n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Black on black : xenophobic attacks and inter-state relations in post-independence Africa

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



The recent outburst of xenophobic attacks on nationals of other African countries betrayed the pent-up anger or frustration of citizens of the Republic of South Africa and called into question the much trumpeted notion of "African brotherhood," founded on skin pigmentation and a common experience of colonial servitude from as early as the seventeenth century. The South African incident stretched the bond of fraternity to breaking point, especially as the scale and virulence of the attacks surpassed previous incidents of xenophobic attacks in Africa. To be sure, such incidents occurred with varying frequency in colonial and post-colonial Africa and this chapter places them in historical perspective. However, the discussion focuses on the post-independence period, roughly since 1960, when inter-state relations among African peoples were conducted in the framework of the territorial entities bequeathed by various European colonizers. It adopts the post-independence state as the unit of analysis of intra-African relations.

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