Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe

Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe By Gérard Prunier, Africa s World War Congo the Rwandan Genocide and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe The Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub Saharan Africa ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in
  • Title: Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe
  • Author: Gérard Prunier
  • ISBN: 9780195374209
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe By Gérard Prunier, The Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in Central Africa, Gerard Prunier offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval Prunier vividly describes theThe Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in Central Africa, Gerard Prunier offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval Prunier vividly describes the grisly aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, when some two million refugees a third of Rwanda s population fled to exile in Zaire in 1996 The new Rwandan regime then crossed into Zaire and attacked the refugees, slaughtering upwards of 400,000 people The Rwandan forces then turned on Zaire s despotic President Mobutu and, with the help of a number of allied African countries, overthrew him But as Prunier shows, the collapse of the Mobutu regime and the ascension of the corrupt and erratic Laurent Desire Kabila created a power vacuum that drew Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and other African nations into an extended and chaotic war The heart of the book documents how the whole core of the African continent became engulfed in an intractible and bloody conflict after 1998, a devastating war that only wound down following the assassination of Kabila in 2001 Prunier not only captures all this in his riveting narrative, but he also indicts the international community for its utter lack of interest in what was then the largest conflict in the world Praise for the hardcover The most ambitious of several remarkable new books that reexamine the extraordinary tragedy of Congo and Central Africa since the Rwandan genocide of 1994 New York Review of Books One of the first books to lay bare the complex dynamic between Rwanda and Congo that has been driving this disaster Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times Book Review Lucid, meticulously researched and incisive, Prunier s will likely become the standard account of this under reported tragedy Publishers Weekly
    Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe By Gérard Prunier,
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    203 thoughts on “Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe”

    1. I must be even reserved than usual in my review about this book contemporary Africa is far outside my usual fields of study, and those parts which I am familiar with are not the center of attention here But with these caveats in mind this is an extremely impressive study that anyone who takes the study of sub Saharan politics seriously should investigate It is not accessible for the general reader keep a map handy, and refer to the glossaries and lists of terms In short, this volume is a histor [...]


    2. As a than interested observer of events in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I found Gerard Prunier s Africa s World War a worthwhile if dense expression of one man s opinions about an incredibly complex chapter in the continent s history Is it rife with supposition, self serving sources, and subjective interpretation of events Certainly But that s the nature of the conflict, so readers expecting a black hat white hat cast of good guys and bad guys are going to be dismissive of the work if not [...]


    3. I m not sure who I am madder at, the librarian who recommended this book or the author for making his life s work, his magnum opus, so darn hard to read Unless you have a working knowledge of Africa, you are starting out behind the mark Quick name the capital of Angola If you cannot do that, his reference to Luanda, as if I know what he is talking about, leave me wondering, is that Angola s capital or Namibia s but the whole reference to Luanda, is not just a reference to a location, it is to th [...]


    4. Gerard s Prunier s book does not just portray the anxieties that created the war in Congo, but delves into the anxieties about how the war is portrayed This war was so multifaceted and complex, that keeping track of the various factions is demanding than trying to follow the Lebanese civil war of the 1970 s and 80 s.Towards the end of the book, Prunier explains his own metamorphosis from being an admirer of the RPF Rwandan Patriotic Front the Tutsi rebel group that overthrew the Hutu government [...]


    5. Africa s World War Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe, is a fascinating book on the chaos of Africa s First World War , written by Gerard Prunier This book is no walk in the park, and for various reasons The subject matter is extremely disturbing, as the collapse of Zaire is attributed to the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide in the early 90 s, which was itself responsible for the deaths of up to a million people This is just the start of the conflict The co [...]


    6. Africa s World war is an excellent, in depth and well researched study of the war in the Congo The book begins with the immediate aftermath of the rwandan genocide of 1994 and explains the events which led to the conflagration This conflict was labelled as africa s first world war and was the biggest conflict on the continent since WWII, claiming 4 million lives.This is an impressive book With about 100 pages of footnotes, and a 45 page bibliography, this is a very thorough study of a very compl [...]


    7. This book has taken on a ripped from the headlines timeliness since the very recent leak of a UN investigation into the war in the Congo between 1996 and 1998 which concluded that the Rwandan military was guilty of war crimes and possible genocide against Hutu refugees Since the genocide perpetrated by the Hutu against the Tutsi people in Rwanda in 1994 Paul Kagame has used the pusillanimous behavior of the UN, the United States and Western Europe to demand that they support Rwanda economically [...]


