Talk:Decolonization of Africa

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I'm not done with this article,it kinda sucks but I'll wikify it and copyedit progressively. It'll be done in three weeks. So it doesn't need to be in the community portal. We already have enough articles there that noone works on. Vincent Gray 02:59, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's been almost a year since the above note was written, and it appears as though this article was never finished. There are long paragraphs that need to be wikified and broken up into smaller sections. Furthermore, I don't think a lengthy discussion on the decolonization of Latin America has much place in the page for the decolonization of Africa. Is User:Vincent Gray who apears to now be User:Gicheru still planning on working on this, or has it been forgotten? I see a couple people have contributed recently; are you taking care of the article at large? --Romarin 23:18, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I dont understand, how can you differ so much from the subject on wikipedia? There are long paragraphs about Latin America solely on a article about Africa. Can someone fix this article, it has not helped me much for my essay with a deadline tomorrow, maybe if it is fixed preceding persons might be saved the pain derived from reading this confucing article. --Pharod 20 April 2006

There's nothing on Algeria/France, and the article doesn't talk about any war.

I've taken out most of the Latin American stuff. It looks like this article was cribbed verbatim from a piece originally intended to compare decolonization in the two continents. What is left doesn't tell what happened, it describes the before and after and repeats itself quite a bit. Much more improvements needed. Tyronen 22:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Decolonization vs Independence[edit]

Algeria shouldn't be listed on the article, as it was never a colony, but an integral part of France. The same goes for Ethiopia and Liberia. There is a fundamental difference between independence and decolonization (for instance, if Scotland and CAtolonia became independent we are not gonna be talking about decolonization). For a land to be decolonized, it must have been ruled as a colony and it was just not the case.SFBB (talk) 17:57, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

in the same line, the independence of South Sudan from Sudan and the independence of Ertrea from Ethiopia have no business in an article about decolonization. Either the title must be changed to independence or this countries must be removed from the list.SFBB (talk) 19:01, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
I have seen, this matter was previously pointed out (see Somaliland, Namibia and South Sudan) but no one has done anything about it (not even answered). So, if nobody answers in a week I will just remove the countries that were not decolonized.SFBB (talk) 19:01, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
After the waiting time, I have removed every reference to Ethiopia, Liberia, South Sudan, Eritrea and Algeria.SFBB (talk) 22:07, 28 May 2014 (UTC)


Why is the independence of Namibia considered the end of decolonization? Namibia was part of South Africa, which was already an independent African nation. Perhaps the author believes that South Africa wasn't really African since it had a government dominated by Europeans. Nonetheless Namibia certainly wasn't a colony. Isomorphic 04:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

It was a colony of South AfricaRaveenS

It was a League of Nations mandate, so yeah, effectively a colony. WilyD 21:12, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Liberia weren't colonies either. In this scheme all African countries are included (as if colonization neccesarily applied for all African countries, which didn't,) while only those which have been colonized in the period of New Imperialism (so by europe) should be included in the scheme. And I agree that Namibia shouldn't be in this list. Other precolonial empires probably 'colonized' regions of the continent too, but this article is specifically about decolonization after New Imperialism. Jan m20 19:33, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Neutrality dispute[edit]

From the article: "As a result of colonialism and imperialism, Africa suffered long term effects, such as the loss of important natural resources like gold and rubber, economic devastation, cultural confusion, geopolitical division, and political subjugation."

While it is a common belief that Western colonization of Africa was harmful, it is by no means an undisputed position, nor is it the most widely-held. In Dissent on Development, for example, developmental economist P.T. Bauer offered a whole volume solid and thoroughly evidenced arguments against this view.

The "loss of natural resources" argument is completely bogus; to this day, the African continent is rich with untapped natural resources.

The concepts in the article contradict themselves; from the start, the article implies that the process of colonization was bad for Africa. It then goes on to argue that the period of decolonization was also bad. Both of these cannot be true at the same time; decolonization resulted in economic hardship precisely because things were better under Western management. The areas of Africa that had the greatest amount of contact with the West had the highest and most modern standards of living due to the capital, technology, and skills that Westerners brought.

To the point, the writer of this article is poorly informed with an obvious bias against the West. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC).

Sounds like would rather see the article without bias towards the West? You can't have it both ways. You can quantify things being better monetarily under the management of the West... MONETARILY. Having Africa was therefore forced to compensate for this shortage and greatly benefited from this change. is completely against Wikipedia's NPOV policy. The colonizers may have benefitted from the marketing boards and from forcing Africans to grow cash crops, but Africans in their entirety did not benefit from being exploited, sorry.

"While it is a common belief that Western colonization of Africa was harmful, it is by no means an undisputed position, nor is it the most widely-held."

Most widely held by WHOM?

"The 'loss of natural resources' argument is completely bogus; to this day, the African continent is rich with untapped natural resources."

