Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Africa: Kosovo Revives Hopes for Secession

The recognition of Kosovo by some of the West’s major powers is boosting the hopes of secessionist movements across Africa , according to this news item . In an article titled “Kosovo—the precedent that will enflame Africa,” a columnist for the Ivoirian newspaper Notre Voie predicts a revival of secessionist groups across the continent and doubts that the international community will be able to resolve the resulting crises.

“The world is about to witness… another political and diplomatic revolution which may give birth to some new nations," reads an opinion piece published on, a website that caters to the autonomous region of the same name that seeks to secede from Somalia.

“Kidal will follow the example of Kosovo to become independent,” reads a forum entry on, a website named after a city in the northeastern part of Mali that is home to a Touareg rebellion that has clashed sporadically with governmental forces.

“This hard-won freedom by Kosovar citizens will serve as an example for the future autonomy of Kabylia,” wrote a contributor to, a website committed to the affirmation of Algeria’s Kabyle Berbers, who resent the arabization of the country at the expense of the Amazigh culture.

At, one of Senegal’s major news sites, one commentator wonders if the Senegal's government’s recognition of Kosovo will not reignite the separatist tendencies of MFDC, a rebel group that wants independence for the southern Casamance region.

Africa’s strongest case will likely come from Western Sahara, which has been recognized as an independent country by the African Union but whose sovereignty is not effective because of Morocco’s insistence that it is a province of its kingdom. A Saharawi blogger at, noted what he regards as the inconsistency of Western powers: “In Kosovo they imposed an independence that was not based on international legality, but in Western Sahara they’re opposed to self-determination that has been recommended multiple times by that same legality.”
Another wrote “Kosovo is an example of how we can effectively make our case,”

Article 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights affirms "the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination," but this has to be balanced against the inviolability of territorial boundaries that resulted from colonization (the so-called uti possidetis principle under Article 4 of the African Union’s Constitutive Act).

1 comment:

Acfo said...

Kosovo (Albanian: Kosova or Kosovë) is a country in the southeastern Europe, Its Provisional Institutions of Self-Government have recently declared independence from the genocidal Serbia, which contested the act; as the Republic of Kosovo