Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

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The role of the African Union (AU) in preventing conflicts in African States

Oluwaseun Bamidele


The issue of regionalism is today present throughout the international system, and regional organisations are widely considered to play an important role in relation to regional and sub-regional security. With the sub-regional organisations increasingly overburdened, such regional organisations have emerged as one possible solution to problems associated with state fragility and violence perpetrated by non-state actors. Relative to other regional organisations, the AU has received little attention in the literature and it is not generally considered to have much impact on the prevention of conflicts in the African region like sub-regional organisations. This paper, however, argues that the AU does matter and that rules and norms do make a difference in peace and security more generally. The AU, despite its problems, has played important roles that have helped avert violent conflict in a number of cases in Africa.

Keywords: African Union (AU), Regionalism, Security, Regional Organisations, African Region

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