Many states which have only recently achieved independence have boundaries which cut across language, tribal and cultural groupings. The arbitrary and illogical position of the boundaries produces states which lack natural unity and are subject to the divisiveness resulting from the assertion by the component peoples of their right to their particular cultures and languages. It also sets the stage for the difficulties in producing larger regional groupings, which the colonial powers were unable or unwilling to pass to their successors. This problem occurs mainly in Africa and to a lesser extent in Southeast Asia as a heritage of Western colonialism.
It was expected in 1994 that the negotiated settlement of the dispute over Bosnia would lead to extremely artificial boundaries that would set the stage for subsequent disputes.