Tribe and Divisionism
Posted: 27 Jan 2015 Last revised: 24 Mar 2015
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: Suggested Citation