The African Union and Sovereignty as Responsibility

  • D Geldenhuys


Whereas the OAU sanctifi ed state rights in the name of sovereignty, the AU is built on the modern idea of sovereignty as state responsibility, expressed in the international principle of responsibility to protect (R2P). Against the backdrop of the evolution of the notion of sovereignty in the world at large and in Africa in particular, the article focuses on the elements of R2P built into the structures and processes of the AU. Thereafter the regional body’s actual record in giving effect to R2P is assessed. The AU can claim some successes, as with peacekeeping ventures in Africa, but it also faces serious challenges in living up to the precepts of R2P and, by implication, its own Constitutive Act.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804