n Conflict Trends - Vigilantes, civil defence forces and militia groups. The other side of the privatisation of security in Africa

Volume 2000, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Much has been said about the involvement of private out-of-state actors, from outside the continent, in African wars. In this article, however, the focus is on vigilantes, civil defence forces (CDFs) and militia groups as aspects of the privatisation of war and the security debate in Africa. In essence, this article is concerned with indigenous, private self-defence units that provide security and engage in warfare on the continent. These groups are mobilised to defend their communities against violence, but as is discussed, they are also complicit in much of the violence and armed internal conflicts, causing massive loss of life and widespread damage.

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