Reparations — Legally Justified and Sine qua non for Global Justice, Peace and Security


  • Nora Wittmann



Capitalism, global justice, international law, reparations, sovereignty


The paper assesses current rising reparations claims for the Maafa/ Maangamizi (‘African holocaust,’ comprising transatlantic slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism) from two angles. First, it explores the connectivity of reparations and global justice, peace and security. Second, it discusses how the claim is justified in international law. The concept of reparations in international law is also explored, revealing that reparations cannot be limited to financial compensation due to the nature of the damage and international law prescriptions. Comprehensive reparations based in international law require the removal of structures built on centuries of illegal acts and aggression, in the forms of transatlantic slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Reparations must also lead to the restitution of sovereignty to African and indigenous peoples globally. They are indispensable to halt the destruction of the earth as human habitat, caused by the violent European cultural, political, socio-economic system known as capitalism that is rooted in transatlantic slavery.