Ethnic Conflicts And Its Effects On Post Colonial Societies

1418 WordsApr 6, 20156 Pages
Today, it is hard to imagine how only sixty years ago the world was dominated by European empires. In 1921, 84 percent of the earth’s surface had been colonised since the sixteenth century. There were as many as 168 colonies. By the 1960s, after years of fighting, most Western colonial territories had gained independence. The following decades showed how much the ghost of colonisation still loomed over post-colonial societies though. Around the world today, conflict is found in many areas that were once colonised or controlled by Western European powers. The cause of many of these continuing and uncontrollable conflicts lies in past colonial policies, especially those regarding territorial boundaries, the treatment of indigenous people, the privileging of some groups over others, the unequal distribution of wealth and resources, local governmental infrastructures, and the formation of non-democratic or non-participatory governmental systems. It is therefore essential, if one wants to understand the causes of these ethnic conflicts, to examine not only the contemporary issues, but also important historical factors such as past colonial policies and their lingering effects. Colonisation was motivated by the European hunger for African resources. The subsequent exploitation of the African people and the uprooting of their spiritual values by Christian missionaries would leave a permanent European stamp on the continent. Colonial states often promoted ethnic rivalry by
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