International Law and the Self-Determination of South Sudan

  • Citation: Dersso, Solomon A. "International law and the self-determination of South Sudan." Institute for Security Studies Papers 2012.231 (2012): 12-12.
    • Topics:
    • Human Rights
    • Keywords:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • South Sudan
    • self-determination
    • uti possidetis
    • regional law
    • international law

On 9 July 2011 South Sudan became the newest independent state in Africa. Given the importance that is accorded to the inviolability of colonial borders in African international relations, as aptly summarised in the quote above, the process of the self-determination of South Sudan has raised questions on discourse about and the practice of self-determination under general international law and, significantly, African regional law. The intention of this paper is to investigate these issues and examine the ways in which South Sudan’s assertion of its right to self-determination may shape African regional law vis-à-vis self-determination and the principle of uti possidetis. Under this principle, African states have committed themselves to scrupulously respecting and upholding the colonial borders inherited at independence.

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