n Law, Democracy & Development - Scrutinising regional standards of democracy in Africa

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



It has long been admitted that the right to determine its own political regime, vests in a State. The right falls within the realm of State sovereignty and excludes, , any idea of external influence or interference. The principle of non-interference in domestic affairs is one of the sacrosanct values underlying inter-state relations. The principle was reaffirmed by UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 of 1960, regarding the granting of independence to colonised peoples and countries, whereby the General Assembly recalled the right of peoples to self-determination, which includes the right to be free from any form of colonialism, and also the right to independently choose their political status or regime. Traditionally, therefore, international law purports to be politically and ideologically neutral, even though, during the so-called Cold War period, Washington and Moscow tried to impose their respective ideologies upon small states. In Africa, the 1963 Charter of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) installed non-interference in the internal affairs of Member States as one of the pillars of the Organisation.

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