This article argues that there is a legal and political basis for attending to concerns of ethnic minorities in postcolonial transitions. If left unattended, this issue may prompt members of minority groups to resort to preservative measures, including violence to the detriment of the security which is a fundamental objective of the transition. This reaction is often generated by an axiomatic fear of assimilation. The case of the Ndebele of Zimbabwe illustrates this. The article’s position is confirmed by post-colonial state practice that implements minority rights and accords affected groups a right to self-determination or autonomy in tandem with liberal democratic reforms.
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