Just as, if somebody robbed you, you would have no right to claim loss of property as long as you still had money in the bank.

"The concepts in the article contradict themselves; from the start, the article implies that the process of colonization was bad for Africa. It then goes on to argue that the period of decolonization was also bad."

There is no contradiction at all. If the process of colonization was bad, that means that things got worse than they were before colonization, or than they would have gotten without colonization--not that they got better after colonization. If you knew anything at all about what anti-colonialist analysis of Africa actually says, you would know that many of the problems of post-colonial Africa are attributed precisely to the after-effects of colonization.

Troglo (talk) 18:01, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Last Statement[edit]

the way that this article states that the colonies Got independence during 1930 contradicts its own statement that the decolonization started during the end of WWII. 15:30, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 04:16, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

The article should be moved from Decolonization of Africa back to Decolonisation of Africa due to strong national ties to the topic, as per the Manual of Style. An article on a topic that has strong ties to particular English-speaking nations should use the appropriate variety of English for those nations. Spelling in the article should therefore reflect the AU/Commonwealth/EU/UK spelling conventions most commonly used in Africa and Europe. (talk) 17:09, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Strongly oppose. This is not what the Manual of Style says nor intends, nor is it a correct statement of English usage; not only is the OED's first citation decolonization, that is their spelling of the word. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:52, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Just a correction to the above remark. Actually Oxford spelling is only used by Oxford University publications and The Times Literary Supplement. The -ize form doesn't reflect common usage outside North America, so the objection that the suggestion isn't consistent with the Manual of Style isn't correct. The -ise spelling is the norm in Commonwealth English, which is the form of English overwhelmingly used by English speakers in Europe and Africa, so it's not a materially valid objection. (talk) 11:20, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
This contradicts not only the OED's judgment, but its citations. A decolonization movement is sweeping over the continents. An age of empire-breaking is following an age of empire-making, cited from a book published by Allen and Unwin. Nor is that the chief reason for denying this ENGVAR violation: the article has an established style, and there is no reason here to move it. Strong ties are articles like New Jersey or Yorkshire. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:35, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Reading this, I'm disappointed. Do we even know what the original spelling of the article was? I tried to look but my browser freezes. Counting Oxford dictionary citations on the fingers of one hand is no way to establish common English usage in Africa and Europe. People outside the USA already know how we spell, thank you very much. We don't expect to be contradicted by an outsider. That's ludicrous. So why are we even having this discussion? Sample selection bias is being used to cloak Americanisation, and it amounts to linguistic colonisation, ironically in an article about decolonisation. Why should Commonwealth countries in Africa be second-class to New Jersey or Yorkshire when it comes to having our own language use respected? The major multinational organisations like the African Union and European Union use Commonwealth English, and Africa has large, long established English-speaking populations who have a more direct interest in articles about our own history than do college students in America with only an idle curiosity, but who seem to think they have some right to dictate what we can read and the way we should read it, even in an international, collaborative encyclopedia. It's impossible not to see this as unfair treatment. It's strange this sort of discrimination is considered acceptable, and that some Americans should think themselves justified in expecting the rest of us in the wider world to shut up and put up with their diktat. (talk) 09:54, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
The article was title -zation from its creation in April 2005 until October 2007 when it was moved without discussion, then it was finally moved back in this month. I Oppose moving it to -sation as there are no strong ties to and since this is the original spelling for the article, no reason to move it. TJ Spyke 16:09, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I am open to having this request reopened; it was originally paired with another spelling-related request at Talk:Decolonization#Requested move, which should not be. I was not notified by anyone of the renewal of the request, so I will leave the above archived, but the opinions of TJ Spyke and Pmanderson should not be disregarded in resolving the request below. Dekimasuよ! 05:26, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Continued discussion[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus. JPG-GR (talk) 16:05, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Most of the nations of sub-Saharan Africa are members of the Commonwealth. There are millions of native English-speakers in Africa alone (not to mention Europe which is the other half of the equation), so the claim that there are no strong ties to particular English-speaking nations is wrong and absurd, and the discussion was cut short on a premise that is simply false. I have therefore reinstated the request for the article to use the form of English that is appropriate for Africa and Europe. (talk) 22:33, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Move. I would like to see it moved because I believe it is correct to see this as essentially a British English concern. I am also aware of very strong pressure generally to convert spelling to American English, I have noticed at least two people going through an entire article just changing -ise to -ze and colour to color or even petrol to gasoline. If I find an article in American I generally spell that way, if I find an article in British I follow that. And I do think Spyke above was rather arrogant to attempt to throttle the discussion, in fact after reading that I felt compelled to add more comment. Ex nihil (talk) 01:15, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I've noticed that sort of thing too. There's less reciprocity than one might reasonably expect. A lot of Americans don't seem to realise that Commonwealth English isn't just associated with the British Isles, but other countries in Africa and Asia where British people have brought their institutions or settled in large numbers since the nineteenth century. The Commonwealth covers some of the most populous regions on the planet, and it's where the native English speakers of these continents actually live. It's simply undeniable that Africa has large English-speaking populations, of both indigenous and European settler origin, that many African countries use English in schools and in government, and they don't use American English, anymore than do Australia or India. So the objections to the improvement are groundless and risible. In some parts like the Cape native English-speakers have been there for centuries - longer than some states of the USA. So it's not just a British thing (although British English is now institutionalised across the European Union as well), it's a Commonwealth thing, and it's important that people understand that. The level of awareness about both Africa and the Commonwealth must be very low in the USA. The language used in the article is obviously American (it's not just the Greekish Z, but the terms like World War II which are used, instead of the Second World War), and it also seems to reflect an American perspective. I'd like to give it a proper overhaul, but it hardly seems worthwhile if it means being reverted or closed down all the time over objections that are so obviously spurious. (talk) 02:44, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
That's very much what Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English recommends.
One question: Is European English consistently institutionalised across the European Union? When I was staying in France and studying French in 1984, English was a compulsory subject for senior high school students there, but they could elect to study the American dialect, and most did. This fact was very useful to me, as I found in them a group of people who were most reluctant to speak English to me, because if they adopted my Australian vowel sounds, they would lose marks in their oral exams. So provided I could get them to speak to me at all (and some Australian rock'n'roll magazines soon fixed that) I could practice my French conversation. Nearly all other French people preferred to speak English to me unless very annoyed, which was a bit frustrating.
Has this all changed? Andrewa (talk) 16:32, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Support rename: I can see that there are reasons why both can be considered suitable. But as it has been questioned, "Decolonisation" is, in my opinion, more suitable. Africa, and its decolonisation, has strong evidence of ties to Commonwealth English, even in the article itself: just have a peek at that table. Maedin\talk 18:48, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Support rename to Decolonisation.... There's a clear link between the subject and Britain, and the areas involved speak British rather than US dialects of English to this day. Andrewa (talk) 23:28, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Support rename, with the exception of Liberia, all English-speaking countries in Africa use British spellings. No indication that French/Portuguese/Arabic-speaking countries would choose American spelling over British. --Soman (talk) 21:03, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Oppose "ise" is the French spelling, so I can believe that it is more predominantly used in Africa, but "ize" is the predominant English spelling. This is the English wikipedia, not the French or African wikipedia. The arguments that "ise" is British and "ize" is American are simply wrong. "ize" is a perfectly acceptable spelling in British English, as demonstrated by its use by the best and most authoritative English dictionary in the world. DrKiernan (talk) 12:57, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Support move. The "oh, but 'ize' is English too argument" is somewhat flawed - maybe used in British English, but very much a minority usage where 'ise' is the mainstream spelling used. Given 'ise' is the version preferred in Britain ( which unlike the US had colonies ) and indeed is the version used in Africa, moving makes total and utter sense. Minkythecat (talk) 13:07, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

