From Darfur to the Rwandan genocide, journalists, policymakers, and scholars have blamed armed conflicts in Africa on ancient
hatreds or competition for resources. Here, Tsega Etefa compares three such cases-the Darfur conflict between Arabs and non-Arabs,
the Gumuz and Oromo clashes in Western Oromia, and the Oromo-Pokomo conflict in the Tana Delta-in order to offer a fuller
picture of how ethnic violence in Africa begins. Diverse communities in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya alike have long histories
of peacefully sharing resources, intermarrying, and resolving disputes. As he argues, ethnic conflicts are fundamentally political
conflicts, driven by non-inclusive political systems, the monopolization of state resources, and the manipulation of ethnicity
for political gain, coupled with the lack of democratic mechanisms for redressing grievances.