fuel the growing extremist movements. Taken together, they are the root causes for African terrorism.

To look at Africa’s past is to witness horrific suffering, oppressive governments and
an endless string of missed opportunities that, if pursued, would have improved the
plight of its peoples. Even if by magic all of the African governments suddenly became
capable and responsive to their citizens’ needs, if the donor community only funded
projects that increased self-reliance instead of dependence, and if the world greatly
increased their interest and concern in what was happening in the continent, even if all
of these should occur, it is still too late to avert catastrophe. New problems such as
global warming have arisen that compound the old problems. Developed nations,
steered by the hands of skilled government officials, will have great difficulty navigating
the tremendous changes, especially those wrought through alteration of the climate,
unfolding before them. To expect many of the African nations, already fragile if not
broken, to also succeed without experiencing incredible turmoil, is not realistic.

This article will not dwell on the mistakes of the past. These are already well docu-
mented in numerous excellent publications. Instead, the focus will be on the future,
referencing earlier periods only as necessary to provide justification for predicting
recurring events.



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