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U.S. Policy in Postcolonial Africa

Four Case Studies in Conflict Resolution

F. Ugboaja Ohaegbulam

This book, a concise examination of U.S. policy in contemporary Africa, delineates various aspects of the role that the U.S. played in exacerbating and/or resolving violent conflicts in postcolonial Africa and provides a succinct historical overview of these armed conflicts. F. Ugboaja Ohaegbulam devotes considerable attention to four specific conflicts in Ethiopia-Somalia, the Western Sahara, Angola, and Rwanda and to the Clinton administration’s African Crisis Response Initiative and its sequel under George W. Bush. The book concludes that lack of congruence between local forces in conflict in Africa, as well as U.S. aims in those conflicts, was only one of the constraints on the United States in its attempts at conflict resolution. America’s counterproductive Cold War policies also defined relations with African states for far too long. Hence, the conflicts in postcolonial Africa became part of the legacy of those policies even as African problems continued to be low-priority concerns for the U.S. government. Libraries, advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and professors of African studies, as well as the general reader, will find this book useful.