PARIS – Earlier this month, the trial of Pascal Simbikangwa, accused of complicity in the genocide in Rwanda, in which 800,000 people were killed between April and July 1994, began in Paris. Unfortunately, mass killings in Africa continue. In South Sudan, Africa’s newest state, massacres of civilians are still taking place, particularly around the city of Bor. And French military intervention in the Central African Republic has not put an end to severe inter-communal violence there.
Yet, paradoxically, even as such episodes continue to occur in Africa, perhaps on a larger scale than anywhere else in the world, the continent has also become a beacon of hope. Indeed, the perpetuation of extreme violence contrasts starkly with Africa’s favorable demographic profile, and its economic – and even political and social – progress in recent years.