The African Union and the protection of civilians

Can Africa protect its most vulnerable populations?

Authored by: Walter Lotze

Handbook of Africa’s International Relations

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9781857436334
eBook ISBN: 9780203803929
Adobe ISBN:


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The African Union (AU) has since 2002 worked to embed notions of human security at the centre of what has commonly been referred to as the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the continental framework used in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa. In many ways, the AU has made a dramatic break from the past in comparison with its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Indeed, whereas the OAU was often accused of defending and entrenching traditional notions of sovereignty and regime security, the AU has theoretically been empowered to reinterpret traditional sovereignty notions and, importantly, to replace an African security discourse previously dominated by notions of regime security with a discourse dominated by notions of human security.

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