Ethnicity in African Politics

I would like to thank the author of the Opinion page article "Ethnic Loyalties Are on the Rise Globally," Dec. 28, particularly for stressing that there is no difference between Africa's "tribalism" and Europe's "nationalism" or "ethnopolitics."

Although the author addresses the present tribal conflicts well, he is very misinformed about their cause. It is true that tribes were involved in minor conflicts before European involvement. The current conflicts, however, are the results of none other than Europe's work.

The fact is that Europeans came to steal, kill, and rape, and the way they ruled was by bribing tribal leaders and by instigating violence between tribes, much like what the South African whites are doing now. The popular blame of European colonialists for the condition of Africa's tribal relations is justified. Benyam S. Denebe, Makanda, Ill.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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