It is not true that it is a "minority usage". Google scholar searches show that "ize" is by far the predominant usage: 57 600 hits for ization 19 600 for isation 2 620 for ize 828 for ise. DrKiernan (talk) 13:15, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure you'll spent the time breaking those figures down further, given your point is somewhat flawed in that it doesn't delineate on nationality so you're thus including references to AMERICAN books in there. Minkythecat (talk) 13:24, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
It includes American, British, French and African books. It's a global search. Just like this is a global encyclopedia. DrKiernan (talk) 13:47, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

'No consensus to move'?[edit]

Seriously? There is clearly an overwhelming supporting majority MrTranscript (talk) 11:49, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

It isn't a vote. It's a discussion and the decision should be based on the arguments. There are no valid arguments for the move. DrKiernan (talk) 13:23, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

South Sudan[edit]

South Sudan doesn't belong in this article or in the map. Count Truthstein (talk) 01:47, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

South Sudan was indeed a british colony until 1956, thus it belongs in this map. I agree that the indepedence of South Sudan from Sudan has no place here.SFBB (talk) 18:52, 22 May 2014 (UTC)


It was removed from the table with the reasoning "State of Somaliland obtained independence from Britain. Somaliland did not, was never a Somalia colony, and is still internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia." - I disagree with the following reasons: yes, it wasn't a "colony" of Somalia, but whatever the administrative and institutional setup it declared independence from it; whether it's diplomatically recognized or not it still has to be listed as a fact of the real world. Japinderum (talk) 07:12, 27 December 2012 (UTC)


Would "Decolonization in Africa" not be a better title for the article? It's after all not Africa itself that was the colony...Brigade Piron (talk) 21:31, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Somaliland is not part of Somalia.[edit]

British Somaliland gained independence on June 26, 1960 while Somalia Italiana (the legal name of the Italian colony) gained independence on July 1, 1960. I find it absurd that they're linked as one country and the time table on the first page disproves that fallacy. In regards to the union, there was no legal union between the two countries. The act of union was ratified and signed by the national assembly of Somaliland the day after independence i.e 27th June, 1960. However, it was not ratified nor signed by the national assembly of Somalia. Since the binding document was not signed bilaterally, there was no union between the two countries.

