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Some of what passes for law enforcement in Africa would never be acceptable under international law. Bruce Baker focuses on the concept of rule of law as a central element of democracy and examines how far Africans have to go to achieve such status.;After a general overview of the role of the rule of law in a democratic society, Bruce Baker provides five case studies that capture the current complex realities and their impact on the new democracies. The citizen responses considered are vigilantes in East African pastoral economies, anti-crime groups in Nigerian cities and private policing initiatives in South Africa. The state responses are those of the Ugandan Defence Forces towards the Lords Resistance Army, the Senegalese army towards the Casamance secessionists and the Mozambique Police response towards criminals.