The African Union and the Responsibility to Protect: Principles and Limitations
This chapter questions the extent to which regional organisations can be a residual role in implementing the responsibility to protect (RtoP) whenever the UN Security Council is immobilised. It responds to this query by examining how the African Union (AU) understands its responsibility to protect. In particular, the chapter considers the various provisions of the Constitutive Act of the AU, related to the Union’s principles of non-indifference and non-interference as well as its right to intervene in its Member States, and their impact on RtoP. It also discusses whether, in the contemplation of the AU’s Ezulwini Consensus and several allied instruments, there is room for regional organisations to act in the stead of the Security Council whenever a dire RtoP situation arises. With reference to the AU’s intervention in Kenya and Darfur, the chapter discusses the progress and pitfalls of implementing RtoP in Africa.