Repercussions Of The Scottish Referendum For Africa

Over the next four days or so, the people of Scotland who, with England, Wales and Northern Ireland form the United Kingdom of Great Britain, with Queen Elizabeth II as the Head, would be heading for the polls, in a referendum to determine whether or not they should continue to belong to the Union.

 Much as one cannot deny them the right to do so, we are somehow at a loss as to why they should now  think of seceding , should the vote go that way, rather than staying in the Union and negotiating with London about their concerns, grievances and problems.

We are also worried over how the assets of the United Kingdom could be shared without disadvantaging the other members, and how Scotland, as a nation, could fare in the comity of nations.

While admitting that the former Yugoslavia disintegrated, Czechoslovakia was balkanised into the Czech and Slovak Republics, and almighty Soviet Union got dissolved, we want to question the viability of the countries which emerged out of them, on the greater world landscape. Have they been better off with independence and statehood?

How viable has been Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania, among others, economically and politically?

History tells us how the Europeans came to Africa, scrambled for land, created countries whose borders were arbitrarily drawn after the famous Berlin Conference of 1884/85. The European Colonisers were aware of the amorphous countries they left behind, with families, houses and economic activities cut through by boundaries, from which Africa has still not recovered.

We have not lost sight of how three distinct countries were brought together to form Nigeria in 1914, and the misunderstanding between the Americo-Liberians and the indigenes, which culminated in the Liberian Civil War in recent times. We can go on and on.

And now that Scotland wants to secede from a Union of over 300 years, what are its repercussions for Africa? Are African nations observing, to use it as the fillip to explode? Are the Biafrans going to assert themselves again in Nigeria? How about the Oromos in Ethiopia? And the Luo and the Kikuyu in Kenya? What about the Bugandas of Uganda? Would they continue to co-exist peacefully in the countries they are in today?

Already, Mali is on fire; so is the Central African Republic. Burundi and Rwanda, with their Hutus and Tutsis, still recovering from the ashes of war. We haven’t forgotten the goings-on in South Sudan, just after independence, and the flames in Gaddafi’s Libya, after his ouster.

Wouldn’t groups or ethnic and religious groups in these countries take a cue from Scotland and also secede? And what would be their clout on the world political arena, should they do so?

This is why we are not very happy with the Scottish referendum as its results may spell doom for Africa.

 We, therefore, ask the Scots to take the Queen’s admonition to them seriously, think deeply of the future, and keep the United Kingdom as one. The unity, continued cohesion and survival of many countries, especially in Africa, rests on them. They should not fail the world.

The United Kingdom must continue to exist, with Scotland as part of it.

We wish them well!

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