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Strange Bedfellows

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Exploring the Relationship between R2P and Art. 4(h) of the African Union Constitutive Act with Regard to Military Intervention

image of Global Responsibility to Protect

This essay revisits the relationship between Article 4(h) of the African Union Constitutive Act and the R2P concept with a particular focus on military intervention. After unfolding the narrative of equation between the two norms, we explore their content and highlight their clear differences. We also observe the conceptual glissement concerning Article 4(h) from a right to a duty to intervene, which is not backed up by international practice. Furthermore, we examine the possible impact of the narrative of equation on the use of force architecture and particularly, on the relationship between the African Union and the United Nations. Finally, we analyse the normative implications of the equation for the R2P concept and conclude that the above equation fails to produce tangible legal consequences. What remains are its political motivations that sharply depart from the ‘higher’ ideals permeating the R2P and thus undermine its logic and realization.

Affiliations: 1: Democritus University of Thrace; The American College in Thessaloniki,


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