n Africa Insight - Re-imaging ethnicity - revisiting the politics of violence in the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Volume 43, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The conflict in the Eastern region of the Congo has often been seen through the prism of ethnicity and identity. Regional security dynamics and the control and distribution of vital economic resources have received little attention. The article examines the politics of violence as a way of scoring political and economic goals. Ethnic Tutsi in the Eastern region of the Congo have used this important weapon successfully in weakening and undermining the authority of the Congolese government, regrettably with the help and support of neighbouring countries. The artificiality of African boundaries has in the main necessitated this state of affairs, as ethnic groups on the continent cut across international boundaries. The demise of the cold war saw a gradual resurgence of ethnic nationalism which in turn generated economic ruptures and divided societies. The task of preventing this crisis on the continent has been an onerous one.

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