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This book challenges a central assumption of the international law of territory. The author argues that, contrary to the finding in the Frontier Dispute, uti possidetis is not a general principle of law enjoining states to preserve pre-existing boundaries on state succession.
The book demonstrates that African state practice gave rise to customary rules of intangibility of inherited frontiers and respecting the territorial status quo that, respectively, regulate sovereign territory transfer in Africa on independence and beyond. It explains that those rules changed international law as it relates to Africa in many aspects, including the creation of norms of African jus cogens prohibiting secession and the redrawing of boundaries.
The book examines in depth the phenomenon of secession in Africa, exploring extensive state practice. Finally, it advances a daring argument for a right to egalitarian self-determination, addressing domination in multi-ethnic states, to serve as an exception to the African rule against secession.