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THE ROLE AND PLACE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE MANDATE AND WORKS OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE AU: AN APPRAISAL

  • Solomon A. Dersso

Abstract

Since its establishment in 2002, the African Union (AU) has accorded particular importance to the establishment of a robust mechanism for effectively responding to conflicts in Africa. This emerging mechanism established under the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC Protocol) is known as the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Central to the APSA is the PSC, which, like the UN Security Council, is ‘a standing decision-making organ for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts’. The PSC is vested with expansive powers covering the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa. In this context, the PSC Protocol not only makes numerous direct references to human rights but it also assigns the PSC with specific responsibilities vis-à-vis the protection of human rights. Despite the PSC's express mandate with respect to human rights and the crucial importance and link of human rights to peace and security in Africa, little has however been written and discussed on the subject of human rights from the perspective of the works of the PSC and generally within the context of AU initiatives for the promotion, maintenance and restoration of peace and security in Africa. In an effort to contribute towards filling this lacuna, this article seeks to consider the place of human rights within the mandates of the PSC and the need for and the extent to which they are integrated into the PSC's work for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa

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* The author is a Senior Researcher with the Peace and Security Council Report Program of the Institute for Security Studies Addis Ababa Office and Assistant Professor of Human Rights Law at Addis Ababa University. I would like to thank Dr Frew Kebede of Hong Kong University for providing me with the materials needed for writing this article and Dr Emezat Hailu Mengesh for her unreserved support, care and affection. This is a revised version of a paper delivered at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) expert roundtable on the Peace and Security Council of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 29-30 March 2010. The author can be reached at .

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THE ROLE AND PLACE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE MANDATE AND WORKS OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE AU: AN APPRAISAL

  • Solomon A. Dersso

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