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By Carolyn Pumphrey

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African Union and NEPAD I have often dreamed of an African Security Council composed of African military and civilian leaders who would focus on limiting, containing, and ending African conflict. Today, in the fall of 2002, some of my dreams for African unity are approaching realization. Africa entered the twenty-first century restless for changes in the status quo. Shortly after the turn of the millennium, Libya hosted a special summit meeting of the Organization of African Unity to discuss a new agenda for Africa and new continental institutions for such an agenda.

This chapter is broad in scope and introduces some of the themes that will be developed more fully later in the book. As the twenty-first century begins, Africa consists of some fifty-four countries (a number that depends on how you count certain islands). ' This statistic does not include those countries that have had relatively bloodless military coups or occasional assassinations. ) It is true that not all of Africa is afflicted to the same degree. The levels of violence differ greatly. Africa is an immense continent, richly varied in its cultures and peoples, and so large and complex an area that no one can easily predict where violence will occur.

He warned Nigerians that they were being cheated. He too drew support, not from the disadvantaged Nigerians of all ethnic groups, but from all the Yoruba. The Yoruba, moreover, came from all social classes, the rich and the poor. In other words, the ethnic messenger, rather than the economic message, has proved to be what counts in the conflicts among blacks. Modern Weapons and Premodern Armies At independence, weapons in Africa were in general not very advanced, but the armies were relatively disciplined, professional, and in short, modem.

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