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The Role of the United Nations, the African Union and Africa's Sub-Regional Organizations in Dealing with Africa's Human Rights Problems: Connecting Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2009

Abstract

This article examines the basis for humanitarian intervention (HI) in the United Nations Charter, the African Union (AU) Charter and in a number of African sub-regional institutions. It traces the historical development of HI and argues that, while the right to HI emerged more than 100 years ago, that right also emerges from the Genocide Convention. The article argues that this treaty connects HI to the developing norm of the responsibility to protect (R2P) and examines the extent to which R2P is garnering wider support around the world. It focuses on the UN, and the various AU and sub-regional institutions and instruments that sanction HI. It assesses whether intervention can be authorized even in the absence of a UN Security Council mandate and examines the principles, application and interrelationship of R2P and HI in the African context. It traces the use of these norms in Africa, including in the various sub-regional structures, and evaluates the AU's political will and capability to deal with conflict and human rights abuse.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © School of Oriental and African Studies 2009

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86 Id, art 4(o).

87 Id, art 4(p).

88 Id, art 3(5).

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136 Res 1464, S/Res/1464 (2003), 4 February 2003. See Holt and Shanahan African Capacity-Building, above at note 125.

137 Res 1497, S/Res/1497 (2003), 1 August 2003. See Holt and Shanahan id at 49.

138 ECOWAS Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-Keeping and Security, art 52, available at: <http://www.iss.co.za/af/regorg/unity_to_union/pdfs/ecowas/ConflictMecha.pdf> (last accessed 17 April 2008).

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140 See for example ECOWAS press release: “ECOWAS electoral observers in Sénégal” (press release no 11/2007, 25 February 2007, Abuja) and ECOWAS press release “ECOWAS observers to be deployed in Nigeria for general elections” (press release no 28/2007, 4 April 2007, Abuja).

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142 ECOWAS Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security (1999), art 25.

143 Ibid.

144 Ibid.

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146 Comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

147 See draft Protocol for the Establishment of the Eastern Africa Standby Brigade (2005, IGAD), available at: <http://www.iss.org.za/AF/RegOrg/unity_to_union/pdfs/igad/easbrigfeb04prot.pdf> (last accessed 17 April 2008).

148 See <http://www.africa-union.org/Recs/IGAD_Profile.pdf> (last accessed 17 April 2008).

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151 Comprising Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.

152 Comprising Angola, Burundi, Comoros, DRC, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

153 See <http://www.easbrig.org/about.php> (last accessed 3 December 2007).

154 Comprising Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

155 See <http://www.sadc.int/english/about/profile/index.php> (last accessed 17 April 2008).

156 The Southern African Development Coordination Conference was established in 1980 and was transformed into SADC in 1992.

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160 Id, art 11(2).

161 Id, art 3.

162 Id, art 11(3)(c).

163 Id, art 11(3)(d).

164 Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, objective 1, available at: <http://www.sadc.int/content/english/key_documents/sipo/sipo_en.pdf> (last accessed 17 April 2008).

165 See <http://www.ceeac-eccas.org/> (last accessed 3 December 2007).

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168 Comprising Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

169 Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo and Tunisia.

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175 Ibid.

176 UN press release 2008 “Kenya: UN genocide adviser urges end to violence in Kenya, sends staffer there” (28 January 2008, UN News Service), available at <http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=25425&Cr=kenya&Cr1> (last accessed 17 April 2008).

177 Archbishop D Tutu “Taking the responsibility to protect” (19 February 2008) International Herald Tribune.

12
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