PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Navigating manifestations
 
Comments: 3
Article views: 925
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Navigating manifestations's badges.
 

Ethnic war

08 March 2013, 19:12

The government of  South Africa has taken bold constitutional steps to reduce tension, but the continuing ethnic and religious conflicts raise questions about the effectiveness of these mechanisms.

Ethnic conflict has been at the heart of both South Africa’s development problems. Politicised ethnicity has been detrimental to national unity and socio-economic well-being. It is important to note that most of these ethnic conflicts were caused by colonialism, which compounded inter-ethnic conflict by capitalising on the isolation of ethnic groups. The divide-and-conquer method was used to pit ethnicities against each other, thus keeping the people from rising up against the colonisers. Distribution of economic resources was often skewed to favour a particular group, pushing marginalized groups to use their ethnicity to mobilise for equality. These are the seeds of conflict.

There are some common conflict patterns. They include:

 1. The demand for ethnic and cultural autonomy,

2. Competing demands for land, money and power, and

3. Conflicts taking place between rival ethnic groups.

Ethnicity has a strong influence on one's status in a community. Ethnic conflicts are therefore often caused by an attempt to secure more power or access more resources. Conflict in Africa is synonymous with inequality. Wherever such inequality manifests among groups, conflict is inevitable.

Economic factors have been identified as one of the major causes of conflict in Africa. Ethnic communities violently compete for property, rights, jobs, education, language, social amenities and good health care facilities.

Another major cause of ethnic conflict is psychology, especially the fear and insecurity of ethnic groups during transition. It has been opined that extremists build upon these fears to polarise the society. Additionally, memories of past traumas magnify these anxieties. Ethnic conflict is a sign of a weak state or a state embroiled in ancient loyalties.

Ethnicity will remain, and that the stability of African states is threatened not by ethnicity per se, but the failure of national institutions to recognise and accommodate ethnic differences and interests. The lesson for ethnic conflict management is that governments should not discriminate against groups or they will create conflict. Ethnicity is a biological and fixed characteristic of individuals and communities.

Mostly as a result of distributive injustice, ethnicity remains an effective means of survival and mobilization. Ethnic groups that form for economic reasons, easily disband after achieving their objectives. Ethnicity is "a construct" rather than a constant.

Ethnic conflict explains that ethnic groups fight because they are denied not only their biological needs, but also psychological needs that relate to growth and development. These include peoples' need for identity, security, recognition, participation, and autonomy.

Conflict management means constructive handling of differences. It is an art of designing appropriate institutions to guide inevitable conflict into peaceful channels. Conflict is inevitable in any society where people are denied their basic human needs for identity, equality, recognition, security, dignity and participation. It is also likely wherever the performance of a government is believed to be against the national interest and where government policy is biased in favour of a certain ethnic group.

The role of good political leadership cannot be overemphasized., the importance of civil society in ethnic conflict management.

Peace in Africa is not the absence of war, but the provision of the people's basic human needs.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Carla Franco
Submitted by
Ross Parker
New Tech for New Africa

 Read more...

1 comments 103 views
Submitted by
Bill Gordon
Best Ways To Sell A Car That Does...

It’s often easy to think of our cars as people, sometimes even friends. Sadly, however, cars don't tend to last as long as people do.  Read more...

5 comments 2425 views
Submitted by
Lesego Setou
5 Reasons why I love my president

One of the things JZ can do well, is that he does not take life too seriously. He clearly understand that worrying is never good for one’s vitality Read more...

72 comments 3396 views
Submitted by
Govan Toni Maart
Can South Africa Can-can for Cann...

Before I can address the negatives or benefits of cannabis, we all first have to take a look at the current state our country and Government is in. Read more...

9 comments 803 views
Submitted by
Abwana Boomklouf
Smile, things can't get much wors...

Even though every day we hear stories of new maintenance issues, more money being poured into an bucket with no bottom and other other failing pieces of our economic structure, one must realise things can only get so much worse. Read more...

9 comments 942 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.