The African Union as a Possible UN Chapter VIII Organisation

Since its inception in 2002 as a sucecssor to the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) the African Union (AU) has been busy carving out its role on the troubled Africancontinent. This has been very appreciated by the rest of the world –not least the West–which is far from eager to become too involved in the intractable and protracted conflicts so prominent in Africa. The West is, however, quite prepared to provide economic and various other forms of support for the both the concrete missions of the AU and the build-up of capacities for future missions.

In this article the AU’s ambitions and accomplishments are summarised and evaluated with a specuial view to what might resonably be expected of a regional organisation in the sense of the UN Charter’s chapter VIII. The pros and cons of the devolution of responsibility from the UN to such organisations are, likewise, analysed, highlighting both obstacles, opportunities and dilemmas. As the focus is on the ambitions and goals as well as, to some extent, the organisational setup, the concrete missions of the AU are only mentioned briefly and superficially–also because some of them they are dealt with in other contributions to this issue of Militært Tidsskrift


What is a ”Chapter VIII Organisation”?

From the very beginning the United Nations envisaged an important role for regional organisations, even within the field of peace and security.[1] Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, comprising articles 52-54, thus states,  

Art. 52. (1) Nothing in the present Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action provided that such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. (2) The Members of the United Nations         entering into such arrange­ments or con­stitu­ting such agencies shall make every effort to achieve pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies before referring them to the Security Council. (3) The Security Council shall encourage the development of pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies either on the initiative of the states concerned or by reference from the Security Council. (...)

Art. 53 (1) The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council (...).

Art. 54. The Security Council shall at all times be kept fully informed of activities undertaken or in contemplation under regional arrangements or by regional agencies for the maintenance of international peace and security.

The reference to the “purposes and principles of the UN” is less vague than one might think, as these are spelled out in Chapter I (i.e. articles 1 and 2) of the Charter. Among the purposes we find the maintenance of international peace and security, equal rights for states, self-determination for peoples, international co-operation in a wide range of fields and the promotion of human rights. Among the principles we find those of the sovereign equality of states, the prohibition of the use of force, as well as the threat of such use, against the terrirorial integrity and political independence of states; and the principle of non-interference into domestic affairs.

It is thus clear that regional organisations, according to the charter, may not be used for attacks against other states (regardless of whether they are members or not) or for any kind of “threat diplomacy.” Decisions about the use of force remain the prerogative of the Security Council, which alone has the power to authorise the use of force as specified in Chapter VII’s article 42, and only in order to “maintain or restore international peace and security.” The only exception to this rule is the right of self-defence, which is more narrowly circumscriben than often assumed and far from tantamount to any “licence to kill” requiring merely a proclamation of “self-defence.” On the one hand, by referring to this right as “inherent” the Charter does acknowledge it as somehow “above” the Charter’s stipulations. On the other hand it does explicitly define when and hown it may be exercised.[2]

The “when question” is answered quite clearly with the rather uncompromising formulation “if an armed attack occurs” against a state, and it further specifies that the right only applies until the Security Council takes over. Below we shall revisit this question for possible “loopholes,” as far as counter-terrorism is concerned. The answer to the “how question” is quite vague, but does open up for collective self-defence, i.e. for alliances such as NATO (or the defunct Warsaw Pact for that matter),[3] but only for the purpose of defence.[4] In a hypothetical and highly simplified setting featuring two opposing alliances (A and B) with two members each (A1 and A2, B1 and B2) the triggering event might be an attack by A1 against B1. This would give not only B1 but also B2 the right to use millitary force against A1. However, it would not automatically allow either of them to strike against A2 merely because of its allignment with the aggressor; nor would it make a retaliatory strike by A1 against B2 legal, as B2’s actions would qualify as self-defence rather than attack. There may be some scope for “anticipation,” however, even though this opens up for very divergent interpretations. In some cases, the only way of defending oneself may be to pre-empt an attack, but the pre-emptor must then be able to lift the “burden of proof,” not only in front of the Security Council, but also of the International Court of Justice which would be the appropriate legal institution to try such cases.[5]

Significantly, however, there is no reference to self-defence in the chapter on regional organisations. It is thus quite clear that the United Nations has not ceded any of its powers to regional organisations, but that these operate under the overall authority of the Security Council.

