Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Ben Saul

This Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the prolific body of international laws governing terrorism. It exhaustively covers the global response to terrorism in transnational criminal law, the international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the law of State responsibility, the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UN specialised bodies, and regional organisations. It also addresses special legal issues in dealing with terrorism such as gender, religion, victims of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and customary law.

Chapter 42: Counter-terrorism and Pan-Africanism: From non-action to non-indifference

Martin Ewi and Anton Du Plessis

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, public international law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, human rights, terrorism and security


Security was catapulted to the fore of Pan-Africanism only after the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963. Independence forced African states to concentrate on internal dynamics while the external aspects of living in a community were largely relegated to the OAU. The OAU provided an embryo for Pan-Africanism, political activism and a cult for the development, codification, propagation and protection of African norms. The prevalence of conflicts and political instability with spillover effects in the newly independent states underscored the primacy of security if the new community were to survive. For the first time, the new states committed to harmonize their policies on, inter alia, cooperation for defence and security. The Charter of the OAU also enumerated principles that member states should adhere to for promoting peace and security, which was limited to conflict management and resolution. The Charter however, fell short of addressing terrorism and never identified it as a threat to the continent, even though it had been a contested issue in the anti-colonial struggles. Colonial powers branded liberation fighters as terrorists and regarded the OAU as the political centre or an umbrella organization of terrorist groups. Africa’s initial understanding of the term ‘terrorism’ was therefore associated with colonialism. From this prism, terrorism was viewed as a colonial tool that was used to undermine the legitimate struggle against colonial oppression in Africa.

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