Human Rights and State Collapse in Africa

Babafemi Akinrinade 9789077596678 | 1 edition, 2009


This book examines the various factors responsible for the phenomenon of State collapse in Africa. The author demonstrates that the role of human rights violations is critical to understanding the phenomenon. Sierra Leone and Somalia are used as case studies to examine the impact of human rights violations in the processes leading to collapse and in the absence of effective State authorities. The analysis shows that the difference in success of international action is due to the huge attention paid to accountability for human rights violations in Sierra Leone, which has been absent in Somalia.

The author concludes that given the role that human rights violations play in State collapse, human rights protection must have primacy in State rebuilding efforts. There is a need to build a human rights culture, which should include accountability efforts to address gross violations of human rights that occurred in the past in order to lay a solid foundation for the future. Contemporary international law needs to come to terms with the phenomenon of State collapse, including an unambiguous outlining of the responsibility of non-State actors, who become the main actors in situations of total anarchy and chaos.

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Author's information

Babafemi Akinrinade holds the LL.M. and J.S.D. degrees in International Human Rights Law of the University of Notre Dame Law School, as well as the LL.B. and LL.M. degrees of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He was a fellow at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Notre Dame Law School (2005-2006) and from 2003-2004, he was the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow (and co-Instructor) for the Sawyer Seminar on Comparative Truth and Reconciliation Process at the Center for International Human Rights, Northwestern University Law School, Chicago. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1988, and between 1992 and 2002, he was a Lecturer in Law at the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (1992-2002). His research interests include state collapse and human rights, transitional justice, international humanitarian law, and the political, security and socio-economic relations of African States. He is currently Assistant Professor of Human Rights, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Washington University.


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