The African Gourmet and Chic African Culture

Rebellion is not Mutiny

Here are the definitions and descriptions of International law forms of conflicts. It's important to differentiate between rebellion and mutiny, and between a border incident and insurgency.

examples of conflict

International law conflict types, definitions, and examples of conflicts in Africa

International law recognizes distinct types of conflicts. Throughout Africa's history, many conflicts have unfolded, including insurgencies, military invasions, mutinies, rebellions, and coup attempts. 

Words have power. The choice of terminology significantly influences how the media and the general public view conflicts in Africa. Calling an invasion a war could mislead people into thinking it's a balanced, two-sided struggle.

Border Incident

A border incident is an armed confrontation between the military forces of two countries across the border or between the military forces of one country and civilians in a neighboring country in which there are no specific objectives. Eritrea and Ethiopia have had a long-standing border dispute. In 1998, this conflict escalated into the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, marked by skirmishes along their shared border.

Border War

Border War or dispute is when two or more countries fight against one another across borders between their countries for territorial or other objectives. South African Border War, 1966-1989: this conflict involved South Africa, often against the backdrop of the Cold War, and neighboring countries such as Angola and Namibia. It was characterized by cross-border incursions and skirmishes.

Civil War

Civil War is a prolonged and widespread military confrontation involving organized military forces, usually originating as an insurgency, between opposing groups of forces and citizens of the same country to replace the constituted government. Sierra Leone Civil War, 1991-2002. This brutal conflict involved multiple factions and rebel groups vying for control. It resulted in widespread violence, including atrocities committed by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

Coup d'etat

Coup d'etat are events in which the existing civilian or military regime is suddenly and illegally displaced for one week or longer by the action of a relatively small elite group in which the military, security, and/or police forces of the state played a role, and which involves no fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation. In March 2012, a military coup in Mali led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government. This event had significant repercussions for the country's political stability.

Foreign Military Intervention

Foreign Military Intervention is significant military aid in the form of personnel at the request of one of the groups involved in hostilities. Operation Restore Hope (1992-1995): This was a United Nations-sanctioned, multinational intervention in Somalia to provide humanitarian assistance and stabilize the country during a severe famine and civil conflict.



Insurgency is an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a government or the secession of a region of a country through the use of subversion and armed conflict. Boko Haram Insurgency, 2009-Present. Boko Haram is an Islamist extremist group active in Nigeria and neighboring countries. The insurgency has led to widespread violence, displacement of civilians, and significant security challenges in the region.

Military Invasion

Military invasion is the movement of military forces across a national boundary to achieve a strategic objective. Libya, under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, conducted military invasions into Chad during the 1980s. These invasions were part of Libya's expansionist ambitions in the region and resulted in a series of conflicts.


Mutiny is an uprising or armed resistance by members of the military against higher military authorities and/or the government. Côte d'Ivoire experienced a series of mutinies and uprisings by segments of its armed forces during the early 2000s and later. These mutinies were often linked to issues related to soldiers' pay and conditions.


A rebellion is an uprising or armed resistance by a popular movement against the established government or between ethnic and/or tribal groups, one of which is the basis of the formally constituted government. Liberian Civil War (1989-2003): This protracted conflict involved many rebel groups, government forces, and external actors. It resulted in widespread violence, displacement, and significant damage to the country.

Unsuccessful Coup

Unsuccessful Coup involves some action by the military and/or police which is unsuccessful or successful for no longer than a week. Such an action may be the arrest of government personnel or the takeover of the government by force. In October 2016, there was an unsuccessful coup attempt in Mozambique. Government forces swiftly suppressed the attempt, and the plotters were arrested.


More Articles to Read from Chic African Culture

Show more

Week’s Best African Culture Posts

Fufu Made in a Bread Mixer

Chura Dance Twerking on the Beach in Africa

How to Cure Meat

Mampoer South African Moonshine