Public Seminar Series, Trinity term 2013. Seminar by Dr Jeremie Gilbert (University of East London) recorded on 22 May 2013 at the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford.
The last decade has witnessed a constitutional revival in Africa, with several countries adopting new constitutions. Several of these constitutions have been adopted following serious ethnic tensions, especially in the Great Lakes region. Because of the nature of the ethnic conflicts which were rooted in the repression of minority communities, the new constitutional frameworks regarding ethnicity and minority rights are going to be extremely significant for the peace and stability of the region. By analysing the recently adopted constitutions of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, this presentation examined the extent to which some of the most recently adopted constitutions of the continent are addressing, or not, the rights of the most marginalised minority communities. By focusing on the Great Lakes region, this presentation wished to explore why there is still a general reluctance towards the recognition of minority rights in most African constitutions.