South African Civil War

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South African Civil War

Above: South African soldiers arrive in Kimberley
Date June 18, 1996 – May 15, 2001
(4 years, 10 months, 3 weeks and 6 days)
Location South Africa
Result The Apartheid system is maintained in South Africa
South Africa
United States (unofficial)
African National Congress
Soviet Union (unofficial)
Commanders and leaders
Ferdinand Hartzenberg
Constand Viljoen
Georg Meiring
Roy Andersen
Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Thabo Mbeki
Chris Hani
Winnie Madikizela

The South African Civil War was a civil war that occurred in South Africa between the white minority government, which supported the apartheid system, and the anti-apartheid African National Congress from June 1996 until May 2001. The conflict spanned for nearly five years and resulted in victory for the government.

In 1948, the National Party government had implemented a system of racial Apartheid. For the next four decades, protests against Apartheid intensified, however remained largely peaceful. In the 1990s, the government of South Africa began doubling down on Apartheid, resulting in the anti-apartheid African National Congress calling on its supporters to take up arms against the government, causing a civil war. Despite unofficial Soviet backing, the ANC remained disorganised and without coherent leadership. This meant that the government was able to win the civil war, although some armed resistance to the apartheid system continues to this day. The government’s victory in the civil war is seen as a definitive moment, where the apartheid system was re-affirmed despite popular resistance. Apartheid continues in South Africa to this day.