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Gender and Behaviour

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The African Union and election related violence in Zimbabwe

Lucky E. Asuelime

Abstract


Since the turn of the 21st century, the African Union (AU) which assumed the name in 2002 was transforming itself into a Union whose membership adhered to human right and democratic tenets. The constitutive act of the union explicitly stated the need to respect human rights and democratic principles. However, the AU faced a litmus test on the Zimbabwean case whose political environment was deteriorating at the turn of the century. The ruling party adopted unorthodox means of political survival and violence was at the centre stage. This paper discusses and analyse the manner in which the AU responded to violence as an elections tool by the ruling ZANU PF party. The paper questions whether the union was intimidated by the manner in which ZANU PF responded to organisations that questioned its unorthodox politics of survival. It concludes that the AU’s response to election related violence in Zimbabwe was based on the concept of appeasement seen as indifference and accommodation.

Keywords: Zimbabwe, African Union, Elections, Violence, ZANU PF




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