The borders of African nations today reflect the pathology born from aspirate populations living Within boundaries drawn by White colonists in the years between 1880 and 1900. Foreign ministers of fourteen European nations and the United States met at the Berlin residence Of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck for the purpose of establishing ground rules for the future exploitation of Africa. Africans were not invited to the conference in Berlin or made privy to the decisions made there (Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts 304-305).
The Berlin Conference laid the groundwork for the ego. Political map of Africa that we see today, with the domains of the super powers superimposed on the intent. The map of Africa that was created is the direct result of insatiable demand for minerals, markets and greed. Africans problems have been further exacerbated by the influence of missionaries and corporate giants. As Africa regained its independence in the 1 950/5, the legacy of political, ethnic and religious fragmentation could not be eliminated.Order now
Doffs Africa must be looked at in light of its patterns of artificial states that were created as a result of the original Berlin conference, and subsequently upheld when the Organization of African unity (JIAO) convened in 1963. The AAU decided that sticking with inherited borders promoted “stability”. Artificial states are those in which the political borders do not coincide with a division of nationalities desired by the people on the ground (Artificial States 2).
Agreements between former colonizers have resulted in the creation Of monstrosities in Which religious, ethnic, and linguistics were unified or separated with no concern for the particular interests Of those groups. Eighty percent Of today’s African borders follow longitudinal or latitudinal lines (Artificial States 2). It is the belief many scholars that creating ethnically fractured countries, or separating same peoples onto bordering countries through the use of artificial borders is at the root of Africans economic tragedy.
The damage done by the creation of artificial states by colonizers is not limited to the continent of Africa; examples are visible around the globe. The Middle East and Iraq are examples of failed states where conflict and economic misery abound in borders left over by former colonizers. These borders bear little resemblance to the natural division Of the peoples in the area and maintaining these borders has been shown over time to perpetuate unrest and disharmony, exulting in civil and tribal war and genocide. The drawing of artificial borders by colonizers caused these problems in four identifiable ways.
Initially, they gave territories to one group, ignoring the fact that another group had already claimed that land. The borders that were created split groups of people, either ethnically, religiously or linguistically into different countries which resulted in unrest in the countries that were formed. In some instances, groups that wanted independence were combined to form one nation, and in instances where there were no major ethnic differences, the new nations ere a group of tribes, families or villages that did not have a unified national identity, The result continues to destroy the inhabitants of these African nations.
The ongoing crises in such states as Angola, the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia suggest that colonial mapping has not created a stable basis for nationhood in Africa. The world cannot stand by and watch the continent devour itself as a result of the actions of actions taken by greedy western colonizers more than a century ago. Opponents to the redrawing national borders in Africa fear that redrawing rings additional pain and suffering to the people of Africa.
Some would argue that more fighting would result as states vie for land creating more instability. Others believe that with the thousands of ethnic groups in Africa creating a homogeneous state would be impossible without creating a mass Of tiny African nations. Fundamentally, there is also the issue of vivo will pay for the implementation Of new national borders. While there may be costs associated with change, there is also high cost in terms Of human lives lost While maintaining the Status quo- Ethnic violence has killed 1. 0,000 in Rwanda and Burundi (1959-1995) as the result of massacres between Hut and Tutsis tribes. In Ethiopia (1962-1992), tofu million people have died as a result of simultaneous civil wars along with the resulting major famine and dictatorial repression (White). The world cannot stand by and watch the death toll rise, The World should support the choices of the various African nations and people by immediately recognizing the national sovereignty that results from their choice to form their own nation.
We have failed to recognize the relative successes that have resulted from secession in Africa, Assimilation, a secessionist action located at the northern tip to Somalia declared independence trot Somalia in While the rest of Somalia has reverted to a lawless haven for international terrorists and pirates, Assimilation President Mohamed Gal has created a working administration and a fragile peace. Despite this success, the United Nations, as well as the America and Europeans nations have all refused to recognize Somalia’s independence.
Swift recognition and support of independence by the rest of the world will help give Assimilation a fighting chance. While the Sudanese struggle with their secession issues, believe their anal choice should both respected, recognized and supported. Nigeria, and the DIR (Congo) might also benefit from redrawing. The model for African success is not universal, or imposed by outsiders. Conflicts that appear ethnic at the outset can be truly territorial at their core. Countries could be framed by the geography of their ethnic make up, their common language or religion.
Democracy could flourish in these smaller States, states that would be both more compact and manageable for governance. These nations would still not be small when compared With European nations such as Slovenia or Slovakia. While all conflicts in Africa will not cease with the redrawing of national borders, they will go from being civil wars to interstate conflicts. The international community has much stronger deterrents to handle such country-to-country skirmishes than internal civil wars.