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Biafra, Secession and Recognition in International Law

Jennifer E. Douglas


Master's Thesis, American University, July 1994

This thesis will explore the limits of the doctrine of non-recognition in international law within a framework of the Nigerian-Biafran civil war. The study seeks to examine the politics involved in the practice of recognition by the community of nations and whether the non-recognition of a state can be the death knell of that sovereignty in the light of states that come into existence through secessionary character. The contention is that the practice of recognition has changed over time. Evidently the interplay between the major powers and their supporters continues to frustrate, legally and politically, the emergence of new states from existing members of the community. Because conflicts are continually erupting around the world and evolving states often lay claims to sovereignty, the community of nations should take another look at the practice of recognition of new entities.

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Biafran War Database.
Editor: Azuka Nzegwu.

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