Btw, if there was a legal union the two countries would have formed the Somali republic and not Somalia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:23, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

That is incorrect. Britain granted independence to the former British Somaliland protectorate as the State of Somaliland on June 26, 1960. Five days later, on July 1, 1960, this territory united as scheduled with the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) to form the Somali Republic (Somalia). The present-day Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia, whose separatist administration claims to be the heir to the briefly extant State of Somaliland, is also legally and internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. Its territorial waters are thus legally Somalia's territorial waters, and its airspace is legally Somalia's airspace. Middayexpress (talk) 17:05, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
There is not a document out there that proves the existence of a so called union. Now, The act of union was passed and signed by the national assembly of Somaliland but since it was not passed by the parliament of Somalia nor signed by its leaders the agreement (act of union) became invalid. Nonetheless, Somaliland merged volontarily with Somalia (former Somalia Italiana) and created the Somali republic because of the pan Somalism movement and the idea of liberating Somali territory but the notion of a binding conract between Somaliland and Somalia, uniting these two countries, is not only fictious but it has no historical validity.
Somaliland was never part of Somalia because the term Somalia itself was coined by the Italian colonialists and their colony was referred to as Somalia Italiana. That colony stretched from Bari to Lower Jubba and modern day Somalia being the successor state to Somalia Italiana, stretches from Bari to Lower Jubba and it has no legal claims on the territory of Somaliland.
In regards to this case, the name of the Wiki page is Decolonization of Africa. Somaliland and Somalia gained independence as two seperate countries, as proven by the gif on the same page as well as historical records. I know that you and this other fellow is spreading false information about Somaliland but the next time you edit the time table and distort facts I'm going to report you for violating the terms of Wikipedia by spreading false information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
As a historical fact, the former British Somaliland and the former Italian colony (and later trust territory in Somalia) were administered as one country for many years, and they were regarded as one country by the international community, as evidenced by (for example) the admission of a single Somali State as a member of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity. Whether or not an appropriate legal process was followed when the two countries were united must be judged through the reporting of reliable sources and is not decided by the opinions of individual Wikipedia editors.
Whether Somaliland (the former British Somaliland) should under the circumstances of 2015 be allowed to take on the status of a separate independent State is likewise not within the purview of Wikipedia to decide. To the extent the legal or the practical status of Somaliland may change, beyond its current level of de facto autonomy, Wikipedia will report this fact. But the fact that "Somalia" was formed on July 1, 1960 including both the former British- and Italian-controlled areas, and has been regarded as a state entity by the international community since that time, is a historical fact that cannot be erased from this or any article. To categorize such fact as "false information" is false information itself. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:20, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, for record, Newyorkbrad and Middayexpress are both absolutely correct here. There a WP:RS here. —Brigade Piron (talk) 10:21, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
You still can't prove that Somaliland was part of Somalia i.e the former Italian colony. When these countries merged because of the strong Pan Somalism movement in both countries despite the absence of a legal procedure (you can read about it in the AU fact finding mission to Somaliland in 2005) they formed the Somali republic, not Somalia. The blue flag of the Somali republic and the 5 points of the star represents the 5 Somali territories. If Somaliland was part of Somalia as you and these other two fellows are arguing then the star would have 4 points and not 5.
The republic of Somaliland might not be an internationally recognized country today but it was internationally recognized 54 years ago when it gained independence on June 26, 1960 and therefore should be included in the time table that depicts the decolonization of Africa. Somaliland's independence has no connection to Somalia whatsoever and the agreement regarding the date of independence for Somaliland was signed by Iain Macleod, Sir Douglas B. Hall and the Somali delegates of Somaliland - Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, Ahmed Haji Duale, Ali Gerad Jama and Haji Ibrahim Nur. The agreement was signed during the constitutional conference held in May, 1960 in which the constitution of an independent Somaliland was going to be drafted.
I repeat, the next time you distort facts I'm going to report you and from now on I'm going to have a look at the misinformation spread in the Somaliland page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:35, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
In the English language, "Somalia" was the everyday term for the State more formally referred to as the Somali Republic. (This is borne out by sources including the Terminology Bulletin:Country Names published periodically by the United Nations, as well as the country's own publications.)
You are correct, however, to the extent that an independent Somali State was created when British Somaliland attained independence on June 26, 1960 and did exist as a separate independent State, however briefly. This fact is properly addressed in the articles about the Somali political entities. Whether to mention it here also, given the brevity of the separate State's existence, is a matter for editorial discretion.
More broadly, I suggest that you focus less on disputing facts that are common knowledge, and more on the much more useful task of creating important significant encyclopedic content about the Somali people and their history, about which you are obviously quite knowledgeable, rather than debating the fine points of the legal formalities that were or were not followed in 1960.
In any event, the threats to "report" me or anyone else are frivolous. Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:40, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