Regional, Subregional and “Miscellaneous” Organisations

It has never been entirely clear what it takes to be a regional or a “Chapter VIII” organisation,[6] but it has traditionally not included collective defence organisations, i.e. alliances such as NATO—distinguished among other criteria by their exclusivity and ipso facto by being directed against somebody. A genuine regional organisation is, in principle at least, open to all states in a region.

In recent years, however, both NATO and the EU have attended the meetings which the UN has for a number of years convened for what it calles “regional and other intergovernmental organisations,” in which the number of participants have doubled from ten in 1994 to twenty. At the meeting in 2005 the organisations listed in Table 1 attended. The categorisation is that of the present author.[7]

This is quite a diverse group and it is far from obvious that the same rules should apply to all of them. Following the 2005 meeting the Security Council passed resolution 1631 (17 October 2005) in which it charged the Secretary-General with reporting back with proposals for how collaboration with the organisations might be improved. On the 28th of July 2006, he presented such a report on A Global-Regional Partnership: Challenges and Opportunities[8] in which he bemoaned the lack of clarity about who should count as regional organisations, which is, in turn, related to the ambiguity about regions as such. Catiously as always, and emphasising that “none is excluded” he limited himself to the very moderate suggestion that “we might consider taking the regional-global partnership to a new level of clarity, practicality and seriousness.”

For all its merits, however, clarity is rarely what states seek in international collaboration, where “constructive ambiguity” is often appreciated. Should the UN, for instance, explicitly mandate regional organisations to use force without prior security council authorisation without constraints on who should be able to use the label “regional organisation,” the rest of the world (in particular Russia and China) might fear for an abuse of this by NATO for armed interventions, just as NATO would not have been happy with any implicit UN authorisation of the 1968 Warsaw Pact of Czechoslovakia.

The report also listed a number of fields in which regional organisations should play a greater role, e.g. conflict prevention, peace-making, emergency relief and small arms regulation, just as it mentioned the desirability of agreed rules to guide the division of labour and responsibility between the UN and the regional organisations.


Even though it has no legal foundation except the somewhat equivocal formulations in the UN Charter quoted above, a norm nevertheless seems to be gaining ground which is often referred to as subsidiarty.[9] It has become somewhing of a buzzword, not only in EU circles (where the principle is enshrined both in the rejected Constitutional Treaty and the new Reform Treaty) but also elsewhere, e.g. with regard to conflict and security issues in the UN.[10]

The origins of the principle of subsidiarity go way back, inter alia to the papal encyclicals Rerum Novarum (Leo XIII, 1891) and Quadragesimo Anno (Pius XI, 1931). According to the latter, the principle entails that

[A] community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.[11]

Subsidiarity presupposes a hierarchical order with global organisations, in casu the United Nations at the top and individual states at the botton, with regional and subregional organisations occupying the middle rungs of the “ladder” as illustrated in Fig. 1.

The gist of the subsidiarity norm is that problems should be handled at the lowest possible level, i.e. that, ideally states should handle their own affairs, including bilateral conflicts. If this is not possible, first the subregional and then the regional organisations to which they belong should take over, only referring the matter to the UN if they do not succeed. The subregional and regional organisations would thus be the first and second international resorts, but there is not necessarily any temporal dimension to this ordering. In some cases these levels may be obviously incapable of handling the matter and there is no norm requiring them to waste time and efforts in an endeavour which is obviously futile. Because of the above stipulations in the UN charter, the subsidiarity norm has no formal legal standing, but is rather a socially constructed norm among states. As such it has both advantages and drawbacks.

In favour of it speaks, first of all, the prospects it holds for relieving the UN Security Council from having to deal with all the world’s conflicts, thus “spreading itself too thin.” The UN will surely be able to do a better job, if it concentrates on a few. Secondly, the regional or subregional levels of action are often most suitable for managing problems such as that of ethnic conflicts between groups and nations “straddling borders,” border-transcending environmental issues, e.g. involving shared rivers, or problems such as cross-border migration or crime as well as border disputes.[12] Finally, in some cases at least, neighbouring states are often in a better position to understand the conflict in question than, say, Europeans or North Americans coming from a completely different cultral background.

