Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Laws (LLM)

First Advisor

Mgbeoji, Ikechi M. C.


The various post-colonial armed conflicts bedeviling Third World States have claimed numerous lives and properties, drained its resources, displaced millions and have put the territory’s development move on the reverse gear. This thesis, from the theoretical perspective of Third World Approaches to International Law (“TWAIL”) is a contribution to the various on-going discussions on the roles that colonialism played in triggering bitter conflicts, confusion, and unhealthy rivalries amongst Third World peoples. Not losing sight of the internal dimensions to these conflicts, the thesis also examines the degree of contributions by some power-drunk and despotic Third World governments to these conflicts. The artificiality of the colonial imposed boundaries and the misrepresentation that characterized the series of treaties between the Third World and the colonial powers are still haunting the former colonies. After many decades of attaining independence, the West African States of Cameroon and Nigeria were assailed by conflicts largely connected with land and maritime borders between the two States. In North Africa, the people of Western Sahara in their struggle for self-determination are on a warpath with the Kingdom of Morocco. In the south-east Asian island of East Timor, its right to self-determination from Portugal was truncated by neighboring Indonesia and was only realized in 2002. The Berlin Conference remains till date one of the greatest undoing of the Third World by the imperialists in the light of the degree of ignorance, mockery, and mischief with which Third World territories were shared and colonized.

This thesis uses the ICJ judgments in the three disputes highlighted above to analyze the various conflicts in these former European colonies and concludes that the imperialists, having unduly exploited the inadequacy, Eurocentricity, and unfairness of international law, used the Berlin Conference and the colonial project to inaugurate and institutionalize the trend of civil conflicts across the Third World.