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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ethnicity and State Politics in Africa
Author:Nzongola-Ntalaja, Georges
Periodical:African Journal of International Affairs (ISSN 0850-7902)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:ethnic relations
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
Africa--Politics and government
Ethnicity--Political aspects
Abstract:Since the beginning of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and especially the second invasion by Rwanda and Uganda in 1998, there has been a debate on the relationship between ethnicity and the pressures for re-drawing boundaries in Africa. Most contributors to this debate have taken the view that these pressures are driven by deep-seated ethnic conflicts. This perspective is questionable, according to the author, especially in view of the strong official and popular commitment in Africa to the territorial entities inherited from colonial rule. This essay suggests that the secessionist movements and cross-border invasions by neighbours, pursuing their own national interests, have been a greater threat to Africa's existing political map than ethnicity per se. Where ethnicity has featured in the discourses of politicians and military commanders, it has served as little more than an instrument for rationalizing the expansionist aims of a State towards a neighbour. Notes, ref., sum. in English and in French. [Journal abstract]