Against speaks, first of all, that subregional and, to a somewhat lesser extent, regional organisations are often dominated by states with high stakes in the various conflicts and therefore with their own national agendas, which make them less able to maintain impartiality—not to mention extreme cases where a subregional organisation is effectively hijacked by a great power, as would seem to be the case of IGAD with regard to Somalia.[13]

Secondly, there happens to be a complete mismatch between needs and capabilities, as the regions most in need, especially Africa, are not only among the world’s poorest (which may be a partial explanation for the high incidence of conflict), but also those with the lowest military expenditures and therefore also with the least military capability to handle conflicts, whereas the most militarised states in the world, i.e. those of the West have very few conflicts to deal with within their respective regions (see Table 1). Seen in this light, subsidiarity may be an excuse for “buck-passing,” which is ethically questionable, to say the least—unless, of course, one accepts the rather bizarre premise that responsibility should be a function of distance or of being located on the same continent, implying that, for instance, Botswana is more responsible for the terrible conflict in the DR Congo than Belgium. However persuasive it may seem, at first glance, the fashionable expression “African solutions to African problems” (yielding no less than 11,900 hits in a Google search) may thus be quite problematic, by absolving the powers of the West who have the ability, but merely lack the will, to face up to their historical and legal responsibilities at the expence of African countries who have the will, but are desperately short of capabilities.

The AU’s Ambitions

Just as its predecessor, the OAU (Organisation for African Unity) the AU is clearly a regional organisation in the sense of the UN Charter. It comprises all the states of the African continent as well as six nearby island states (Cape Verde, Comores, Madagascar, Mauritius, Sao Tomé and Principe and the Seychelles), i.e. a total of 53 states. This number does, however, conceal one significant anomali as it includes an entity which is not generally recognised as a state (Sahrawi, i.e. West Sahara) and, for the very same reason, excludes a state that should belong, i.e. Morocco, claiming sovereignty over Sahrawi. What sometimes creates confusion is the fact that some of these 53 also belong to another region, i.e. that of the Middle East, as is certainly the case of Egypt, but also (perhaps to a slightly lesser extent) Libya, Tunesia, Algeria and Morocco. However, the fact that there is no regional organisation covering the Middle East reduces the complications in this respect.

The AU also unequivocally acknowledges its responsibilities in line with Chapter VIII, just as it accepts the aforementioned “African solutions-ideology.” In fact. Its ambitions go so far beyond those mentioned in the UN Charter that som of them risk violating it in a strictlty legal sense. Not only has the AU in its Constitutive Act of 2000 announced its intention to actually defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the members (art. 3b) and to establish a common defence policy (art. 4d), but it also claims as one of its fundamental principles “the right to intervene in a member state (…) in respect of grave circumstances, namely war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity” (art. 4h).

The first of these clauses is tantamount to a collective security provision,[14] as was also made clear with the formulation found in the AU Non-Aggression and Common Defence Pact of 2005, article 4a of which committed the members to “provide mutual assistance towards their common defence and security vis-à-vis any aggression or threats of aggression.” The second provision comes close to a collective defence clause, and seems in fact to be carbon-copied from article 5 of the North Atlantic Charter, the founding document of NATO, with the formulation in the 2005 Pact that “any aggression or threat of aggression again st any of the member states shall be deemed to constitute a threat or aggression against all member states of the Union” (art. 2b). The third provision is by far the most problematic of the three as it is tantamount to a commitment to undertake humanitarian interventions. It did not help in this respect that an amendment the article 4b was adopted in 2003 adding a fouth “grave circumstance,” i.e. “a serious threat to legitimate order.”[15]

Legally speaking, the only problem with the collective security clause is the lack of reference to the UN Security Council. It is definitely in the spirit of the UN Charter, and there is no explicit ban on regional counterparts to the UN’s own collective security arrangement—which has anyhow never worked as originally envisaged. To act on this provision will, however, violate international law unless a UNSC authorisation is obtained without which it would be tantamount to such a use of force as proscribed in the UN Charters article 2.4. Fortunately, it strains the imagination to envision the AU doing anything like this in the foreseable future.

