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Title: The United Nations, international law and the Rhodesian independence crisis
Author: Nkala, Jericho Celasani
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1978
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In 1961 Rhodesia promulgated a new Constitution. Rhodesian Africans opposed that Constitution on the ground that it discriminated against them in favour of the country's white population. They petitioned the United Nations and won the support of the African members. There followed a period in which the General Assembly adopted a number of resolutions on Rhodesia against strenuous British opposition urging Britain to implement majority rule in that country. On 11 November 1965 the Smith regime proclaimed Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Rhodesia. The United Nations imposed non-military enforcement action to deal with the situation. Although Rhodesia was a British territory and U.D.I. a rebellion against Britain, the United Nations's imposition of that enforcement action could be justified under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. France did not, however, believe that the United Nations could be legally justified to intervene in the Rhodesian situation and showed that by abstaining when the voting for the enforcement action was taken. The Soviet Union also abstained for different reasons. These abstentions did not, however, invalidate the resolutions which imposed that action because according to the practice of the Security Council abstention by Permanent Members of the Security Council does not amount to a veto. It may be asked if the Security Council was justified in imposing this enforcement action. In order to answer this question the extent of the Security Council's discretionary power is examined. In addition the thesis describes and discusses the enforcement measures which were imposed against he Smith regime. The thesis further deals with the following questions: How do these measures affect non-members of the United Nations? Does Rhodesia satisfy the requirements of statehood? Was U.D.I. an illegal act in international law? Has Rhodesia been recognized? The rest of the thesis deals with the objectives of the enforcement action; how this action could be terminated; the general powers of the Security Council under Article 24 of the Charter; possible imposition of military measures; possible extension of the United Nations action to South Africa; and the General Assembly's power to recommend collective measures. The final chapter deals with the effect of this enforcement action on the future of United Nations non-military enforcement action.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: KF United States Federal Law