Sub-Saharan Africa has a state system that was imposed from abroad during the era of colonialism and that does not reflect ethnic realities. Most of these states achieved independence in the 1960s and emerged into the bipolar system of the Cold War. The international rivalry produced assistance and also a measure of influence for their governments, despite the fact that the fifty-three nations in Africa make it the world's most balkanized and fragmented region. When African states were supported by bipolar forces, methods of governing seemed to be of little consequence, and there were many abuses of human rights by both military and civilian governments.
Higgs, Robert W.
"The United States and Sub-Saharan Africa,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 49
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol49/iss1/7