What is it about?

Rights disparity within a population, alongside an unresolved and long‐standing feud concerning minority rights, is a key factor in fuelling agitation and violence in a country. Consequently, it has a significant effect on a state’s peace, security, and development. This article presents a comparative analysis regarding the violence experienced in Southern Cameroon and in Southeastern Nigeria. The analysis is carried out using a qualitative approach based on a revised model of Relative Deprivation (RD) theory. Documentary evidence focusing on the causes of violence is analysed to explain specific factors associated with minority rights. The article argues that while the two cases studied are quite distinct, there are also certain similarities which illustrate how state‐destabilizing violence originates out of horizontal inequalities created by a state’s government. This conclusion is showcased in a model of RD theory as it relates to West Africa and the Central African States.

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Why is it important?

The focus on Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. As an Africanist, other countries or at least Nigerian neighboring countries witnessing insecurity needs to be reconnoitered. Apart from international Organizations documenting, collating, and presenting insecurity issues in the region; very little of the situation in Cameroon is reflected in the literature. The Cameroon conflict is similar to the Biafra conflict in Nigeria and both are escalating at the moment which also deserves attention. This piece made an attempt using comparative analysis to bring the Cameroon conflict situation to the academic spotlight with the hope that more researchers will get involved.


Violence and Minority rights in West and Central Africa

Kingsley Emeka Ezemenaka

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This page is a summary of: Minority rights and violence: A comparative analysis of the conflict in Southern Cameroon and Biafran separatism in Nigeria, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, April 2021, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/sena.12343.
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