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THE AFRICAN UNION, RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND THE LIBYAN CRISIS

  • Eki Yemisi Omorogbe

Abstract

The question whether external actors have a right of intervention within a sovereign state which is committing grave violations of human rights assumed particular significance in the case of the civil conflict that began in Libya in February 2011. Within the international response to the Libyan regime's attacks on its population, the Arab League, the United Nations and NATO favoured the use of military force, whereas the African Union favoured a political solution to the crisis. This article considers the question of African Union intervention within the framework of the concept of ‘responsibility to protect’. It argues that the reason why the African Union did not act militarily in Libya was that it lacks the will to confront incumbent leaders, something which undermines the organization's ability to provide effective solutions to African crises.

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* Lecturer, University of Leicester, United Kingdom. Contact: . An earlier version of this paper was presented to the European Society of International Law Research Forum in May 2011. I am grateful to the participants for their comments and to the Society of Legal Scholars for its financial support. My thanks to Bernard Ryan for his comments on the paper in draft.

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THE AFRICAN UNION, RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND THE LIBYAN CRISIS

  • Eki Yemisi Omorogbe

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