Enforced disappearance has been used as a tool of oppression all over the world in the context of internal armed conflicts; its use in Africa can be traced back to colonial times, when many colonial governments disappeared freedom fighters. Today, many African States use enforced disappearance in a range of contexts against different groups of people, from human rights
defenders to ethnic minorities, migrants and opposition leaders.

This report considers the practice of enforced disappearance in Africa, exploring the contexts in which it takes place, the existing international and regional legal and policy frameworks in place to prevent and respond to enforced disappearances, and the gaps in those frameworks that prevent the eradication of enforced disappearance in Africa, as well as making a set of recommendations to the relevant bodies on how to eliminate the practice on the continent.

REDRESS would like to express its gratitude to the law firm Linklaters for providing invaluable pro bono support on research, drafting and editing of the report. We further thank our partners, Lawyers for Justice in Libya, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies, and the MENA Rights Group, for their important input in exploring the scope of enforced disappearances in Libya, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Algeria.