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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Citizenship, Rights and the Problem of Internal Conflict and Civil Wars in Africa
Author:Adejumobi, SaidISNI
Periodical:African Journal of Political Science
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:civil wars
human rights
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
Abstract:This paper undertakes a reinterpretation of the problem of internal conflicts and civil wars in Africa, from the perspective of citizenship and rights. The central argument is that although the genealogy and dimensions of conflicts and civil wars in Africa are quite complex and varied, underlying most of those conflicts, especially those that erupted within the last decade, is the issue of citizenship and rights. The construction and nature of the State in Africa, which is rooted in the colonial pedigree, tend towards the institutionalization of ethnic entitlements, rights and privileges, which creates differentiated and unequal status of citizenship. This tendency deindividualizes citizenship and makes it more of a group phenomenon. As such, rather than the State providing a common bond for the people through the tie of citizenship, with equal rights, privileges and obligations, both in precepts and practice, people's loyalties are bifurcated. The result is usually tensions and contradictions in the public sphere as claims of marginalization, exclusion and domination among individuals and groups are rife. The consequence is mostly conflicts and civil wars. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]