Friday, February 16, 2007

The complexities of colonialism continue to work their way out in Africa

Once again this post diverges from "early history" but it is quite relevant to material my students are studying in World History and the History of Islamic Civilization. I'm linking here to an article in the Times Online about Rwanda's intention to join the (British) Commonwealth. Rwanda, Burundi, and the neighboring (Democratic Republic of the) Congo (once Zaire) were under Belgian rule in the early 20th century, which put them in the French-speaking zone of influence. The current President of Rwanda charges that France's efforts to maintain the French language in Africa led them to support the previous ruling group responsible for the famous Rwandan genocide. Kagame, who has been influenced by British culture (cricket) and speaks English, is mad enough to break off all relations with France and join the club that used to be called "the British Empire."

I'm in no position to evaluate the various claims made and implied in this article, but I wanted to make it available.


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