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Responsibility to Protect in Africa: An analysis of the African Union's Peace and Security architecture

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In this paper we argue that, since its birth, the African Union (AU) has established a set of norms and principles that mirror the tenets of R2P as agreed to by the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit. These norms and principles coupled with the AU's peace and security architecture make it proactive in conflict prevention and the management of crisis situations on the continent. Collaborative ventures between the African Union (at the continental level), the regional economic communities (RECs) at the (sub-regional level) and the UN (at the global level), we argue, are thus the best options for deepening R2P norms. We argue that the world is experiencing a unique moment of opportunity in the relations between the UN and (sub) regional organisations broadly and the AU specifically. However, the AU's responses to current security challenges in Darfur in Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe, and especially the ICC's application for the issuance of arrest warrant for President Al Bashir of Sudan, does not reflect a clear commitment to the responsibility to protect. The AU's attempt to solve the continent's problems will continue to be thwarted by its lack of political will and the weakening of its norms and principles by some Member States.


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