This particularistic and exclusionary form of identity politics has intensified in recent years within and among nations…. It is responsible for some of the most egregious violations of international humanitarian law and, in several instances, of elementary standards of humanity…. Negative forms of identity politics are a potent and potentially explosive force. Great care must be taken to recognise, confront and restrain them lest they destroy the potential for peace and progress that the new era holds in store (Kofi Annan, The Guardian, (Nigeria) 1997:8).

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