The Crucial Role Of Violence In Africa

Decent Essays
Violence plays a crucial role in the liberation of various African countries. The necessity of the violence, and the justifications for the violence are both highly debatable. However, knowing the prominent role that violence played in the initial colonization, is a justifiable and necessary act of the colonized peoples in the fight for their independence. War and violence played a large role in various political changes throughout history; often war is used as a tactic to force change, when all else has failed. The people of these African countries are using violence in much the same way, to take back their freedom. An oppressed people cannot be punished for their violent actions intended to take back their basic human rights. Especially when…show more content…
It is the actions of the colonizers that promoted such violent actions in the first place. There are many different instances of colonial violence during the colonization of a country or continent. Some examples are the Namibian Genocide or the Belgian Congo. Both of these violent colonization movements are specific to the African continent, yet there are many other such instances. Fanon emphasizes this throughout his book, writing, “We have seen how the government’s agent uses a language of pure violence” (Fanon, 4) and “Colonialism is not a machine capable of thinking, a body endowed with reason. It is naked violence and only gives in when confronted with greater violence” (Fanon, 23). In these two sentences he sums up the justification for the violence of liberation. The government that colonized, knows only violence and reacts to all things with violence. He continues to explain that “colonization or decolonization: it is simply a power struggle” (Fanon, 23). As with most power struggles, the main action to occur is violence, rather than negotiation. This is in part because neither side is willing to wait for negotiations to begin. Instead, it becomes a struggle for the upper hand, violent action against violent action. Fanon explains this downward spiral, writing, “Everybody therefore has violence on their minds and the question is not so much responding to violence with more violence but…show more content…
Through this mindset of the colonizers, the colonized find necessity and justification in their violent actions for their freedom and liberation. Fanon, discussing the Battle for Algiers, writes, “The Front de la Liberation Nationale (FLN) in a famous tract stated that colonialism only loosens its hold when the knife is at its throat” (Fanon, 23). If the governing force is willing to torture and kill many innocent Muslim people for the suppression of the rebellion, then the only option is more bloodshed to stop the killing and the torture. Though violent actions often hurt innocent bystanders, the FLN believed it was still necessary in order to have their will accepted and acknowledged. Understanding the justification of violence that injures and sometimes even kills innocent people is hard; however, if one looks at it from the point of view of the oppressed, the people are standing by, watching them be treated like animals and doing nothing to help. They are now accomplices instead of innocent bystanders, and the violence is once again
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