Tribe and Divisionism

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 Last revised: 24 Mar 2015

See all articles by Stephen Kaduuli

Stephen Kaduuli

Citizens for Public Justice; York University

Date Written: January 25, 2015


On December 15, 2013, an internecine war broke out in the world’s newest nation – South Sudan. It pitted a Nuer language speaking faction of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) together with an ethnic militia called the White Army all led by former Vice President Riek Machar against the Dinka language speaking SPLA faction led by cowboy President Salvatore Kiir. This is a very sad state of affairs for the suffering civilians in South Sudan and for Africa in general because thousands of South Sudanese have since died. To the rest of the world, these deaths have occurred because of tribal differences. This tends to reinforce tribal stereotypes about the continent because in the global north, the mere mention of the word Africa immediately conjures up the words like "tribe", “tribesman or tribeswoman." Of Asia one hears on major western news networks, on a daily basis, talk of “tribal areas” of Pakistan, Afghanistan and so forth. Which begs the question, are “tribes” found only in the global south? What are they anyway? This paper explores tribe, tribalism, race and racism.

Keywords: tribe, tribalism, race, racism, Uganda, Africa

JEL Classification: J18, J10, J60, J70, J71, J78, J79

Suggested Citation

Kaduuli, Stephen Charles, Tribe and Divisionism (January 25, 2015). Available at SSRN:

Stephen Charles Kaduuli (Contact Author)

Citizens for Public Justice ( email )

334 MacLaren Street - Suite 200
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0M6

York University ( email )

4700 Keele St.
York Lanes
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3


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