Factional conflict is mostly noticeable in a pluralist and administrative hegemonic or where elaborate patronage networks have thrived, for example (Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, Sierra Leon and Kenya). The Purpose of factional politics is to influence the composition of the official power apparatus to determine who rules in the given political center.
Communal conflict challenges the state’s territorial integrity; it also seeks political expression of sub-national identities. African
countries are subject to communal conflict except for Swaziland, Somalia. Lesotho and some of the Maghreb Countries (most notably Tunisia), all of them have subdivisions and do not qualify themselves as nation states. Nevertheless, secessionist movements in Africa were not success except Eritrea.
Communal conflicts, at their zenith, are expressed in the form of civil war and direct military confrontation. Several communal conflicts take place in Africa, Examples the Katanga session in the Congo (1960-1963); the Biafran session from Nigerian (1965,1962-1972,1983 present); and ongoing communal conflicts in Chad, Burundi, and Liberia, Somalia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, Angola. Ethiopia and Uganda and Sudan.
The conventional definition of a civil war is “large- scale violence between two or more groups within recognized state. This definition is a legal criterion, for example, the Palestinian uprising in the territories occupied by Israel is civil wars since one can view Israel as occupied territories. We can choose a definition according to the criterion of the likelihood of cohabitation of the parties to a conflict in one political unity regardless of the result of war. Civil war means “large scale violence among geographically contiguous people concerned about the of having to live with one another in the same political unit alter the conflict”.
Most of the wars fought since 1945 were civil wars, and even many of the international wars since 1945 had their roots in civil wars. For instance, the conflict between the Arab states and Israel developed out of hostilities, which had occurred between the Jewish and Arab countries in Palestine during the last years of the British mandate.