In relatively poor African societies, the determination of priorities on the nature of social relations proves a particularly trying task, for public authorities lack the capacity to satisfy the claims of all contending parties at one and the same time. A spirit of accommodation among leaders facilitates the process of working out a mutually satisfactory balance between the claims of state control and ethnic autonomy. Positing the necessity of a multinational African reality, it seems not unlikely that incompatible values will at times arise regarding such abstract concepts as state control and ethnic autonomy. As ethnic groups press their demands for autonomy upon central decision-makers, some form of governmental response is required. The principle of territorial autonomy is relevant to interethnic relations when circumstances permit a distribution of the powers of the state, temporarily or permanently, among various levels of administration or government.