Gogefroid Manunga-Lukokisa, SVD *
Muslim and Christian Relations Series
The Conflict of 1994 in Northern Ghana From a Missiological Perspective


Introduction

Much has already been written by anthropologists and specialists of Islam in West Africa about the Northern Conflict of 1994 in Ghana. I personally visited the conflict zones (Buipe/Gonja, Saboba and Yendi) and discussed with both Dagomba "Muslims" and Konkomba "Christians" the real reasons for the conflict of 1994.

I benefited much from the valuable documentation I received from Fr Patrick Ryan SJ and the present Bishop of Yendi, whom I wish to thank for encouraging me, a year ago, to compare the information I collected in Yendi, Tamale and Saboba with the sources written by specialists on the issue. I do not pretend to write something totally new. The originality of this article consists in its missiological perspective on this particular field of the Muslim and Christian Relations in Ghana/West Africa. Moreover, it is a reflection of a Catholic and African missionary on a past event but still of burning interest in a continent, beset yearly by religious and political conflicts. I feel morally compelled question and learn from the past, at the same time to find out what have been the causes of the conflicts and the possible ways of resolving them. After suggestions as to how Africans can live with conflicts if we are unable to resolve them all at once.

The conflict of 1994 in Ghana is a example of conflicts, harking back on the systems of land owning by a dominant cultural and religious group in the black African context. Other cases, such as the one in Zimbabwe, will also be studied in the near future.

Since we are dealing with Islam and Christianity as two different world religions in the West African context, it is important to provide the reader with some ideas on the politics of Islam in Northern Ghana. This section will be then followed by a simple description of the causes of the said conflict.

The footnotes and the selected bibliography at the end of this article serve a single purpose: to help us all get a picture of the historical, economical, and political as well as religious factors contributing to the onset of the 1994 conflict.

In the first section, I will present a tribe by tribe historical survey of the four ethnic groups involved directly in the Northern Conflict of 1994. These are the Gonja, Dagomba, Nanumba chieftancies on one hand and the "Stateless" tribes represented by the Konkomba, Krachis and the Gurma.

The second section deals with the relations between the colonial powers and the different Northern Territories of Ghana.

In the last section, I will try to describe, based on various historical concrete data, the religious and cultural factors of the 1994 conflict. This will include some challenges which the political leaders and African pastors in the Northern Region, as a whole, have to face in order to maintain the principle of unity in diversity for a better future for all ethnic groups.

SECTION I: THE POLITICS OF ISLAM IN NORTHERN GHANA

This section treats two main points: the ethnographic context and the historical survey of Islamic influence on the major Northern tribal groups. These two points will give the reader a general idea of the politics and early influence of Islam in Northern Region.

I. Ethnographic context

 The Northern area of Ghana is the huge area situated north of the Black Volta River and the Volta Lake. It is divided geographically into three major parts: the Upper East, Upper West and the Northern Regions. There are about forty ethnic groups in these regions, each with their own distinctive languages.

Among the various Northern Tribes, four are of special interest at the moment. They are the groups of Gonja, Dagomba, and Nanumba with their own chiefs and the cephalous Konkomba (together with the Krachis and the Gurma related to them).

The study of their respective historical background is a great help to understand the real factors of all the ethnic conflicts, including that of 1994, in the Northern Ghana.

1. Historical survey of the islamic influence on the tribes

The Northern ethnic groups of Ghana that we are describing can be classified into two categories: the groups under their own chiefs (Mamprussi, Gonja, Dagomba, Nanumba) and the stateless groups (Konkomba, Keta Krachis and Gurma).

In the centuries, the groups under their own chiefs were warlike, having early contacts with Muslims and exercised political and economic control over smaller ethnic groups. They exercised political influence over the stateless tribes not only during the colonial period but in the postcolonial era as well.

1.1. Gonja political system

If Ndewura Jakpa is considered as the conquering founder of the Gonja state some time in the 16th century, their social and political organization is attributed to King Lata who divided the state into eight village chieftancies: Buipe, Kpembe, Bole, Tuluwe, Kusawugu, Wasipe (or Daboya), Kun (or Kong) and Kandia. A Imam was attached only to big villages entrusted to elderly persons.

Gonja traditional society was divided into three categories of citizens: 1. the rulers, called "Gbanya", 2. the pagan commoners or the"Nyamase"and 3. the Muslim community, called the"Karamo". At the very beginning, the "Nyamase" were regarded as the owners and the first inhabitants of the ancestral land, but the "Karamo", allied to the Muslims, came in early and conquered the land. This gave the Karamo the right to rule over the traditional Gonja Commoners.

