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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Politics of Sara Ethnicity: A Note on the Origins of the Civil War in Chad
Author:Lemarchand, RenéISNI
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic term:Chad
civil wars
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Urbanization and Migration
External link:https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1980.2328
Abstract:If Chad ever existed as a nation, by 1978 it virtually ceased to exist as a State. After almost twenty years of independence under the control of Sara elements, the collapse of the Ndjamena authorities under the blows of the northern rebellion has left a vacuum at the center which none of the several competing factions has yet been able to fill. Although there are few parallels in Africa for the extraordinary political fragmentation ushered in by the victory of the North, the factional forces that led to the near disintegration of the Chadian polity should not obscure the significance of the opposite phenomenon, not the fission but the fusion of ethnic identities into a wider field of interaction. The political future of the country depends to a large extent on the outcome of the ever more complex dialectic between the antagonistic forces of fission and fusion. In concentrating on the politics of the Sara ethnicity the author draws attention to a particular facet of this dialectic, and in so doing provides some of the historical background for an understanding of the origins of the civil war. Bibliogr., notes, tab.