There is also no legal problem with the collective defence provision, except perhaps the expansion of the “triggering events,” which may also apply to the collective security clause. Whereas the UN Charter only mentions “attack,” the AU’s 2005 Pact refers to “acts of aggression,” to which category it counts “provision of any support to armed groups, mercenaries and other organized trans-national criminal groups which may carry out hostile acts against a member state.” (art. 1, c.viii). For the AU to take action according to this definition of attack just might cause legal problems, unless the UNSC explicitly endorses the interpretation.

Of course, the AU is not alone in wanting a more expansive and flexible definition of attack or aggression. Some member states and scholars have, for instance, claimed a right to pre-empt an attack in self-defence as explained above—and the United States has explicitly adopted a national security strategy envisaging what it calls pre-emption, even though it is in fact referring to prevention.[16] The difference between the two concepts is mainly one of timing—pre-emption signifying a first strike as the only way to avoid an imminent attack, whereas prevention connotes an attack now in order to exploit a favourable, but deteriorating, balance of power. Just as any court would accepts a plea of self-defence in one shoots a person holding one at gun-point, none would probably condone shooting an unarmed person in order to prevent him from buying a gun. The United Nations also implicitly blurred the criteria for what should count as “attack” in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack against the United States, thus endorsing the US rights to attack Afghanistan in self-defence.

If the meaning of attack and self-defence are thus already under revision, it makes perfect sense for the African Union to expand the former to include what is basically “attack by proxy,” as this is clearly a major—perhaps been the most serious—threat to African States. Just think of Sudan’s support for the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, the Rwandan and Ugandan support for their respective RCD factions in he DR Congo; or indeed the Liberian support for the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) and the AFRC (Armed Forces Revolutionary Council) in Sierra Leone, for which former warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor is now on trial in the Hague.[17] What the AU might have done rather than simply adopting its own definition (however reasonable) was to argue its case in the UN Security Council, where they might, on the other hand, have encountered opposition from the United States with its longstanding tradition of proxy warfare. Just think of the Contras in Nicaragua.

One might well envisage legal problems with the intervention clause as this has no UN counterpart whatsoever. Whenever the UN has seemingly endorsed a humanitarian intervention, e.g. in Somalia or Iraq in 1991, it has deliberately avoided formulations that might have established a precedent—and whenever humanitarian interventions have been undertaken, they have thus lacked a UN mandate. The “non-intervention in internal affairs” norm still stands, notwithstanding several attempts at replacing or supplementing it by a norm of “responsibility to protect.” While it was endorsed by the UN Secretary General in his In Larger Freedom report, based on recommendations in his High-Level Panel report on A More Secure World. Our Shared Responsibility,[18] there is neither any concensus on the issue nor any UN decisions that might, by any stretch of interpretation, make it legal. While humanitarian intervention would thus be legal it might well be legitimate and Africa offers several examples of not-all-that-hypothetical cases—most prominently Rwanda 1994. Should a government determined to exterminate around fifteen per cent of its own citizens not thereby forfeit its right to determine its own affairs, i.e. would other states not have been justified if they had intervened in force to bring these horrifying genocidal slaughter to an end?

Peace Operations and Security Architecture

Besides the above ambitions, the AU certainly also have accepted the challenges of all those non-military tasks related to conflict prevention and peace-making mentioned in the UN Charter’s chapter VIII, e.g. by dispatching mediators to various conflicts on the continent—most recently Kenya—and by establishing, at least on paper, quite an impressive machinery for handling such issues. The main body is the Peace and Security Council, under the auspices of which a number of subsidiary bodies and agencies are either planned or already operating, including a Panel of the Wise (intended for mediation), a Continental Early Warning System and a Peace Fund.[19]

The AU also, from the very beginning, announced its intention to undertake peacekeeping operations, which also seem to be quite in line with the “spirit” of Chapter VIII, even though they are not mentioned, simply because these “chapter six-and-a-half operations” had not yet been invented in 1945. To this end, the AU embarked on the design and then the actual implementation of a complex “African Security Architecture,” featuring yet another application of the subsidiarity principle. In addition to an African Stand-by Force,[20] this is envisaged as comprising subregional brigade-sized multinational military formations. This did, however, raise the question about the appropriateness of the subregional organisations, which do not completely correspond with the AU’s subdivision of the continent into subregions as shown in Table 2.

