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The construction of ethnicity by ethnic elites assumed a wider dimension in most African countries south of the Sahara after 1990. The reasons were many and various, and inter alia, included the efforts made by authoritarian regimes to retain power and ethno-regional elites gaining access to the state and its resources. Cameroon was not an exception. This paper critically explores how the Southwest Elites Association (SWELA) and its historical antecedent fit into ethno-regional politics and thedoi:10.14989/68250 fatcat:o7jjetuewvczjm3uo7c6sfhrra