Religious / Ethnic Conflicts Research Paper

Total Length: 1350 words ( 5 double-spaced pages)

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Arabs/Tuareg vs. Africans

Arabs/Tuareg Ethnic Clash with Sub-Saharan Africans

Africa is a very tumultuous continent and for a number of reasons. Whether it be fights relating to race, ethnic squabbles, religion or a combination of the three, wars and problems are not hard to find. North Africa in particular and its proximity to the Middle East makes an already hot situation all that much hotter. One particular conflict that is ongoing and protracted in nature is that which exists between the Tuareg Arabs and the blacks in sub-Saharan Africa. They occupy much of the same areas of Niger, Mali, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria…just to name a few. The problems between the two groups date back at least a thousand years and the wounds run deep for both sides. While there perhaps may be chances for peaceful coexistence in the future, the last thousand years or so will probably prevent that for more centuries to come.

Analysis

Perhaps the main reason that Berbers and blacks in North Africa have been at odds is the fact that the former enslaved the latter for a thousand years with the overall number of black victims of these atrocities numbering nearly 20 million. While the United States abolished slavery in the 1860's during its own civil war, the same did not happen in Mauritania until literally seven years ago in 2007 and it did not start ebbing off until the 1960's. This slavery was so protracted and deep-running that just short a tenth of all Nigeriens were slaves and anywhere from a tenth to a fifth of Mauritanians were as well. The region at large, namely countries like Mali, Niger, Sudan and Chad, have all had very violent uprisings as of late that stratified along ethnic lines. Many who have traveled and know the region will tell anyone who asks how palpable and visceral the animosity is in the area (Van Dyke, 2014).

The most recent of the four countries to have issues would have to be Mali which had an uprising in 2012. Another one happened not long before that in 2007 to 2009 and that maelstrom enveloped both Mali and Niger.
However, one of the more notorious epicenters of violence and war in the region, and another one that has involved and included the Tuareg and sub-Saharan blacks as participants, would be the fighting in South Sudan that lasted from 1983 to 2005, eventually culminating in the South Sudanese getting independence in 2011. However, between 2005 and 2011, the South Sudan conflict spilled over into Chad and that lasted until 2010. Some have gone so far as to say that the countries of Mali, Niger, Sudan and Chad should not even exist in their current form because of what led to their existence both during and after the European colonialism era of Africa. However, the fractures and history that now defines and gives context to how things are now is the same history that will make it extremely hard for either main party to ever "win" the conflict and/or see any peace, not unlike the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In both cases, there has been just too much bad blood, war and horrific acts and behaviors to allow for letting the past go (Van Dyke, 2014)

Indeed, it would seem that the only hope of peace in the area is a forced intervention in the form of the United Nations or perhaps NATO. However, there is a lot of resistance to outsiders meddling in the area and this is no surprise given the history of Europe colonizing and then turning tail and running out of the area over the last century or two as well as the reputation of countries like the United States being imperialists and/or warmongers although those allegations relate more to oil-rich regions like the Middle East. However, there are several countries in Africa like Algeria and Nigeria that have a lot of oil, so it will certainly come up. However, the alternative is to let them fight it out and….....

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