The Muslim Community had since then a distinctive and privileged position within the Gonja society because of their powerful influence over the chief’s political system.

Muslim Imams were mainly attached to the traditional centers (Salaga, Kpembe, etc): they were entrusted with the task of praying for the Chiefs’ victory during the wars of conquest and at various occasions, such as the funeral rites after a chief’s death. The latter had to feed the Muslims at their service and defend their rights. These Muslim Imams had no contacts with the commoners, who remained attached to their traditional and religious beliefs; hence, they lived far from them. This attitude prevented the spread of Islam from the main traditional centers to the other chieftancy villages.

Despite their early close relations with Muslims in the courts and the real impact the Muslims had on the political system, the chiefs in the Gonja state never became full Muslims. However, the Larabanga Muslims who came from Gonja contributed to the propagation of the Islamic faith in Dagomba.

The Gonja state maintained a strong army in the past that other ethnic groups could hardly resist them. When the Nanumba showed resistance to Gonja domination, their Konkomba neighbors helped the Nanumba to fight the Gonja.

1.2 The Dagomba

Historical sources on the origin of the Dagomba tell of a legendary "red hunter" as the origin of the Mossi-Dagomba Kingdom.

NA Sitobo is said to be the historical ancestor of the Dagomba, but Islamic elements declare that the founders of the Mossi-Dagomba states were a group of invaders, coming from the north-east or east of Sokoto, who imposed their authority over these stateless tribes during the 13th century.

They established their capital, Yendi, east of the White Volta River, but early 17th century, the powerful Gonja, assisted by traditional religious peoples, called "mallams" who offered prayers for their victory and used firearms, began to challenge them from the west.

Invasions continued on both sides: the Ngonja occupied both the west of the White Volta and south of Daboya after repeated attacks. The Dagomba were defeated; they abandoned their capital Yendi-Dabari, and embarked on the conquest of the eastern part of the Konkomba land during the early 17th Century.

The chief NA Zangina, unlike his predecessors, fearing both isolation and the incursions of the powerful Gonja, put an end to this long period of ethnic conflicts. He embraced Islam which he believed to be the source of the Gonja Chiefs’ power.

After the death of NA Zangina, who was buried at Agbandi (between Nakpali and Sabali), where he probably had his court, relations between Chiefs and Muslim elders in the Dagomba Kingdom, became closer in the court at Yendi

The unified political system the Gonja chiefs adopted contributed to the spread of Islam throughout the area from Yendi, the famous trading center, to the other eastern chieftancies, like Gushiegu, Savelugu and Nanumba. During the 18th-19th centuries, Islam in Dagbon has made considerable progress: Islamic elements were gradually incorporated into the local customs.

1.3. The Nanumba

The history of Nanumba, though very different from the Gonja and other northern ethnic groups, is closely associated with their neighboring Dagomba with whom they share the same historical traditions. Levtzion says that the Nanumba assisted in the wars of Dagomba against the powerful state of Gonja in the years 1713/1892.

Compared to the Dagomba, Islamism in Nanumba is relatively recent since it came from the Dagomba. It was firmly established in Bimbila, the capital, only towards the end of the 19th century.

Unlike the Dagomba chiefs who came totally under Islamic influence, the majority of the Nanumba people remained attached to their "pagan"traditions. In the past, because they were surrounded and were in close contact with the Konkomba, the Krachis and the "Nyamase" or Gonja commoners, the Nanumba were considered by the Dagomba Muslims as "pagan peoples. However, after the Dagomba conquered the Konkomba land, many Konkomba came to settle in the Nanumba chieftaincy.

1.4 The Konkomba

The Konkomba are representative of the acephalous ethnic group in our present discussion. The Konkomba tribes established themselves on the west of the Oti River, around Saboba on the Togo Border.These stateless peoples were traditionally attached to their farming lands until the reign of NA Sitobo, when a group of Dagomba from Yendi or Tamale, strongly armed and riding on horses invaded and drove them out of the territory in the early 17th century. The Konkomba have been, since then, a population constantly on the move.

In search of better farming lands, some of the Konkomba chose to remain in their former territory, then occupied by the Dagomba, from Bimbila to Togo border. Others migrated south into the Nanumba and Gonja areas. Some reached the Nawuri area in the Northern Volta Region and settled on lands from the Volta Lake to the borders of Ashanti Region.