There thus seems to be a discrepancy, either between the AU’s view on where countries belong and their own identification; or between membership of subregional organisations and actual identification—the latter perhaps because organisations have been established at particular historical junctures and developed since then. A state may thus genuinely felt it belonged in a particular group when the corresponding organisation was founded but gradually grown out of it. Whatever the reason for the lack of overlap, it surely does not facilitate any application of the principle of subsidiarity, as states now will have to make choices with much more substantial consequences than paying a membership fee and attending meetings, when they have to commit a part of their troops to a particular subregional miliary unit.

Besides these organisational changes, the AU has also ventured into the uncharted waters of actual operations. The first such deployment was to Burundi (MIAB, 2003-2004) following a peace aggreement, which was probably a prudent place to start, as the operation was neither particularly large nor all that demanding—and it is generally judged as a success.[23] The next was much more demanding, in the Darfur region of Sudan (AMIS, he assignment of monitoring a very fragile and contested ceasefire agreement between the government and some of the rebel groups. While some have proclaimed this a failure, in the present author’s assessment, the AU probably did as well as anybody else would have done, under almost impossible conditions. In any case this mission is now being merged with the UN’s mission in Sudan (initially to monitor the peace between North and South) in an unprecedented hybrid mission—the performance of which was, by the time of writing in February 2008, impossible to assess.[24] The third AU deployment, in Somalia, is almost bound to fail, wherefore it was probably a big mistake for the AU to accept the assignment in the first place. Here the mandate is to protect a Transitional Federal Government (TNF) with absolute no control over the country and next to no domestic legitimacy against the remnants of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) which actually functioned as a government, but had now been transformed into rebels by the de facto Ethiopian invasion in late December 2006. Formally speaking, however, the Ethiopian intervention was clearly in conformity with international law, as it had seemingly been invaded by a so-called governent which had been internationally recognised as such.[25]   


The AU thus evidently has very high ambitions in terms of its future contribution to peace and security on the continent. This is definitely to be welcomed as Africa has become so marginalised that it nobody else wants to risk getting pinned down in peacekeeping or related engagements here, making “African solutionms to African problems” the only realistic alternative. The AU and most of its members appear to be quite committed to the entire project and the general willingness by states to “put their troops where their mouth is” may not be beyond reproach, but seems to compare quite well with, say, that of NATO in Afghanistan. Because of Africa’s desperate poverty and lack of military capacity, however, there will continue to be a need for external support. 

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[1] Sidhu, Waheguru Pal Singh: “Regional Groups and Alliances,” in Thomas G. Weiss & Sam Daws (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of the United Nations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 217-232.

[2] Schachter, Oscar: “Self-Defense and the Rule of Law,” American Journal of International Law, vol. 83, no. 2 (1989), pp. 259-277.

[3] On alliances in general see Walt, Stephen M.: The Origins of Alliances (Ithaca: Cornell University Press); Snyder, Glenn: Alliance Politics (Ithaca, NJ: Cornell University Press, 1997).

[4] Simma, B.: “NATO, the UN and the Use of Force: Legal Aspects,” European Journal of International Law, vol. 10, no. 1 (1999), pp. 1-22.

