Trans-border Ethnic Solidarity and Citizenship Conflicts in some West and Central African states

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Onah, E.I.
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This paper is a study of the phenomenon of trans-border ethnic relations and its impact on national integration and citizenship in the countries of West and Central Africa where trans-border ethnic groups exist. Despite the existence of many such groups in these regions, and the numerous problems associated with the continued relations among these groups across their countries of abode, the phenomenon has not been seriously studied, especially as it concerns the identification of members of such groups and how they are viewed by members of other ethnic groups, as citizens of one country or the other. This paper notes that trans-border ethnic solidarity ordinarily presents the relevant African states with two possibilities, namely: enormous benefits accruing from regional integration and cooperation among states harbouring fractions of trans-border ethnic groups; or, debilitating conflicts within and between these states. It is the reality of the latter possibility that this paper examines. The states and the international system are often incapable of containing this phenomenon of trans-border ethnic solidarity and usually respond in hostile ways, ultimately manifesting in citizenship problems. The study shows, however, that what is needed is not conflict but cooperation – within and between states having fractions of a trans-border ethnic group, and within the international system, for the enhancement of national citizenship and development in West and Central Africa.
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citizenship , conflict , national integration , trans-border ethnic solidarity , Tutsi , Mandingo , Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Political science
Onah, E.I. (2015). Trans-border Ethnic Solidarity and Citizenship Conflicts in some West and Central African states. African Security Review, (24)1, pp. 63-74.