TOPICS: Africa, Nigeria, Central African Republic, South Sudan
Christian Chereji and Alexandra Mihali
ARTICLES in Issue 9 – October 2014:
Is Separatism a Solution for the present African Civil Wars?
Separatism as a political movement is as old as humanity. In Africa, where state borders
are the result of colonial powers’ interests and strategies, a huge number of separatist movements have engulfed the continent in a long series of civil wars. This essay examines whether separatism in its most extreme form of secession has led to the establishment of more stable, peaceful, and prosperous countries on the continent, comparing the emergent new nations’ political and economic achievements with those of the original countries they left.
Separatism, secession, civil war, Africa, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan,
South Sudan, Somaliland.
Putting Nigeria together: The Internalization of Boko Haram Conflict
Walter GAM NKWI
Post-colonial Africa has been bedeviled with copious conflicts ranging from fratricidal civil wars to boundary crises. The Nigerian civil war in the 1960s, as well as the Congo crisis and more recently the Burundi-Rwanda, now belong to the past but not without their corollary on nation building in Africa. This has made the continent look as if it would crumble back to its pre-colonial shape. Quite recently there has been an upsurge of new conflicts posed by the desire to spread Islamism in North, West and East Africa. There is Al-Qaeda, which has its base in North Africa; AQIM in the northern part of Mali, Al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria with its activities covering Southern Niger, Northern Cameroon and Central African Republic, and Southern Chad. All these
organisations are fashioned towards abhorring westernization and having separatist tendencies in their various countries. The organisation widely known as Boko Haram appears to have posed one of the greatest challenges which post-independence Nigeria has faced in nation building. Considering that there is already a plethora of literature on Boko Haram, this article argues that although most conflicts in Africa are geared towards separatism, they have been contained over the years by African and international players, taking Boko Haram as a case study. In this light the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), Lake Chad Basin Commission and more recently Britain, France and the
United States, and China have join hands together to keep the Boko Haram insurgence in check albeit with little or no success. Unfortunately, this has escaped the attention of scholars and so a lacuna exits that needs to be filled. The article further examines why the regional and international bodies buried their differences and turned to containing the Boko Haram.
Africa, post-colonialism, conflict, civil war, independence, Boko Haram.
Anti-Balaka/Seleka, ‘Religionisation’ and Separatism in the History of the Central African Republic
Henry KAM KAH
This paper examines the employment of religious differences in escalating political crises
in the Central African Republic (CAR) with threats of separatism in the country based on this. When Michel Am Nondroko Djotodia seized power through the Séléka rebellion in March 2013 and then abdicated the ‘hot potato,’ the crises during and after his abdication became intensely religious and on a scale unknown in the history of the country. From then on, there have been repeated threats of separation of Muslims from the predominantly Christian population. The Séléka rebels and fighters who also have some non-Muslims have been associated with Islam, and the anti balaka is constituted of mainly Christian and non-Christian militias. The tussle for leadership and control of the CAR between the Séléka and anti-balaka rival movements has been motivated by religion.
This has contributed in making the CAR a failed state with recurrent scenes of violence, killings, and displacements. Through a content analysis of the literature on the religious dimension of the crisis, we will examine the reasons for and threats of a split in a country with xenophobic religious differences and political volatility.
central Africa, religion, separatism, partition, conflict, Central African Republic.
Was Separatism a Viable Solution for Sudan – South Sudan Conflict?
The following article is part of our special issue concerning the separatism solution for
the African conflicts. This article is focused on the prolonged conflict between North and South Sudan in order to prove that, at least for this particular conflict, separatism was a viable solution in order to stop the conflict. At the same time, this article links the prolonged violence to the bad governance of the central authorities in Sudan after the independence, rather than accusing the British colonial legacy.
separatism, Sudan, South Sudan, independence, self-determination, federalism, autonomy, state partitioning, SPLM/A, CPA.