n Journal of African Union Studies - Is the African Union's position on non-indifference making a difference? : the implementation of the responsibility to protect (R2P) in Africa in theory and practice

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


This article examines whether the African Union's policy of non-indifference has made a difference on the continent to issues concerning peace and security and the promotion and protection of human rights. It does so by contextualising the situation concerning peace and human rights in Africa, and by examining these against the principles of the responsibility to protect (R2P) and the principles established by the AU on matters of peace, security, human rights, and humanitarian intervention (HI). It does this by examining what humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect are, and what principles in regard to those legal norms that are found in the AU Constitutive Act as well as other African Union instruments. This is done to determine what progress the AU has made in that regard in dealing with conflict and human rights issues. The article traces the role of the OAU, and why it was transformedinto the AU around concerns about its role on the continent and how it dealt with these matters. The article examines whether the African Union has carried out the commitments it has penned or whether the statements and principles inhas adopted are merely rhetorical or have been operationalised. The article examines the African Union's role in a number of country settings including Sudan (specifically Darfur), Libya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Kenya, and Burundi to determine whether the AU has truly implemented the goals it set for itself concerning non-indifference. The article makes recommendations on what can be done to truly make the AU an organisation that is non-indifferent and what is needed to deal with some of Africa's peace and security tribulations and its human rights problems.

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