[5] On self-defence in international law see Murphy, John F.: “Force and Arms”, in Oscar Schachter & Christopher C. Joyner (eds.): United Nations Legal Order, vols. 1-2 (Cambridge: Grotius Publications, 1995), vol. 1, pp. 247-318; Dinstein, Yoram: War, Aggression and Self-Defence. Second Edition (Cambridge: Grotius Publications, Cambridge University Press, 1994), passim; Gill, T.D.: “The Temporal Dimension of Self-Defence: Anticipation, Pre-emption and IImmediacy,” Journal of Conflict and Security Law, vol. 11, no. 3 (2006), pp. 361-369; Kaye, David: “Adjudicating Self-Defence: Discretion, Perception, and the Resort to Force in International Law,” Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, vol. 44, no. 1 (2005), pp. 134-184.

[6] On regional organisations in general see, for instance, Henrikson, Alan K.: “The Growth of Regional Organizations and the Role of the United Nations,” in Louise Fawcett & Andrew Hurrell (eds.): Regionalism in World Politics: Regional Organization and International Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), ) pp. 122-168. A modern classic is Nye, Joseph S.: Peace in Parts. Integration and Conflict in Regional Organization (Boston, MA: Little Brown & Co., 1971), passim.

[7] See the Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council and the General Assembly, UN Document, no. A/60/341-.S/2005/567.     

[8] See UN Document, no. A/61/2004-S/2006/590.

[9] O’Brien, David: “The Search for Subsidiarity: The UN, African Regional Organizations and Humanitarian Action”, International Peacekeeping, vol. 7, no. 3 (Autumn 2000), pp. 57-83; Vogt, Margaret A.: “Regional Arrangements, the United Nations, and Security in Africa”, in Muthiah Alagappa & Takashi Inoguchi (eds.): International Security Management and the United Nations (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 1999), pp. 295-322. See also Kersbergen, Kees van & Bertjan Verbeek: “Subsidiarity as a Principle of Governance in the European Union,” Comparative European Politics, vol. 2, no. 2 (2004), pp. 142-162.

[10] The author has previously written about this, e.g. in Møller, Bjørn: “FN og regionalt samarbejde: Subsidiaritetsprincippet anvendt på Afrika,” Militært Tidsskrift, vol. 134, no. 3 (2005), pp. 379-397; and in idem: “The Pros and Cons of Subsidiarity: The Role of African Regional and Sub-Regional Organisations in Ensuring Peace and Security in Africa,” in Anne Hammerstad (ed.): People, States and Regions. Building a Collaborative Security Regime in Southern Africa(Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs, 2005), pp. 23-82.

[11] Quoted from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Chatechism of the Catholic Church (chapter 2: The Human Community), para 1885, at On subsidiarity in general see Carozza, Paolo G.: “Subsidiarity as a Structural Principle of International Human Rights Law”, The American Journal of International Law, vol. 97, no. 38 (2003), pp. 38-79; Newcombe, Hanna: “Subsidiarity”, in idem (ed.): Hopes and Fears. The Human Future (Toronto: Science for Peace, 1992), pp. 92-96; Wilke, Marc & Helen Wallace: “Subsidiarity: Approaches to Power-sharing in the European Community”, RIIA Discussion Papers, no. 27 (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1990); Schilling, Theodor: “Subsidiarity as a Rule and a Principle, or: Taking Subsidiarity Seriously”, Working Paper, no. 10/95 (New York University School of Law, Jean Monnet Center, 1995).

[12] See, for instance, Kornprobst, Markus: “The Management of Border Disputes in African Regional Subsystems: Comparing West Africa and the Horn of Africa”, Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 40, no. 3 (2002), pp. 369-393.

[13] This point is elaborated upon in a forthcoming DIIS report by the author. A preliminary version, “The Horn of Africa and the US ‘War on Terror’ with a Special Focus on Somalia,” has been presented at conferences in Sweden and South Africa and is available at­/admini­stration/file_manager/ file_links/HORNUSWAR.PDF. See also Menkhaus, Ken: “The Crisis in Somalia: Tragedy in Five Acts,” African Affairs, vol. 100, no. 204 (2007), pp. 357-390.

