n Journal of African Union Studies - The African union interventions in African conflicts : unity and leadership conundrum on Libya

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2050-4292
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4306


Scholars are divided over the African Union's unity on Libya conflict in 2011, they however agree that the United Nations (UN)-backed North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) intervention in Libya was successful because the African Union was truly divided and lacking in leadership. They contend that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) intervention in Libya was a dishonest act which was politically and economically motivated in pursuit of the national interests of some UNSC's permanent five (P5) states. Although the AU was unequivocal in its condemnation of the indiscriminate use of force and lethal weapons in Libya, the reaffirmation of its strong commitment to respect the unity and territorial integrity of Libya, and its rejection of any foreign military intervention in Libya, were suffocated by African disunity. Therefore, this paper is anchored on the thesis that Africa's persistent political marginalization on major issues is the net effect not only of global power disparity but also of African disunity. To this end, this paper grapples with the following questions: why is Africa not truly united? Why was the AU divided on Libya? What lessons can be learnt from the Libyan crisis?

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