International Law and Boundary Disputes in Africa
Routledge – 2015 – 410 pages
Africa has experienced a number of territorial disputes over land and maritime boundaries, due in part to its colonial and post-colonial history. This book explores the legal, political, and historical nature of disputes over territory in the African continent, and critiques the content and application of contemporary International law to the resolution of African territorial and border disputes.
Drawing on central concepts of public international law such as sovereignty and jurisdiction, and socio-political concepts such as colonialism, ethnicity, nationality and self-determination, this book interrogates the intimate connection that peoples and nations have to territory and the severe disputes these may lead to. Gbenga Oduntan identifies the major principles of law at play in relation to territorial, and boundary disputes, and argues that the predominant use of foreign based adjudicatory mechanisms in attempting to deal with African boundary disputes alienates those institutions and mechanisms from African people and can contribute to the recurrence of conflicts and disputes in and among African territories. He suggests that the understanding and application of multidisciplinary dispute resolution mechanisms and strategies can allow for a more holistic and effective treatment of boundary disputes.
As an in depth study into the legal, socio-political and anthropological mechanisms involved in the understanding of territorial boundaries, and a unique synthesis of an African jurisprudence of international boundaries law, this book will be of great use and interest to students, researchers, and practitioners in African and Public International Law, International Relations, and decision-makers in need of better understanding the settlement of disputes over territorial boundaries in both Africa and the wider world.
1. Sovereignty Jurisdiction and Control over National Territory 2. Manifestation of Boundary Disputes in East Africa 3. Manifestation of Boundary Disputes in West Africa 4. Manifestation of Boundary Disputes in North Africa 5. Manifestation of Boundary Disputes in Southern Africa 6. Manifestations of Boundary Disputes in Central Africa 7. The African Union and the Settlement of African Boundary Disputes 8. Jurisprudence of the ICJ in Relation to African Boundary disputes 9. Reevaluation of the Uti Possidetis Principle in light of the African Experience 10. Multi-tracking and Indigenizing Settlement of Boundary Disputes in Africa 11. Alternative Futures: Innovative Methods to avoid Zero sum Positions
Gbenga Oduntan is Senior Lecturer in International Commercial Law at the University of Kent, UK.