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African Rebels And The Citizenship Question

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Chapter Summary

Most African insurgencies in the last decade or two appear to be especially predatory. They have scrambled to control diamonds in Sierra Leone, Angola and Congo. The quest for timber and tradable minerals in these conflicts appears to release rebels from the need to negotiate with local communities. Doing business with foreign operators offers rebels an easy alternative to cultivating good relations with those communities in return for access to resources. A country-by-country survey of Africa would find little evidence that rebels mobilise citizens who can limit their predations. After all, if rebels responded to popular opinions or sought to mobilise broad followings, the continent should be swamped with social revolutions.

Keywords: African rebels; predatory; social revolutions



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