The article examines the intersections between politics and economic development issues in the violence-ravaged Darfur region of Sudan. Also, the constraints and opportunities available to the United Nations, the African Union, and other entities to help bring the violence to an end are analysed. Within the context of the Responsibility to Protect argument and the new African Union’s desire to protect citizens against government violence in Africa, the question is: Does the AU have the capability to protect citizens against government violence? With a specific focus on Sudanese Darfur, the article offers a strategic vision for reducing and hopefully ending human rights violations that have ravaged much of sub-Saharan Africa. I argue that in order for the UN and AU to fully protect citizens against government-sponsored violence, the self-empowerment of African States, regional African Organisations, non-governmental organisations, citizens and the African Union must be recognised as the first lines of defence against government and government-sponsored atrocities against citizens. The article concludes with recommendations for ending the violence in Darfur.