El lado oscuro de la autodeterminación

CAMBRIDGE – La autodeterminación nacional parece un principio moral muy claro, pero adolece de una serie de problemas. Después de que Rusia enviara tropas a Georgia en agosto de 2008, reconoció la independencia de dos provincias georgianas separatistas, Osetia del Sur y Abjasia. Cuando pocos otros estados siguieron su ejemplo, Rusia hizo notar que los países de la OTAN habían utilizado la fuerza para ayudar a Kosovo a separarse de Serbia.

Por lo general, la autodeterminación se define como el derecho de un pueblo a formar su propio estado. Se trata de un principio importante, pero ¿cuál es el ente que ha de determinarse a si mismo?

Piénsese en Somalia en los años 60. Los africanos recurrieron al principio de la autodeterminación para poner fin a los regímenes coloniales. A diferencia de varios otros estados africanos, a grandes rasgos los somalíes tenían características lingüísticas y étnicas en común. En contraste, su vecina Kenia fue creada por el régimen colonial a partir de decenas de pueblos o tribus diferentes, con distintas características lingüísticas y costumbres. Parte del norte de Kenia era habitado por somalíes.

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