Taking the Law into their Own Hands: Lawless Law Enforcers in Africa

1st Edition

Bruce Baker

Published November 11, 2016
Reference - 256 Pages
ISBN 9781138277809 - CAT# Y315713
Series: The Making of Modern Africa

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Over much of Africa, crime and insurgency are a serious problem and one in which the distinction between the two is being eroded.  Left without state protection people have sought to preserve their lives and property through vigilante groups and militias that pay scant attention to the law or human rights.  Likewise, the state security forces, under pressure to cut crime and rebel activity, readily discard lawful procedures.  Torture provides them with vital information, whilst extra-judicial executions save the need to go through the prolonged criminal justice system. 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, The Bakassi Boys an anti-crime group in Nigeria 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.


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