Comprehending genocides by relying on the popular narratives alone is ineffective. For example, Hotel Rwanda was a good movie but not a completely accurate depiction of what unfolded in Rwanda in 1994. There is a deeper and longer background that involves a look at the historical events not only in Rwanda but in Burundi and the wider Great Lakes region of Africa during the colonial period and during the cold war era. The African genocides of the late 20th century is one of the lesser-known stories in the history of genocide.

This podcast episode is part 9 of our series on the history of genocide, Never Again, Again…. It can also be seen as part two in the story of Rwanda. There were genocides that preceded the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. There were genocides that followed. After Rwanda, a series of massacres and genocides eventually led to the outbreak of full-scale war. This war stretched from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean and is known as Africa’s World War or the Congo Wars.

By the time these wars ended more than 5.8 million had been killed, another 2 million displaced, and numerous efforts of genocide and ethnic cleansing were committed.

This episode is available for a limited time wherever you download your favorite podcasts. If you cannot find it there then you can access our archives to listen to this podcast as a Patreon supporter for as little as $1 a month.

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JB Shreve is the author of "How the World Ends: Understanding the Growing Chaos." He has been the host of the End of History podcast since 2012. He has degrees in International Relations and Middle East Studies. His other books include the Intelligence Brief Series. Regular posts and updates from JB Shreve are available at