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Boundaries and Secession in Africa and International Law
Challenging Uti Possidetis


  • Date Published: December 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107117983

£ 76.99

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About the Authors
  • This book challenges a central assumption of the international law of territory. The author argues that, contrary to the finding in the Frontier Dispute case, uti possidetis is not a general principle of law enjoining states to preserve pre-existing boundaries on state succession. It demonstrates that African state practice and opinio juris gave rise to customary rules that govern sovereign territory transfer in Africa. It explains that those rules changed international law as it relates to Africa in many respects, leading chiefly to creating norms of African jus cogens prohibiting secession and the redrawing of boundaries. The book examines in-depth the singularity of secession in Africa exploring extensive state practice and case law. Finally, it advances a daring argument for a right to egalitarian self-determination, addressing people-to-people domination in multi-ethnic African states, to serve as an exception to the fast special customary rule against secession.

    • Challenges the applicability of uti possidetis to Africa
    • Surveys, in detail, secession cases in Africa and argues for recognizing a right to egalitarian secession
    • Of special interest to those studying customary law, as the book illustrates that custom is still relevant and is an important source of modern international law
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107117983
    • length: 322 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 6 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The African Territorial Regime:
    1. The Frontier Dispute case and applying uti possidetis to Africa
    2. The rule of intangibility of inherited frontiers
    3. The conventional obligation to respect the territorial status quo
    4. The customary rule of respecting the territorial status quo
    5. The changes made in international law by the African custom
    Part II. Towards an Exception to the African Rule Against Secession:
    6. Current justifications for secession in Africa
    7. Domination as a possible instance for a right to external self-determination
    8. Towards a right to egalitarian self-determination
    9. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Dirdeiry M. Ahmed, Dirdeiry and Associates, Khartoum
    Dirdeiry M. Ahmed, LL.B honours (Khartoum), LL.M (London), M.St (Oxford), PhD (Leicester), was the delegate of Sudan to the Sudan/South Sudan peace talks in Kenya, 1999–2005. He was also a member of the joint team that followed implementation of the peace agreement until the South Sudan self-determination referendum, January 2011, was conducted. Currently he practices law in Khartoum, Sudan.

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