n Journal of African Union Studies - Recognising cecessionist claims : the Organisation of African Unity and African Union's complex record

Volume 2, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 2050-4292
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4306


On its fiftieth birthday the African Union (AU) can reflect that as an institution it has evolved considerably from a closed organisation, that offered protection for increasingly despotic governments, to a value-based organisation that notionally prioritises human rights above state sovereignty. That at least is the dominant narrative of the AU's history, although many of the commitments about the protection of values in the 2000 AU Constitutive Act have yet to be seen in practice. One area where there has been a shift from the Organisation of African Unity's (OAU) practice of defending state sovereignty at all costs, to a more value-driven approach has been the recognition of secessionist states.

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