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The African Union, the United Nations, and the Responsibility to Protect: Towards an African Intervention Doctrine

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This essay considers the R2P principle as expressed by the African Union's (AU) Constitutive Act of 2000, the United Nations (UN) World Summit's outcome document of 2005, and recent civilian protection mandates issued for peacekeeping operations by the UN Security Council. Examining how these three international mechanisms have sought to establish and operationalise the norm, the author argues that the AU should make greater efforts to bring R2P implementation into line with the UN Charter in order to secure the legitimacy of regional interventions in Africa. Reflecting on the experience of the AU Mission in Sudan between 2004 and 2007, the importance of clear mandates and sufficient capacity to the success of R2P interventions is emphasised. The use of force by peacekeepers—its feasibility and potential extent—is analysed and placed within the context of peacebuilding in the R2P continuum. The essay also argues for better coordination between the UN Security Council and the world body's Economic and Social Council, as well as with the AU's Peace and Security Council, to ensure a reliable supply of adequate peacebuilding resources to Africa and proper consideration of security and reconstruction matters.


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