From the very beginning, the Konkomba did not show interest in Islam: they identified it with the Dagomba, their traditional conquerors and enemies.

Because of their close contacts with the Nanumba and their resistance to Islamic influence, the Dagomba considered the Konkomba as "pagans" and "uncivilized Bushmen".

SECTION II: THE NORTHERN TERRITORIES OF GHANA DURING THE COLONIAL PERIOD

1. Colonial powers and the indirect rule

When the British and the Germans arrived in this part of the Gold Coast, the warlike Dagomba, Gonja and Mamprussi were already in contact with the Muslims. Under Islamic rule, they became strong political structures. To maintain order and peace in the northern region of the colony, the colonial powers worked hand in hand with Dagomba and Gonja chiefs. The latter executed the orders received from the colonizers over other ethnic groups, a classic example of the famous colonial "praxis", known as "indirect rule".

Thus, the Dagomba and the Gonja chiefs, in order to serve the colonial interests and their own, made various attempts to subordinate the stateless Konkomba and the related tribes (Krachis and Gurma) under their political and religious control. They never succeeded.

The British and the Germans looked at their rebellious neighbors as true real resource pool for slavery: the stateless population was forced to work for their overlords who imposed on them the regular payment of tribute, in terms of sheep, clothes, corn or money. They were also victims of extortion and heavy fines from their various

"Invaders", namely the Dagomba and the Gonja, supported by the colonial powers. On the other hand, the Nanumba imposed heavy fines on the Konkomba, who were living among them, whenever the Konkomba were found guilty in internal marriage cases.

2. The "stateless" tribes attempts at resistance

In the course of time, the situation proved unbearable for the stateless ethnic groups. As a result, relations between Konkomba and the other tribes under their own chiefs (Dagomba, Gonja and the Nanumba) became aloof and hostile.

This situation provoked internal conflicts and fights between the Konkomba and respective their "rulers": the colonial powers and the chiefly groups of Gonja and Dagomba.

2.1. Colonial powers and their allies Dagomba and Gonja

Aware that the colonial regimes were siding with the Dagomba and the Gonja groups, the rebellious acephalous "Konkomba-Krachis-Gurma" tried desperately to show resistance to the various incursions and other forms of oppression, which were consequences of the unjust indirect rule, but vainly. The situation, instead of changing, became even tenser even after the colonial powers left the independent Gold Coast, now Ghana.

2.2. The Fight for "Konkomba Emancipation"

In 1970, the educated elite, among modern Konkombas, composed of successful businessmen and teachers, founded the famous "KOYA" or "Konkomba Youth Association", which became the official organ of reflection and the concrete expression of Konkomba’s emancipation and liberation movement.

These Konkomba intellectuals prepared themselves in various ways to fight for their rights, namely: 1. the restitution of their land, which was conquered by the Dagomba in the past. 2. The end of extortion and the heavy fines which the Dagomba and Nanumba chiefs had imposed on them in the past.

The uprising of Konkomba in 1981against the Nanumba in their midst, the so called "Konkomba-Nanumba conflict", in which some people lost their lives, is to be understood in this background.

By means of various declarations and ideological interventions, the KOYA members up to now, courageously demand recognition and equal rights for all Ghanaians: the restitution of their ancestral land and the establishment of Konkomba hegemony, independent of the "Ya NA", chief of Dagomba, based at Yendi.

3. The land issue in the postcolonial era

When the British left, the Dagomba and the Gonja chiefs perpetrated the political system of colonial control over the stateless tribes.

The Gonja and Dagomba chiefs respectively claimed ownership of all the farming lands, even those occupied by the pagan Konkomba. The learned Konkomba could not accept this misuse of their ancestral land.

During the precolonial period, land was considered as a common good, or a heritage from their ancestors. Traditional chiefs and headmen had no direct rights over the farms. They ruled instead over "human beings" rather than over land. In other words, the African chiefs’ wealth never consisted in land owning but in goods and services.

John Kirby, quoting Skalnik, puts this clearly:

"Land was not viewed as an economic interest; it was a source of prestige and a means for paying and feeding any army. The jurisdiction of any ruler over his territory did not imply ownership of land. His authority was viewed only in terms of political (i.e. organizational), moral and ideological authority ".

This historical survey shows that for centuries, Islam made a great impact on the Northern Chiefly groups of Gonja, Dagomba and to a certain extent also on the Nanumba.

