Tribalism Surfaces Only In Politics

ML Sillah was the former head of Amnesty International Gambia
ML Sillah was the former head of Amnesty International Gambia

Gambian ethnologist has attributed ethnic conflicts in Africa to political power struggle.

Ebrima Kamara, who has conducted many researches and studies on ethnic issues in Africa, said the vast majority of trigger points have to do with political power struggle between competing elites. “The elites create the environment where the masses get entangled in wars and in-fighting thus allowing them to continue the colonial legacy of divide and rule,” Mr. Kamara, a guest of The Talking Point on Kairo Radio, said.

The Sweden-based Gambian explained how pre-colonial Africans used to co-exist along language lines and laying little emphasis on tribe and ethnicity. Mr Kamara argued that it is nearly impossible to find a 100% breed individual who has zero connection to other ethnic groups in Africa.

Therefore, Ebrima argued, the problems in tribal wars, and tensions like the one brewing in Guinea all have to do with politics. “The everyday life of ordinary person has no significance to their tribe or ethnicity.”

Kamara squarely blamed politicians in Africa of perpetrating and fanning ethnic strive. You can listen to Ebrima Kamara’s eloquent and carefully stated conversation with Mohammed Lamin Sillah today. In this chat Ebrima Kamara has proven his mastery of Mandinka, one of West Africa’s complex and rich languages.



  1. lamin Kommah

    Great stuff Mr Sillah and Ebrima. Keep it up.

  2. Dida Halake

    Indeed Mr. Sillah – infact, outside politics, Africans, and more so Gambians, live together in a spirit of HUMANITY far better than Europeans do.
    This week, UK Deputy PM Nick Clegg’s BBC News Headline was about the “Horrendous Tribalism in British Politics”. The irony though was that there was not ONE Black or Asian face in Mr. Clegg’s attentive audience – they were all CLONES of Mr. Clegg – his Tribe!

  3. Very true…….. A very great piece
    abarika camara.

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