The Somali republic was the formal name of the country and that is a historical fact that can't be disregarded because by doing so one is not presenting objective information but rather half-truths modified by individual bias. The issue regarding the UN's use of the term Somalia was simply because the transitional government of the Somali republic dominated by politicians from Somalia i.e former Somalia Italiana chose the name Somalia when they sought membership in the UN. These politicians used Pan Somalism and the Somali republic as a false pretense to annex and dominate other Somali inhabited territory which lead to the attempted coup in 1961 in which young officers from Somaliland tried to retake their country. The coup failed but the young officers were not convicted because the supreme court in Mogadishu had no judicial legitimacy in the territory where the alleged crime took place because of the absence of a legal unification process. That event sparked my people's quest for a sovereign and independent Somaliland just like it was in June 26, 1960.

So either way, I don't understand why Somaliland was listed under Somalia. I could accept the Somali republic despite the country not being legit because that country had some kind of historical validity considering that it existed from 1960 to 1991.

Actually, the present-day Somaliland region of Somalia wasn't listed at all, as it didn't exist during the decolonization period. British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland instead existed, so that's what's indicated. Also, since we're on the subject of semantics, you should be aware that "Somaliland" was a common name in English for the Somali territories as a whole during the early colonial period (e.g. this 1911 map of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland [1]). Middayexpress (talk) 18:41, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

The notion that Somaliland is a region of Somalia is a fallacy, given the fact that Somaliland never united with Somalia nor did Somaliland give up its sovereignty to become a province of Somalia. The boundaries between the former protectorate and former colony is based on the Anglo-Italian treaty. In other words, Somaliland republic is the successor state to British Somaliland/State of Somaliland.

If you had any knowledge about the etymology of the term Somaliland you would know that the British simply translated the Arabic term Bilad as-Sumal (land of Somalis or Somali-land). That term first appeared when the British made their first treaty with a Somali tribe in the northern coasts of Bilad as-Sumal or Somali-land regarding commerce and slave trade in 1827. Now, your argument is that Somali territory was referred to as Somali-land by the British so that justifies the usage of the term Italian Somaliland but to disappoint you, it doesn't.

Somalia Italiana was the legal name of the Italian colony just like British Somaliland was the legal name of the British protectorate or Côte française des Somalis being the legal name of the French colony before it was renamed to Territoire français des Afars et des Issas. Italian colonialists or French colonialists using British terminology at a time when European states are competing with each other is an erronous assumption.

Italian Somaliland was just a translation of Somalia Italiana.

The Italian translation of British Somaliland was Somalia Britannica. (As you can see in this map from 1940 [2])

In terms of etymology, "Somalia" means the same thing as "Somaliland" i.e. the Land of the Somalis. ia is a Latin suffix for "land" [3]. For the rest, the Somaliland region is legally part of the territory of Somalia, not a separate entity. That is also all that the international community has ever recognized the enclave as [4]. Middayexpress (talk) 22:12, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

The idea that fascist Italian colonialists would name their country Italian Somaliland is laughable. The legal name of their colony was Somalia Italiana. Your attempt at changing history is ridiculous. For instance Côte française des Somalis does not mean French Somaliland, it means the French coast of Somalis and in the context of decolonization it was not Côte française des Somalis that gained independence it was rather Territoire français des Afars et des Issas that gained independence and later became the Republic of Djibouti.

How can Somaliland be part of Somalia when it was these two countries that allegedly merged into a single state in 1960? The AU's fact finding mission to Somaliland in 2005 pointed out that there was no legal union between the two countries in 1960 and the fact that Somaliland was recognized by the UN at the time of independence makes Somaliland's case different from the other cases brought to the AU. The international community doesn't take historical events into consideration so their ignorance won't prove that Somaliland was part of Somalia nor will it prove the existence of a legal union.

