Examples Of Cultural Identity Conflict In West Africa

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2.1 Introduction

This chapter reviews key concepts and mechanisms of cultural identity conflicts, identity conflicts in West-Africa as well as some select approaches of social communication for conflict resolution in the available literature.

2.2 Perspectives on cultural identity conflicts in West-Africa

Cultural identity or inter-ethnic conflicts have existed since the dawn of humanity, although it is recently that scholars and intellectuals in general seems to have become more conscious about it, following the end of the cold war (Isajiw, 2000). Cultural identity conflicts concern all regions of the world, including the African continent and, by extension its West-African sub-region. Such conflicts are also the most susceptible to trigger massive loss of human lives, for as Kaplan (1994) emphasizes it, “the real borders are the most tangible and intractable ones: those of culture and tribe”.

According to Nkwachukwu (2006), ethnic conflict is a highly complex social phenomenon which poses a major threat to the society in Nigeria. In that West-African country alone, more than 100,000 people have lost their lives in more than 50 conflicts with an ethnic and or religious character since the end of the military rule in 1999 (Ebo, 2000); which means without taking into account the death toll of the more recent Niger Delta conflict, the Boko Haram ethno-religiously motivated terrorist attacks or the past Biafra war, one of the deadliest in contemporary West-Africa.

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