These close contacts between the Northern tribal Chiefs and Muslims leaders influenced their respective political systems. The Dagomba chiefs as well as the Gonja chiefs carried on the "indirect rule"system of political control over the acephalous tribes. Unlike the Dagomba and the Gonja groups, which assimilated Islam; the "stateless groups" showed an open resistance to the influence of Islam, and remained attached to their traditional customs and beliefs. The Konkomba identified Islam, already in the pre-colonial period, with their traditional enemy, the Dagomba.

It is only in the recent years that the "stateless" tribes, dominated by the Konkomba, showed an interest to Christianity.

While a few become Christians, the majority remains attached to their traditions. In practical terms, this historical factor is often neglected when the ordinary northerners, Dagomba or Konkomba, discuss the reasons of the 1994 conflict.

Many Dagomba to whom I talked to were emphasizing their right to the land they conquered in the past, before the establishment of the Christian Churches. Some Konkombas accused the Dagomba Muslims’ hostility against Christianity that they consider the "Whiteman religion", but which wins some adherents among the Konkomba. With this in mind, it appears necessary to consider also the cultural and religious factors involved in the 1994 conflict.

SECTION III: RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL FACTORS OF THE 1994 NORTHERN CONFLICT

It is clear that while the Dagomba, Gonja and the Nanumba groups under their own chiefs had been in contact with Islam for centuries. Islam had not succeeded in attracting the "stateless ethnic groups", who on the contrary, showed interest in the work of Christian missionaries who brought them education.

1. Religious aspects

The chiefless states (Konkomba, Gurma,Krachi) and CHRISTIANITY

The Protestant Christian churches were the first to evangelize Northern Ghana in the recent years. Catholics and other Protestant denominations followed later. Protestant missionaries excelled in the work of literacy (Bible translation and printing) and in various development projects (agricultural, healthcare centers, etc) among both the chiefly groups and the stateless ones. They empowered the laity with leadership within the Church organization.

The Catholic Church became involved in education and primary evangelization both in the centers and in the rural areas of the stateless tribes. Catholics and Protestant missionaries showed love and concern for the oppressed and helped members of all Northern ethnic groups, regardless their religion (Christians or not).

The Divine Word Missionaries, working among the Konkomba, built not only schools that they opened to either converts or traditionalists, but also churches for the liturgical services and celebrations.

In their missionary activity, they instructed local catechists, who helped them to extend their work to outstations, some time in great numbers.

A good number of Schoolteachers, men and women, as well as leaders of small Konkomba villages, took part in the process of evangelization in the area.

In short, the early catholic and protestant missionaries made a good impression on all the northern ethnic groups and offered their services to all of them, Muslim and Traditionalist Northerners.

In spite of achievements in education and literacy, all Christian Churches have not been as successful in getting many converts among the Konkomba, the Krachis or the Gurma, still attached to their traditional beliefs and customs.

2. Cultural dimension of the conflict

Observation shows that in a conflict prone area, any small argument or any pretext can have far reaching consequences. The relationship between the three chiefly ethnic groups and the Konkomba (including the related small tribes) continued to become weary till the incident of the dispute about the guinea fowl between a Konkomba and a Nanumba man.

2.1 From an internal dispute to an ethnic conflict

The Konkomba man and his fellow Nanumba tribal member were bargaining in the Bimbila market about the price of a guinea fowl. This internal dispute among two persons of a chiefly group (Nanumba) and one of a non centralized group (Konkomba) turned to a big ethnic fight, involving directly respective tribe members, even the other tribe allies, such as the Gonja and the Dagomba.

The Konkomba, as a population on migration, knew how to fight in the bush: they set fire in Kpembe, the capital of Gonja, twin city of Salaga, and destroyed it completely. In their anger, the Konkomba did the same for the Dagomba villages.

The Dagomba, concentrated in their traditional cities, lost many of their "warriors" in the coalitions. Before the conflict broke out into a war, rumors spread among the Dagomba that the Catholic Church was siding with the stateless Konkomba and supplied them with arms. Therefore, taking these rumors seriously, Churches in Yendi and Tamale were searched and attacked.

The Catholic mission house and the sister’s convent in Yendi were looted and partly destroyed, three mission cars and two motor bikes got burnt and a number of Bicycles got missing. Both parties involved in the conflict lost many of their peoples. Buildings and houses got burnt down and damaged done to properties.