Somaliland gained independence as a seperate entity, excluding that from the timeline is distortion of facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

That is inaccurate. For one thing, the original Italian colonialists weren't Fascists. Many, such as Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi, were actually noblemen. The Fascists, like Cesare Maria De Vecchi, assumed power much later in the 1920s, almost 30 years after the establishment of Italian Somaliland in the late 1800s. At any rate, the fact remains that the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) united as scheduled with the State of Somaliland (the former British Somaliland) on July 1, 1960 to form the Somali Republic (Somalia). Somaliland certainly did not; that northwestern enclave was only established in 1991. It is also legally within the territorial borders of Somalia, and is and has only ever been recognized as a region of Somalia (which is a federation). The Somaliland region's separatist administration only claims to be the heir to the five-day old State of Somaliland. However, it isn't the sole modern polity in the territory of the former British Somaliland; there's also Khatumo State, which has a unionist administration. Further, note that the Trust Territory of Somalia was legally a United Nations Trust Territory, not a colony like its predecessor Italian Somaliland. It was also officially known as the "Trust Territory of Somaliland under Italian administration" [5]. So with respect, you are mistaken about that too. Regards, Middayexpress (talk) 17:42, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

You're wrong about everything you have stated. The Brits leaving northern Somalia just a few days earlier meant virtually nothing since British and Italian Somaliland were already set to unify into one nation. The UN also never recognised an independent "State of Somaliland". This "state" is by no means the same as the separatist in northern Somalia. The National Assembly of Italian Somaliland also did approve the Act of Union which was signed by the new Somali Republic on January 31st 1961, effectively sealing the fate of the land between Zeila and Ras Kamboni. Is there any more rubbish you would like to add? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 24 December 2014 (UTC)


