Identities, Conflict and Africa’s Refugee Crises

Identities, Conflict and Africa’s Refugee Crises

Author by Dr. Olajumoke Yacob-haliso

Journal/Publisher: The Palgrave Handbook Of African Politics, Governance And Development

Volume/Edition: 1

Language: English

Pages: 353 - 366


This chapter is an exposition of the manifestations of identity politics that have resulted in conflict and subsequent displacement of persons on the African continent. Identities are universal cleavages, drawing strength and salience from the specific social, political and economic contexts where they have an impact. This chapter argues that beyond the colonial origins of ethnicity, race and other social identities in Africa, analysing conflicts on the continent can yield knowledge about the intersecting personal (identities) and structural (political, socio-economic, regional) factors that moderate politics. Africa’s refugees in this milieu are at once, cause, symptom, consequence and perpetuators of conflict and the negative implications of identity politics, exemplified particularly in the Great Lakes region of Africa, specifically Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire (the Democratic Republic of the Congo), amongst others.

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