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Governance, Peace and Human Rights Violations in Africa: Addressing the Application of the Right to Self-Determination in Post-Independence Africa

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AbstractRecent claims of self-determination in post-independence Africa have put pressure on African regional judicial bodies to define the scope of this right. This article examines governance, peace and human rights violation issues in the context of the application of the right to self-determination in post-independence Africa. It scrutinizes the ruling by the African Commission in Katangese Peoples Congress v. Zaire, and argues that this ruling exhibits the African Commission’s encouraging view of self-determination under the African Charter, and the likely recognition of a right to an autonomy regime in post-independence Africa. The article maintains that many of the legal issues in Katanga will likely be raised again, either before the African Commission or the African Court, due to recent and increased claims of self-determination by groups within African states. It examines whether the recognition of a right to autonomy regime could have positive impact on good governance, peace and development in Africa.

Affiliations: 1: Oliver Schreiner School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg South Africa, URL:


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