The issue of colonialism is not a legal technicality, but about relations of power. Algeria was established as a French colony, and French-Algerian relations remained colonial up to independence (History_of_Algeria#French_rule sums it up quite well). In fact, the liberation struggle in Algeria was a beacon for other anti-colonial movements across the continent. gives plenty of indication that it is not a fringe opinion to consider the Algerian war as a colonial war. --Soman (talk) 11:27, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Absolutely agree about the Algerian case. While I agree with SFBB (talk · contribs) about South Sudan, Liberia and Eritrea (Ethiopia was part of the Italian Empire, how ever fleetingly, during the 1930s and 40s), Algeria seems to me a clear cut case of a form of decolonization that is just as strong de facto as the others, if not necessarily de jure. —Brigade Piron (talk) 11:53, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
The Algerian case is not just a legal technicality. After the disaster in Indochina France was open to grant the independence of its African colonies. As a matter of fact, many African nations gained independece during that period (after Dien Bien Phu and prior to the end of the Algerian war) and even an independence clause was incorporated in the french constitution. But it was not extensive to Algeria, as Algeria was de jure an integral part of metropolitan France. That's the reason why France was willing to defend it, even if it led to a war. I'd also challenge te statement "form of decolonization that is just strong as de facto", as the de facto situation for Algerians was fairly different from the African colonies in terms of citizen rights. Finally looking at the situation nowadays, the UNO Special Committe on Decolonization lists only territories considered as "non-self-governing" while possessions considered as an integral part of the country are not listed, including the African territories such as Mayotte (France), Madeira (Portugal) or the Canary Islands (spain).SFBB (talk) 23:31, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
That still seems to me a very OAS-style view of French Algeria. The fact is that Algeria was invaded by an overseas power in the 19th century, occupied by a class of settlers who had superior political rights and a different culture who exercised de facto (even de jure) dominance. The comparison with modern islands like Réunion, which you mention, is also not a good allegory. Correct me if I'm wrong, but "native" Algerians were not full French citizens (before the Brazzaville declaration) were they? They certainly never voted to become part of France. As such, any territorial declarations like that are fundamentally cosmetic in my opinion at least. Can we get some other users' opinions too - as this is quite an important issue? —Brigade Piron (talk) 10:04, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
First of all, it is important to differentiate the causes leading to the FRench occupation of Algeria. Prior to that, Algeria (opposed to most French colonies in Africa) wasn't a free state or an unorganized territory, but a territory controlled by another "overseas power", the Ottoman Empire (still it is a debatable point if we should consider both as overseas powers, given the historical close relations among the Mediterranean countries). Anyway, it doesn't mean the French army didn't face local resistance. At first, ALgeria was ruled as a colony, but after 18 years the French Constitution of 1848 ended the colonial status and considered Algeria as an integral part of the Second Republic (opposite to Morocco and Tunisia ruled as protectorates.) All native Algerian had the right to apply for full French citizeship, provided the renounce their Muslim civil status (which was considered kind of as a nationality by the French government) - Muslim were only able to obtain French citizenship after after the Brazzaville declaration, but it should be rather considered as a case of religious discrimination. In this case, we can draw a parallel with the FRench occupation of Alsace-Lorraine after WWI (ignoring the fact, that this territory had been previously ruled by France, stil without achivieng assimilation). The German majority didn't vote to become a part of FRance (and they were certainly against it) and they were forced to give up their German nationality in order to receive the French citizenship, but the fact is that both territories (Alsace-Lorraine and Algeria) were ruled as integral parts of metropolitan France. I also think, it would be good to get the opinion of other users.SFBB (talk) 19:03, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
I've raised this discussion at WP:Africa and WP:Algeria so hopefully some more users will get involved. Just for the record, do you object to the inclusion of Algeria altogether or would you accept some kind of compromise? For instance, if a footnote were added noting that Algeria was part of France, would that be acceptable to you? I would add, however, that if your argument stands - Angola, Mozambique etc. (which were "overseas provinces" of Portugal) would also have to be removed and, frankly, there wouldn't be much left in this article at all... —Brigade Piron (talk) 11:10, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
The Portuguese case is not comparable, because of several reasons. The most importants would be, that France indeed differentiated between its colonies and protectorates and metropolitan France. Second, although the native inhabitants of the Portuguese colonies were also able to apply for citizenship, they had to fulfill several requirements (and not just give up their Muslim civil status). In the same line, the authorities of the Portuguese colonies were sent from the metropolis and not elected there (opposite to provinces or departments, such as Algeria). These three points are more than enough refer the Protuguese colonies as colonies and Algeria as not a colony. Additionally Algeria was treated as a part of metropolitan France for over 100 years, while the Portuguese colonies still had officially the status of a colony until 1951 nad last but not least, it is possible to argue, in favor of a territorial continuity between French Algeria and European France, as both are only separated by a small sea.
I would not oppose if Algeria would mentioned in the article, but the case should be treated separately, as it's very different from the others. A simple footnote wouldn't be enough, as it may lead to believe, that Algeria was indeed treated as a colony before independence.SFBB (talk) 17:29, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Surely it is eminently colonial to defer to French terminology about its military occupation of Algeria, rather than asking the Algerians what they think. The French colonialists (government and occupiers) were as repellent as the zionists still are, in this regard. I suppose it's a difference between treating categorical differences as real in themselves or euphemisms.Keith-264 (talk) 22:16, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Wow, that's really a lowbrow and overideologized argumentation. Still I'm going to refute, as it's really easy. No one is refuting here it was a military occupation, nor is someone saying it wasn't against the will of the Algerians. But it has nothing to do with a colonial status (just think of the many military occupations in Europe); neither have the beliefs or perceptions of the Algerians. A colonial status is related to the ruling of the territory and to the citizen rights.SFBB (talk) 15:54, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Civility I suggest that there is more to "colonial status" than the usage of the colonisers. If you won't accept an Algerian view as the equal of a French view then perhaps you are advocating obsolete Eurocentrism rather than discussing a category. (PS sorry for being lowbrow, I only got a 2:1)Keith-264 (talk) 16:35, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Pax everyone! If I understand correctly Keith, I think SFBB was objecting to your comparison between Zionism and colonialism which, in fairness, is rather subjective and depends on one's viewpoint. SFBB, please don't think that anyone's denying the legal fact that Algeria was treated administratively as part of France rather than a colony and that is naturally well-explained at French Algeria. The relevant MOS (here and, above all, here) would argue including "every item that is verifiably a member of the group" which French Algeria, I think, is. I don't believe it unreasonable for a reader to come to this article, expecting Algeria to be there. That does not, of course, preclude it falling into another category as well... —Brigade Piron (talk) 17:28, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't base a comment on inference Piron, it's liable to backfire. As for Algeria being treated legally and administratively as part of France, was that the case or were there discriminations imposed on Algerians not found in France?

As for notforum, you started it.Keith-264 (talk) 23:45, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Sorry Keith, but when you're writing "The French colonialists (government and occupiers) were as repellent as the zionists still are", rather than using facts, you can't argue you're being objective (I'm neither Frensh nor Israeili or Jewish). SFBB (talk) 15:41, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
The facts are clear but perhaps we should discuss them here User talk:Keith-264. On the general point, do you not agree that colonialism is repellent?Keith-264 (talk) 16:29, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I doesn't matter what I think, or what you think. In wikipedia, we should leave our feeling outside and try to write as neutral as possible.SFBB (talk) 16:28, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
A I have written above, I wouldn't oppose for Algeria to be mentioned in this article, but it should be treated differently from other countries; maybe a section explainig the Algerian case. The article French Algeria could be a good base to work over. SFBB (talk) 15:48, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Back to the original point: Yes; Algeria was colonised by the French, and events during and after decolonisation parallel those in other African colonies. bobrayner (talk) 11:13, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Just to be clear, Algeria wasn't only de jure part of metropolitan France, but also de facto, concerning the rights of people there, the ruling of the territory and so on. There wasn't any difference regarding civil status among Algerian French people and European French people. Everything opposite to the French colonies in Africa. Everything without ignoring, that the occupation of the territory and the independence has many parallels with the decolonizations of other African territories. I think that the Algerian case is worth a separate section in the article, but just writing that Algeria was de jure part of metropolitan France is obviously insufficient. SFBB (talk) 16:26, 24 January 2015 (UTC)


