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date: 15 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The African Union has been acclaimed for its effort in adopting policies that seek to protect civilian populations from mass atrocity crimes. It has transited from the principle of non-interference to non-indifference through the adoption of Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of 2000, which enjoins it to intervene in respect of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Article 4(h) and the responsibility to protect share striking commonalities—both are rooted in the notion of sovereignty as responsibility. However, limited progress has been made in translating these normative principles into concrete action. This chapter notes the lingering issues of sovereignty and limited capacity for enforcement, as well as the state-centric approach to prevention without regard for local sources of resilience. Effective implementation of R2P should address the challenges of cooperation between the AU and other organs, and consider hybrid forms of prevention which exist in many African states.

Keywords: African Union, non-indifference, non-interference, sovereignty, Constitutive Act, responsibility to protect, Africa, APSA

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