2.2. The Government Intervention in favor of Unity and peace

The Konkomba would have conquered Yendi and Tamale if the government forces were not to intervene militarily. A number of Dagomba lost their lives in the war. As a result, anger was taken against the Konkomba people, who were not allowed to live (till today) in Dagomba areas, especially Yendi and Tamale. Both parties lost many of their peoples, including damaged done to properties. Because of the growing insecurity in the Konkomba-Krachis settlements, the government sent task forces in order to maintain peace in the area. The task forces sent worsen the situation instead of improving it. They attacked and burnt many Konkomba settlements from Salaga to Bimbila, Bimbila to Keta-Krachi, and from Zabzugu to Tatale.

In Tamale, Dagomba were under the protection of the task forces but the Konkomba never had this privilege.

To end the conflict, there was a peace agreement made between the two parties. They had to perform the" ritual of burying the war"; the peace treaty was signed in Accra on June 9, 1994.

3. Islam influence in today Northern chiefly groups

From the historical data in our possession, we know and can prove that for centuries, Islam made a great impact on the northern chiefly groups. The traders and the foreign Muslim Elders who spread the Islamic faith were known (e.g. the Imams, Mallam) for their supposed power of amulets and their powerful prayers for the chiefs’ victory during wars.

Their early contacts with the Muslims made such a great influence in the political system in the past centuries. Despite the fact that not all Dagomba neither all Gonja are Muslims, Islam attracts many people in the Northern Region. Many Dagomba and Gonja consider it as the "religion of the rich with an ideal of brotherhood". Christianity is regarded as the "religion of the Whiteman", thus, foreign to the chiefly ethnic groups, in contact with Islam for centuries. The influence of Islam in the Northern Ghana is on the increase. Among the many factors, which contribute to this situation, is the will of Dagomba and Gonja Muslims to play a crucial role as in the past, in the economy and in the political development of the Region.

Foreign Muslim countries support financially many educational and religious projects in Tamale, the Northern Region headquarters, mainly in order to secure the hegemony or the expansion of Islam.

Though the whole Northern Region is far from being under Muslim influence, the current islamization process in the country may become in the long run a hindrance to the progress of the cultural and religious pluralism.

In short, the religious aspect of the 1994, which would consist in the hostility of Muslims against Christians, is less relevant in regard to the political, economical and cultural factors mentioned in the previous pages.

MISSIOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS

1. Christians and Muslims in a pluralistic society

When I was in Ghana, while trying to understand the reasons of the sanguinary 1994 ethnic conflict, the Dagomba Muslims to whom I talked to in Yendi and their religious virtuous opponents, the Konkomba Elders, members of the catholic mission at Saboba, simply emphasized the land issue and the religious aspect.

In the course of the present research paper, I realize that there is more than the land issue. Looking at the issue from a missiological perspective, it seems to me that the whole Northern situation in Ghana needs to be understood historically, economically and culturally or religiously.

The time to look for the scapegoat is over, people should learn from their past mistakes. The historical situation of the past is no longer the same today. We live in a pluralistic religious African society.

Christian churches and Muslim communities should work in order to promote unity in diversity. The conflict of 1994 is a challenge to Ghana’s cultural identity and an attempt to its internal stability and reputation. Therefore, real efforts should be made at all levels (political, socioeconomic and religious) in order to change the course of the history.

Politically, the Government should continue to work hard in order to realize true peace and reconciliation among the different groups involved in the conflict.

More than that, it should give equal chances to all tribes and help them to contribute to pluralistic unity. The dominated tribes (Konkomba, Krachis and Gurma) should be made feel at home by recognizing their land and establish a separate paramount chieftaincy for them.

Culturally, there is need to put aside the religious differences between Muslims and Christians and to look at the common good of all, which aims at building a better world and a united future for all the peoples.

Economically: here, one can talk about the financial support that Ghanaians who are Muslims receive from abroad (Foreign Muslim countries) may be a hindrance towards unity in diversity.

Religiously: no religious institution, be it Islam, despite its long history in the Northern Ghana neither Christianity, can impose its influence in a multicultural and religious pluralism.

Christian missionaries and Muslim leaders can greatly contribute in promoting dialogue of life on daily basis among themselves as well as among the members of their different denominations or faith traditions. Yendi, where the conflict of 1994 had left sad memories has become the headquarters of a new diocese, with the same name. The Catholic Church presence is not strong here but Christians are called to play a role in fostering intercultural and inter religious dialogue, especially in showing respect and love to their fellowmen Muslims.

As the declaration on the relation of the Catholic Church to non-Christian religions points out:

"The Church (…) urges her sons to enter with prudence and charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, also their social life and culture…".