[14] On collective security see Weiss, Thomas G. (ed.): Collective Security in a Changing World (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1993); Johansen, Robert C.: “Lessons for Collective Security,” World Policy Journal, vol. 8, no. 3 (1991), pp. 561-574; Betts, Richard K.: “Systems for Peace or Causes of War? Collective Security, Arms Control, and the New Europe,” International Security, vol. 17, no. 1 (1992), pp. 5-43; Butfoy, Andrew: “Themes within the Collective Security Idea,” Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 16, no. 4 (1993), pp. 490-510.

[15] Baimu, Evarist & Kathryn Sturman: “Amendment to the African Union’s Right to Intervene. A Shift from Human Security to Regime Security?” African Security Review, vol.      12, no. 2 (2003), pp. 37-45; Murithi, Tim: “The Responsibility to Protect, as Enshrined in Article 4 in the Constituitive Act of the African Union,” ibid, vol. 16, no. 3 (2007, pp. 14-24.

[16] Gill: loc. cit. (note 5); Ronzitti, Natalino: “The Expanding Law of Self-Defence,” Journal of Conflict and Security Law, vol. 11, no. 3 (2006), pp. 343-359; Ruys, Tom & Sten Verhoven: “Attacks by Private Actors and the Right of Self-Defence,”ibid., vol. 10, no. 3 (2005), pp. 289-320.

[17] On the former case see Prunier, Gérard: “Rebel Movements and Proxy Warfare: Uganda, Sudan and the Congo (1986-1999),” African Affairs, vol. 103 no. 412 (2004), pp. 359-383. On the latter see International Crisis Group: “Liberia: The Key to Ending Regional Instability,” Africa Report, no. 43 (Brussels: ICG, 2002). On the trial of Taylor see Bhoke, Chacha: “The Trial of Charles Taylor. Conflict Prevention, International Law and an Impunity-Free Africa,” ISS Paper, no. 127 (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, 2006).

[18] Annan, Kofi. In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All. Report of the Secretary-General, UN Document no. A/59/2005; High-Level Panel: A More Secure World. Our Shared Responsibility. Report of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (New York: United Nations, Department of Public Information, 2004).

[19] See ISS: “Profile: African Union (AU),” at

[20] See Kent, Vanessa & Mark Malan: “The African Standby Force: Progress and Prospects,” African Security Review, vol. 12, no. 3 (2003), pp. 71-81; Franke, Benedikt: “A Pan-African Army: Ther Evolution of an Idea and Its Eventual Realisation in the African Standby Force,” ibid., vol. 15, no. 4 (2006), pp. 2-16; Denning, Mike: “A Prayer for Marie: Creating an Effective African Standby Force,” Parameters, vol. 34, no. 4 (2004), pp. 102-117; Touray, Omar A.: “The Common African Defence and Security Policy,” African Affairs, vol. 104, no. 417 (2005), pp. 635-656.

[22] Based on Appendix B: “Regional Organizations and Groups,” in CIA World Factbook 2008, at publications/the-world-factbook/appendix/appendix-b.html

[23] Boshoff, Henri & Waldemar Very: “A Technical Analysis of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration: A Case Study from Burundi,” ISS Monograph, no. 125 (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, 2006); International Crisis Group: “End of Transition in Burundi,” Africa Reports, no. 81 (Brussels: ICG, 2004); See also Reyntjens, Filip: “Burundi: A Peaceful Transition after a Decade of War?” African Affairs, vol. 105, no. 418 (2005), pp. 117-135.

[24] International Crisis Group: “The AU’s Mission in Darfur: Bridging the Gaps,” Africa Briefing, no. 28 (Brussels, ICG, 2005); idem: “Darfur’s Fragile Peace Agreement,” ibid., no. 39 (2006); Zwanenburg, Marten: “Regional Organisations and the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Three Recent Regional African Peace Operations,” Journal of Conflict and Security Law, vol. 11, no. 3 (2006), pp. 483-508; Appiah-Mensa, Seth: “The African Mission in Sudan: Darfur Dilemmas,” African Security Review, vol. 15, no. 1 (2006), pp. 2-19.

[25] See note 13 above. See also Baker, Deane-Peter: “The AU Standby Force and the Challenge of Somalia,” African Security Review, vol. 16, no. 2 (2007), pp. 120-123.