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Françafrique and the Prohibition of the Use of Force


Ricarda Roesch

About Ricarda
Ricarda Roesch has a LL.B. in ‚Comparative and European Law’ from the Hanse Law School, and a LL.M. in International Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is currently a member of a research project on human rights as standards of international economic law and does a PhD on Third World responses to corporate irresponsibility.
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TWAIL challenges the western origin of international law as well as its instrumentalisation by the global North. The prohibition of the use of force is a norm that, nevertheless, corresponds to the interests of the Third World, as it can help to ensure their territorial integrity. However, Art. 2(4) tends to be disrespected by western powers. An example thereof is the long tradition of French interventionism in Africa. After the end of colonialism, France continued its policy of interference, best described by the notion of Françafrique. The most recent examples are the military interventions in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. This paper assesses how French interventionism has undermined the prohibition of the use of force. It will be shown that a gap between the official justification used by the French and their real intentions exists. The French tradition of intervention in its former colonies undermines the prohibition of the use of force and decreases the credibility of the UN Charter and the UN system. The TWAIL critique with regard to the law on the use of force is therefore justified.

How to Cite: Roesch, R., 2015. Françafrique and the Prohibition of the Use of Force. Amsterdam Law Forum, 7(1), pp.25–35. DOI:
Published on 01 Jun 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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