chapter  13
Separatism in Africa
ByPierre Englebert
Pages 10

This chapter presents an empirical overview of separatist demands and secessionist conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa, stressing their relative scarcity. It singles out two central variables that constrain the decision of African actors to seek secession: the rules of international recognition of new states (and the particular African doctrine in this matter) and the relatively unique nature of Africa’s post-colonial states. It then reviews the continent’s main secessionist insurgencies in light of these two dimensions. In conclusion, it discusses the extent to which the independence of South Sudan in 2011 altered these two variables and whether it might have precedent value for other African separatist movements.