    8. Wow What a mess This book is a very detailed account of the most probably biggest African conflict a war fought among foreigners on the Congolese land for often unrelated interests and reasons Starting with the aftermaths of the Rwandan genocide, Prunier covers the events till the 2008 Although the situation is extremely intricate during your reading you can probably get lost in a war bush somewhere in the Congo basin or drown in the river of words of a western diplomat , the author manages to g [...]


    9. You ll need to hit the ground running with this one.I suspect the vast majority of Americans are going to have approximately the same amount of knowledge as I did concerning the two Congolese wars fought in the 90s and early 2000s, which is practically nothing Embarrassingly little, especially for someone who considers himself at least somewhat informed about the world, as I do and this lack of attention from the rest of the world is something author G rard Prunier sadly laments but seems resign [...]


    10. A wide scope introduction to the aftermath of the Rwanda genocide and the near decade of war in its aftermath Let s remember the Congo Wars involved a shifting cast of international players Congo Zaire, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Sudan, Tanzania, and Namibia, plus the UN, the US, France, and a host of NGOs plus a bewildering array of militias, political parties, ethnic tribal movements, and governments in exile The cost of the Congo Wars in the decade after 1996 may have been as many as fi [...]


    11. Look, this book is absurdly difficult to read, especially for people who aren t Africanists It s brilliantly researched The ENs could be their own book , and you ll learn a lot from it from just a casual read which is what I ended up giving it once I realized for the 12th time how incredibly dense it is , but this book is better suited for studying than it is reading I think this should have been two separate volumes, the extra space wouldn t have required Prunier to condense everything, which r [...]


    12. This book is about a war that is taking place primarily in the DRC however to tell it s story it has to tell the story of a number of Sub Saharan African countries Prunier has great stories about the personalities and events that span most of the continent Very dense.


    13. Africa s World War, Gerard Prunier s fantastic exercise in a sort of double contextualization of both the Rwandan genocide and the ensuing trans continental Congo conflict, involving at least half a dozen countries and yet non state militias and organizations is essential reading Prunier analyzes the causes and course of the conflict in significant detail, without losing sight of his non specialist audience, and all the while going beyond the glib explanations of the ancient ethnic hatreds vari [...]


    14. I felt like I was reading above my weight with this book, but I finished it and I m glad I did Intensely important and determinedly referenced, this book gives a very precise history and background to the on going war in Eastern DRC Colonialism, genocide, humanitarian politics and acronyms This book was published in 2009 and sadly, a tome equally large could be written about what has happened since.


    15. So, this was a pretty dry read Also, you might want to brush up on some African knowledge I started this book to learn about the Rwandan Genocide, and this book picks up at the end of the genocide He spends a good part of the first half of the book speaking about a guy named Mobutu, and I spent lots of time wondering who this was, and on page 77 we finally get an explanation of who he is.


    16. nwhytevejournal 1344506ml return return It is a tremendously detailed account of how, in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, the new Rwandan government invaded its neighbour Zaire now the Democratic Republic of Congo kicking off a conflict that sucked in military interventions from Burundi, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Angola, Chad, Sudan and Namibia, and which also entangled Libya, the Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Zambia and South Africa before it ended in 2002 Roughly four million people [...]


    17. This book covers the war that can be roughly marked from the end of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide the genocide is not covered much, as for sure it would require another book that eventually led into a wild multinational war in the DRC On they are listed as two wars, the First and Second Congo Wars, with the former covering Mobutu s deposition and the second covering the subsequent conflict between Rwanda Uganda against their once allies in the DRC and their foreign supporters, mainly Angola and Zimb [...]


    18. This was second book on the topic of the Great War of Africa Congo War It gave me a good starting point on the topic and helped me understand the tensions in the region beyond the generalization often handed to people about other parts of the world.


    19. Prunier guides his reader through the Heart of Darkness explaining how a conflict in the Congo became a continental war In terms of the number of countries involved and the number of at risk civilians, this constituted both the greatest threat to the world s peace and security while being its greatest humanitarian crisis Along the way, this skilled journalist documents how this was fundamentally a war between Rwanda and the Congo The Tutsi Hutu tribal conflict in Rwanda had been left unresolved [...]