Critics say that the process of African decolonization from the 1950s to the 1970s turned what were relatively well-ordered and peaceful territories administered by the efficient bureaucracies and legal traditions of the Western European empires into violent, inefficient and corrupt socialist dictatorships or right-wing family dictatorships with little regard for international rule of law and human rights and riddled with civil-turf wars, barbaric political purges, mass refugee crises, famines and ethnic conflict.[1]

  • If stuff like this is to be included, it should be at the end not the beginning of the article and have a reliable source, not some tawdry propaganda from a state broadcaster. The idea that Africa was peaceful under colonialism is nonsense. Ask the Herero and Nama people, read up on the human losses during Europe's world wars and consider the neo-imperialist hegemonies retained by "former" colonial powers and the superpowers.Keith-264 (talk) 00:49, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I emphatically agree with Keith. Putting such criticism - especially at the start of an article - is real POV. Decolonisation is a historical theme, not something that (modern) "Criticism" is really applicable to - "Analysis" perhaps would be a better term. But if it is needed (for balance, perhaps) the end is the best place for it though the BBC is probably OK as a source.
I'd also say that anyone who thinks famines didn't occur under colonialism is living a fantasy. Ditto western European legal traditions - most of British and French Africa was ruled under "customary law" anyway. —Brigade Piron (talk) 11:15, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually, having read the source, it is clear it will not do. It's just reporting the rhetorical comments of Thabo Mbeki and doesn't even touch on the themes which it is supposed to cite... —Brigade Piron (talk) 11:17, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, it might work in a discussion of continuity and change and in a comparison of other "decolonised" places, like Ireland, the US, the Philippines, Poland, Korea and Vietnam etc but clearly it's also part of a neo-colonial discourse. Couldn't resist a slap at COMbbc. ;O)Keith-264 (talk) 12:09, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I agree that if hefty claims like this are to be made it should be on the basis of proper scholarly sources rather than a media report of something one guy says in a speech. I also agree putting it right at the beginning seems like POV-pushing, particularly with such a flimsy source. —  Cliftonian (talk)  12:29, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Apocalypse in Central Africa: The Pentagon, Genocide and the War on Terror See here.Keith-264 (talk) 17:50, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

That was an interesting read. —  Cliftonian (talk)  18:45, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Only China and the USSR supported decol[edit]

This seems like a stretch. The US supported most Decolonization initiatives and the UK supported some. Juno (talk) 09:54, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

I think that's a fair comment on an ideological level. The American government was very content to prop-up British and French colonial empires from the 1940s until the late 1950s and I think it could be argued that its change of heart was only the result of rising tide of left-leaning, pro-Soviet African nationalism. Arguing for British anti-imperialism is pretty difficult - accepting a necessity is surely not the same as wanting it! —Brigade Piron (talk) 12:15, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
The short answer is political expediency. Rhodesia's a case in point. Had the UK really been converted to the "liberation" ideology they'd have sent in troops immediately on UDI in 1965. Why didn't the UK accept an independent Rhodesia with the whites still in control? Primarily because of the massive weight of Commonwealth and UN opinion against it. Even as late as 1979 Thatcher and many US politicians sympathised with the Smith party and wanted to recognise the Zimbabwe-Rhodesian government under Muzorewa. Why didn't they? The same reason. By now most international opinion favoured the guerrilla movements under Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, backed by China, the USSR, Cuba et al. Thatcher thought Mugabe and Nkomo were terrorists, but realised the ramifications of openly siding against them. This was the effective choice Britain faced regarding Rhodesia throughout the 1960s and 1970s:
  1. Supporting the pro-Western elements (Muzorewa/Smith) against the pro-Eastern forces (Mugabe/Nkomo) would lead to international vilification and (probably) direct involvement in a long, bloody Cold War proxy conflict, perhaps more.
  2. Conversely, handing over to the "liberation" forces—regardless of their leftist ideology, pro-Eastern alignment etc—would end the problem, at least so far as Britain/the West was concerned, with little/no damage to British/Western prestige.
Britain tried to walk a tightrope between the two for years and years but at the crunch decided its interests were better served by the second option. Putting yourself in their shoes and thinking completely selfishly, it's not hard to see why. Change the names around ("France" for "UK", "Algeria" for "Rhodesia", etc) and this model works for much of Africa, not to mention Asia. Vietnam, anyone? —  Cliftonian (talk)  06:37, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
It's obviously wrong. PRC only existed for half the twentieth century and USSR for about 3/4 of it, so neither can have supported it for the entire century. DrKiernan (talk) 07:15, 20 March 2015 (UTC)