Since 1960, many African countries have been devastated by civil wars. Today, it is estimated that around 20 percent of Africas more than 1 billion people are affected, either directly or indirectly, by ongoing conflict. The widespread unrest has been a major reason the people of Africa have been unable to fully reach their potential. This book analyzes past and current conditions in Africa to shed light on the historical, cultural, governmental, religious, ethnic, and ideological factors that have caused civil wars to occur. Conflicts like the long-running war in Sudan, the unrest in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the state failure in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are explained. The final chapter discusses ways future civil wars might be avoided.