Why didn't African Communists federalize their countries along ethnic lines?

abram

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
2,181
oklahoma
The great experiments with federalism in sub-Saharan Africa were Nigeria and Cameroon, neither being Communist. Nigeria, like the United States, experienced civil war, and Cameroon abandoned federalism for a unitary system,as a rare example of unification between a former British and a former French colony. Why the particular interest in Communist countries?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
24,628
SoCal
Apologies for bumping this thread after so long; however, I have a question which is relevant here:

Burundi is very similiar to Rwanda. Nigeria and Uganda also have strong ethnic identities and a history of ethnic conflict. In the east of Congo there is also conflict along ethnic lines.
Is this also true for Ethiopia?

Indeed, it appears that, in 1991, Ethiopia was federalized along ethnic lines--with an eventual right of secession for Ethiopia's various constituent parts being added later on (I'm trying not to go beyond this forum's 1991 limit for historical events):

http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1078&context=africancenter_icad_archive

Thus, what I am curious about is this--did the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tigrayan_People's_Liberation_Front ) decide to federalize Ethiopia along ethnic lines in 1991--after they seized power in Ethiopia--due to them being influenced by Marxism and due to Ethiopia having a history of ethnic tensions and ethnic nationalism?

Indeed, do you have any information about the reasons for this decision on their part, GJC (and everyone else as well)?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
24,628
SoCal
Kenya is the first country that comes up to my mind. Probably Mali, Niger or Sudan.

Maybe Nigeria might be included, but I'm not certain about that one.

Did you ever been in Africa, btw?
Question--is this also true for Ethiopia? After all, I know that Ethiopia was federalized along ethnic lines in 1991.
 
Aug 2014
1,192
Portugal
Why didn't African Communists federalize their countries along ethnic lines (which is what the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia actually did)?
The African "Communist" rebels who fought the Portuguese Empire in 1960's and 1970's were in general from the urban middle class and a diverse group (there were whites, blacks, mixed and even Indians).


I think they were Nationalist in the sense they wanted to create Nations and not federations of pre existing ethnicities. They had a progressive and not a traditionalist project in mind.

And again, some of them were white and mixed or Indian (in the case of Mozambique). It is beyond just strictly African ethnicities.

It was also anathema to them to recreate South African Apartheid or even a much softer version of it.

In Angola, at least, it was always the National identity that prevailed. If you are more identified with your ethnic group you are a sort of redneck. Yet, ethnicities are respected and treated as a rich and diverse environment. But what is really important is the Nation.

It is not a coincidence that the Angolan anthem (inspired by Le Marsellaise), ends with "One people, one Nation!". And it's in Portuguese, not in the language of a major African ethnic group.

On the other hand, the right wing, anti-communist rebels, were (and still are) much more ethnic conscious. They even participated in ethnic violence against Portuguese and other African ethnicities. They also allied to South Africa Apartheid.

The Cuban military intervention in Congo was a complete failure. In Angola it was a success. The ethnic reality in these neighbour countries were different and played a role in the Cuban strategy to help the African Leftists.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,780
Portugal
Thanks for this info; also, frankly, it's certainly a shame that it's harder for Black Angolans to immigrate to Portugal and to successfully assimilate there. :(
I know that this quote is old, but since you recovered this all thread, and I had read it, I must ask why you state this?

Although there are some racial problems in Portugal these problems aren’t the ones that define the relation between the two countries, it is not that hard for Angolans to migrate to Portugal and integrate in its society. I had tons of Angolan students or Portuguese of Angolan origins in my classes and they all where integrated and few wanted to return to Angola.

There are bi-lateral agreements in this area and also in the educational area that allow Angolans to study in Portugal. Similar happens to the other PALOP (Portuguese African speaking) countries.

Until quite recently Angola was a top investor in Portugal and with capital also people came. Also until recently there was (and still is) a strong Portuguese community working in Angola.

As a curious side note recently Angolan music and some Angolan singers made a huge success in Portugal. One (Anselmo Ralph) was even a member of a jury in one of those TV music contests. And some time ago there was a Portuguese Soap Opera about Angola and Angolans.
 
Aug 2014
1,192
Portugal
I know that this quote is old, but since you recovered this all thread, and I had read it, I must ask why you state this?

Although there are some racial problems in Portugal these problems aren’t the ones that define the relation between the two countries, it is not that hard for Angolans to migrate to Portugal and integrate in its society. I had tons of Angolan students or Portuguese of Angolan origins in my classes and they all where integrated and few wanted to return to Angola.

There are bi-lateral agreements in this area and also in the educational area that allow Angolans to study in Portugal. Similar happens to the other PALOP (Portuguese African speaking) countries.

Until quite recently Angola was a top investor in Portugal and with capital also people came. Also until recently there was (and still is) a strong Portuguese community working in Angola.

As a curious side note recently Angolan music and some Angolan singers made a huge success in Portugal. One (Anselmo Ralph) was even a member of a jury in one of those TV music contests. And some time ago there was a Portuguese Soap Opera about Angola and Angolans.
Can't agree more.

There are very strong bonds between these two countries and a Love/Hate relationship.

In popular culture, Angolan music is fashionable in Portugal from lower to higher classes. In the same way Angolans are very strong fans of Portuguese football teams and love Portuguese food.

But off course not everything is perfect. There's still political disagreement and some xenophobia and racism from both Angolans and Portuguese.


There's even post colonial contact between Portugal and Angola. In the end the Portuguese Marxist helped the Angolan Marxist to gain independence and hold power.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,780
Portugal
In popular culture, Angolan music is fashionable in Portugal from lower to higher classes. In the same way Angolans are very strong fans of Portuguese football teams and love Portuguese food.
How could I forget the Football?! But you forgot the beer! “Super Bock” and “Sagres” are two references in Angola :D

Anyway, today the political differences are obvious. Economy and economic interests apart, I think that it is hard to any Portuguese, or Angolans living in Portugal, to support politically current Angolan’s regime. Not that the Portuguese “geringonça” is perfect, quite far from it, but at least Portugal can still call itself a democracy.
 
Aug 2014
1,192
Portugal
it is hard to any Portuguese, or Angolans living in Portugal, to support politically current Angolan’s regime.
I think it is also hard for Angolans in Angola to support the current regime. But their voices are rarely heard.

I also think that the relationship between Angola and Portuguese elites contribute to the silencing of this voices, to some extent at least.

In some Portuguese circles (sometimes even the Media) there's a discomfort and hesitation in denouncing Angolan "internal affairs". This is also part of the close relationship between the two countries and its elites.


Not that the Portuguese “geringonça” is perfect, quite far from it, but at least Portugal can still call itself a democracy.
Even though I didn't vote for this government, or even support it, I think we've found (in general) the best solution. Not only in comparison to Angola, but also within the EU. Just look to what happened in neighbour Spain, and what may happen in France and Holland...

Let's see what happens in 2017 in Europe and Angola, both with important elections this year...