The Council Fathers go on, insisting on the common efforts to be made for mutual understanding, peace and unity among peoples from different religious groups:

"Over the centuries, many quarrels and dissensions have arisen between Christians and Muslims. The sacred Council now pleads with all to forget the past, and urges that a sincere effort be made to achieve mutual understanding; for the benefit of all men, let them together preserve and promote peace, liberty, social justice and moral values".

1. Challenges to the African Pastor and Missionary

Black Africa, from the great lakes to South, and from east to west, continues to be the theater of endless conflicts, to which all of us as pastors and missionaries assist powerlessly. Civil wars have multifaceted consequences within and outside the local communities: thousands of Africans, victims of ethnic conflicts and religious intolerance leave their traditional life and seek refuge in foreign lands as displaced or refugees. African "missionaries" (Muslims and Christian) working in the northern Ghana and elsewhere, are facing these realities, which inflict suffering to their fellow men.

Surely, we cannot do much and we cannot either continue to excuse ourselves of not being ale to do something. Vatican II has urged, at least the catholic pastors not to be indifferent to these problems but as much as possible pastors should concern themselves with these realities and make them missionary problems.

In the pastoral constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, the synod Fathers write:

" The joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Nothing hat is genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts. For there is a community composed of men, of men who, united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, press onwards towards the kingdom of the Father and are bearers of a message of salvation intended for all men. That is why Christians cherish a feeling of deep solidarity with the human race and its history" ( Gaudium et Spes, n. 1).

Some challenges drawn from this Church document and which the African pastor can make use of are twofold:

  1. Responsible Solidarity for his fellowmen who are afflicted in various conflict or war thorned areas.
  2. This responsible solidarity should compel him to reflect and act as much as possible. To know the causes of conflicts and start to avoid them at his place: the mission is challenging, as he is called to present the Church as sacrament of reconciliation and of salvation for all God’s people.

The Church as a whole should engage herself in a long-term program of training the believers and the future agents of evangelization in living with conflicts and conflict resolution.

As far as the Northern Ghana is concerned, Tamale Institute of Cross cultural Studies can play an important role in coordinating such a program, which would be discussed with the African and Africanist Christian pastors including the Muslim African leaders.

Religious leaders who truly share the life and the lost of their fellow men in the present day African society fulfill in this way the Gospel mandate to preach the Good News prophetically; it is a witness and a contribution to the on going process of evangelization of cultures through inculturation.

 

Selective bibliography

Barker, P., Peoples, Languages and Religions in the Northern Ghana, Accra, 1986.

Donohue, J., and Troll, W., "Faith, Power and Violence. Muslims and Christians in a plural Society, Past and Present", in ORIENTALIA CHRISTIANA ANALECTA 258, P.I.O, Rome, 1998.

International Theological Commission, "Memory and Reconciliation: The Church and he Faults of the Past and Homily of John Paul II Mass for the day of Pardon", Pauline Book Media, Boston, 2000.

Kirby, J., (Article) "An Historical and Ethnographic Commentary on the Northern Conflict".

Levtzion, N., "Muslims and Chiefs in West Africa. A study of Islam in the Middle Volta Basin in the Pre-Colonial period", Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1968.

Ryan, P., (Article) "Ariadne auf Naxos: Islam and Politics in a religiously pluralistic African Society", in Journal of Religion in Africa, XXVI, 3, 1999.

Ryan, P., "Islam and Politics in West Africa: Minority and Majority Models", The Muslim World 77, n° 1(January 1987).

Vatican II, Nostra Aetate, Declaration on the Relation of the Church to the Non-Christian Religions, 28 October, 1965.

Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 7 December, 1965.

 

Notes:

Godefroid Manunga, originally from Congo-Kinshasa, served as a Divine Word missionary in the Archdiocese of Bulawayo/Zimbabwe (1992-1996). He visited Togo and Ghana (1997-1998), for a second missionary exposure before coming to Rome for a specialization in Missiology. Godefroid Manunga’s fields of interest have been "practical intercultural and interfaith dialogue" within the wide field of evangelization of African cultures today. As an African researcher, the author is very much concerned with the various conflicts, which occur throughout the black continent. He tries to study the causes before suggesting possible ways of conflict resolution and the promotion of unity and peace in diversity that Africa has the right to enjoy in the post modern ever-changing world. The present essay is to be read in this perspective of personal reflections and contribution to the on — going process of intercultural awareness among Africans.

 

Ref.: Text from the Author. 17 March 2002.