A few years ago, tens of thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians have been expelled against their will when the two countries started war (May, 1998 - June, 2000) The Eritreans and Ethiopians who happen to be respectively living in each other's country have lived there for most of their lives, in some cases many of them don't know their country of origin. And yet Meles and Isaias after having accused each other of human rights violation. This is an irony that when many countries in Africa are busy trying to organise a Union of African States to replace the useless, that the OAU has become.
The reasons for these mass expulsions and violence are almost always the same in each country, "patriotic" citizens are quick to assert, nationalistically, that the "outsiders" have come to take over their resources, their jobs and what have you. Therefore, though the grievances of the masses may be related to economic factors, it is unreasonable to blame it on their fellow poor workers.
In order to ward off unrest various tactics are employed by governments. One of them is creating divisions among the poor workers by, for instance blaming foreigners and whipping up nationalistic feelings. In response to the official propaganda, the masses who are hungry and illiterate are taken in by the government policy.
Since anger is emotional and overpowers reason, the least provocations can result in violence often misdirected. Such violence can be vented against fellow citizens usually manifested in riots. The violence is also invariably be turned loose on the "aliens". This is the real cause of xenophobia the rich pitting the poor against the poor.
In the past when Africa didn't have artificial boundaries such as there are today, wars and hatred were not as rife.
Making up nations have taken a great deal of building. There is almost no nation-state that has not had its boundaries drawn in blood. Its foundation dug out of human flesh. America was built on the bodies of native population. It is a process that continues today in Africa. The effort, though, has to be ongoing. States have required the use of an education system, to standardise learning, spread a national history and a sense of shared culture.
The idea of "the nation", functions as supreme good, beyond the physical and mechanical functionings of the State, to which any cause may appeal. It is a fantasy, which can be used to cover up for problems and contradictions in the practice of the State's daily life, its function is to legitimise both the state and class rule, and sustain a large quantity of support, through workers who identify with the ideas of nationhood and believe themselves to be the same as and have the same interests as, their masters.
In the powerful nation's history becomes a means of winning popular emotions to cause of stability. An influential and well funded nostalgia industry has long been used in these nation's to persuade workers that there is something great about being the nation's subject.
The valid definition of a modern nation is a geographical and political area in which goods and services are produced for the sale on the market with a view to profit and with the general class division of ruling and ruled. And the fact that the majority of population owns little but its ability to work is evidence the working class has no common interest with the minority ruling class.