Communal conflict defines politics in Africa. One of the earliest examples of such carnage occurred in Zanzibar, now part of Tanzania. Often considered to be quite tranquil, Zanzibar's recent electoral conflict, like its violent revolution, is a threat to this peace. Zanzibari cleavage remains a resource conflict, a contest over land and language. Such conflict, within and without Zanzibar, will not be fully understood under the rubric of 'racial' competition alone.