    20. An excellent and balanced account of the little known conflict which has torn at the heart of the African continent and left so much death and destruction in its wake the conflict stemmed from the well recognised catastrophe, unfortunately with hindsight and not during, that was the Rwandan genocide in the early 1990s This book made an excellent effort of showing how this conflict and the refugee crisis it caused went on to so critically destabilise the then Zaire Particularly interesting was th [...]


    21. A fantastic and immersive look at one of the most horrific and complicated wars of the post WW2 era The author has a keen knack for telling an inherently convoluted and depressing story with just the right amount of sarcasm and wit, in a way that helps the reader both understand the war on the technical level, while also understanding the scale and absurdity of the horrors on the emotional intuitive level Despite the subject matter, it is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read This is a ve [...]


    22. A thorough book that is also thoroughly depressing No one in this account comes across well The French and the Americans bumble around, understanding and controlling much fewer elements of the conflict than they or anyone else thinks The UN and other humanitarian organizations are at best ineffectual The coalition of neighboring countries l who come together to topple Mobutu then fall out over the division of the spoils All in all, everything sucks and lots of people die because of that.I d also [...]


    23. This book is an incredibly well researched and detailed account of the Second Congo War Prunier s level of research is quite astounding, and he does a fairy excellent job of weaving together a narrative from the confusing chaos of the war itself At times, he risks falling susceptible to conspiratorial plots the only evidence of which he provides from one or two interviews Additionally, the level to which Prunier condemns and criticizes Westerners involved in Africa including humanitarians and ac [...]


    24. An immense, complex, and mind bogglingly comprehensive history of the Great Lakes wars in Africa during the 1990s Prunier, probably the world s expert on the subject, picks up in the wake of the Hutu genocide in Rwanda, details the internal political turmoil of Rwanda and Burundi, the effects of this in the Congo Zaire, especially in the Kivus, and discusses the toppling of Mobutu, Kabila s reign, the resultant continental wars embroiling the above states, Uganda, the Sudan, Angola, South Africa [...]


    25. when I was working in bukavu,DRC a friend of mine gave me this book and told me read this and you ll hate your president, after all i really felt proud of him and the whole Rwandan Defense Forcese book talk about how the genocide against Tutsi triggered a series of conflicts and wars in the region caused by RPF going to congo,which is a totaly false because Rwandan Soldiers were on war against the rebels interahamwe and against than 12 other armies where the won by taking Laurent Kabila to pres [...]


    26. OK, I m only a short distance into this book, but so far it is the most detailed and comprehensive look at the Congo war s that I have read so far Prunier has strongly held opinions, which definitely come through in his background chapters on the Rwandan backdrop to the war, but he has come by those opinions honestly, with deep research and first hand reportage I reserve the right to change my rating, but so far this feels like an important book on a poorly understood war one in which millions o [...]


    27. I learned a lot from this book and am planning to go back and read it a few times It has that characteristic Prunier tone, which is witty, wry, usually measured, occasionally outraged The prunier tone tends to be linked with the content often a mix of factual observation, probably well founded rumor, and opinion tossed in I m not criticizing his style so nuch as simply characterizing it I have also read his book on the Rwandan Genocide and his book on Darfur I would say that the book on Darfur [...]


    28. Probably the most authoritative account of what happened in this catastrophic war that involved nearly half of the continent Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Angola, Zimbabwe, South Africa,Namibia, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Brazzaville were just some of the countries involved in one way or another 4 million Africans died Prunier digs deep into history to try and give some background to the problem and has written a riveting account that I will read over and over again Highly recommended [...]


    29. When I received this book, I thought oh no, this is a textbook As I pour over its pages, it is a textbook, but an immensely read able one I do not recommend this book for anyone who has not read about the genocide or the aftermath in the Congo Please start with Gourevitch s book about the genocide and then tackle this one I am about 50 pages in and wish I could stop working to read this book nonstop I hope you will find it as gripping as well maybe then we might make something happen in the Con [...]


    30. If Africa, its history and politics are interesting topics for you, then you shouldn t overlook this book It is an amazingly concise and holistic review of the recent political and economic past of the Central Africa.I must say that the author is unbelievably knowledgeable and masterfully takes you on a tour of the political jungle that exists existed in Africa and believe me the topics become really complex, so this is one of the rare books I have read with an open map, and regular support of t [...]


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