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African security in the twenty-first centuryChallenges and opportunities$
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Stephen Emerson and Hussein Solomon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526122735

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526122735.001.0001

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Identity conflict

Identity conflict

(p.35) 3 Identity conflict
African security in the twenty-first century

Stephen Emerson

Hussein Solomon

Manchester University Press

A basic feature of the universal human condition is the need to find commonality with others and form larger associations at the individual, group, and community level. This is at the heart of the concept of identity. A variety of factors ranging from physical attributes, language, and culture to societal norms and structures work to promote a self-awareness and self-consciousness of sameness with a larger collective. Probably nowhere else in the world is group identity—be it ethnic, racial, religious, sectarian or communal—so closely associated with persistent, and even genocidal, violence than in Africa. This makes identity conflict a primary threat to peace and security on the continent.

Keywords:   violence, ethnic conflict, religious and sectarian conflict, communal conflict, genocide, resource competition, Nigeria, Rwanda, Chad, Somalia

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